Why do you write and other questions I can’t answer with a straight face

It’s a Tuesday and I am preparing my third cup of tea as I write this. No, I just poured water into an electric kettle and switched it on- the tea will come as a result of dipping a teabag into the hot water for a few seconds and adding sugar to it.

I’m a Writer. I write.

I have my days and in saying so I mean days when I am excited about writing and can write continuously and then those days when the sight of a blank page makes me want to curse my ancestors.

It’s been three weeks since I published and received copies of my latest work, Sifuna, and with this there have been questions that I’ll admit I never answered with a straight face, not because they were neither funny nor annoying, rather, they were questions I didn’t expect to hear.

First things first, have you seen the cover I designed for Sifuna?


I’ve received positive reviews so far and I am glad that I got to print copies here in Kenya and with this it’s easier to order copies and ensure readers in the country get first access. I’m yet to liaise with bookstores to expand distribution and this thought takes me right into the questions I’ve been asked so far:

Why Sifuna?

Em…I like the symbolism in the name Sifuna. It’s a name given to a male child among the Luhya community, and it means “harvest.”

Which bookstore has copies of your book?

None so far.

Why? How do you expect readers to get your book?

I am more open to having readers contact me to get a book, like you did, is there a bookstore you would recommend that I could approach and engage in discussion on marketing and distribution of my book?

How much is a copy?

Kshs 700, this includes delivery charges via Easy Coach courier services.

Why do you write?

I wish I had a definite answer, it would satisfy you, when I’m specific however, with writing, nothing is cast in stone, except for the fact that writers write and that’s it. Sometimes I do it for the power, because hey, I can kill a character using words, embedding them in a story or I could draft my Ex like a drunk, piece of chair, a urinal…in a story, who knows? It’s very satisfying, that kind of power, it’s like being high…does that answer your question?

When’s your next book coming out?

Whenever it is ready.

What will it be about? This one is political and stuff, what of the next?

I don’t know, it will be what it is…a story, and whoever reads it can choose to assign it to the genre they feel is most appropriate for them.

Wow! You must be rich! How much money have you made so far?

I’m rich, I mean, I sat down and wrote over forty thousand words- trimmed it to what you have in Sifuna, so yes, I am a notch above today.

What advice would you give to an aspiring Writer?

The difference between an aspiring writer and a writer is action. Write and write and read as widely as you can.

Do you think Kenyans love to read?

It’s 2019, are we still asking this question? Okay…no worries, let me try and put it this way, I’m a Kenyan and I love to read…so when you choose to ask about “Kenyans” that leaves more than forty million plus people and yes, Kenyans love to read the question is what do they love to read and how do they consume the content they read? Now, those are questions that can keep us here for years.

I just finished reading Sifuna- and Baoya’s a fool, like how did you even think of someone like him? How can someone be so naive?

Great! I’m glad you finished reading Sifuna. Well, you talk of two things being a fool and being naive. The two may share a fence but they are not the same. Baoya’s naivety creates room for Sifuna’s callousness to announce itself…and there are people like both Baoya and Sifuna, have you looked around?

I’ve had two cups of tea already, I’ll go to bed now and start brooding over the next story.

Have a wonderful week!

PS: I’m into 40,000 words for NanoWrimo this week and my mind’s a mess.



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