Carmi Miché Philander was born in Cape Town on 1 July 2006, and she now resides in the small town of Robertson, Western Cape, for the past ten years.
In 2020 Carmi reached the Top 20 in Kreatio's poetry competition, and the Kreatio team included three of her poems in the anthology Kreatio in motu. She debuts in December 2020 at the age of 14 with her book Pampered Pets.
Pampered Pets consists of 25 short stories about animals, each pet with its unique personality and lavish lifestyles. This humorous, fun-filled and very entertaining book is a must-have for every household.
Read Kreatio's interview with Carmi here.
How and when did Pampered Pets originate?
I was 12 when I wrote Pampered Pets. It all started with a picture that I had drawn of a cat. So, the gears started turning in my head, and I created a story based on that cat. I had written my first short story for Pampered Pets, Mr Snowflakes. I read it to my parents, and they loved it. I decided to write a book of short stories about different pets and ended up writing a total of 25 short stories.
What is the most important message you want to share with the reader of this publication?
I want my book to serve as an inspiration for everyone, especially the youth. I want others to follow their dreams, especially at a young age, because as you get older, your vision starts to fade, and you forget about the aspirations you had as a child. Therefore, parents should encourage (and not force) their kids to follow their dreams. I want the reader to be inspired and have determination, like I had, to achieve their goals and make their dreams a reality and never give up on it.
What is the Kryptonite of your writing process?
I do not always know what I am supposed to write. Sometimes my brain would run out of ink, and I will be without any ideas. My Kryptonite is having no ideas left, and then I do not write for weeks. My attention is often distracted as I live in a household of six, and I also have a dog, Blessing, who requires my attention.
Do you do a lot of research during your writing process?
During the process of writing Pampered Pets, I had to do a lot of research about animals. For example, I had to find out what they eat or maybe even if one can keep them as pets. I researched the cost of some and their habitat, which are venomous and if birds can get a throat infection. Most of my research revolved around the pets since they are my main characters. I even looked up what words are in other languages since one of my pets are from Mexico. So yes, I do plenty of research!
If you are not writing, what are you doing in your free time?
I often draw, doodle or design. I keep myself busy by sketching. I am very good at pencil art, and I also love to do so. I have always wanted to be an artist, and I still do. So when I do not write, I will get out my pencils and sketch pad to keep myself busy.
Who are your favourite authors?
I do not know many authors, yet I have read quite the sum of books. I know the author Roald Dahl, and I have read a few of his books, but my favourite remains my mom. Not because she is my mom, but she is excellent. I get my writing skills from her. She is already a published poet and a great one too. She writes Afrikaans poetry, and I love it! I do not enjoy reading Afrikaans unless it is intriguing. That concludes that my mom is my favourite author, and she will always be.
How would you define literary success?
Just to have finished writing my book is already a success. Because some people have an idea or a dream and yet they never fulfil their dreams. Even if one or two people read my story, I have already achieved my goals. Success is not the number of fans you get. Your work will not always please everyone. Therefore, I do not define literary success by the number of books a person can sell and how many are interested, I believe in doing what I love most, and that is writing. If I am happy with what I did, then I have finished one more successful product.
Does your family support your career and dreams as an author?
Yes, my family supports my dreams of becoming a writer. They have always been there to encourage me to follow my dreams, especially my parents, who have always believed in me and seen that I have a God-given gift. I am grateful for their support and encouraging words.
What future publications can readers still look forward too?
My mother and I are busy writing a collection of Biblical poetry. I am still in the process of finishing my poetry collection When Pen Meets Paper. I have also started writing a psychological/suspense novel, and I also want to write many more books, but unfortunately, I have to tackle one idea at a time and cannot finish them all at once.