The novel, Life Will Humble You, written by Audrey Chirenje is a touching and yet beautiful story of the miraculous healing love that mends broken hearts in the journey of life.
With Riko and Ronda as the main characters who fall in love under the most unlikely of circumstances, Audrey’s imaginative and rare storytelling ability keeps you under suspense as she unpacks surprise after surprise in her narration of love and hope that conquers pain.
Even though the main plot is centered around Harare, in Zimbabwe, the gripping story takes you to many places including South Africa, Kenya, the UK, and Canada among other countries as you get introduced to these love birds past as well as to their friends and relatives.
As you read through, you will be drawn by some glitters of opulence that sparkles in the lives of some rich folks in the same way that you will also have a glimpse of power struggles in our society and the trapping jealous of an ex-lover that sets in when you find new love.
The beauty of a loving and supporting family during the time that one goes through a rough patch in life is also well depicted in this gripping story, as the writer, fuses both the high and the lows of life in a way that helps readers to look at life from different angles.
In the interview below, zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu talked to Audrey about her book and other projects that she is working on.
Zwnews24: Would you briefly describe yourself? Your personality, ambitions, and inspiration.
Audrey: I am a very chilled goal-getter whose inspiration comes from people around me and even from my own life though I have been labeled as weird and a structured introvert.
Zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career?
Audrey: I seek to motivate and encourage people out there that we might have erred according to the set norms but I believe that you may fall seven times and yet still rise again. As such, through my writing, I am motivated by the need to let people know that they must not give up on their dreams, since if they hold on and plan again, ultimately their dreams will come to pass.
Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?
Audrey: I started dabbling with writing in High School. A few years back, I had two incomplete projects. This novel, Life Will Humble You, I wrote it July 2019 and it’s soon coming spin-off which I started in August 2019. Writing has had a tremendous impact on me. It has been very inspiring to both me and those around me since others now want to write and I am cheering them on.
Zwnews24: What do you seek to achieve through what you write and why?
Audrey: Through literature, I want to help and encourage people to know that the sun will always shine despite the storms. In short, I want to instill hope in people everywhere I go.
Zwnews24: Your novel, Life Will Humble You is a beautiful and intriguing love story full of suspense and surprises. What is it that inspired the story and how did you imagine all those characters and places which form such a gripping romantic tale?
Audrey: Well, firstly I am a hopeless romantic at heart, and then I looked at topical issues being faced by people in our society and then I came up with tainted leading characters who then find solace in each other. With their own minds, they would have passed up the opportunity, but I imagined God directing their steps despite the numerous hurdles they face. Ultimately my concept of faith-ever-after prevails.
Zwnews24: The title of your novel is really very engaging. What is the motivation behind this title? For example, from the title alone, what message did you want to convey to anybody who would see the book in a bookshop or in the hands of somebody else?
Audrey: Somehow, we seem to all experience this phenomenon where you have all your ducks in a row and you are thinking that all will work out as planned, but boom, it doesn’t. That’s the moment when life humbles you, but thereafter you become a better person, less judgemental and more empathic since you now know that sometimes you don’t control everything. What then matters is your reaction to circumstances, and then you move on.
Zwnews24: Are there any other novels or books that your readers should look forward to soon? If yes, would you tell us a little bit about what your new work is about?
Audrey: I have a book ready which is a spin-off to Life Will Humble You, whose main characters are Ropa who is Riko’s sister and Agent Raphael. If you read Life Will Humble You, you will remember that I did give them extra attention as I had already outlined their story. We will begin the publishing work with my Publisher in May 2020. I am working on my 3rd book now, and let’s just say, in this one, my angle is on appearances and class societies and the impact thereof through the story of Farai and Margot. I will publish this one before the end of the year, plus I also have other story outlines on standby which only needs some flesh.
Zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence?
Audrey: For now, they can get the Life Will Humble You from Best Books, Three Anchor House, Jason Moyo Avenue, in Harare as well as from some selected Innov8 Bookshops. People can also find the same online either as paperback or eBook on Amazon. My twitter is @anchirenjethe, Facebook: A.N. Chirenje The Author, Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/audreychirenje.
Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing which you do not use because of these values?
Audrey: I try to watch my language because I have kids who also read my books. I am also trying to keep it at the Parental Guide age of 13 years. More so, I am a believer who is also a realist and that has an effect on the content in my writing.
Zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now?
Audrey: It still feels surreal up to now. I am grateful to God for the support of family and friends. It has encouraged me to keep writing. The feedback I get is like the air under my wings, it’s encouraging me to soar to higher levels.
Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature, either as a profession or as a hobby? Please share some of the priceless feedback that you received from your readers.
Audrey: I had one lady who sent me pictures of her engagement and she captioned it #MyRikoProposedScars&All#. That was awesome. Another lady also shared how she never knew how people feel when they have been cheated on up until she read about Ronda’s ordeal. I also get priceless about my writing style which most people are saying that they are really in love with it and that has encouraged me as I wasn’t sure that people would embrace it.
Zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face or that you faced in your writing and what is it that makes you continue writing regardless of these challenges?
Audrey: Challenges will always be there and these include time, finances and negative perceptions from people. What will make me continue is the positive impact that the stories which I write are making on people? That on its own is priceless.
Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?
Audrey: As my Publisher from Royalty Books, Phillip Chidavaenzi says “we have to just keep writing”. So start today with whatever you have in your hands, a page a day. Nike says do it NOW, so just do it!
Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted? Share your reasons.
Audrey: Literature shapes norms and values and as such it has to be recognized and be promoted. When literature is well embraced, it makes this world a better place.
Zwnews24: What have been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (books, blogs, poems, etc.)?
Audrey: Internationally, I like all Jackie Collins books, Maya Angelo – Still I Rise poem and Dudu Busani-Dube based in South Africa. Locally, I am in awe of a lot of Writers, Shimmer Chinodya, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Valerie Tagwira and Philip Chidavanezi.
Zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature?
Audrey: My friends, family and fellow Church members and The Writers Clinic.
The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX
Audrey’s Novel, Life Will Humble You, Gives a Taste of Healing Love to Broken Hearts