Things are going from bad to worse in Ingigi village. No one knows why five-year old Kui has gone missing. Nor does Sergeant Njau want to find out. He has his own problems, pressing matters that are far from legal. Then there is the endless rain. Will it never stop? Some Ingigi folk think it means the end of the world. Old man, Winston Kiarie, has other ideas. He senses some man-made disaster, and when it happens, it is worse than his worst imaginings. The fierce storms are causing landslides and throwing up British bombs, unexploded for forty years. Their discovery is giving the Assistant Chief ideas: how to make himself very rich. And then there’s young Joseph Maina and the primary school drop-outs thinking they have found treasure, and about to do something very, very foolish. Meanwhile, is anyone looking for Kui?
Losing Kui is a fast-paced novella of interwoven tales. There are secrets, conspiracies, tragedy and dark comedy. The setting is a fictional East African country in the late 1990s, a time when El Niño rains were causing havoc. An earlier version of this long short story was published as El Niño and the Bomb in Cicada Magazine in the United States (Nov/Dec 2008) and, before that, a shorter version called Material Days was short-listed in Carve Magazine’s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest some years ago.
Cover artwork: Kathleen Collins Howell
QUICK TEEN READS FOR RANSOM SHADES 2.0 SERIES
Exciting stories for 12 years and upwards. On Kindle and in paperback.
STONE ROBBERS: “No wonder Rico hates his Mayan culture. His dad died fighting to keep the old ways. Now Rico and his sister Delfina must scratch a living selling clothes in San Pedro market. But it’s hard when swindlers like Enzo try to cheat them. Rico means to kill Enzo, but then he makes a strange discovery – something from the Mayan past that could change everything.”
MANTRAP: “Danny doesn’t want to be a hunter, but when the rains fail, he and his father Jacob are forced to go poaching for meat in the forbidden game park. But when Danny makes a terrible mistake, their theft is discovered. Now the corrupt ranger, Davis Sata, has plans for Jacob – plans that involve ivory poaching and the greatest danger of their lives.”
MAU MAU BROTHER: “Thuo’s life is in turmoil. There is war in his homeland: the British dropping bombs, the Home Guard burning their farms, his father and uncles in detention. But worst of all his elder brother Kungu has gone to the forest to fight for Kenya’s freedom. It is Thuo’s worst nightmare: one day the forest will come for him too.”
THE BACK CATALOGUE:
Jessicah the Mountain Slayer was my first published book, written in response to a Zimbabwe Publishing House call for submissions in Writer’s News back in 1995. They wanted contemporary stories with strong girl characters. I wrote the book in fable style but with a modern twist. The book won 2nd place in the 1996 International Zimbabwe Book Fair, and a White Raven citation from the International Youth Library. Along with Flame Tree Market, it is published by Zimbabwe Publishing House and Phoenix Publishers in Nairobi.
This little picture book won 1st prize in the young readers category of the 1996 International Zimbabwe Book Fair.
I wrote Joe Sabuni P I for the South African Maskew Miller Longman Young Africa Award in 1997. An abridged version was later published in the Heinemann Junior Africa Writers Series. In 2002 the World Bank funded editions in 6 Zambian languages. It is a comic sleuthing story for teens.
Jonas needs a job, any job, or he’ll lose his rich girlfriend, Keziah. When shady Uncle Micah sends him off to Mbogo sub-location to collect a bad debt, Jonas goes under cover as Joe Sabuni – Joe Soap. It’s a poor choice of alias. From then on, things go from bad to worse. Available on Amazon. (Cover art: Bob Harvey)
Along with writing short books I also write short stories. Several have been published by Cricket Magazine (Carus Publishing) in the US. These publishers are well recognised in the US for producing the best stories and artwork for young people of all ages. Anyone who wants to write or illustrate children’s books can learn a lot from studying the content of these magazines. Available on subscription. Go here for more information.
Non fiction educational books:
Quartos Magazine 1995 Article Writing award, 1st prize (Going to the Dogs on Mombasa’s Southern Shores. Read it in my Beaches post here.)
Children’s Literature Awards 1st Picture Book category, 2nd young adult novel, International Zimbabwe Book Fair 1996 (Flame Tree Market, Jessicah the Mountain Slayer)
White Raven Citation, International Youth Library 1996 (Jessicah the Mountain Slayer)
Golden Duck 2007 Special Award for furthering children’s science fiction (Write Your Own Science Fiction Story)
US Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award for Write Your Own series 2007
Society of Authors 2008 Educational Writers’ Award, 3rd prize (Write Your Own Adventure Stories)
Bath Short Story Award 3rd prize (Flight) 2013