Author Mala Naidoo is interviewed by Founder of How to Write for Success Brenda Mohammed


14 Apr
14Apr

I was pleased to interview the prolific author Mala Naidoo and learn about her Writing Journey.
Mala is a Senior Administrator of the Literary Forum, How to Write for Success, and a valued member of Motivational Strips, the world's most active writers' forum.
Mala is fortunate to be married to a man who tirelessly supports all her personal and professional endeavours.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I hail from a small family and am the only daughter to wonderful parents.
My mother was a nurse in her day and my father an accountant.
Our home was a place for the sick and for those struggling with hardship, as both my parents selflessly supported communities in need.
Hard work, honesty, integrity and a sense of justice were instilled in my childhood.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa has brought a life experience that expounds that compassion is fundamental to human survival.
I was an avid reader as a child and had inspirational teachers and notably a maternal uncle who supported my unquenchable thirst for books.
I participated in the Hofmeyr speech contests in high school and went on to become an English teacher after graduating with literature, education and counselling degrees.
The written and spoken word were passions I pursued.
I headed three English faculties in Australia over the years.
I was a Co-Curricular Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator.
I am married to a man who tirelessly supports all my personal and professional endeavours.
I have a daughter who is the light and joy of our family.
Some of my pleasures include a walk on the beach, a large mug of coffee, and sunrise is my favourite time of day.

How did you get started in your writing career?

I enjoyed telling stories as a child and loved my weekly visits to the local orphanage with my parents where I entertained the children to my wild imagination with my stories, to elicit their laugher and requests for more.
As a teenager, I relished writing imaginative short stories and received the literature award in my matriculation year.
This was the beginning of my writing journey and continued into adulthood where I had stories written but lacked the courage to publish until an Australian publisher picked up my first book and that set me on my joyful writing way.

Are there any poets or writers who influenced you?

There are many, but Shakespeare would be the playwright who still influences my writing today.
Poets of the Romantic period which I thoroughly enjoy teaching and who have impacted my writing are Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley. William Butler Yeats, Sylvia Plath, Khalil Gibran and a host of others still hold timeless appeal.
Writers such as Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, Chinua Achebe, V.S. Naipaul, and I could go on to list many contemporary writers.

Are you a member of Literature Forums and how have they influenced you?

I am a member of the ALLi Author Forum, and The Creative Penn for all matters relating to publishing, marketing, writing and publishing news, and legalities.
Motivational Strips and How to Write for Success influence my joy in reading the work of rising stars, seasoned writers and the authenticity and integrity for literature the forums uphold.
I am also a member of the SPF Genius Forum, Women Writers, Women’s Books, and AWC podcast community that broadens my scope as an author and authorpreneur.


How many books have you written? Tell us about them.

I have written eight books to date and am currently working on my ninth novel.
My books include novels, short stories and a collection of poems.
I write thriller fiction and enjoy the suspense and psychological elements.
My multi-cultural heritage and experiences frame a part of my fictional tales.
Some of my books capture forgotten voices and how an eroded human condition has the capacity to reinvent.

Where did the inspiration for these come from?

My writing inspiration is drawn from being a keen observer of life, and my reading and teaching of literature. World issues, like all writers I suppose, tend to creep in as part of the human psyche.
Inspiration strikes at any time, it could be a conversation, an advertisement, a book or poem read and suddenly a light is ignited that grows in intensity leaving me restless to write with the creative muse guiding the pen.

Readership

My readership includes those who are keen on reading thrillers, suspense, detective and mystery fiction with a strong sense of moral conviction. My books are also in school libraries.

What is your writing process like?

I am an early morning (before the workday) writer and write late in the afternoons if the muse prevails.
I work with an outline which soon blurs as the story takes on a life of its own.
I try to write a chapter in one sitting but will pick up an unfinished chapter the next day after noting my thought process in dot-points to continue with the next scene.
I handwrite in a journal and dictate into Word making changes as the first stage of self-editing.

How do you go about editing your work?

I write the first draft through and edit once complete or as I dictate into a Word doc.
I self-edit several times after letting the manuscript sit for four to six weeks.
I edit the soft copy first, then print out a hard copy and hand edit.
I continue for another two to three sessions before I send off the manuscript to a professional editor.
If it’s a relatively clean manuscript, editing fees are not as steep.
Proof-reading by my team is the next phase before publication.
Editing is not an exact science – it is a long process that takes courage to chop some beloved scenes for a crisp manuscript.

Is there something about the writing process you wish someone had told you before? Good or bad?

It took ten years before I took the plunge to publish.
I wish I did it earlier but have no regrets as maturity is a blessing in accepting what I can and cannot do.
There’s a time and place, but patience is imperative to get a polished script out into the world.



Do you have any advice for writers?

If you have the desire to write and publish – do it!
There are readers for every book written.
Read as many books as you can on writing to prepare yourself for that first step.
Patience and persistence are virtues as success comes to those who persevere.
Upskill on formatting, self-editing and, let readers know you exist even if your book is yet to be published – having a platform is vital.
Be selective with the forums you associate with.
Do the research first to avoid any pitfalls. Two books I recommend reading if you are contemplating writing and publishing are: Stephen King’s, On Writing and Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Big Magic


Social Accounts:

Facebook author page CLICK HERE

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@engsaoz

Instagram CLICK HERE

Website CLICK HERE

Goodreads CLICK HERE

Author Biography:

Mala Naidoo is an Australian thriller fiction writer, and poet.
She is an Administrator in the Literary Forum How to Write for Success.
She was a co-author in two bestselling Anthologies initiated by the Forum's Founder.
They are A Spark of Hope Volume II: A Treasury of Poems for Saving Lives, and Break the Silence: An Anthology Against Domestic Violence, which both topped the charts on Amazon and climbed to No 1 Bestsellers.
Upon the recommendation of the Founder of How to Write for success, Brenda Mohammed, Mala was honoured with the Award of Ambassador De Literature by Shiju H Pallithazheth, Founder of Motivational Strips, the world's most active writers' Forum.
She runs her website Mala Naidoo’s Book World with a newsletter sign-up for sample compositions, giveaways, and blog posts on writing and books. Mala has worked as an English teacher in South Africa and Australia.
She was head of three English faculties and is currently a part-time teacher and university advisor.
Mala runs writing workshops for high schools on request.
She upholds and supports All Lives Matter. Her mission statement is: In our angst and joy we are one under the sky of humanity.

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