Thanks for honoring this invitation to be ma first guest on papparazi today.
Thank you for inviting me, it's an honor to be featured as your first person on this new section. I hope it's the start of many good things for your blog.
Please tell us more about yourself?
I grew up during the 1980's in Enugu, Nigeria. My earliest memories are of studying, reading everything I could lay her hands on, and then trying to play as much as I could. I have worked as 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 encouragement from people close to me, I have come back to my love of writing.
You are obviously into writing,can you tell us how it all started?
I started to write while still in primary school about the kind of adventures the tomboy I was wished I had. When I started writing again in the university, I found my pen tilting to the romance genre. You can blame it on all the category romance novels I ran through in secondary school, and still read once in a while. The only difference was that I always based all my stories in Nigeria with local characters and continue to do so. However I decided on a pseudonym and since I was writing in English, Myne Whitman was born.
Did you at any point require training for your writing skills?
I'm going to take training not to mean a classroom here. I've taken some free online courses and workshops for Creative and Fiction Writing from the University of Utah, MIT, Open University UK and Suite 101. These courses are an on-going project. I'm also a member of a Writing meetup group in my area which includes traditionally/ self published authors and gifted writers/ editors. The members were a great help in the course of writing "A Heart to Mend".
Most of the training otherwise come from the thousands of books I've read and all the stories swirling in my head.
You seem to have other interests,can you please share it with us?
I have loads of interests, in fact almost everything..LOL. I love reading, travelling meeting new people, online or real life. I love sight-seeing, I call myself an adventurer and something of a thrill junkie. When I'm indoors, I love listening to music, playing games and watching the TV for news, documentaries, episodic shows, movies, etc.
When should we expect your book to be out?
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it would be available from the publisher's website 'AuthorHouse' by the end of the year . It will definitely be in wide circulation by January 2010 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It will hopefully be in Nigeria the following month and I'm already sourcing for representatives.
Is this your first book? If not,tell us a bit more about the others?
"A Heart to Mend" is indeed my debut novel. I however have a few short stories and poems published online.
What does it really take to be a good writer?
It was Petina Gappah who said on her blog "A writer is a person who writes...You, at your computer or with your notebook, writing, and writing, revising and writing, and revising again." A writer thus has to persevere, have a story they want to share and push till it's in a forms others can understand and appreciate.
A good writer I think is relative, it depends on who is reading. I have read bestsellers that did nothing for me, and obscure stories I could never forget. It may also have to do with audience, so the writer has to know who they're writing for and strive to remain in touch with them. This enables their stories to remain relatable to the readers.
Is there any other book coming after this one?
There is already another manuscript I'm working on and a couple of short stories I intend to flesh out. I hope to have one of those in print before the end of 2010.
How exactly does writing affect your daily life?
I have heard writing described as a lonely career and I agree, it's also a tasking process. I'm able to concentrate fully on writing now because it as my full time job. I spend nothing less than five hours a day writing though sometimes I can't go to sleep and write through the night. On certain days however, I can't write a single sentence to save my life, or I spend most of the time trawling the web for information that'll make the books as real as possible.
It does help to have a very supportive partner, who is not only understanding but also very helpful.
Now we all wanna know,is "A Heart to Mend" similar to your love-life or just a story?
I beg to comment my reserve on this one...LOL. It is just a story.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I hope to have published more books by then and still remain in the midst of my readers and fans. Co-ordinating the Blogsville Interactive Story has shown me so much talent and given me some ideas for a writing/publishing collective. I'm still playing with those thoughts for now and will broach them to the necessary people in due time.
Lastly,any final thoughts you might want to share about blogsville,writing and life in general?
Blogsville has been an eye-opener. I began reading blogs in early 2008 and have been enriched by the diverse world-views, opinions and personalities since then. Yet that experience cannot compare to what I have now as a blogger myself. In my writing, I have to thank all my followers, readers and commenters who have always showed so much support.
I'm not the best philosopher but I think life is what we make of it. A little optimism with some faith and a large dollop of love (not only to my partner, family or friends, but to all I come across) goes a long way for me. A smile, a kind word, a gesture of help, and good doses of fun and happiness.
Thanks again for your time.
Thanks Spesh and happy holidays to everyone.