People in the Limelight

Muyiwa Elegbede

1. Can we get to know you?
My name is Nkem Akinsoto also known as Myne Whitman. I grew up during the 1980's in Enugu, Nigeria. I remember as a child studying a lot, reading everything I could lay my hands on, and then trying to play as much as possible. I sometimes across as quiet and laid-back but do like a good loud debate sometimes. In three words, I will describe myself as friendly, caring and fun-loving. I have been a teacher, NGO consultant, banker, skate-hire attendant, researcher and Scottish government worker. After a postgrad degree and a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, I now live in the United States with my husband.

2. What made you start Blogging?
I decided to start the Myne Whitman Writes blog because of the feedback I received from readers at my favorite online forum (Nigeria Village Square) and from my writing group. I had a poetry blog on NVS and had been reading other blogs but it never occured to me to start blogger because most of the ones I read were personal blogs. Some of the members of my meet-up had blogs where they shared previews or excepts of their work. They advised that I could start one to get more feedback on the story I was writing then, and know when it's ready for the market

3. When you started blogging,what made you think you will create a niche for yourself in area of writing? Most times, I am very private unless I feel I have established a rapport with the people I meet. So I knew I could never start a personal blog. I used to read two writing blogs which gave me an idea of what I wanted to do and they were by Favoured girl and Flourishing Florida. I'm happy I have been able to establish my blog as a story and writing site but it has just been luck. I salute all the naija blogsville members especially those who have stood the test of time and made it the community it is today.

4. How easy are you finding it now? Blogging has been amazing especially in my chosen niche. I got overwhelming response to the Gladys and Edward story which is now a Heart to Mend on my blog and again when I decided to self-publish and open up the blog to other budding writers. In the four months since I started, I have won several awards and a couple of giveaways (an Ankara material from Olamild and an Ogoo Ogbata book from SolomonSydelle.

5. Can we know how your new book is doing in the market?
The book, A Heart to Mend is doing very well. The eBooks (Love Happens and Scores to Settle) were published on LULU in October and sold several copies. It was also featured on the Verastic December Giveaway. The paperback copy is now available on my http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67912. Some people pre-ordered the book so I have a very good feeling for it as well. I want to point out that apart from the commercial success, there's that deep satisfaction of knowing your creative work is out there making and contributing to conversation.

6. In a summary,is there any lesson to learn from the story?
In the book, Gladys is a young woman, newly arrived in Lagos and from a deprived background. She had been estranged from her aunt and is a bit cynical of rich people. While still working on her new relationship with her Aunt Isioma, she meets Edward, a wealthy egoist who is surprising kindhearted. She is smitten by his physical looks and his interest in her though she continues to feel he's out of her reach. Edward is highly attracted to her physically but as time goes on, he realizes he may have set up his heart for a fall. He is from a shadowed past and has been deeply scarred by events that happened when he was younger. They are able to surmount this and all other obstacles before them including differing views on premarital sex, social class and contrary advice from friends. Gladys and Edward decide to trust their hearts with each other and begin to prepare for their wedding. This main story line runs through the subplot of growing friendships, family reunions, the Nigerian stock market, business intrigues and a vendetta.

The novel details how we can be affected by events from our past and how it may limit our opportunities in the present especially in the area of love and relationships. Gladys obsesses over the divide between her and Edward, while he had barricaded his heart and was not letting anyone in, man or woman. The lesson is that none of us is perfect but we should be able to keep our heart open for that (sometimes one) person who has enough masking tape to cover our imperfections and make an ideal couple.

7. Where else can we get buy the book?
The book will shortly be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders etc. It will be available in Nigeria latest by February 2010. Those who cannot wait could send me an email at mulan.mine@gmail so we can set up an arrangement for an autographed copy. More information will always be available on my website, Blog, FB page and Twitter.

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