Who are you?
I am a writer and craft maker who has lived in France for the past nineteen years. Unlike most of my family members who are professionals, I dropped out of school with few qualifications.
As a teenager growing up in a small town in Africa, the world seemed to offer far more exciting adventures than the classroom did, though, to be honest, I was showing no signs of academic brilliance. I came to writing almost by error about ten years ago.
After reading a poem that had recently been published, I thought to myself I can do better than that. I scribbled out a short poem and sent it off to a competition where it was published, and more importantly, they paid me fifty dollars.
I had three or four more poems published after that and was beginning to think I had found an easy road to fame when the express train of reality slammed into me, and I learned that gaining traction in the poetry world was an extremely elusive dream.
By then I was also writing a few columns for small local magazines and publications and I was addicted to both the research and the writing process.
Why write on Medium?
My two biggest weaknesses are getting to grips with all the intricacies of social media and sending proposals to editors. Somehow I always feel like I am begging for their attention, and in a way, that is true. Medium allows me the freedom to write about the topics which interest me without having to delve too deeply into either of my weak points.
What are your writing interests?
I write on a broad range of topics, but the environment, travel, and food are the three in which I tend to specialize. Living in France is a food and wine writer’s dream as eating and cooking are so heavily entwined in the culture here.
What do you hope to accomplish by writing?
Like every writer on Medium, all I hope for is to become rich and famous with a massive publishing contract and options to take on the movie rights. While waiting to be plucked from obscurity by some renowned editor, I hope that I can interest my followers and perhaps make them smile occasionally.
What is the highlight of your life?
Finally, recognizing that time is more important than money and reaching a point where I can focus on what I regard as essential rather than being forced to follow the dictates of society. Much of this has been done by learning to live with less.
Share a few of your articles with us?
Learning a Lesson On Kindness
In my early twenties, I hitchhiked from New York to California. It was both an adventure and an education.
Casanova’s Secret Weapon
Roquefort is one of the most iconic of French cheeses and has a long history
Do you write anywhere else?
I still have some regular slots in small publications. The problem is that in this rapidly changing world, they seem to go out of business so often. I have also just published the biography of one of the world’s longest-living heart transplant patients. Her life is incredibly hard at the moment, and any funds generated from the book will go to her and her family.
Big plans for 2020?
Although I have been a Medium member since 2017, I only really started to write here in late 2019. This year I hope to push hard in that area as well as tackle another non-fiction book.
Can you recommend authors in your niche?
I don’t have a specific niche, but these are the writers I read most often. Barbara Finkelstein is very eloquent and amusing when telling of her adventures in corporate life. @Rolli for poetry and short stories. Kristi Keller and Julia E Hubbel are both experienced travel writers. Kim Duke, Jessica Archuleta, and Mark Bittman are great on food. Ann K Frailey exhibits portions of her books, which has even led me to purchase one. Mark Mehlmauer helps me laugh. Robert Turner is my go-to guy on the tricky subject of Medium itself. I want to point out that I think reading the work of other writers on Medium is as much a part of being a writer here, as is the actual writing process.