1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
First of all, Jamallah, I’d like to thank you for inviting me here and taking the time to interview me.
And now to your question. To begin with, my name is about a mile long (Akinyi Princess of K’Orinda-Yimbo) so I sort of shortened it to A P von K'Ory. That’s a lot easier on the tongue for my fans, friends, readers and followers.
I’m the winner of six Awards from four continents, and for that I regard myself very fortunate indeed: the Achievers Award for African Writer Of The Year 2013 in the Netherlands, the Selmere Integration Prize was awarded me in 2014 for my engagement in helping African Women in the Diaspora, The Proposal, my short story culled out of my Bound to Tradition trilogy interracial romance books, won the Cook Communications first prize in 2010, and in 2012 I won the Karl Ziegler Prize for my commitment to bring African culture to the Western audience and savvy Africanists. Again in 2012 my book Bound to Tradition (the trilogy that won me the PADDI Award) was nominated for the Caine Prize by the Author-me Group, Sanford, and in 2013 I was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. I live variously in UK (where I grew up and studied since age 9), Germany, France, Cyprus and Greece with “aristo-husband”, son and two grandsons. Although I still lecture and coach, I consider writing my full time job and passion. I’d also like to mention that the proceeds from my writing are donated to my non-profit Akinyi Foundation, founded to assist poor Kenyan children to get an education up to university level.
Apart from my numerous and published articles, theses and papers, my first novel in German: Khiras Traum was published in 2004. There followed eight romance novels: the award winning trilogy Bound to Tradition Book 1 The Dream; Bound to Tradition Book 2 The Initiation; and Bound to Tradition Book 3 The Separation. Secret Shades Book 1: Aroused; Secret Shades Book 2: Revealed; Golden Shana: The Chase; Golden Shana: The Capture; Golden Shana: The Chase & The Capture (2 books in one, 500+ pages); Golden Shana: The Untouchable (coming in September 2015); Golden Shana: The Conquest (coming in December 2015). My nonfiction book Darkest Europe and Africa's Nightmare: A Critical Observation of Neighboring Continents was published in New York, and is another award winner for the Deutsch-Afrikanische Gesellschaft Humanities & Politics Book of the Year 2009.
You can visit my page at http://akinyi-princess.de for more information about me.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading and shopping for books and shoes probably come tops on my hobbies list. When I enter a bookshop/bookstore or shoe shop, I have trouble getting out again. My office is so full of books that there are stacks of them lined up against the walls for lack of shelf-space. The shoes are a lot easier to distribute to other people, but I still hoard books I particularly like or haven’t got around to reading yet.
3. Where do you get your ideas from?
Often, I go for the What if… principle. That can be triggered off by a book I’ve read or something I watch or experience say, on holiday or in the lecture halls. Sometimes something just pops up in my mind when I take a lone walk in the forest.
4. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, which would be your favorite and why?
To be honest, my Bound to Tradition trilogy still remains my favourite books, for the simple reason that the romance is more a cultural study than mere interracial romance. I’m not talking some so-called jungle fever here but deeper cultural pluses and minuses. Elite Magazine compared the works to the classical A Many-Splendoured Thing by Han Suyin. Take for example a scene where the heroine, Khira, visits a gynaecologist in Sweden only to discover that he’s a man. For a girl from a rural Kenyan upbringing, it is a shock that a man would take up such a profession. Since she is still sixteen, the doctor also advises her to visit a dentists and her thoughts are: Ancestors, what a race! Here was one who spent his whole day fiddling with strange women's urine, blood and tralalas and collecting money for it to boot, now telling her to go to another who spent his whole day looking into strange people's diseased mouths!
Or take the case of her grandfather visiting Europe (Sweden) for the first time to witness what winter was and to “see it with the feet of my eyes”, and finding a world that to him is more than alien: This land of the wizards where their female creatures were so attired that you could never tell if they were fat or thin, had any fingers or toes at all. And instead of children, the female creatures cradled canines to their breasts.
As I said, this is literary work and a cultural study of high level, not jungle fever stuff.
5. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
The Bound to Tradition trilogy is heavily autobiographical. I’m Kenyan married to a German with both German and French blue blood like my own, but we did face many obstacles from both family branches and the society in general.
6. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
Good that you ask this, Jamallah, because I just delved into the erotic romance genre, but as always with a literary backbone, not erotica for the titillation. The result is the Golden Shana series (http://facebook.com/Goshanaliterotic ). I believe there are women out there like me who enjoy the erotic without turning into helpless non-persons who enjoy degradation and humiliation “by nature”. I’m also of the opinion that a real alpha man has no need whatsoever for some will-less submissive. A man’s man wants a woman’s woman that presents him with a challenge, not a lapdog who sits when he barks “Sit!” or runs along to fetch some kitchen appliance for her punishment when he barks “Fetch!”. I prefer the dominant and secure man I can fence with, parry with mentally, not physically.
That’s why I’ve coined the words ©Domristocrat and ©Subristocrat for my erotic series Golden Shana. Roman and Shana mentally parry:
It always amazes me how the Western world, and especially the Western woman, can so easily be hoodwinked into some amorphous interpretation of “freedom of the individual” to bend them to practicing or believing in anything touted as “trendy” or “in”. In this alone, the touted individuality is annihilated altogether and replaced by a sort of blind “keeping up with the Joneses”. I’m sure there are women out there who, like me, want a strong dominant man but not a psychological case whose “damaged soul” has to be rescued by the woman being the physical receptacle object of his “damaged” inclinations. A woman’s body and being is not the psychiatric ward.
7. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
This one is hard for me to answer since I’m a bit of a chameleon here. I shift with the landscape and surroundings, the evidence of which are those shelves creaking under the weight of all sorts of books. Generally I prefer literary books of the contemporary romance and thriller genres. I also enjoy Marian Keyes chic lit – the author is hilarious and has the sort of descriptiveness I go for.
8. Who are your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Definitely Khira and Erik in the Bound to Tradition trilogy for their sort of cock-your-snook-at-society streak, their fearlessness and daredevil attitudes. But I tend to instill that in most of my protagonists.
9. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Since writing is such an addictive, yes, compulsory nature, the hardest thing is when after months and years of creating your wonderful baby, someone dares to come right along and reject it, often without even the courtesy of telling you why. That really hits me hard each time around. Hard to take.
10. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
One thing to know from the start is that writing is a slave driver. If you have it in you, it won’t leave you in peace until you start consorting with it. And then you’re never going to give it up, are you? Even if you want to, writing just won’t let you do it, because you’ll never feel whole without writing.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
Apart from the other books mentioned above, I’d like to mention my 2-book Secret Shades series.
In Secret Shades Aroused: Helena, twenty-two years old, is a Greek Cypriot endowed with the beauty to launch a thousand punches. However, Helena has a secret buried deep inside her that she keeps hidden even from herself. Until she meets two Catalonian cousins from an old aristocratic Spanish family.
Her heart is stolen by the twenty-eight-year-old steadfast masculine and beautiful Ramón. This frightens her so much she is determined to discourage any intimate relationship with him.
But her unfulfilled sexuality craves for the thirty-two-year-old hot, crackling, rakish bounder Enrique and she opts for him. Yet Enrique soon has no interest in pregnant Helena. She’s destined to be a single parent terrified of whether her unborn child will inherit her dark secret...
For the sake of her baby, she has to dig deep to solve the mystery and starts the quest that takes her across two continents... Europe and Africa.
Excerpt: The next mid morning she drove to the Palace to have a brunch with him in his suite. But even more important, to tell him about her dreaded secret. She had demanded that Enrique wipe the slate clean and he had done so. Furthermore, he had formally asked her parents for her hand. Now it was her turn to get the keel even.
Yet, the minute she set eyes on him, she swept all her intentions out of her mind and only wanted to be loved. To step into this new realm with him.
She had a jeans mini skirt on with another sleeveless top, her hair in the usual French plait. Go-to-hell beautiful, he thought to himself as he let her into his suite.
“Yes,” she breathed. “Yes, Enrique darling. Yes, yes, yes…”
The brunch he had ordered for them was still hidden under silver domes. But the look in her eyes gave him the message. He wanted to make love to her just as she wanted to be made love to by him. It was the eye contact, the look, the new territory she was about to conquer. He scooped her up and carried her to the bed, his mouth on hers. Somehow he managed to lower her on the rumpled sheets without discontinuing their kiss. His hand capped a braless breast under her top and his head wanted to follow. But there was not enough space so he swept the top up over her head.
“Helena, you’re so beautiful. More beautiful than I imagined. It’s a miracle.”
She whispered his name. Her hands rumpled his hair as his tongue traveled down her body. He unzipped the front of her jeans skirt and his tongue played in the small hollow of her navel. She raised her bottoms to help him pull the skirt away. He pulled both the skirt and whatever else was underneath it off.
“You’re a miracle, Corazón. Te amo…” His eyes remained on her as he threw the clothes on a chair and began to undress himself. “You’re like discovering buried treasure.”
“You’re the miracle, darling. And we’ll discover the buried treasure together.”
He joined her. Each kiss was deeper and longer. Her eyes lost focus when he kissed her rounded brown pink-tipped nipples. Her heart pounded with desire she was helpless against. She wanted him. So much. When their eyes met and locked again, she said, “Darling, it’s the first time I’m going to discover the buried treasure. Lead me there gently, Enrique.”
She could feel him warm on her inner thigh.
He understood. He felt the extra shot of hormones course through his body, making him dizzy for a few seconds, as if he were a little boy again. “Always, Helena. Forever. You are a miracle. I’m going to love you like I’ve never loved anyone or anything else in my life, Corazón.” He moved beside her and bent over to kiss her breasts while his fingers stroked, making invisible things crawl all over her skin. He knelt between her legs and began to drive her mindless.
“Oh Enrique, I’m going to…” She stopped and gasped aloud.
“Do it, Corazón… go on do it…” he said as she began to toss her head on the pillows.
She did it. And it was the moment he had been waiting for. Still in a whirlwind, she opened her eyes to find him between her legs, her body throbbing around him.
“I feel you, Helena. I think I’ll become insane the moment I move…”
Out of breath, she gazed at where their bodies were joined. “Enrique, you’re already… inside… me…?”
“You wanted to be led gently, Corazón. And…”
“Oh darling, I love you so very much!”
“…now you’re about to completely ruin me.”
He moved quickly three or four times, his breathing getting harder, grunting with each stroke, and then he finally shuddered to a halt, beads of perspiration glistening on his forehead.
“Oh God, how I love you, Enrique darling.”
She kissed him and their passion flared up like a match. This time it was more lingering. They savored each touch as if it was the last, their legs wrapped around each other, their fingers were more exploratory, Helena bolder, making him wild and demanding one moment, the next commanding. His arms crushed her one moment, the next he moved away and teased her into rapture. One moment he stopped just when she was about to explode, then pinned her to the bed moving faster. The next moment he rolled over with her on top of him, holding her round firm buttocks, until she fell into the rhythm with him. His breath was hot and violent against her neck, so immersed in the act, oblivious to anything else but his own needs. Then he would stop suddenly, surprisingly, move away from her and kiss her body to a rapture he would immediately hammer into with his own.
With a gaze, a kiss, a caress, murmured words, and the pit of this chaste fire would consume her, making him more driven, aggressive. The maleness of him made her claw at him, writhe against his frenetic fingers, against his tongue. Sometimes he made her wonder if she would need paramedics and a stretcher in the room. The two of them were riotous.