Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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?v=8SPtgTLa7q8

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! 

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing...this goes with my post today and this book goes on my wish list for immediate reading.
    I have a daughter wanting to go work with children in Kenya and a son who went on a month long missionary trip, so Africa draws my heart

    Thanks for sharing...I loved meeting her

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm reading this story to my daughter right now and she is loving it. Each night when we get to the end of the chapter she begs for more. (And she's not just doing that because Grandma wrote the book! :D)

    Making the book trailer was fun. :) Thanks for the shout out, CC.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Janette for taking a peek. Africa is a special place, and I know Sylvia's book is full of beautiful nuances of the culture and the country, along with an interesting story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is so cool, Lynnette. Not only is your daughter getting a great story, it is very special because her grandmother wrote it.

    And you are both very welcome. It was my pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing your story, Sylvia...very inspiring. And thanks for featuring this wonderful author on your blog, Cecilia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome post ladies! Kondi's Quest sounds fascinating and I can't wait to learn more about you on my blog, Sylvia. God's blessings =-D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you, Tommie and Dana for stopping in and commenting. It was a pleasure to share her story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you all for your encouragement and compliments. My brother read his complimentary copy and said it brought tears to his eyes, so Kondi's Quest must evoke Africa pretty well. More importantly, it carries a strong salvation message. I'm hoping it will make an impact on girls at a vulnerable age. Would you pray about that with me? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you, Ceci, for OFFERING to sponsor my book. You're a gem!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are most welcome, Sylvia. It was a pleasure. And what a compliment for your book! Praying, also.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sylvia, I am so happy for you and pray that your book has a great and lasting impact on the lives of your readers. I know I will never forget it. Thanks for listening to that still small voice of inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm looking forward to reading this novel in the next week or so. Can't wait.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awe-some, Sylvia! Sounds like such a great story. Hope to get it. May it do well! :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you to Troy, Tommie and Lynn, too. So nice to see you here. Kondi's Quest is selling slowly, as I thought it would, but I have pretty steady sales, so far. I pray that Kondi's Quest's message of God's love will touch kids who are in unhappy circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, Janalyn, for buying Kondi's Quest -- and for reading it. You're a gem.

    ReplyDelete

Any thoughts you would like to share? I love hearing from you!