Today, I am excited to introduce you to noted author Kalenga Augustine Mulenga, who is here to discuss his new book, Chuck the Cheetah!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Kalenga Augustine Mulenga aka K.A. Mulenga. My passion is writing. I started writing when I was 10 years old and my passion was re-ignited by my 11-year-old son. Writing runs in my blood as my late father was a journalist and the first black editor of the Zambia Daily Mail and my late brother was a poet. To date, I have published 17 children’s books. They are available on Amazon and also from my website. I love writing children’s books with a positive message and also to make readers laugh and be entertained. I am a prolific writer. I have completed my memoir and have started writing short stories. My short story, Striving To Be Number One, won a Creative Writing Contest in April 2021. Three of my books, Donk and the Stubborn Donkeys, Chuck the Cheetah, and Will and His Best Friend Whale have been #1 Amazon Bestsellers in different categories.
Do you have a favorite picture book?
Yes, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
How did you know you wanted to be an author?
I used to write books when I was young. I always wanted to do something with writing from the time I was a little kid.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never give up!
Is there anyone who has been tremendously instrumental in your path to becoming a writer?
My wife, Sheba, and my 3 kids – Grace, Malaika, and Kalenga!
Tell us about your picture book, Chuck the Cheetah!
Chuck the Cheetah is about an arrogant and big-headed cheetah. It highlights the dangers of arrogance and teaches adults and children how to win and lose gracefully. It is for children ages 3-8.
Who do you hope to reach with this story?
This story will appeal to animal lovers and sports-minded adults and children, both male and female.
What is the goal of your book?
I am trying to teach children that you can’t win them all.
Tell us about some of the characters or pictures in Chuck the Cheetah.
Chuck is the main character. His friends are Chip, Chum and Chester, and there is also a wise old cheetah (with no name).
What inspired you to write Chuck the Cheetah?
My son is a soccer player and he hates losing. I wrote this book to show him that you win some, you lose some.
How long have you been working on this book?
I wrote it in a day, but the illustrations, typesetting, editing, etc., took about a month.
What were some of the things that surprised you about the book-making process?
The detail that is required in typesetting.
What other types of professionals helped bring your book to life?
Illustrator Tsabitha Yahya, plus editors Kabelo Mabona and Kelly May MacDonald, and typesetter Jane Hurley.
What’s next for you, Augustine?
I have 4 manuscripts sitting with my editor about never giving up, love, kindness, and the importance of panda bears!
What has been the most rewarding part of bringing Chuck the Cheetah to life and sharing it with young readers?
Getting good reviews and seeing the kids’ faces light up when I do book readings.