Ok, so a few people have been asking me “who is Nhakira?” And, “where does her name come from?”
Let’s start in the birthing canal of a character… Sorry, that was a vivid metaphor… but fitting. As writer, I believe in writing with honesty. I want to create characters that say something I believe in – or stand against. I deliver a message, opinion or question inside my characters, and wrap it all up inside a cloak of fantasy, overdose of imagination, and trickery of magic…
So let’s strip away all the newness of my fantasy world, all the magic and spells, crystal staffs and evil bad guys…
Nhakira can be you. She is anyone who is ‘stuck’ in life and want change. She is everyone who wants to ‘break out’ and be who they really are. She hides what she feels, underneath. She is the person fighting for liberty and equality. She’s the girl experiencing ‘first love’. She is the leader of a group that has to ensure success, and every person who has to face life’s challenges. She is the ambitious guy in a new job that has to outsmart others who have been in the game much longer. She is every person who has been discriminated against. She is the one that rises up against all odds to fight back.
Her universe is filled with magic, adventure, dark sorcery, rising of the dead, amazing creatures, demons, prophecies, secrets and enchanted kingdoms. But, her world is also a metaphor for our world. Everything in Nhakira’s story is a symbol that can be related right back to your world. Yes, as reader I want you to escape into her world and get away from your reality. Though, remember, her challenges are much more similar to your real challenges than you might think… But she overcomes them all through friendship, courage, love – and loads upon loads of ass-kicking!
“But she’s a slave, and I’m not a slave,” you’ll say. In some form or another, we’re all slaves to something, are we not? Some are slaves to their husbands and children. Quite a few are slaves to love – or the seeking of it. Many are slaves to work. I’m a slave to my passion and determination to write. Too many are slaves to materialism and money. And a precious few are slaves to bringing ‘good’ into this world… We’re all slaves to something. It’s both a negative and positive term, relative to application and interpretation.
Where does her name come from? Well… She gave it to me. Or rather, that subconscious corner of my brain that created her, made her whisper her name to me one night… Why exactly “Nhakira”… Not even I know. All I know for sure – is that Nhakira came with a unique message for everyone. Every reader will find a message, answer or inspiration they’re looking for in Nhakira’s story. Whether it’s just the seeking of fantasy, magic and fun – you’ll find it! If you want a darker side of fantasy, oh yes, my characters Mathus and Rothgylde will give you plenty of evil and even torture… Or, if you wish to find a few life lessons to ignite your thoughts, you will most definitely receive it through Nhakira, or Sal the Dreamcharmer – and especially through Lady Lalaigne, the ruler of a hidden kingdom…
Who did I write Nhakira for? Easy… I wrote her for YOU. The person reading my words, right here, right now… Nhakira has magic inside her, as do all of us, and she will remind you to rekindle your magic – and create a little for others around you too.
Enjoy her, and her journey. But I must apologize for Nhakira’s behavior through most of the trilogy in advance… She is sarcastic, complex, misunderstood, irrational and very stubborn! She has to be, because how else will we learn? 😉
Now, go experience her for yourself.
Much magic to you all!
Nhakira on Goodreads.com http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16003185-nhakira
US Kindle for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
UK Kindle for Amzon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
Yes, my girl is making her very first INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC APPEARANCE on the excellent Kindle promo site, http://www.thekindlebookreview.net/
And here’s her very own New Release page: http://www.thekindlebookreview.net/2012/09/06/hot-new-release-nhakira-book-one-chosen-by-jeanine-henning/
Am I excited? YES! Because Nhakira’s just too awesome to stay just inside my head alone! Besides, she has way too much personality and attitude. It has to be shared with swaggers and YA Fantasy readers of the world!
Go have a look at her page on the site! Nhakira would expect nothing less 😉
Dear Jen’s Personal Blog,
I have a confession to make… Today I coveted mine neighbour’s w-
WAIT! Wrong blog!
OKAY, moving swiftly along. For today’s ‘theme’, I’ve decided to ‘discuss’ a specific debilitating disease that’s been crossing my path of observation lately. The disease is called: AWLB which stands for – artists and writers with limiting beliefs. “That’s not a disease! That’s just a chick trying to be ‘creative’ and funny, and it’s so, like, FAIL!” you say… I say, it IS a disease because too many talented people suffer from it. And they’re passing it around like it’s a Sunday family fudge cake, of which everyone at the table want seconds and thirds, whilst sharing the same spoon with the sickest member licking the icing off with lip-smacking glee… Guess how I feel about this disease…
Recently I met the most amazing people, many of whom are artists, designers, illustrators and the like. They’re all different, unique, gifted with a touch of the obligatory “weirdness” that we creative types are labelled with. Hey, historically, the most gifted creators were all slightly touched by the mad finger that swirls the martini… See what I mean? That whole sentence was odd. Not that I’m saying I’m that gifted or even like one of the greats, but, just in case I do go down in history as one of the greats right next to Picasso or Dali or da Vinci – it would be nice to be known for that odd sentence “the mad finger that swirls the martini”…. no wait no maybe not so much… Anyway – let’s get back to the talented people who believe they suck. That’s right – they BELIEVE they suck at their talents. This might be you, reading this, right now.
You PILE the pressure on yourself, tear up your sketches, probably chew it and spit it out because ink tastes funny no matter how hard the self-destructing anger is ravaging your veins. Writers delete whole pages if not whole manuscripts in a fit of tormented self-loathing and whacking of keyboards. Cue the days and nights of; “why am I even trying? I’ll never get this right. My style is crap. My sketches are poo. I’ll never make money from this. I’m just not that talented. Check out that guy’s art – I’ll never draw like that! Check this woman’s book, I can’t write like that…”
STOP with the limiting torment people! You are gifted with a powerful LANGUAGE of the mind and the most prolific artist and writer you will ever meet: your unconscious mind. You have NO IDEA what you can do once you choose to stop attacking yourself now, and listen to words I am structuring and see what I say… You think that you are consciously drawing that character or writing that action scene. No. You’re not. All of that is coming from your unconscious mind. Did you know that your unconscious mind is in control of more than 95% of YOU. That includes your mind and body. You don’t think so do you? Well, while reading here, do you consciously remind your lungs to breathe in, and out, in, and out? No. That’s your unconscious mind doing that. Or, while you’re reading here, are you telling your bladder to not (literally) release? No. Unconscious mind again. Your unconscious mind takes in everything around you. Most of the information it captures – you’re not even aware of consciously – but it goes right into your unconscious mind where it’s sorted into all its necessary folders for later recall or use. Your essence, experiences, feelings and memories – all there. You consciously forget about these files – but the unconscious mind can retrieve what it needs in an instant.
The unconscious mind does not speak. It communicates in symbols. Pictures. Metaphors. You, as artist and writer, hold the key to literally be the ‘channel’ in art and writing for your unconscious mind to deliver treasures of thoughts, creations, interpretations, visualizations, patterns, puzzles, premises, stories, wisdom, worlds, new realities, new universes – an infinite horizons of creation…
So when you tell yourself “I’m useless”, you are placing a massive wall between you, and your unconscious mind. You are closing the tap to a flood of amazing creation. Why would you do that? It seems almost… limiting, does it not? Why would you limit yourself? You do know why though, that answer will pop into your head right now, “why do you limit yourself?” Delete the negative reason to why you limit yourself, now, and override it with a positive goal.
And what’s the rush?! SO many artists have absolutely no patience with their creations… Those characters you’re writing and drawing are YOU! Did you know that? They’re little parts of you. Yes, even that disgusting monster skinning a rabbit in the nude – that’s you. The rabbit too. That came from you, didn’t it? You made that. Do you like it when people are impatient with you? No, who would? (unless you have a bizarre impatience fetish…but then you’d be part of a different ‘demographic’ of personality, and good luck with that). Yet, you’re impatient with those little parts of you that you’re creating… So should the question be “why am I impatient with myself?” Answer that… Hear if it’s really even such a valid reason, then override with a positive goal.
Choose to re-connect to your unconscious mind. Allow it to take control of your hand and draw what it wishes. Let your fingers on the keyboard be the carriers of the images and metaphors your unconscious wants to deliver. Become CONGRUENT with yourself, your talent, your unconscious mind. Draw what you feel! Visualize on paper and onscreen what is inside you (just don’t be literal people, no one needs to see what’s literally ‘inside you’ okay?).
When you draw without pretence, and write in your true voice – you’ll feel FREE. You’ll ENJOY what you’re creating. You’ll become addicted to the process again. And that’s the key to a successful artist and writer: the PROCESS. Not just the end result. Because the end result is dependent on the PROCESS – which all starts with you, tapping into your unconscious. Speaking in the language of symbols, and writing the pictures of thoughts…
…K, enough from me now…
Go think and prosper!
NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:
Ever wondered what goes on inside a writer’s mind when we cannot focus on the actual work we’re supposed to be writing?
It starts off with ‘The Stare’. Can be at a PC/laptop/tablet/phone screen, or even a typewriter or notebook. ‘The stare’ is just a glass-eyeball stare, quite vacant, reminiscent of a freshly botoxed face. Then the eyes slide sideways…
This sideways slide is the exact moment when it all begins…
Here I am… I can feel my eyeballs sliding. I blink at the tremendous ‘nothing’ going on inside my cranial cavity even though I spent the whole day yesterday moaning over the fact that I couldn’t write. My moan was duly heard in a combination of four-letter words. And not nice words either… #theshame
Eyeballs are still sliding like two recon hovercrafts. Roving, searching, scanning… [insert UFO sounds]
The hovercrafts reach the large windows… YES! Gateways to an outside world! A blip pings on the radar… [searching…searching…]
It is stirring in the Cape Town winter chill *stir…stir* (dramatic)
I Tweet about this exciting LEAF. My fellow writer and weird-minded genius, Whelan, Tweets back that a whole civilization of Groats might be living on this leaf! I agree and I hypothesize that these Groats must in fact exist because the leaf looks vibrant, and I feel soooo anthropological and excited at this discovery!
I decide I shall name the first Groat I meet “Zorgg”. Even if it is a female Groat. I’ll quickly impress them with my beliefs on equality. That goes for androgynous name-giving too…
Groats also enjoy social activities like meeting at a local GroatVeeda for black liquid substances topped with goat foam. They too doodle thoughts onto their moleskins while sipping GroatVeeda liquid. But these are REAL dried moles’ skins, you see. Because Groats have not yet developed ‘book binding’. This is a developmental gift I as superior homo-sapien shall impart onto them. And then they will celebrate The Day of The Jen every 31st July…so proud…
12pm every day, Groats grab their lances and briefs to partake in a folk dance to celebrate multi-color polka dots that were given to them by the Groat god Santa Marchenkievitzitz. They then consume cupcakes – because cupcakes make them tipsy and rowdy, but happy.
…And this is the point where I realize I need coffee. Stat!
Which I shall do… Now. While I Tweet absolute nonsensical nonsensicalness to @whelanism… Hey – writers need Twitter! It’s a healthy inspiration pool where we can be weird AND creative AND it’s completely normal at the same time. Of this I am convinced!
What a paradox 🙂
Join me in the Twitter Paradox…
(I now like saying ‘paradox’)
…really? You’re still scrolling? ;p
NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:
Really! I DO think about unicorns… and Smurfs. And jelly-obsessed Orcs. And squirrels that fight crime at night in mini-Batman suits…
Lately I think about unicorns a lot. I’ve always thought about unicorns, mostly because I love magic – and I have a horse – and voila! Unicorn!
But this renewed unicorn-thinking could be 1 of 2 possible reasons. One – because I recently visited beautiful Scotland where the unicorn features almost everywhere! And Two – because I think outside the box. No, not even outside the box. I choose to NOT see a box – because to still be inside or outside a box – that’s still limiting, isn’t it?
And I do not want to be limited. I don’t want to think limiting or live limiting or act limiting or illustrate limiting or write limiting!
I cannot sit and attempt to write anything akin to Terry Pratchett, John Locke, Patricia Cornwell, Karen Slaughter, Paulo Coelho, JK Rowling – or the Greats like Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dr. Seuss etc etc. I can admire all these writers though for their talents and clever sales acumen…
But then I’ll go back to thinking about unicorns. And still write what I write. And no – I don’t write about unicorns. Not yet anyway. I MIGHT add a unicorn in a book I’m currently planning with dragons in it…Meh, we’ll see.
What I DO do though (love that; “DO do) – is write from the heart. I just want to tell you a story. I want you to download my book onto your Kindle, go to the beach, have a cocktail…or 2…or 3…or more… And still be able to read my book and not have to reread whole chapters cos I lost you in detail or saga twists.
I want you to have a giggle at conversations not really ‘apt’ for Fantasy. I want you to RELAX. I want you to forget about the war on CNN. Or how guilty something made you feel. Or about all the STUFF that bugs your brain. Hey, it’s all about you…
I want you to have FUN when reading my books.
Yeah sure I too have serious moments in my books. Heck, I ‘teach’ as much as fantasy-swear. And I absolutely have some subliminal social commentary. BUT, its all done in a fun way. I have weird heroes. Very evil villains. Almost over the top villains…Cos yes, I base my characters on people and situations I know or have heard of. How REAL is that? Very… And I share it with YOU. In a fun easy-read way… I do not limit my writing in trying to be the next big award winner of some big prize. I let my imagination go to strange places and bring back stories for you to read.
And all because I think about unicorns…and Smurfs… Smurfs still boggle me even though I collect them (feel free to send me Smurfs as ‘thank you’s’ for enjoying Nhakira so much! 😉 #joke …
I’m just a storyteller. I do not aim to win accolades. Yes I want good reviews though, but I will learn from the bad ones too. I just want as many people as possible buying my books and having fun with magic, adventures, odd characters, really evil bad guys… And some surprising soul-touching depth…Because a teeny bit of my soul goes into every character I create and I share it with you.
Maybe I’ll write a whole book about unicorn trials and tribulations later. Or, a world where unicorns are normal and wear suits, drink beer, text on Smartphones, read on Unikindles (how clever am I !? ) and ponder whether humans ever really existed… Now THERE’s a future best seller!
And with that unicorn thought – I bid you adieu for now! I have unicorns to think about…
Cheers awesome reader!
PS: I owe someone unicorn eggs… Not even joking…
NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle: