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8 Questions with Author J.D. Kizza

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8 Questions with Author J.D. Kizza

8 Questions with Author J.D Kizza

Jane J.D Kizza is a practicing nurse who just self-published her first novel, The Journals of He. The Journals of He is part of a trilogy she began during her years of study at the University of the Witwatersrand, drawing inspiration from her experiences there. We spoke to Jane about her writing process, choosing to self-publish and insights for other aspiring authors.

 

Q

What was the inspiration for the Journals of He?

 

A

The idea for the story was inspired by a rather pleasant dream that I had of myself and my TV crush at the time. I remember he was wearing a suit and he looked gorgeous in it.  We were having a very intimate and sensual conversation about love, connection, and relationships. I was asking him questions about men and he was just dishing all the details.

I woke up, and immediately powered up my laptop and started writing that scene out, working my way back to a sensible beginning to that story. After many re-writes, it became the book that it is today.

Q

Dillia is studying nursing and you are a practicing nurse. You also both have a love of writing. Do you see yourself in Dillia and are her experiences inspired by your own?

A

Dilia herself is a version of me, living an alternate version of my life. Some of what happens in The Journals is based on my reality, and some of her experiences are analogies of my own lived experiences. Some of the conversations that she has, and the people she has them with, are written exactly as I remember them. While others are filled with all the words, I wished I could have said, but didn’t. She goes into nursing because I am a nurse. If I was a fighter pilot, she would be a fighter pilot too. Her love of writing is something that we both share, because she has a lot going on in her mind that she struggles to vocalize. And her personality and the career that she has stepped into, has her filtering a lot of those thoughts, and her only true outlet is through her writing. She is a paragraph, where most people prefer individual sentences.

 

Q

Journals of He is the first in a trilogy, when will the next two books come out and what can readers expect?

A

The second book in the trilogy comes out this Winter! The first book was very PG18, and the next one will be slightly more so. There’s an increasing demand for more of Dominick’s mind, and I have listened. Things that didn’t seem to matter in the first book, will reveal themselves in meaning in Journals II. All the loose ends will come together, and so will their consequences. I’ve already began working on Journals III, picking up almost immediately after Journals II ends. Expect a lot of drama, and a lot of passion and be prepared for a wild ride!

 

Q

You self-published this book, what did you learn about yourself in this process?

A

I have learnt that I am not just a poet or a writer, I am a creative. The decision to publish came from the realization that I was not only ready, but capable of bringing this story to life on a grander scale than the blog it started from. I was able to accomplish so much with so little knowledge of how things work outside the writing of the book, and all of that was because of the rush I get from creating. I knew then that I could make something beautiful from my words, and more importantly, that I needed a team that knew how to make a book of my story. I believe that this is what brought me into contact with the team of people that have moved The Journals and Jane Author into the spaces that they occupy now, and it always humbles me. I’ve grown in confidence when it comes to my writing and the art that I want to release into the world. I learnt that I am resilient, despite how hard I am on myself for my mistakes – wow my mistakes! But I believe in what I can do with my writing, and this experience has brought it home for me.

Q

If someone is inspired to self-publish like you did, what advice would you give them?

A

Believe in yourself and your craft. Celebrate it, promote it, speak life into it. Write. Keep on writing and do not stop until the story tells you it’s done. You will make it look presentable afterwards. Read within and beyond your genre, to build your vocabulary, and to build the world in which your story can live and play. If your goal is to continue beyond your current story, develop a body of work. Your next project doesn’t have to be related to your current book, but you SHOULD have a next project. You are not limited to the books you publish. You are a writer, you are many, many feelings and many, many worlds, in one body. Use your words to craft a space where your reader can disappear into when they need inspiration or motivation or a break from life. Right now, social media is your friend. Use it to put yourself and your work out there. Save up, because it’s going to be a long, challenging road once you get the self-publishing ball rolling. All the funding will be coming from you. Do your research. Look into what avenues are available to bring your words to life. Read the reviews from previous clients. There are some publishing houses that accept unsolicited authors – do they align with the genre you’re writing in and your writing style? Consider editing costs, cover design, and printing costs, and compare prices with each self-publishing house that you see potential in. Be collaborative with your team. It’s your dream that they are working with, and you are paying them for their services, so your voice matters.

 

Q

How do you deal with writer’s block?

A 

I don’t really believe in writer’s block. If the words within me are silent and still, then it’s for a reason. I have learnt not to try and force them out, because they will come out when they are good and ready. That belief has never failed me. Over the years, I have found that every time that I move through that silence, the words eventually do come out. And when they do, it’s because there was something that needed to be said in that moment, and not a moment before.

 

Q

What is your ideal writing environment and where did you write Journals of He?

A

If I can sit, and if there’s nothing in my immediate surroundings that requires my attention, I can write. I just need my smartphone with its word processor and I’m good. I started The Journals Of He on my Blackberry, and it has moved from phone to phone and PC to PC since then.

 

Q

What are you currently reading and what is your all time favorite book?

A

I’m reading a local publication, I don’t belong here, by Tayla Jean Grossberg, which is about a girl who can see ghosts. I don’t have a favourite book. I love stories, be they true or fictitious. If it’s a good story, then I am here for it. That’s what makes reading so much fun – the joy never truly ends, even when you put a book down, because there is always another one waiting to be read.

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