Thanks for your time answering a few questions Dennis. Firstly... where are you from?
I grew up in various parts of Kenya, and partly in Uganda where I did my Advanced Levels and Undergraduate studies. To me, growing up in these countries was a worthwhile experience and I do believe it played a big role in shaping my persona, which led to the person I am today. The only bad thing was having a father who wasn’t there for me.
Were there things growing up that still influences your writing now?
So many things. First and foremost, as a young child, I did happened to live with my father for just eight months but, up to this day, I still regret why I ever tried to even think of going to live with him in the first place! And these experiences still influence my writing. Second, my writing is also influenced - and still being influenced - by experiences gained during my teenage years; relationships, family turbulence and personal reactions to situations.
Can you remember writing down your first structured words at school?
Yes. The year was 1987. I was still a young boy but there was this girl in the neighborhood who had kind of caught my eye. I wrote her a love poem, my first love poem that actually earned me a hot slap, although later I did win her over, but lost her when I was forced to relocate.
Did you have a love of words back then?
Yes. I used to be paid to write love letters while in high school. I just loved expressing my own feelings on behalf of those that yearned to be heard and this has developed tremendously over the years, since most of my poems are still centered on love.
Did you go to University?
Yes. Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. I joined in the year 2002 but graduated in 2013.
Tell me a bit about that experience.
It was really a challenging experience. I had to struggle all through, dropping out of the university three times due to lack of funds, but eventually graduated in 2013 with a BA in Education. It proved a lot in my life, and made me believe that, through determination, faith and prayer, we can achieve whatever we yearn for; I never gave up, even when I felt the future was too dim.
Is writing your full-time job?
No. I am a language teacher here in Kenya under the British International Curriculum.
Tell me about your very first writing engagement.
My first engagement writing was a song I wrote when in Form One. It was a love letter meant for a certain girl I had fallen for, but it ended as a song done by someone else here in Kenya.
Tell me about the projects you are working on at the moment.
Currently I am working on a film project with my students in my school. Our first short film is out, and now working on the second. We are also working on a sensitization based poetry contest aimed at fighting drugs among the youths.
What really inspires you?
I am inspired by the social circumstances that affect me and those around me.
What do you most love to write about?
Love and romance are my major areas though at times I shift a little, and do some pieces on social issues and politics.
What is the process of transforming that initial moment of inspiration, or idea, into actual words on paper?
Sometimes I look at something or hear something then words begin running in my mind. I immediately reach my laptop and type down something, so as not to forget. If my laptop is not within reach at that particular moment, my Windows phone comes in handy. I will then write down whatever is on my mind, work on it step by step, or keep it for another day. My relationships also inspire me a lot.
Do you have a particular writing location?
Not really. I have written by the river banks, written in some forests or even under trees.
What are your plans for the future?
I really yearn to see my own publication out there some day, but before that I will keep writing till I stop dead.
Name your THREE most favorite books and why.
Animal Farm by George Orwell. This book speaks nothing less of what is happening in my country. I liked the way the author came up with the idea of animals to help depict the characters and behaviors of people in our societies.
My Life in Crime by John Kiriamiti. It was my first read and I was in Class Six. It aroused my desire to keep reading.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It is a book that lives in every society, be it yesterday, today or that of tomorrow. It is an all-round kind of writing that attacks every kind of society, be it white or black.
Lastly... what does writing MEAN to you?
Writing to me is my heaven. Writing is the only place I find my peace; it is my escape. It is like a glass of wine after a heavy meal. It soothes me like nothing else does. It means a lot to me, for many times I have come out of deadly storms through writing down how I feel, and what I feel. You pick your pen or your laptop at a time when you are feeling downtrodden and before you realize, you are light and ready to keep moving. That is what writing does to me.
Thanks so much DENNIS, and thank you for your wonderful contributions to BETRAYAL. Don't stop writing!
For a little bit more info on DENNIS, and to contact him CLICK HERE.