Have you ever dreamed of going to Africa?
In the pages of Kondi’s Quest, you’ll be drawn into the heart of this country and its people, in particular a 12-year-old girl named Kondi.
Kondi’s Quest was a 24-year writing project. Through a Malawian girl’s eyes, Kondi’s Quest shows middle-school readers what Malawian culture and lifestyle are like. It also helps kids understand that God’s love and presence is with them even in very hard times.
EXCERPT FROM KONDI’S QUEST:
“No one loves me, not even Mai!” Kondi moaned to herself. “A loving father doesn’t try to beat his children. I was not careless. Accidents just happen sometimes.” Kondi held one hand to her throbbing ear. “Oh, how I wish we could have peace in our home!” Using another leaf, she wiped her knee again—red blood on brown skin.
Let’s get to know Sylvia Stewart, a good friend of mine and author of Kondi’s Quest:
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always had a fascination with words. When we were in Malawi, Africa, I happened to see a butterfly migration – large white butterflies going against a stiff wind. I wrote a short piece and submitted it. My first submission was immediately accepted. An acceptance is inspiring. However, it was another two years before I had an acceptance again.
Do you write fiction, nonfiction, or both?
I write both. I recently self-published my preteens’ novel, KONDI’S QUEST. A sequel, KONDI’S JOY, will be released in August this year. I’ve also written many articles, devotionals and a few poems, many of which appear under my name on a Christian website: www.network211.com.
How important are book covers to you, as both an author and a reader?
Book covers are the “store window” for what’s inside the “store.” I want a lovely cover that reflects the fascinating content of my book. At least, I think it’s fascinating and I want my readers to be captivated, too, first by the cover and then by the content.
As a reader, I gravitate to a colorful and well-designed cover before I check the words inside.
How do you measure your success as a writer?
Every author hopes to make some income from all the hard work they put into their work. However, to me, income is secondary. I feel that my books will be a success if they touch a reader’s life and help them to make changes for the better.
Do you have a dream project…something you’re planning to write someday?
Yes, I’ve already started two projects that I hope will be a blessing to readers. One is a romantic suspense novel set in Seaside, Oregon. The second one is MALAWI MEMORIES, a month’s worth of devotionals using anecdotes from our missionary service in Malawi.
Sylvia Stewart grew up in the (then) Belgian Congo. She spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, the setting for Kondi’s Quest, which she wrote to weave a story as a legacy for Malawi’s children.
Sylvia is the mother of four children. Her eleven grandchildren are the delight of her life.
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