Spotlight: Mercy Eni

GBT: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Mercy: I am a Kenyan born millennial currently residing in Nairobi. My friends would describe me as bubbly and energetic, my family would say I am sober-minded albeit dramatic, while my work colleagues would describe me as an introvert. One thing’s for sure, I am dynamic and a dreamer with a heart of gold.

GBT: When did you start writing?

Mercy: I started actively writing (and created my blog) in October 2017. This followed a road accident that I had been involved in 2 months earlier where the vehicle had swerved and rolled over the road after hitting a wildebeest. Depression hit like a ton of bricks after this and without a job to report to, I was in bad place so I initially  started venting through writing that served as therapeutic sessions.

GBT: When did you realize that you loved literature and when did you realize you could write well?

Mercy: I remember the first time I got introduced to Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye. Her poems moved me and I would recite all her verses from memory. Reading more native writers like John Kiriamiti and Ngugi wa Thiongo inspired me to also want to write and leave my mark in the literature scene.

GBT: Can you share your favorite genre that you love to read?

Mercy: Currently I am obsessed with re-reading ‘The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck’. I like to think that I read pretty much anything but I am such a sappy romantic. The Pacesetters series and Harlequin series satisfied this in my younger years, my adult taste flourished to more adventurous reads, hello Jackie Collins.

GBT: What is your favorite genre you prefer to write and why?

Mercy: I love writing fiction and poetry works that touch on women and sexuality because firstly I am a woman and I gravitate to our issues. Also I think we are doing a tremendous job in conquering the partriarchy that’s had the advantage of history and tradition as backup.

GBT: Why did you decide to start publishing your pieces?

Mercy: When I filled my notebook with stories, I proved to myself that I could write regularly and I loved the feeling it brought me. Plus my mother kept pushing that I publicise my work and I caved. Best decision I made!

GBT: What’s your creative process like?

Mercy: I am still trying to figure this out honestly. I don’t have a specific routine but once the urge hits (I always carry a notebook with me), all I wanna do is lock myself out of the world with music in my earphones and just write.

GBT: Care to share any little rituals or habits right before you start writing?

Mercy: I love listening to some calming music, RnB or jazzy sounds. If that doesn’t work I like watching comedy specials. I find that there is freedom in unbridled humor that helps beat the block.

GBT: Do you have a method for getting into the “mood” or beating the “block” (writer’s block)?

Mercy: Reading short stories and watching comedy specials.

GBT: What are your favorite books by African authors?

Mercy: Song of Lawino by Okot p’Bitek, Coming to Birth by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, and Poems of East Africa.

GBT: Do you have pieces from your early stage of writing that you would like to tell us about? Perhaps the more embarrassing one?

Mercy: Just one? Lol! I have atleast a dozen that I cringe when I re-read. My earlier pieces were way too explicit in nature and I was clearly venting a lot by the amount of excessive vulgar language I used.

GBT: Finally, a poet, an essayist, and a novelist walk into a bar. What drinks are they ordering?

Mercy: An essayist will order a beer, a novelist, several cups of coffee and a poet is ordering tequila shots?

GBT: Thank you for your time.

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