This week (Episode 26) we feature an interview with Alieu Bundu, a Sierra Leone indie author that writes primarily in English even though his primary language is Kathemneh. Alieu Bundu is a Sierra Leonean short story writer and novelist. His short stories have been published widely in Sierra Leone and other parts of the world. His novel, Silver Lining which was featured on Episode 25, follows a twelve-year-old boy named Alimu as he struggles through abuse and adversity just to receive an education. This book blew both Marie and I away with its message and feel that it should be part of family reading. Read more of Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera’s review on Medium that was mentioned in the show!
If you missed any of the interview segment, below you will find a transcribed version.
What are the advantages and/or disadvantages in writing in your second language? The main advantage of writing in English is that it gives me a broad scope of audience. I believe that so many people that aren’t Sierra Leonese can read and understand Silver Lining with ease because I wrote it in English. If I had written it in Kathemneh (cat-em-nay), my first language the audience would have been limited to the people who read and understand it. Notwithstanding, it helps me to broaden my horizon. Writing involves a lot, apart from the act of writing itself, I have to read extensively to learn how other authors succeed in writing engaging and educative stories and by so doing that has helped me greatly in increasing the base (or best) of my knowledge.
What do you find most difficult about writing in the English language. Mentally the conventions of English language. Generally, I am not someone that has much regard for rules; I find I annoying to follow the rules at certain things of life, so when I found out so when I learned that I must write impeccably in order to make my stories sellable when I started writing I had no option but to discipline myself to do so.
What is one thing that you wish you understood about the wiring industry when you began? What I wish I knew about the writing industry when I started my career were the challenges of getting published traditionally. When I started writing I thought that the most difficult thing was to finish writing the story. And when I was done with that I thought that I would get a publisher that would invest in it and put it out in the world without headache. So it was a shock to me when I started receiving more rejection letters (inaudible) from publishers when I decided to shop some of my stories around. In fact, I also learned that it is very difficult to access the top editors of publishing houses and if I want to access them I need to first of all get an agent. Being ambitious, I searched for agents online that accept submissions from African writers, but I couldn’t get anyone that would represent me?.
Silver Lining by Alieu Bundu is available on amazon. Remember to leave a review when you’ve finished the story and please take a moment to give Indie Beginning some stars and a rating on the platform with which you found us. Leave a comment below about this episode and peruse through some of our past episodes that you may have missed to find other amazing self-published and/or indie authors. Thanks for listening!
Welcome to episode 25 with our featured indie author Alieu Bundu and his heart-wrenching read Silver Lining. This audiobook introduction follows a smart twelve-year-old boy named Alimu as he struggles to get an education in a land ravaged by a rebel war. Through abuse and injustice Alimu must fight, survive, and pray to Allah for the strength and fortitude to carry on. Will Alimu achieve his educational dream?
This story is a refreshing look at how youth view education and an eye-opening revelation as to how many of our youth around the world live day to day. Who this story affects and how depends on geography. A westerner may be shocked to hear some of the day to day activities these children endure while our main character Alimu would be stunned to see how many of our western children take school and their teachers for granted. I am glad to have this story locked in my mental library and hope you add it to yours and share it with your children. Purchase your copy on Amazon.
Remember to subscribe to the Indie Beginning Podcast on your favorite podcast service and please rate and review while you are there! We are still giving prizes out every 25 reviews. Follow us on social media or on our website to join in the conversation. Next week we will be speaking to Alieu Bundu about writing in a second language so get your questions in.
This audiobook introduction to Silver Lining by indie author Alieu Bundu has been sponsored by Shirts by Sarah. Head there for all of your unique shirt ideas. Indie Beginnings theme song was written and performed by Damiano Baldoni and is titled Vittoria. Indie beginning is an ACNBooks production. All readings in this episode were performed by Benjamin Franke. Thanks for listening!
Ben and Marie discuss reviews left for Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson as well as the topic of Short Form Fiction with the author. Novellas and novelettes are gaining in popularity with the rise of kindle and other e-readers (especially since Hugh Howey’s breakthrough tale WOOL) and people are so busy that they just do not have the time for a novel. We also live in a “quick fix” society and may be witnessing the shorter attention spans, at least that is Ben’s belief.
What influenced indie author Stella Coulson to begin writing short form fiction? What are her thoughts of the rise in its popularity? Does she see a downside to writing a short story? Listen to this week’s episode to find out!
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment wherever you found this podcast, I’ll find it! We’d would also be truly grateful if you would rate and review this show while you are there. Your reviews are a wonderful way to support this show and also a way for us to keep bringing you the content you want to listen to. Don’t forget that each review makes you eligible to win some Indie Beginning merchandise: every time we hit a 25 review milestone up to 500! Screenshot that baby and tag Indiebeginning in it, or not, I’ll find it somehow, I like a good treasure hunt. Whitby After Dark is available for purchase on Amazon. Music found in this episode was written and performed by Tinmouth and is titled Generation to Generation. I would like to thank Shirts by Sarah for supporting this show and our featured indie author. A special thank you to Stella Coulson for taking the time to be part of the Indie Beginning Podcast. Thanks for listening!
Read the Writer’s Digest blog post discussed in this episode.
For our 23rd episode we are bringing you the beginning of Stella Coulson’s Young Adult indie read Whitby After Dark about a young woman who moves to the Gothic small town of Whitby, Yorkshire and discovers a hidden world of vampires, shifters and demons. Her precognitive visions of death lead her to become the target of a serial killing demon. This Indie Beginning is brought to you by Shirts by Sarah, your one stop shop for all your specialized shirt needs. After the episode please take a moment to leave a comment about what you just heard or leave a question for the author to discuss during the interview segment next week. The topic will be the long and short of short form fiction.
Trigger Warning / Content Advisory! The story contained in this episode deals with topics that many young adults face including suicide, self harm, and abuse. If you feel that any of these topics are too hard to listen to please skip this episodee. If you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self harm please contact the national suicide hotline here in the states at 1-800-273-8255. For our friends overseas please go to Samaritans.org.
Are you enjoying Indie Beginning? Remember to subscribe to Indie Beginning on your favorite Podcast platform. Please let us know what you think of the show by leaving a review while you’re there. Reviews are the best way to support your favorite podcasts. In fact Indie Beginning will be sending one random reviewer a special gift for every 25 reviews until we hit 500. All you have to do is leave a review and tune in to hear if your name is called after each 25 milestone. Or you can screenshot your review and tag @indiebeginning on Instagram with the #indiebeginningreview. Join us next week when we discuss short fiction with Stella Coulson.
Music found in this episode was written and performed by Tinmouth and is titled Generation to Generation. This episode was read by Marie Kammerer Franke and edited by me. I am your host Benjamin Franke asking everyone to read more books, be the best possible you and to simply enjoy this wonderful life. Thanks for listening.
If you could go back in time and re-write a historical moment, what moment would you choose? LS Bassen wanted to revisit WWII and more specifically the death of Adolf Hitler in her tale Summer of the Long Knives. (Learn more about LS Bassen here.) In this episode Marie and Benjamin discuss reviews left for the story as well as their thoughts on the topic of Alternative History. Below are a list of topic Questions posed to the author.
1. Alternative fiction is a popular genre for story lovers, yet many authors find it a difficult genre to write. Did you have any concerns when you began writing Summer of the Long Knives?
2. With Nazi Germany being such a major historical period in time what tips or tricks did you utilize to keep fact and fiction from flowing too far away from one another?
3. What are your thoughts on reader knowledge? Do you feel that the average reader is willing to suspend disbelief to be entertained?
I posed this question to the Writers Group on facebook and I would like to take a moment to thank Sarah, Eanna, Mark, Kenneth, and Sasha for joining in the conversation. All of them agreed that a reader will suspend disbelief and that it is the Authors job through character development and world-building (a topic we discussed with Paul Grover in episode 17) but the examples given stemmed from Harry Potter (Still refuse to read that little gem) to Marvel. I wonder more about factual events straight out of High-School history books where there really is a universal agreement of facts.
4. Does writing alternative history allow you as the author to change history if even for a brief moment in time? Are there any other historical moments you wish (or plan) to re-write?
5. If you could rewrite anything in your own career as an author what would it be?
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment after you listen to the show. We would also be truly grateful if you would rate and review this show while you are there. Your reviews are a wonderful way to support this show and also a way for us to keep bringing you the content you want to listen to. Summer of the Long Knives is available for purchase on Amazon. Music found in this episode was performed by Dee Yan Key and is titled Holy Holy Holy. I would like to that Shirts by Sarah for supporting this show and Thank LS Bassen for taking the time to be part of the Indie Beginning Podcast. And most of all, thank you for listening!
This week we are featuring the indie novel Summer of the Long Knives by LS Bassen as read by Benjamin Franke. After an attack by a band of roving Nazi Brownshirts, Lisel Ganz, an artist’s model in Berlin, suffers an injury that gives her the ability to catch glimpses of the future. It is already too late for many, but Lisel now can see that an even greater evil lies ahead. Taking refuge in the home of artist Albert Entrater, Lisel meets Konrad, a Catholic priest involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Amid great betrayal, loss, and danger, Lisel must act while there is still time. A novel of what literary critic George Steiner has called alternity, Summer of the Long Knives explores the hopes and horrors that emerge from history’s darkest moments.
*Note!!! This story contains adult content that may not be suitable for all listeners. There is sexual violence as well as adult language.
Next week on episode 22 we will speak to LS Bassen about writing an Alternative History and what concerns she may have had as well as some tricks up her sleeve. Learn more about the author here. Remember to leave a comment below about what you have heard or post a question for the author and/or hosts.
Music found in this episode was written and preformed Dee Yan Kee and is titled Holy Holy Holy. Please take a moment to rate and review this podcast. It is the number one way to support this show. Thanks for listening!