Exclusive with Gist Express.

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[Image]Myne Whitman is a Nigeria author, blogger, founder & managing editor of Naijastories.com, a critique website for aspiring Nigerian writers. The author recently wrote her second book which is already making waves, it was selected to the second round of the ‘Amazon Breakthrough Novel “Award out of 5,000 other books. Not only is she beautiful, talented and creative but she also finds time to volunteer as a “English as a Second Language” (ESL) tutor for a local charity. Even though Myne holds a Masters in Public Health research, she has chosen to follow her childhood dream of spinning stories. In this exclusive interview with Gist Express, the hardworking author talks about her latest novel “A Love Rekindled”, why she uses Myne Whitman as a pen name and More!

Gist Express: Tell us about yourself?
Myne: Myne Whitman is my pen name. I was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, where I spent most of my time, studying, reading and daydreaming or climbing trees and playing with the boys. After a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, I now live with my husband in Seattle, USA. I critique with the Seattle Eastside Writers Meet-up and I’m also a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.
The Pacific Northwest of America is a great place to live in the summer but during the drizzling winter rains, I find myself dreaming of long, hot, Nigerian days and the red palm oil of Banga Soup. A self-confessed adrenaline junkie, I love theme park rides and my wildest ride yet would be the Simpsons at Universal studios, Hollywood. Or maybe it was that reverse bungee jump I did in Scotland, hmm…lol.
In addition to writing popular fiction to get people reading, I am passionate about using the internet and social media to promote the book industry and literacy levels in Nigeria. To this end, I facilitated a session, “Social Media and the Book Publishing Industry”, for the Publisher’s Forum at the 2010 Garden City Literary Festival, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Gist Express: Why the use of a “pen name”?
Myne: I coined my first pen name when I began to write fiction seriously in secondary school. Most of the books I read were in English, and since I was writing in English too, I decided my name would be the same. Also, it sparked the creative side of me that I could make up a name for myself to use whenever I liked. So the pseudonym is a play on the transliterated words of my maiden name, Nkem Okotcha. As a published author, I chose to use this form of my name because it gives me some privacy, and also to meet the demands of my split career in public health and writing.

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