Today I am chatting with author Molly Gambiza, who tackles some very difficult social issues in her books, such as poverty, child abuse, lack of education, etc. Let us see why she writes and what her message is.
1. People often tend to cathegorize authors according to genres and topics. If you had to cathegorize your work, would you say you were a woman writing for women, would you choose a different tagline or avoid cathegories altogether?
I would definitely say that I’m a Woman writing for Women. I didn’t feel that way in the beginning. I always just thought I was writing for myself. But I’ve witnessed just how profound my words have been with Women and I just hope to continue to be that voice for us.
2. So far you have publishes three novels and working on your fourth. At what point did you start considering yourself an author and why?
I used to just write to pass the time, but I guess once I had finished writing my 1st novel True Colours was when I considered myself a Writer. It wasn’t until Mistaken Identity however that I saw myself as an Author. It was when a colleague at work came to me saying how much she loved my books and had bought copies for her family that it sunk in that this was more than just a hobby now.
3. In your previous work history, I noticed ‘receptionist’. I imagine that job has helped you a lot in observing and studying human habits, character, even body language. How much of your work experience do you use in writing?
My job has definitely shaped how I write. I’m in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis so It’s hard not to draw inspiration or learn from them. I love my colleagues and they each offer a different and sometimes refreshing perspective. Have I ever based a character on a colleague? No, but some have certainly helped me put things into context when creating some of my characters.
4. You come from Uganda, but have been living in Great Britain for practically half your life. You set your stories in Uganda. What are your fondest memories of Uganda that you can share with us? What do you miss?
I lived on a farm, so naturally I liked the time of harvest. Everyone in the village would get together and help each other but that was the time that I could eavesdrop on the gossip of the season. They did try to talk in codes but I was sharper than a blade and cut right through those codes. Some of those stories still make me laugh today. I miss my Mother’s Garden where the majority of these conversations would take place.
5. A Woman’s Weakness deals with quite an intimate woman’s struggle in life, her relationship expectations and reinventing herself, although it doesn’t sound like a typical romance. When you created your main character, Eva, how difficult was it to walk in her shoes – did you identify with her or empathize? Was it difficult to leave her behind once you finished the book?
What Eva went through was a norm growing up, this was something I was all too familiar with seeing in the Village. I haven’t left her behind and I doubt I could, because of how many times I saw an Eva type character in my Village or heard about a girl like her in the news. The issues she dealt with are the issues that I challenge with my writing. I am fortunate enough not to have gone through what she did but I could have been Eva. I very well could have found myself in her shoes
6. True Colours, on the other hand, is a social drama, with quite a heavy subject. The villain in the book is the kind relative who offers help under a disguise of something else. Was she difficult to create? What did you want readers to learn from her?
She was not difficult to create at all; some Aunts can be very cruel. I had friends and even relatives who had bad experiences just like Hilda. I wanted my readers to learn that not everyone who smiles at you is a friend and that what goes around certainly does come around. So be kind to everybody on your way up, because you will surely meet them should you fall.
7. Would you like to try writing in a different genre? Which and why?
I would love to write a few Crime Novels, 60% of my book shelf is full of John Grisham. It would be a challenge to write but one I would accept. I wouldn’t mind writing some Adventure novels as well. Wilbur Smith is another one of my favourite authors.
8. Since A Woman’s Weakness is getting its sequel soon, do you maybe see it as a movie or a TV-series? Who do you see portraying Eva? Do you have specific images of real people in your head when you write about characters or are your characters strangers you meet along the way, as you write?
Well I didn’t even have those thoughts until my eldest son brought up the idea. To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought but who wouldn’t want to see their work on the big screen? Thandie Newton would be perfect for Eva’s part, she’s beautiful in person, and after a brief encounter actually reminded me of Eva. I don’t really put faces to my characters, but every now and again someone says or does something like a character in my book.
9. If you could interview any famous woman in human history, who would it be and what would you like to talk about?
OPRAH, I would pick her brains for the secrets to her success. She is an amazing Woman who has worked incredibly hard for what she has and has faced many challenges. I would ask her what pushed her and kept her going when the World was telling her to quit.
10. What do you appreciate most in life?
My Family, nothing else matters, I live and breathe for them…… But in close second place, it’s handbags. I have an addiction, lol!
11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?
I would like to send a big thank you to all of my readers. I appreciate the support you have all been showing me, keep an eye out for my new releases and I hope you stay with me on this journey. It is an honour.