Sylvia Stewart grew up in the (then) Belgian Congo. She spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, with her husband, Duane. While there, she taught some writing workshops, which are now bearing fruit. She started writing Kondi’s Quest to weave a story for the children of Malawi. In 1992 Sylvia and Duane were asked to go to Ethiopia to found a Bible College. They spent 11 years there, doing mostly Bible College ministry. Sylvia taught college-level English to students who had never taken a grammar class before. Sylvia is the mother of four children who grew up in Africa. Her eleven grandchildren are the delight of her life. Sylvia’s book was a 24-year project. Through the eyes of a Malawian girl, Kondi’s Quest shows middle-school readers that God’s love and presence is with us, even in very hard times.
We are very pleased to introduce you to Sylvia and her story:
About writing …
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
English was my favorite subject in school. Writing essays was easier for me than for my classmates. I don’t remember writing stories as a child, but I would “tell” myself stories as I lay in bed at night. I guess you could say I’ve been writing most of my life.
What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
The Nancy Drew books captured my fancy even before I was a teen. Later Zane Grey, D.E. Stevenson, Miss Read, and Mary Stewart taught me how to turn a phrase and make a story come alive.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in the morning, but that doesn’t often happen. I prefer no interruptions, but I don’t often get that either. I prefer silence for my writing time, but usually I write in the middle of the house with life going on around me. Soon I will have my own “Just Write” cabin on the back of our property. Bliss!