Katlynn Brooke was born in Zimbabwe (when it was still called “Rhodesia”) in 1950. Her mother and father met while her mother worked on a Christian Mission outside of the city of Bulawayo. Katlynn grew up in Rhodesia and left during the civil war of independence and lived briefly in South Africa. She emigrated to the United States in 1979 and currently lives in Virginia. She is an accomplished watercolor artist, and loves to write.
“Talk to the Moon” is Katlynn’s debut novel and she is currently writing a sequel to “Talk to the Moon” called “Place of the Elephants”.
What inspires you to write?
Besides the obvious–that I love to write, I also write because I have something to say about my life and about the country I grew up in. I feel that there is not enough in the way of literature on Rhodesia or this part of Africa which is now known as Zimbabwe, so my purpose in writing is also to help readers who are not familiar about this part of the world to understand what it was like to live here and what it became. I have not written “Talk to the Moon” for the expat African, although they are welcome to read it, but it is not a “when-we” book. It is instead a story written for those who have never been to Africa and who don’t know much about Zimbabwe but would like to. There is a lot more I can say about this country but I could not possibly cover it all in one book. “Talk to the Moon” is a beginning, a starter for me, and I hope to continue the saga up until present times.
I am also inspired by the excellent writers of African literature: Nadine Gordimer, who wrote extensively of this part of the world; Alexander McCall Smith, Alan Paton and many others too numerous to mention. Some of those writers have addressed the problems of race in the African countries and cultures they wrote about. I have addressed it too because it is impossible not to. I have written about it from a white girl’s perspective; a girl who feels the racial injustice of her times is wrong and unfair but also feels powerless at the same time to stop it
Tell us about your writing process.
I am definitely a seat of the pants writer. When I write, I am seeing pictures in my mind, as if I was watching a movie. I determine who my characters are and what their personalities are first, and they write the book for me. I have a general idea of subject matter and what the plot will be, but it is highly dependent upon the personalities involved. Would Character A do this? How would Character B react to what that person says or does? This shapes my story and my plot and often I find I have very little to do except make sure it is clear and concise. Everything I have ever read about writing screams at me that this is wrong, but I feel it works for me. I do not write formulas. I often have no idea how the book will turn out until its finished.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
See above. My characters are the most important part of my writing process. I could not write unless I understood them perfectly; what motivates them and how they think. I am an observer of people, and I am fascinated with psychology and what makes people tick. My characters, for me, are real; they do not feel fictional although they do not resemble people I know except in the most general way. I do not take living or dead people and turn them into characters, unchanged, but I do use characteristics of people I have known and make them fictional. I feel I know the characters in my book so well that if they walked into my house I would immediately know who they are! So yes, I do talk to them while I am writing!
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what feels authentic to you. Do not attempt to write about something you know very little about. What is your favorite subject, or what part of the world do you feel familiar with? Does this inspire you to write about it, and if it does, write!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After many years of chasing agents, unsuccessfully, I decided to hell with it and self-publish my book in e-book format. I was at first very afraid to do that but now that I’ve done it I am very happy with the process. There is no guarantee a book will be successful even with a conventional publisher or agent so I felt that I would prefer to be in control every step of the way, so that if it failed, I had only myself to blame! I feel that e-book publishing is the new wave in authorship and I wanted to try it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I hope there is still a future for book publishing, because I still enjoy reading books! I would hate to see books go out of style even though I am publishing my book on e-book; I would still hope to get it in paper one day.
What genres do you write?
Africana, historic, literature, young adult, romance, mystery, Christian theme,
What formats are your books in?
Link To Author Page On Amazon