Risuna Petunia Sithole, also known as Risuna The Poet, is a 17-year-old model and an author of a poetry book entitled Within Our Lives. Flair Magazine contributing writer, Brenley Ngoveni, had a chat with her.
Tell me about yourself and where you were raised.
I am a model and an author of a book called Within Our Lives. I was raised in Polokwane, Seshego zone 1 and I’m currently doing grade 12.
Tell us a bit about your book? What is the main story in the book?
My book Within Our Lives is a poetry book written about real life situations which I faced as a child while bringing new ideas to the world. It is about healing, uplifting, teaching and motivation. The main stories are everyday life situations and challenges, it also includes ideas and some encouragements to the reader.
Who did you have in mind when you wrote this book?
Myself, as I was reflecting on how my life was during the time when I was writing the book.
What sort of research did you need to do to write the book, and what was the inspiration that propelled you through the process of writing this book till the end?
When writing this book, the research I did was to observe the people around me who shared similar experiences with me and found out that many people are facing hard and painful challenges, from the age of 5 to older people. My inspiration to continue writing till the end was to share my feelings in a way that people could see, as well as express myself. Also, the thought of sharing my talent by doing something meaningful kept me going.
Was there a time during the writing process when you thought you couldn’t go on and finish writing your book?
Yes. A lot of times I would have all these ideas and experiences, then pour my heart out to the paper by bleeding ink. But I would at times feel lonely and feel as if I’m giving up on myself. I’d sit all day without doing anything and having empty thoughts. I even asked myself if ever I would be able to finish writing.
Who helped you get published, and how did they help you?
Firstly, my mom Nkhensani Sithole. She helped me so much financially as she struggled with me till the end. Secondly, the Writer’s Corner Institute for helping me with editing and fixing all which was unresolved. They pushed me thus far.
Was the book well received when it came out?
No. To tell the truth, those who promised to buy and have it did not accept it well as only a few have it and many are not showing much support about it.
What sort of marketing are you doing to get people to read your book?
I am sharing my work on social media. I’m also planning on displaying it on Google Play Store to get more readers. I also advertise it on my own, sharing some of my work in my community.
How difficult or challenging is it to market and promote your book?
It is difficult as people tend to promise to buy but don’t show interest anymore. Also, it is not moving fast around the world. I am still not much recognized as a well-known writer.
Any future plans to continue writing?
Yes, I enjoy writing the most. Sharing and bringing more enjoyable and educational ideas is my talent which I am committed to enrich other minds through it. Dramas, novels etc are coming up.
Where and how can people buy or get hold of the book?
One can send an email to email@example.com or contact 0829796773/ 0764509798. For now, the book can only be bought from the author.
How can people connect with you?
Through my email, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook, Risuna Petunia Sithole