Interview with Deryn
As it’s Friday once again, here is an interview with one of the authors published in In All Things, a 3-month boxed set of daily devotional readings, all linked to Africa. Each small book of seven devotions is written by an author who was either born in Africa or was born elsewhere but has lived in Africa for some time. So we all share the theme – Out of Africa! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Deryn van der Tang.
Deryn was originally born in Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), the country where I also grew up, so we have more than just this book project in common. She has since emigrated to the USA and now lives in Washington State. But there’s a common expression known in Africa:
“You can take a person out of Africa, but you can never take Africa out of a person.” And that certainly seems to be the case in Deryn’s experience.'You can take a person out of Africa, but you can never take Africa out of a person.' Read about a real-life example of this here. Click To Tweet
Shirley: Hi Deryn!
It’s great to have you on my blog. It’s been so good getting to know you and your writing through our joint project of writing In All Things.
As you know, I asked each of the volunteer authors to choose their own theme. The only stipulation was it must be tied in with Africa. What motivated you to choose the theme for your particular book, Sunrise to Sunset?
Deryn: Hi Shirley,
Thank you for having me here today. When I heard that the theme was to be Africa based, I was thrilled. I had written a couple of devotions already concerning the spectacular sunrises and sunsets of the land. When we came to choosing the theme, that was my immediate choice: Sunrise to Sunset.
As for my sub-title, it was not too difficult as I had already been using the theme of Landscapes of Life as part of my blogging. As a nature lover and a contemplative, I have found I hear God’s voice so much clearer without the noise of the city and people around me, and the truths I learned from these landscapes I would love to share with others. Hence, the full title –
Sunrise to Sunset – 7 Landscapes of Africa
Shirley: As you look back over the past five months, what would you say was your best experience?
Deryn: I found that your leadership was clear and concise. When you gave us the Style sheets and instructions for how you wanted it presented. This made it so much easier to learn. In the process, I learned how to use the correct methods for the books to be uploaded to Kindle. You taught me a lot as I followed your processes and marketing strategies. I also found that working with a team was amazing. We were able to collaborate and support each other’s efforts. Help was there when I needed it by the more experienced ladies, and— the cherry on top! There was the delight of making new author friends!
Shirley: That is so sweet of you to say this. There were many times when I felt I was overloading everyone with my instructions. Yet, I didn’t know how else to turn thirteen books into one smooth publication!
Deryn, do you feel you grew at all spiritually as a result of writing this book?
(or in any other way) while you were writing these chapters?
Deryn: Oh yes! I was stretched in all directions! But reading the other authors work made me realize we were all pretty much on the same spiritual journey with this book. Knowing we were called to give birth to this book and go through all the birthing pangs and travail and challenges, we were in it together as a team, so much different than working as an individual, and I praise God for that, we do need the support of others on our journey. We are not meant to give birth unattended or alone, we need those midwives to help us deliver!
The other growing points were in the technical aspect of formatting and then marketing and of course our celebratory party at the end!
Shirley: You mentioned your experience working with the other authors. Would you like to say a little more about this topic?
Deryn: This was one of the best parts of the project, getting to know and work together as a team, and making friends along the way. Those with advanced skills were able to help those who had not got there yet which was incredible, and for which I was very grateful. Anna and Marion certainly helped with their advanced technical skills! The other thing that I really enjoyed was that we were all connected to Africa and spoke the same language and were on the same page so to speak, we did not have to explain ourselves, which is a real problem when you are an immigrant trying to work with different nationalities and ways of thinking and doing!
Shirley: Yes, that was special, wasn’t it? We literally all spoke the same language, even when we used words virtually none of our readers would understand and had to be either clarified in our books or substituted for more commonly understood words.
What about other experiences?
Was this the first time you have participated in a boxed set or any other multi-author project before? If so, how did this one compare with the others?
Deryn: I have participated in two Poetry Anthologies in South Africa and an Anthology in America called “How 7 Women of Faith Manifest Godly Success Through Spiritual Intimacy.” I enjoyed “In All Things” by far the most!
The poetry books were merely submissions and acceptance with no interaction. The other Anthology was also a good learning experience, but we had to do a lot more ‘FaceBook lives’ being interviewed about our Chapter, although it was merely one chapter. They also held a launch party live on-line, but it was difficult with ladies driving cars and trying to talk and a bit technically challenging. So sometimes things did not work out how they were meant to due to the vagaries of Facebook! I enjoyed the experience but was not involved with formatting or any of the production and we were not given a contract. Other than the experience there was no financial gain to be made if the books sold; royalties etc went to the lady who compiled it. We could buy hard copies at cost to sell for our own benefit.
I was so glad that you drew up a contract that was fair to everyone and the launch party was not ‘live face time!’
Shirley: Oh, I could never have coped with a live face time launch party! Not when we had 743 people present! What a nightmare! It was a big enough challenge as it was, just keeping in touch with all the posts and responses!Get Your Set Here
Thank you again, for your participation in the boxed set, Deryn, as well as this interview. Let’s close off by listening to a short reading from you from your introduction.