About the author
I was born and raised in Accra, Ghana where I obtained my primary and secondary education. I migrated to the UK many years ago and have lived mostly in the South Eastern part of London. Just last year, though, I migrated to Surrey. I have three young children, two girls and a boy, though not in that sequence. I hold a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Degree in Education and Community Development. Throughout all of these wonderful experiences, a passion for writing has smouldered and waited for its time to be released. Now, that time has come.
I have always had a rich imagination. Even the most routine activities have sparked stories to form in my mind. I absolutely adore making up characters and letting them tell their stories through me. International travel has proved to be a great source of inspiration to me, both creatively and personally; a person can be so enriched by experiencing the vastly dissimilar cultures that human nature has built up. Another source of inspiration has been my third hobby: reading. I’ll read just about any genre, but my favourite is romance.
I have been asked many times by both family members and colleagues why I read so much. My answer is always the same, escape. There is an entire world in my head where I may live with many fictional couples, suffer their trials and experience their triumphs. It has been suggested, not once, that I must read so much because I am escaping a deep unhappiness in my own life. Nothing could be more wrong. True, my life’s path is littered with loss and heartache, but whose isn’t? Our journey is never carefree and rosy, but it is real. And, every challenge along the journey that I have taken was mine to accept and mine to overcome. I believe each experience in life is an opportunity to re-mould ourselves and our spirits; mine have certainly been so and I look forward to a future filled with more of them.
My characters situations are not smoothened by privilege and luxury; rather, they are refined by unique challenges and the routine obstacles of life. Like me, my heroes and heroines find meaningful victory in the power of true love.
As a writer I hope my words will build a bridge across the cultural lacuna that grows deeper as our world continues to shrink. I want to share stories from other continents through characters steeped in centuries old traditions and beliefs as they make their way through our modern-day global community.
My aim is to make my stories reflect real life experience, while not losing the subtle promise of a fairy tale. I look forward to my future as a successful author in which my readers are continually exposed to different cultures and some new and old social issues. Moreso, though, I look forward to my writings evoking a real sense of emotion in my readers, making them fume at the injustices, share in the sadness, understand and relate to new perspectives, laugh in appreciation at human nature and end with a smile.
About the book
In the days of ethnic strife and struggles for Kingdom-wide control in the African Gold Coast village of Asempa’Krom, the beautiful young Ima eagerly awaits for her marriage to the village’s lustiest warrior, Batum. Batum’s air of cockiness and physical strength are nearly a perfect match for Ima’s impetuous spirit, and both have a fire burning in their belly for the power of their promising young lives.
The impending union causes Ima’s peers to envy the haughty, saucy and self-indulgent maiden. But, when Batum carries out a wholly unprovoked attack on the neighbouring village’s Chief warrior, Adiago, to feed his greed for power and glory, his uncontrolled actions prompt his desperate flight from Asempa’Krom.
Learning that Batum has killed the wife and children of another man in the surprise night-time raid, Ima’s father, Seth, informs her of the dissolution of her betrothal. Ima becomes the immediate target of her peer’s ridicule and cruel mocking.
To avenge the attack on Adiago, the offended warrior’s clan sets out to kidnap Ima, and unintentionally begin her journey to womanhood. Over a week’s journey by foot away from her home, Ima is kept in the house of the man whose family was slaughtered by Batum. Referring to her only as “Batum’s intended wife”, Ima must learn to stave off her loneliness, and prove herself as an individual and not the reflection of Batum’s evil doings.
While there, she discovers her compassion and resolves her growing desire for the very man who is now her captor. Her spirit and tenacity which once served as an impediment in her immaturity, now serve her well – helping her to find true love and guide her in the ways to reel in the man’s heart she desires.
New Dawn tells the story of two very complex men and two resolute women who are fierce in their mannerisms, sharp tongued, bold in their actions, protective as lionesses and determined to take what belongs to them – but, will they succeed?
More about Naa Shalman