I love a good romance, and I remember being online some time in June in 2014 (yes, seems like a while back, but with Elly it’s not) looking for a short read. I wanted something that was sweet, and could get my writing juices up and that’s when I came across Save my Heart by Elly.
We would chat once in a while but nothing as in depth as being engaged in the East Africa Friday Feature– her brilliant brainchild by the way, this year. Elly comes off as warm, determined and always willing to try out new stuff and so I thought, why not introduce the world to this brilliant Writer I know (who loves a good cup of coffee, pastry and buying books along the streets of Nairobi like me :-))
Hello, would you please give us an insight on yourself in terms of what comes to mind when I say or mention in each category what resonates with your personality:
Movie: Bridget Jones’s Diary – ‘Coz you gotta have a sense of humor to get the blue soup…
Pop song: Sippin’ on Sunshine – Avril Lavigne
Pastry: Pumpkin Swiss roll (I had a very good friend who’d make this and bring it in to work…it was divine, and I think of her when I see one now)
Beverage: Black Coffee with sugar
Character in a book: These change with the book am reading…lately Bridget Jones has been on my mind.
Me: So, would you rather ebook or paperback?
Elly: I love both. Ebooks are great when you’re on the move, but I love paperbacks because they remind me of libraries. Love the scent of books.
Me: Cool, and what would you rather do, read the book first or watch the movie?
Elly: Read the book first, they always leave out the best stuff.
Me: You have written great novellas on romance and each portrays a level headed heroine, and more often than not some great male leads too (hint hint: Picture Perfect), what inspires you to create such heroines?
Elly: Level-headed heroines in my life inspire my characters. Women who know what they want, women who work for what they want, and women who face down their worst fears and still keep going. Sort of feels like I’m tooting the Miss Independent horn, but I think we need more strong African women in fiction.
Me: And is there a heroine who did not turn out or do something you expected?
Elly: Yes, as you mentioned Picture Perfect, Victoria has taken on a life of her own, and she often surprises me when I write her. I started out thinking her story would end in ten chapters, but she’s gone ahead and led me on a longer journey. She’s witty, very wary of love, and is very loyal to her family. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Me: What are you currently working on? Would you share a bit of it with us?
Elly: I’m writing Koya’s Choice. This story is running on my blog. Check it out.
“I have to tell you something?” Kim said, placing his napkin on the table. “This isn’t easy. Someone has to tell you before you meet.”
Koya stopped eating and met Kim’s gaze. “You’re driving me crazy. What do you have to say?”
“Charlie is back in town.”
Koya stared at Kim. Suddenly the restaurant sounded so loud, her ears wouldn’t stop ringing. She shook her head, her gaze on the busy waiters tending to customers who ate without pause; couldn’t they hear the deafening explosion?
“Koya,” Kim said in a gentle tone.
His voice drew her back from the edge. She grabbed her napkin and dumped it on top of her mixed rice. Taking her handbag and cell phone, Koya pushed her chair back and got up.
“Come on, Koya,” Kim said.
She didn’t stop to see if he followed. Once outside, Koya headed to her car, holding on to control as it slid away fast. She tripped on a stone, her heels still too new and almost fell, managing to catch herself on her car’s bonnet. She gave in then, kicking the curb with the tip of her new grey heels. Damn it, she still needed to finish the payment on them, but…damn it, she kicked the curb again. A soft cough caught her attention and she looked up to find Kim standing a few feet away.
Koya pointed a finger at him. “Jokes are the last thing I need today, and you’re playing one that is too cruel.”
Kim crossed his arms against his chest.
“I’m not joking. Charlie is in town. Will you stop taking it out on the curb and listen to me.”
“Move closer, so I can take it out on you,” she said, shaking a fist at him. “I need to calm down. I can’t drive like this. I’m so pissed, I might kill someone.”
“I’m sorry. This was a bad idea. I should have told you this evening.”
“You shouldn’t have told me at all, Kim. I don’t—I don’t care about him anymore. You telling me means you think I care and I don’t.”
Abandoning the curb, Koya turned to her car and unlocked it with a flourish. She threw her handbag and cell phone to the passenger side.
“Then why are you so pissed off?” Kim asked when she entered the driver’s side and opened the window.
Giving him a mean look, she started the car and put it into gear. She drove out of the restaurant parking lot at high speed. What did Kim mean, why was she pissed off? Koya scoffed. Who told him she needed to know about Charlie coming back to Nairobi? She was angry with Kim for thinking it mattered. Charles Dhali was old news. She’d let him go…
Me: Thank you, (I can’t wait to get into Koya’s world), What subject (s) do you find you cannot write about and why?
Elly: Politics, hardcore news events…there’s nothing wrong with writing these topics, but I feel people need a break sometimes. I love fiction and creating new worlds. Someone once called me a dreamer, and I agree with fully.
Me: And finally, what do you think is the future of reading in Kenya?
Elly: I think the future is already happening. We’re in a digital world, and reading cannot be counted only through physical books any more. Kenyans have a strong, growing online reading culture. Even those in the grassroots have access to a cell phone. I think Kenyans should capitalize on this, and embrace digital publishing to its fullest. Kenyan writers, write more, get Kenyan stories out there and get them read.
Me: Thank you, Elly!
You can read more about Koya’s Choice on Elly’s site here.
She has some awesome books on Smashwords, you can check them out here.
In 140 characters or less, you can tweet Elly here.