Episode 187: A Book with a Purpose — Interview with Eucabeth Odhiambo

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I am delighted to have Dr. Eucabeth Odhiambo on the show!

Eucabeth was born in Kenya and her gorgeous middle grade debut novel, Auma’s Long Run,is inspired by her memories growing up there as well as her own work experiences with children and educators affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.  

I read a lot of books for this show and while I’m not supposed to pick any favorites, I have to say it’s not often that a book gets me this excited about the story and the meaning behind it.

Listen in as we tease apart the many elements of Auma’s Long Run, and discuss the responsibility that comes along with writing an “own voices” novel.

In this episode Eucabeth and I discuss:

  • Crafting a strong female character young girls anywhere can relate to.
  • Writing a sport centered middle grade novel with a female protagonist.
  • Bringing life to a country and a culture through your characters.
  • Dealing with the fear and responsibility of writing about things others have experienced.
  • How fiction helps in getting over the hurdles of writing an “own voices” novel.

Plus, Eucabeth’s #1 tip for writers.

About Eucabeth Odhiambo

Dr. Eucabeth Odhiambo was born in Kenya, and is now a professor of teacher education at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Her debut middle grade novel, Auma’s Long Run, is inspired by her memories growing up in a Luo village in Kenya and her own work experiences with children and educators affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Eucabeth hopes her novel, recognized as an “own voices” novel, helps to break stereotypes associated with her culture, offers an identifiable character for children of minority cultures, and inspires young people on facing life issues with determination. Auma’s Long Run is now available.

To learn more about Eucabeth check out her profile at www.lernerbooks.com/Eucabeth-Odhiambo.

Auma’s Long Run

In her small Kenyan village, Auma is a exceptional runner with big dreams. When she wins a track scholarship it seems her goal of becoming a doctor may actually come true. But a strange new sickness called AIDS is ravaging the village, and when her father becomes ill, Auma’s family needs her help at home.

Soon more people are getting sick—even dying—and no one seems to know why. Now Auma faces a choice. She can either quit school and go to work to support her struggling family…or leave her loved ones behind to pursue her own future.

Auma knows her family is depending on her. But leaving might be the only way to find the answers to her questions about this new disease.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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