An author unleashing her creativity in Mauritius

Expat interviews
  • German author in Mauritius
Published on 2021-11-26 at 07:23 by Nicola Richards
Three years ago, Ash fell in love with Mauritius. Originally from Germany, she has travelled to many countries until she relocated to the island with her young child. As a writer and fiction novelist, she is currently enjoying the good vibes in Mauritius. Ash shares her experience with

Bonjour Ash! Can you tell us a little about you?

Hello, I am the author Ash Phoenix. I came to Mauritius about 3 years ago, and I stayed because I just loved it here. There is something really special about the island. I am originally from Germany, but I have lived all over the place – from other countries in Europe to the USA to Mauritius. I am a writer but mainly wrote poems and short stories before. I became very inspired by the island and started to write a novel about some of my experiences and people I had met on the island. I wrote my first fiction novel whilst in Mauritius, called ‘The Chronicles of the Tiny Island'. It has been such a challenging adventure to write, but I have loved writing it. After finishing the text, I worked with a very talented Mauritian graphic designer for the book cover.

What are you doing currently?

At the moment, I am promoting my book in bookstores across Mauritius and in the UK. I went on a book signing tour in Mauritius, and I have launched my eBook online, which is very exciting. I am currently working on my second novel, which also plays on the island. My writing is inspired by Mauritius, the interactions with people I meet and the incredible scenery on the island. I have red flame trees, the underwater waterfall and the volcanic crater Trou aux Cerfs in my book. In my novel, I use animals to characterise humans, and I have used interactions with the people I met on the island to create the characters in my book.

How do you juggle motherhood and professional and social life on the island?

It is often a two-sided sword. My family lives far away in Europe, so I cannot just call on them to help me with childcare. But the island has a very professional group of people that can help as carers if you need it. I am a single mother, and I sadly lost my late husband 4 years ago. Being on the island for 3 years has healed me as Mauritius has very positive energy. 

When I first came to Mauritius, I loved the social scene at the weekends and used to find all the amazing hotspots to party and meet new people. But after a while of being here, you settle, and you cook more at home with friends. Also, the lockdown has not been very good for social life, but now the tourists are back, which is a relief for all of us.

I also write articles for Le Mauricien. I love doing this as the basic message of my book is faith, hope and love and that we should never lose these 3 virtues. So I write about this in my newspaper articles which I find very fulfilling. 

What's your favourite part of Mauritius and why? 

I absolutely adore the South of the island; the Energy Point of the South – how I call the Vortex de Riambel – is a spiritual and calming place. The South is unspoilt nature, and the energy of the universe is very strong there. I also enjoy the North where I live and the amazing beaches in the West and East. Mauritius is just beautiful. 

What are the main challenges you have faced as an expatriate in Mauritius? 

The first year is always challenging in a new place as you need to adapt to new cultures and traditions. It is not Europe, and it takes time to find your path. I found after a year that I wanted to stay longer. I love the ocean, sailing, diving and the stars in the night sky are just stunning. We are very lucky on the island as it is unspoilt with little artificial light, so the night skies are just incredible. 

What are your plans for the future? 

Through my books, my aim is to show people that we need to have faith, hope and love to cope better with our lives. My writings are deeply rooted in faith, but I have the notion that we should respect each other's religions as people do here on the island. I am currently working on new articles, my second novel and my blog.  

I travel for work between Mauritius and the UK as I teach at the university there. For the last one and a half years, I have been on the island writing my novels. It is exciting to visit the UK, but I am always burning to come back to the island when I am in the UK. I then miss the sun, the beach, the ocean, my friends and the amazing Mauritian night sky.

Can you give some advice to new expats on the island?

Give it time to adapt to different cultures, be open-minded and do not overwhelm yourself. Enjoy every day like it is your last. You can learn all that here in Mauritius. Just enjoy and embrace Mauritius!

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