November is the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). We are supporting all the writers who are participating.
As part of the Self-Publishing Africa initiative, today at It’s My Footprint (IMFP) we are joined by Sharon Felicia Acheampong (SFA) a Trainee psychologist and part time author/singer-songwriter based in the town of Kadoma, Zimbabwe.
(IMFP) Welcome Sharon, and thank you for spending time with use at It’s My Footprint.
(SFA) Thank you very much, pleasure is all mine.
(IMFP) Can you start by giving our followers a brief background of yourself and where you are coming from?
(SFA) I’m 26 years old, an only child raised by my mother. Two years of my childhood were spent in Ghana, but I have lived in Zimbabwe most of my life. I am currently studying for an Honours degree in Community and Health Psychology with the University of South Africa. I have also been teaching at Kadoma Montessori pre-school since 2009.
(IMFP) Where do you get your ideas from?
(SFA) Honestly, I don’t know. I guess my environment influences me. I spend a lot of time alone so I tend to live in my head and that’s what usually comes up on paper.
(IMFP) Why do you write?
(SFA) Mainly self-expression. When I came to Zimbabwe in 1996 I couldn’t speak any of the local dialects, and I was surrounded by children who didn’t understand me, so it was a way of creating friends who understood me.
(IMFP) What do you find most appealing about your chosen genre?
(SFA) Fiction gives free reign. You can create what doesn’t exist and it’s ok.
(IMFP) How do you deal with bad reviews, rejection and criticism?
(SFA) I think because I don’t really target anyone other than myself with my writing, any attention I get is alright, a sort of any publicity I good publicity scenario.
(IMFP) Sharon, you surely have developed in your writing. Have you published yet? What are you busy with now in terms of writing?
(IMFP) What do you find difficult about book writing?
(SFA) Naming the characters. I can never start a story if I don’t have names which are in my head a perfect fit. The search can take ages and can be frustrating too.
(IMFP) What is your opinion on self-publishing vs traditional publishing?
(SFA) Having my fingers in many pies, makes self-publishing work better for me as I determine the pace I work at and I’m not constantly missing deadlines. Other than that, I feel both ways are pretty even on the pros and cons and it all depends on personal preference.
(IMFP) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
(SFA) Believe in yourself. Writing is an art form and unlike mathematics there isn’t right and wrong, only different shades of right.
(IMFP) If you could go back in time 12 months, what would you advise yourself?
(SFA) Manage your time better so you are not focusing on one aspect of your life at the expense of the others.
(IMFP) Who is your favourite author and why?
(SFA)I have plenty, but my top three would be Danielle Steel, Evelyn Anthony and Jeffrey Archer. I like writing that makes me experience world’s I probably would never encounter. Danielle Steel is also very good with evoking emotion and I find myself hating/loving/sympathizing with some of her characters.
(SFA) No. I haven’t done any.
(IMFP) Which email lists are you subscribed to?
(SFA) Mostly publishers, music and psychology.
(IMFP) How do you interact with other authors? Are you a member of a book club?
(SFA) I am actually quite a loner, partly because I find it comfortable and partly because I don’t always have time for social interaction. That’s a long way of saying no.
(IMFP) What types of books do you normally recommend to your friends?
(SFA) Really depends on the person and what I feel they need or would like. Mostly fiction though, historical, Christian.
(IMFP) Let’s talk about Sharon the lady! Give us a bit of your social and family life.
(SFA) Lady made me laugh. Family, I live with my mum Sue, she is my number one fan/critic/stylist who believes I have zero dress sense. I have two very naughty dogs, Star whose 6 years old and DeAngelo who is 4 years old.
I have been teaching at Kadoma Montessori pre-school since 2009, in class lessons as well as swimming in the summer. I am now also the in house trainee psychologist since I got my Baccalaureate in Community and Health Psychology last year. I am back at school for the Honors this year.
I have been doing music commercially since 2013 & have a couple of songs and videos on local radio and television under the name Felicia Diallo.
I don’t really do much outside work, school music and writing. If I am not at work, I am probably at home.
(IMFP) Do you have any final word for our followers?
(IMFP) Many thanks for this interview, Sharon. Good luck with your writing.
(SFA) Thank you
Sharon Felicia Acheampong Links