Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Straight Chatting from the Library - How the Water Falls by K.P.Kollenborn

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. K.P. Kollenborn will be awarding a print copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

Of Mice and Men, and I suppose my age elevated more toward adolescence since I was, in fact, 15 when I read this book. Although I had read and enjoyed other fiction with historical content, but it was Steinbeck's novella which had compelled me cry at the end. I had never been so moved with emotions before. How can one not be in awe of his perception? As a writer, even in fiction, Steinbeck broke boundaries of how to reconcile what is humane. He mixed literary prose and realism with such grit and fortitude that I’m charmed by his depressing and enriching style. Of Mice and Men is still inside my head, and in fact I have made a quiet dedication to it as a favorite book of one of the protagonists of my first book as an effort to understand who has the right to take away someone’s life. It also plays into effect of bonding between two unlikely friends who only share the commonality of their environment.

What is your favorite book today?
Middlesex. First of all, I love stories that have multiple characters that inevitably affect the protagonist, thereby layering complexities of historical and psychological content that investigates the core of the protagonist's very being. Second, the book challenges the traditional notions of identity and sexality in a gradual and humane process. It is heartfelt, sensitive, and humorous. Third, Jeffrey Eugenides’ prose is supreme. His artful storytelling is just beautiful in language and description. I can only dream of acquiring that kind of genius!

Tell l us about your current book in 10 words.

How the Water Falls unfolds the deception of apartheid's structure.

What are you reading right now?

I’m juggling Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Fall From Grace by Susan Kraus, and The Seed of Vengeance by Mark Rodgers.

E­Reader or print? And why?
Mostly print, because when researching I like to write notes inside the margins and do prefer the smell and touch of physical books; although I do also like carrying the lightweight of an e­reader for conveniences when taking the kids out to play.

One book at a time or multiples?

I tend to read two or three books at a time for pleasure. Unless it’s a small book with a fast read, I like to jump back and forth to different stories depending on my mood. When researching, however, I tend to concentrate on one at a time to absorb the necessary details for the story I’m currently working on.

Favorite genre?
I have two: non­fiction and historical fiction.

What would make you not finish a book?

I prefer realism and seeking knowledge versus looking for pieces that deal purely in escape and doesn’t stimulate reflection as a society or an individual. If the books do not require me think or the story’s framework is weak, (lacking complex characters and lazy historical research,) I cannot finish the read. I want books that slap me in the face, shake my shoulders, and cry out, “Do you feel my pain? Do I matter to you?”

On the fringes of a civil war arise a kaleidoscope of stories of abuse, power, betrayal, sex, love, and absolution, all united by the failings of a dying government. Set in the backdrop during the last years of South Africa's apartheid, How the Water Falls is a psychological thriller that unfolds the truth and deception of the system’s victims, perpetrators, and unlikely heroes.


Lena stood outside of her workplace with a sign that read, “Work for First African Bank and Die of Starvation Wages.” Down the block, at a shoe store, a light-skinned man in his mid- fifties stood in front of his workplace with another sign that read, “Work for Edworks and Die of Starvation Wages.” Not far from him, a third accomplice—a young Zulu woman—stood in front of a clothing store holding a similar sign. All three lived in different townships, but Lena had managed to speak with them about staging this little protest during their lunch break. At first they were reluctant, fearing losing a job that had taken a long time to find. But none of them were paid the same wages as their white co-workers. Despite the fact that blacks were allowed to be employed in the downtown Johannesburg retail district, and had been for some years now, there were issues regarding pay and pay raises. They were earning nearly half of what their white counterparts were making, suggesting that they were worth half a human being. Lena had also contacted Robert Mlambisi from the paper to take photos. She understood it would not make the front page; nonetheless, to be mentioned at all in a newspaper would still achieve attention.

“How you been, sista?” Robert asked, giving her a hug while holding his camera with his other hand.

“Well, I am still ‘ere,” she smiled.

“That is much of a good thing as any!” he laughed. “It’s good to see you rreturning to your old habits. Good indeed!”

“Thanks for coming, Rrobbie. Dis is much apprreciated.”


Although I've been writing since childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned to value our lessons, and the best way to recite our lessons are through storytelling. That's why I love history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, our society's past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future. I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of 'Dare to be a Great Writer.' I owe my love of writing to him. In addition to writing, I draw, paint, create graphic design, and am an amateur photographer.

Website: www.kpkollenborn.com
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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-Water-Falls-K-P-Kollenborn-ebook/dp/B00L8F1UZA
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