About The Author
Mary M. Alff – Children’s Author, Editor & Publisher
Mary M. Alff was born in 1966 in Kenya. After her Primary and Secondary education she attended Kenya Armed Forces Military College where she graduated as a Commissioned Officer of the Kenya Army. She retired after eight years of outstanding service to her country and joined Catholic Relief Services as a Monitoring Officer for Relief donations. In her many travels to numerous drought project areas of Kenya she saw much suffering and hunger. However, the ever smiling, welcoming folk and the curious adventurous children never ceased to amaze but inspired her greatly.
Mary Alff lives with her family in Hamburg, where she has for the last two decades earned a living teaching English to private students, at Berlitz International College, as well as directing Children’s English Camps around Germany before embarking on further studies for a diploma in International Office Administration to equip her for a life of writing and serving others.
“Writing gives me much satisfaction, most women will probably bake a cake to rewind, I write…so it’s hardly surprising I chose this over all else!”
When asked how she started writing; “ I found myself writing short stories in between drills or survival camps and found great solace in this, little did I know it was a rehearsal for what was to become a greater part of my life!”
When asked where the interest came from?
“All I know is that while growing up, right from the age of six, I could read a couple of novels a day, sometimes well into the night. My mother, who had never had the opportunity to grace a classroom, never bought any book unless it was a textbook on the ‘need to buy’ school list, so I made sure I made friends with all neighbours who had bookshelves in their homes, and that way I was able to read my way through my home town! ”
When asked why she writes for children?
“When I started writing for a wider audience in 2007, I noticed how rare books written by modern African writers were on the international market, and found none that depicted African children as moral examples worth talking about, especially being the future of Africa, the cradle of humanity. A continent we not only recognise for its riches and unstoppable economic growth, but should also be seen as a hub for modern cultural writers who need to be recognised and their works read around the world.
The Kimmi Jambo books are adventure fiction stories where African kids are allowed to be heroes who solve great mysteries. These children are creative in many ways, something kids in developed countries find rather interesting! It has been surprising for some to finally know that African children aren’t always hungry and sick all the time!”
Do African children know about your work?
“I give lots of free books to school libraries in Africa, because I am aware many cannot afford them. Malawi, Zambia and especially in Kenya where the plot enfolds, where children can re-live or let their imagination run away with Kimmi Jambo and Co. in a familiar environment. I am looking forward to sending some to Uganda and Tanzania. It is my desire that children in Africa continue reading and get a taste of their own African hero in the process!”
The Print books are available for order on Amazon and any other big bookseller or distributor around the world. The eBooks are available in all formats at your favourite eBook store. ”The DreamCatchers has been translated into German, and Kimmi Jambo – Das Geheimnis des Schwarzen Diamanten is currently charming the German kids to bits! I am so excited about this. “The Lazarus Collection” lets the children discover a secret gateway from Nairobi to Hamburg all in a matter of minutes. I had great fun writing it“.
Asked why she relocated to Germany: “I never left Kenya. It is the most beautiful country in the world; God has put all his wonderful creation there in one place, right under Mt Zion. I have come to know it is God’s plan for me to be in this place at this time. I have learnt how to love and accept Germany and come to terms with the fact I have two countries that I call home. It is a lovely gift from above that I am truly grateful for!”