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Published in Author Interview

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Published in Author Interview

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Writing is to enjoy yourself, if you find it a trial, it is not for you

Gillie talked about her interest, story behind her book and the most important thing is enjoy yourself being a writer. Read why her thought about writing is intriguing. About Gillie Bowen Gillie Bowen was born in Nakuru in Kenya and have travelled the world extensively over the years. She is a retired British journalist, now living with her husband in ...

Gillie talked about her interest, story behind her book and the most important thing is enjoy yourself being a writer. Read why her thought about writing is intriguing.

About Gillie Bowen

Gillie Bowen was born in Nakuru in Kenya and have travelled the world extensively over the years. She is a retired British journalist, now living with her husband in the Loire Valley in France. Gillie loves to write, cook, to entertain and to travel.

In her book, “Beneath African Skies” She has brilliantly explored the young people's challenges lived in 1820. She believed writing saga fiction, inspired by true events, required a family who can provide deep information about the subject. On other hand, an internet help for more information.

How did you find the story about your book, “Beneath African Skies”

Beneath African Skies is a true story about my ancestors who left England in 1820, as part
of a British scheme, to emigrate and become settlers in Southern Africa. I was always
aware of Hougham Hudson’s story, but I became more interested as I investigated more
about the Hudson family. Hougham Hudson was my great-great-grandfather and my
mother Molly was born on his grandson’s farm in 1919.

What are the genres you love to write. However, “Beneath African Skies” what message you wanted to send to your readers writing this fiction?

I love to write historical fiction, based on true stories. Beneath African Skies is fiction based on a true story. As well as my mother’s memories and my own research, my uncle, George Hudson, self-published his life story before he died and that was a very useful source of information, too. I wanted to get across to my readers what brave young people the 1820 settlers were, and the challenges they faced over the years.

Therefore, writing thriller, how much struggle one required? What is your strategy to get onto collect the evidences for pursuing the ideas?

Beneath African Skies is not a thriller, but more of a family saga based on a true story. I
research all my books very thoroughly, using the family information I already have, and
exploring the internet for more.

How many other books you have written, are they based on real life inspired? Tell us more about your favourite writers and their books.

I wrote the sequel to Beneath African Skies several years after it was published. Entitled
Breaking African Ties, it takes the reader from the end of the Second World War to Kenyan
Independence. My family lived through these times and their lives are well documented. I
wrote Breaking African Ties after a number of my readers said: ‘And then what
happened?’
Always interested in genealogy, I turned my attention to the Bowen family and research
showed that my husband’s great-great-aunt, Emily, had emigrated from London to
Australia in 1882, leaving her five-year-old daughter, Lilian, behind. That fascinated me.
Why would any woman travel to the other side of the world, leaving her daughter behind?
The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate is Emily’s story, and I loved researching and writing it.
I was next to discover, through my genealogy research, that I too had a famous aunt on
my side of the family. My seventh great-aunt, born in 1728, was a brave young woman
who saved hundreds of sailors’ lives by going out with the rescue boats from her
hometown in Kent, England. She went on to design the forerunner of today’s lifeboat, and
to this day, the RNLI in England name a lifeboat after her. The Mary White was first
published in October 2020. The sequel White on Wight is the story of her nephew, Thomas
White, who went on to become the biggest shipbuilder on the Isle of Wight. It will be
published this month.

I have also written a modern-day, romantic drama trilogy, The Ville Rose series, which is a
family saga, covering three generations of an English/French family. It is based in
Toulouse and London. Favourite writers? Ian McEwan is a favourite British writer. I have read most of his books and have recently finished ‘The Chldrens Act’, which I found very moving. McEwan writes
about people and their emotions. His genre varies. I love historical novels and I like Marius
Gabriel’s writings. I particularly enjoyed ‘Goodnight Vienna’ which is based on a true story
during the German occupation of Austria at the beginning of World War 2.

What is your daily target of writing? Number of pages, words, or finishing a particular scene and settings?

I don’t have targets. I like to write in the early morning before my family is awake. I write as
much as the mood takes me, but I usually try to finish a scene before I stop for the day. I
usually write or edit every day of my life.

Do you write a plot first or decides your characters before you start putting them on Papers?

On the whole, I write by the seat-of-my-pants, but I always have a basic plot before I start
a book. I draw a graph, to remind myself of where the story is going, and when things
happen. I keep a checklist of all the characters as they come into the story and the page
number on which they first appear. I find this very useful when I need to refer back to a
Character.

Would you like to say something in your voice to your readers about writing and crafting?

Writing is an addiction to most authors and if you have a craving to put your story into
words, then do it! It doesn’t matter how well you write; you will improve as you develop
your craft. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. If you find it a trial, then writing is
not for you.

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12 thoughts on “Writing is to enjoy yourself, if you find it a trial, it is not for you”

  1. Great interview! I’m hopping over to Amazon to take another look at ‘Beneath African Skies’. Thanks for sharing Gillie’s story, Lokeish.

  2. An excellent interview with Lokeish Umak for Lekh Magazine. I hope I have inspired others to look into their genealogy and put pen to paper. All my books are available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format. I wish Lekh Magazine well for its future success.

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