Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nefretiti A. Morant, Author of Across the Sands

Across The Sands, E-books By Nefretiti, historical fiction, Jamani Publications, Mali, Mansa Musa, 14th century africa, mali novel,

Nefretiti A. Morant is the author the historical fiction novel Across the Sands.

What inspired you to write Across The Sands?
I've always been a big fan of historical fiction and costume dramas. Shows like Master Piece Theater, Downtown Abbey, The Tudors, anything set in the past with drama, scandal and a love twist woven in.   I was motivated to write Across The Sands because while watching theses type of shows or movies in this genre, I would be annoyed that the only characters of color (if any) were either flat, lifeless, or enslaved persons.

But why the 14th century, and why Africa?
I wanted to write a story set in a time when Africans were known in the world as affluent, regal and proud.  Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage was infamous for putting Mali on the mid-evil world's map.  For centuries his name and Mali were synonymous with wealth, power and generosity. To this day he is still the richest man in history.  That’s why I chose 14th century Mali.

Tell us about the characters in Across The Sands.
The main character Awa Camara is the daughter of one of Mali's wealthiest families.  Her father Seydou Camara is a wealthy salt merchant. In 14th century Mali salt held as much value if not more that gold.  Seydou has three very different children.  Mahmaudou the eldest and only son is expected to follow in his father's footsteps.  But Mahmaudou wants to be a priest and study at Mali's Sankore University.  Awa the middle child and main character has been betrothed to Mansa Musa's son Maghan.  Awa does not want to marry Maghan, or anyone else for that matter.  Since she was a child she's desired one thing and one thing alone; to explore the world while traveling on a caravan.  But of course this is unconventional and  dismissed as foolish childhood fantasy.  Now the youngest daughter Sira is  known for her primness and beauty and wants nothing more than to marry a rich man.  In Across The Sands you will meet these three as well as a colorful array of characters from Mali's various social classes.  I'm really excited about the release of this book.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing poetry when I was a teenager.  In my early twenties I toyed with characters in short stories, but I never thought about publishing any if them.  It wasn't until about three years ago that I decided to do something with the poems and character sketches I had crammed into my nightstand drawer.  I decided to start a poetry blog which is now the showcase for all of my publications.  And to tell you the truth I wasn't sure if I could write a book, but after a few months of starting my poetry blog I decided to try.  I mean I new nothing about starting a website or a blog, but I had done it.  So I figured why try writing a book.  I began working on Perspectives and lets just say it been a rewarding journey.

What are the rewards as you put it?
Well I'd have to say that the reward comes from a satisfaction of achieving something that I value highly. Before I even wrote my first poem, I was a reading fanatic.  As a child, teen and young adult I would lose myself in the words of authors like Mildred D. Taylor, Toni Morrison and Walter Mosley.  Their works would ignite my imagination.  I've always respected the magic of words on paper and how they have the ability to create vivid pictures in your mind.  In that aspect I find being a writer rewarding.  To be a part of creating that type magic as you would.  That's probably why  now that I've started I can't stop.

How many books have you written and what are they generally about?
Across The Sands is my ninth novel.  I also have a book of poetry.   My books are about people who learn and grow as they move through the journey of life.  Everyone has a story, and our stories make up the fabric of our society.   Through my works I'm telling the story of the human experience.   Everyday and through every experience and circumstance we change, we grow and we learn something about ourselves and what we are capable of.  I dedicated to that message.  You know the saying; The journey defines the destination.

Nine novels, three years, do you ever get writers block, and if so what do you do?
I'm sure all writers do, but once I get get stuck in a particular story and lets say I'm stuck for more than a few days, I'll put it down and start another book.  I actually stopped and started Across The Sands three times over the course of two years.  If I get stuck, and don't know where to go next,  I'll just stop and start working one something else.

So what's next?
To tell you the truth, I'm not sure.  I've been working on a sci-fi novel off and on.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to dive into that or if I should do another historical fiction piece.  I really enjoyed writing "Across The Sands" and I am tempted to do a few more historically fictional works.  I guess my fans will have to wait and see.

How do you juggle it all, being a wife, mother, employee, and author?
I get asked this often and sometimes I'm not even sure how I do it.  I just make the time for writing, even if it means waking up at 4:30 am everyday.  I think when you’re passionate about something, I mean really passionate about it, you can't not feed that passion.  It lingers, whispering at the very core of everything you think, see and do.  That's how writing is for me.   I can't not write, it's just such a big part of who I've become.

What do you hope to achieve through your writing?
I want to touch people with my writing, and not only my writing, but my whole experience.  I hope that one day when I'm a best selling author, sitting on a beach working on my next master piece,  there'll be someone somewhere who looks at my dedication and perseverance and say's; if she can do it I can too.  I want my journey to serve as an inspiration of how anything is possible if you're willing to work hard and believe you deserve it.

What tips or words of encouragement do you have for other writers who are just starting out.
Be persistent. It's so important in the self publishing indie industry.  Marketing, and making your book stand out at a time when writing and publishing is virtually at everyone's fingertips is no easy feat.  But those who are not willing to go the distance will drop out of the race early on.  If writing is truly your passion, just keep at it.  Like everything else in life, with time, dedication and perseverance you'll find yourself crossing the finish line.

Watch the Across the Sands Book Trailer:

Relevant Links
Buy Across the Sands on Amazon 

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