Skip directly to content

Tibwa Nzapa

I am 16 when the idea dawns on me thanks to a relative, who advises me to write a children book. A girl with black hair and plenty of freckles flickers to life in my mind. But everything is still vague.

At 18, I have a full year ahead of me to put in order all the notes I have taken during the past two years, write the first novel of the cycle, and find an editor. But like everything else in my life, nothing happens as planned. Novel written? Niet. Editor found? Ha ha, don't make me laugh...

Anyway, at 19, I make the biggest error of my whole life (until now!): I enter the university - Communication Faculty, year one. Well, you have to do something of your life... As early as October, I realise that it's not the right path for me. So I dig out my saga, and polish it during the classes. Everybody thinks I write dairies? All the best, they stay out of my face. I now know it will be a saga in eight books. Everything is clear in my mind and I can finally write this first novel. I finish it in June 2003. The Communication Faculty? I dropped out in March.

I'm almost 20, and I take a new turn: I enter a two-year curriculum at the UEE, the Université Européenne d'Ecriture in Brussels, where I take evening classes in creative writing. I learn about writing novels, comics, storyboards, screenplays, and writing for news or advertisement. In addition, the training is fleshed out by some theoretical courses on the history of filmmaking and comics, about film analysis and character psychology, and about 20th century philosophy. I got it right this time. I feel at home. All the more so that I meet some great people, such as Jürg (who will draw the covers of the saga's books), Pierre Efratas (a writer who advises me about the novel), and my teacher in psychology who makes me aware of the possible links to be established between the main characters, and helps me pinpoint some of their behaviours in the books.

At 21, my diploma obtained, I leave school. I meet the manager of Les Editions du Pépin and have a five-month work experience as her personal assistant.

But the year 2006 is approaching, and armed with my diploma and my numerous training courses, I go and look for jobs in the film industry. Oops... So I begin a specialisation in scriptwriting through an online training course, and at the end of it, everything speeds up. I decide to self-publish my novel, on the advice of my best friend from high school.

This decision brings a brand new dimension to the saga. I am not alone anymore and work with talented people at developing my universe.

What happens next we’ll discover step by step, just like Estefania does in the books...