Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Book - An Unexpected Blessing by Unoma Nwankwor [Author Interview]

Posted in: ,

Unoma Nwankwor (nee Osiegbu) has a Bachelor’s degree in Banking & Finance from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix, but her proudest titles are wife to a wonderful man and mom to two beautiful kids. Unoma's book, An Unexpected Blessing, is now available, and she tells us more about herself and the book below.

- Tell us about yourself?

I am from Issele-Uku in Delta State, Nigeria. Apart from writing, I also run the operations of KevStel Group; a Christian entertainment company owned by my husband and I. We specialize in movie productions, book publications and hosting events. I am a serious homebody, loving to spend time with the family, watching movies and reading books.

- What inspires you to write?

Life. My experiences—my joy, my sorrow, the disappointments and my blessings. The goodness of God. Being to use the gift of writing to bless others is my inspiration.

- Do you have a specific writing style?

I won’t say I have a particular writing style. But I will say I write from my heart. All my writings or articles always have a Christian theme which centers on faith, hope and love. I fuse my experiences as a Nigerian living in America in everything I write. So I appeal to both audiences.

- What are your current projects?

My next book has a working tile of Domino Effect. It deals with marriage betrayal, forgiveness, and the pain of infertility.  I also have two novellas in the works, that will be a part of my Delayed not Denied Series. I’m also working on the sequel to An Unexpected Blessing, called The Unexpected Truth.

- Do you see writing as an alternate career or will it remain part-time?

For right now it’s still part time. I currently have a job outside the home but one day by the grace of God, I plan to work for myself on a full time basis.

- Can you share a little about your writing routine? How does your career impact in your writing?

I’m a night owl. I guess having a day job has forced me to be one. I write at night when the family is asleep or early Saturday before they wake. I’m not so disciplined to say I write every day. I write when I can but my goal is to make those days as close together as possible.  I always carry a journal, so I write at work or sitting in traffic.


- An Unexpected Blessing is your first novel. Tell us what inspired it, and details about how you got published.

Yes, this is my first novel although I have a couple of short stories. As you know, I’m a Nigerian living in diaspora so I was inspired by stories all around me. The most talked about topic for African women whether in diaspora or back home is marriage. I don’t know why, but it has practically become a crime for a lady not to be married by a certain age. An Unexpected Blessing explores that issue. I am independently published by KevStel Publications. The book is available now through www.kevstelgroup.com

- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Funny you ask this question. I was born in the United States and spent my early years year but grew up in Nigeria. Although I’ve lived in Atlanta for close to fifteen years now, it was a challenge minimizing what my editor calls “Nigerianism” so that my book can appeal to a wider audience.

- When and why did you begin writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Ok, I’m not going to say I was writing from the age of three, lol. I started writing as most girls do in a period of crisis. My first heartbreak triggered my writing. Writing is therapeutic for me. My diary became journals which I kept year after year. When I accepted Christ as my savior, I started a blog. My soul aim is to write inspirational pieces filled with hope. Based on Romans 15:4; through encouraging others, I encourage myself. I knew I was a Christian writer when I would get Facebook messages, tweets and emails from people saying how my post or short stories touched them.

- What books have most influenced your life most?

Apart from the Bible of course, I read almost every genre, but I will be remised if I didn’t give tribute to books like Centerspread and Dreammaker by the late MEE Mofe-Damijo or Double Yoke and Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta. Then more recently, books in my genre of Christian fiction like Because of Grace by Kendra Norman Bellamy and the Guilt Series by Pat Simmons.

- Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have Pat Simmons.  She is a talented Christian fiction author. What I love most is that she portrays the message of Jesus without being preachy. She does it through everyday stories.

If you had to choose, which writer would you say writes in about the same line or genre as your book? You know, like if you like this book, then you'll also like mine?

If you like Bimbola Dare’s The Small Print you would like my book. She is someone I just got to know through social media. She is very friendly and writes Christian fiction as well.

- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? What books are you reading now?

I’m reading a couple of new authors as well as some of my die hard favorites. As I mentioned before Bimbola Dare’s book The Small Print. Another new author who writes amazing short stories Onyih Odunze, her novella Finding Grace would be out soon. Also, the author of Thread of Gold Beads; Nike Campell Fatoki.  While Bimbola and Onyih are Christian fiction writers, Nike writes historical Fiction. Good Stuff.

- You are having a book launch, what other ways is the book being promoted?

Yes I’ll be having a book launch/signing although the date hasn’t been set yet. I’ll be doing a virtual book blog tour soon. And I’ll also be at a couple of book fairs in Atlanta. I’m currently in talks with some bookstore in Nigeria to make the book available. Social media is another huge promotion avenue.

- What comments do you have about the reading culture in Nigeria?

When I was growing up back home, it was alive and well. My friends and I used to have competitions on who finishes the book first and then we’ll have discussions. Sort of like an unorthodox book club. Now, the culture seems to be disappearing, and that’s sad. I can’t speak on why, however when you see lines for book signings of authors like Chimamanda Adichie wrapping around the block, I guess there is hope. I’m assuming that as long as the book attracts attention there are readers for it.

- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Grab a copy of the book and enjoy! You won’t be disappointed. Also tell everyone you know to get a copy. I appreciate your support. It’s because of you that authors like me are encouraged to keep going. Please consider dropping a line or two, reviews go a long way in letting us know what you think. I would love to hear from you. You can write me at unwankwor@kevstelgroup.com. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

- Please tell us where we can connect with you online.

I am on Twitter and Facebook, and I have my website and blog: http://inhissaftey.com/







6 comments:

  1. And I am still waiting to hear how I can order/buy this book in Lagos, Nigeria Unoma! Let me know o..... Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats once more Unoma. Like Salt, I am waiting as well. It is a great thing to see more Christ centered literature emerging, and Christians that can unashamedly promote the good news via the print medium. It can only get better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like salt also waiting for its release date in Nigerian. Love the interview. www.secretlilies.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Ladies. So humbled by the love. Honestly I'm working on getting it to Nigeria. Salt has so graciously given me a way out. I'll keep you updated. Thanks Myne!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats, Unoma! I'm too excited and I can't wait for my copy to arrive. I salute you for being one of them 'Dream Chasers' I'm so enamored with...:) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this wonderful
    post to improve my experience.

    Feel free to visit my web page ... dating website review

    ReplyDelete

Click Post a Comment to share your thoughts, I'll love to hear from you. Thanks!

*Comments on old posts are moderated and may take sometime to be shown. That's just because I want to see them and respond to you if necessary.