Kwizera Inspirations: Volcanoes (Take Two)

I’ve had a lot going on with my day job, which isn’t going to let up until June (but there is an end!), and I have some freelance projects due. So, when something has to give, it’s the blog. I will have some posts throughout May, but I may not get to leave comments for you in return. I will be back eventually – I promise.

Back in 2009 I did a series of posts discussing the real-life places, people, and events that inspired scenes and characters in my YA manuscript, “Kwizera Means Hope”. Since I’m still feeling nostalgic, here’s one of them:


One of the Virunga volcanoes loomed on the western horizon as I trudged up the hill from the tea plantations in the valley to the tarmac road in the weak early morning light.

The Virunga volcanoes lie at the conjunction of three central and eastern African countries:  Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire).  They are home to mountain gorillas, made famous by Dyan Fossey and the movie, Gorillas in the Mist.

The volcanoes are sometimes visible from Byumba, the town in Northern Rwanda where “Kwizera” is set.  It depends on the clouds and the sun. Strangely – unless you’re familiar with meteorology, I guess – you cannot see the volcanoes on bright, sunny days.  Only right after it has rained.

Obviously, the closer you are to the volcanoes – in Ruhengeri or Gisenyi, perhaps – the more likely you are to see them.

Unfortunately, those strange meteorological conditions mean that I don’t have a good enough picture from my days there to show you.

What kinds of things inspired the setting of one of your novels?


1 Comment

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One response to “Kwizera Inspirations: Volcanoes (Take Two)

  1. Oh wow! Isn’t that neat? Things that inspire my novels? oh well it could be just about anything but it’s usually people and their stories.

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