JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Cleopatra Sinkamba Islar, author of My Odyssey from Guyana to America
This is an epic account of my experiences after leaving my native land at nineteen years old. I started this journey as an adventurous, young woman in pursuit of a career path.
As a young girl growing up in Guyana, I had big dreams. I would look up at the sky as the planes flew by and wondered what life was like in other lands. I knew that there was a world out there that I wanted to explore, but I did not know how I was going to get there. I did not have the resources that would make this even a remote possibility.
Nevertheless, as I subsequently learned, miracles do happen, and the key was to be able to discern the opportunities that would make them a reality. My curiosity propelled me to explore every opportunity that came my way, and this led me through an extraordinary path which I now call “My Odyssey.”
My Odyssey is a timeline of wanderings, tragedies, triumphs and new beginnings. I have taken the long route to North America, through a myriad of African countries, languages and cultures. All these experiences have molded my character and made me a believer in the power of faith and the resilience of the human spirit.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write My Odyssey from Guyana to America – via Africa?
Cleopatra Sinkamba Islar: My children are my inspiration. So many women have faced sudden changes in life but faith and just knowing that no matter what happens, your children need you and will depend on you to lead the way.
I wrote this book to share with my children where my strength comes from and also to encourage other women who may be standing at similar crossroads and don’t know where to turn.
JP: What sets My Odyssey from Guyana to America – via Africa apart from other books in the same genre?
CSI: My Odyssey deals with issues relating to kids, youths, young adults and parents. It also chronicles my life in three continents and takes readers to places that they may not have traveled.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to My Odyssey from Guyana to America – via Africa getting out to the public?
CSI: It is important to have various networks. Anyone can write but getting published and sharing your work is key. It is also a good practice to connect with published authors who will have helpful tips to share about the process. Joining book clubs is useful too.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish My Odyssey from Guyana to America – via Africa?
CSI: Writing comes naturally to me, and I do feel very happy and content when I am writing. However, it took me four years to finalize My Odyssey because there was so much that I wanted to include but had to be mindful of my readers. I want them to accompany me on my odyssey and experience the momentum of the journey.
JP: What’s next for Cleopatra Sinkamba Islar?
CSI: After publishing My Odyssey, I wanted to share the cultural experiences I had gained through my travels to various parts of the world. The best way I found that I could do this was as a travel consultant.
I am pleased to say that My Odyssey is the catalyst for C & G Global Connections Travel Agency. The travel agency was created to be a vehicle to share the joys of travel and the knowledge of new environments with large groups of travelers from all over the world.
My first group travel will be a cruise to Alaska in July 2012. The group will include travelers from Europe, the Caribbean and North America. It is my intention to organize a group trip to Africa. The African country will be chosen after the Alaska cruise.
I am still writing and have recently finished collaborating with a group of authors on a book titled, The GlamourLESS Side of Entrepreneurship–What they DIDN’T Tell You. This book which is a priceless guide for aspiring, new and seasoned entrepreneurs, will be published on March 1, 2012. An official launch and book signing will be held at the Aloft Hotel, National Harbor, Maryland, on March 3, 2012.