Special Post: Interview with My Friend, Sylvia Stewart, Author of the Newly Released Novel, Kondi's Quest
Hello. I’m happy to be with you today. Do you have your coffee or tea cup at hand?
My name is Sylvia Stewart. I’ve served as a missionary in Africa for almost 32 years. We loved the 21 years we spent in Malawi, East Africa. Malawians became dear to our hearts, and Malawian children are as sweet as kids from any other country. They had a special place in my heart.
We went on to spend another 11 years in Ethiopia. I felt drawn by the children there as easily as I was toward Malawian children. Long before I left Africa to retire, I wanted to leave a written legacy for Africa’s children. Later, my grandchildren came into the picture and my book is dedicated to them and the children of Africa.
My pre-teens’ novel, Kondi’s Quest, has just released. The main character is a composite of many girls I knew in Malawi. Kondi’s Quest will introduce you to Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa. It will also give you a glimpse into an African culture as well as provide a fascinating story of Kondi’s quest to find her father’s love.
Kondi’s Quest is my first book, although I’ve been a published writer for some years. A sequel is in the works, as well as a pre-teens’ novel set in Ethiopia. I’m also developing two adult novels and a book of devotionals for women in ministry.
My reason for writing is to share God’s love with my readers. Many people know about God and Jesus’ saving grace, but not everyone knows Him as personal Savior and friend. In her story, Kondi becomes better acquainted with both her father and her Heavenly Father.
Kondi’s Quest gives you a peek into a very special girl’s daily life, her joys and her sorrow. It portrays the Malawian way of life as heart-warmingly as I found it when I lived there. Ncheneka is a real village. I lived there. However, I’ve taken a few liberties for the purposes of the novel. None of the characters are real – but they are composites of many of my Malawian friends and associates in ministry. I tried to stay as true to the culture as I knew how. I know a lot has changed in the 20 years since I lived there. I hope my readers will close the book when they’ve finished reading it, with a sigh of regret at having to leave the cozy aura of Kondi’s Quest, and a longing to “go back to Malawi” in another story. I also hope it will give hope to children of every culture, who live in unhappy situations, and give them a longing to know their Heavenly Father, who loves them deeply.
My favorite character in the story is Kondi herself. She’s artistic and smart. She recognizes beauty and love when she finds it. She loves her family and has learned to accept changes in her life, even though they are different from what she expected or wanted.
My favorite scene is the funny pinching ant scene. I’ve experienced the squealing and jumping around just the way Kondi did. The view of the valley, like a giant sleeping under a patchwork quilt, is one I saw from my living room. The cloud on top of Dedza Mountain came nearly every day.
Since I was involved in ministry in Malawi, writing Kondi’s Quest had to take an as-time-permits slot. Kondi has been a constant companion during the 24 years it took for her story to reach publication. She still is on my heart as her sequel develops. (The working title is Kondi’s Secret.) I’d be happy if you’d look me up at: http://www.sylvia-stewart.com.
Also you can follow my blog at: http://sylviastewart1.blogspot.com/ where you can find out more about my books as they develop. I’m set up with PayPal, so you can purchase signed copies with a bit of a price break.
Thank you for taking time with me today. I hope you enjoyed hearing more about Kondi’s Quest and Malawi.
Me: Here is the link to the book trailer Sylvia's daughter, Lynette Bonner created for her mother. She did a fantastic job. It is really worth checking out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Author Bio: Sylvia grew up in the (then) Belgian Congo and spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, with her husband, Duane. In 1992 they were asked to go to Ethiopia to found a Bible College. They spent 11 years in Ethiopia doing mostly Bible College ministry. She taught college-level English to students who had never taken a grammar class before.
Sylvia has been published in Assemblies of God denominational magazines: The Pentecostal Evangel (now Today’s Pentecostal Evangel); Advance (now Enrichment); Woman’s Touch, and their missions magazine, Mountain Movers, which is no longer in print. She has also been published in WASI Writer, a writer’s magazine published under the auspices of the University of Malawi.
Sylvia is a freelance writer under contract with Network211.com, a Christian website. She also writes devotionals on assignment for them.
Me: I also want to thank Sylvia for sharing her personal story and this wonderful glimpse into her novel with us, and, I hope all of you consider her book for that young reader in your family. Blessings!