Meet our talented book personality of the week: Monde Nkasawe. Monde has published seven books through Kwarts Publishers. We’ve asked him to answer a few questions about himself and his writing:
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Well, speaking strictly as a writer (and not as a tourist), I would still choose to live in South Africa. I do believe that this country is rich with content and stories for writers – not only in its melting pot-type culture but also in the unfolding drama of its politics.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I relate to writing in the same way as going to the gym – it’s something I always do, most of the time, unfocused – only intended to “keep fit.” In those few spaces in between, I spend my time with house chores, work projects and anything my family wants me to do.
How would you define a successful writer?
Well, I could just say anyone who sells millions of copies and is immensely rich is successful. But that would be too narrow a definition. As far as I’m concerned, a successful writer is someone who has boundless energy to write and produce books consistently and be able to create a sustained discussion buzz on his / her work. Perhaps more importantly, a successful writer is someone who can draw from a wide range of knowledge.
What is the first book that made an impression on you?
There are many books which have had a lasting impact on my writing. Some of these are in Xhosa. The writings of people like Njabulo Ndebele, Peter Mtuze, S.E.K. Mqhayi, and even James Hadley Chase, have shaped my own writing.
What is the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Accessorising the character! I have found it very difficult to choose dresses for female characters or to define their feminine roles properly. This becomes worse when I also have to delineate their class lines.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I’m most productive when sitting in a boring meeting. My writing process involves using my phone for initial notes, which I then transfer to my PC for more elaborate writing. Coffee shops are my favourite places to write.
How does writing change a writer?
I have found myself more tolerant of various character types, believing that each person, however objectionable they may seem, contributes directly to the social drama. So yes, writing does mellow one a bit.
What marketing tips do you have for aspiring and perspiring writers?
Don’t write and sit back! The purpose of writing is to engage society on the issues you have written about. Engage. Create a buzz. Don’t only give snippets of the book, engage on its core premises and departure points. Assess your own personality, and make yourself less reclusive and more visible. People want to read your book, and then talk to you. Make meaningful use of social networks, again, not to advertise your work, but to engage in it.
If your name was a verb, what would it mean?
It would mean “being consistent!”
What work have you done with Kwarts Publishers?
I have published seven books to date, all of them with Kwarts Publishers. It’s been a wonderful experience!
Books from the creative pen of Monde Nkasawe:
Journey of the Heart
The Death of Nowongile
The Madness of Rodney Makhelwane
The Fullness of Time
Go to the Eastern Cape
For more information about Monde’s books, contact him at [email protected] or see his books on Amazon: