Nkem Akinsoto aka Myne Whitman is a Nigerian writer/editor based in Seattle, USA, and currently writes on her website mynewhitman. Her blog runs a web-based naija blogsville interactive story on www.mynewhitmanwrites.com. The blog started out with excerpts from a manuscript she was writing which she has now self-published via AuthorHouse. The author grew up during the 1980’s in Enugu, Nigeria. Her earliest memories are of reading everything she could lay her hands on, studying and then trying to play as much as she could. She started to write while still in primary school about the kind of adventures she wished she had. When she started writing as an adult, she found her pen tilting unwittingly to the romance genre. Now living in Seattle, she has gone back to her love of writing. A Heart to Mend is her debut novel. She also has various poems and short stories published online.
“A Heart To Mend” is a romance novel based in Lagos, Nigeria. It tells the story of two Nigerian protagonists, Gladys and Edward, and how they found true love together in spite of the obstacles they faced.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Enugu, Nigeria, studying a lot, reading everything I could lay my hands on, and playing the rest of the time. Other cities I have lived in are Asaba, Awka, and Abuja in Nigeria. More recently I have lived in Edinburgh, Scotland and Seattle, United States. I have been writing for a very long time, ever since I was a child and always dreamed of holding a book in my hands with my name on the cover as the author.
2. Who has inspired you as an author?
I look up to almost all authors and writers because I know how much work goes into writing. I love various authors and cannot really narrow it down but the names that stick are; Mills and Boon novels, Barbara Cartland, Francine Rivers, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Leon Uris, John Grisham, and Michael Critchton. And in Africa; Pacesetters, African Writers Series, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe and more recently Chimamanda Adichie and Jude Dibia.
3. Describe your writing in three words.
This is quite a difficult one but I’ll try by saying, simple, direct and evocative.
4. Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Well, I primarily wanted to tell an engaging romantic story about a young girl set in contemporary Nigeria. In my childhood, I was inspired by romance stories where the protagonist undergoes a lot of trials and heartache but eventually comes out on top, so when writing ‘A Heart To Mend’, I wanted to include this in the storyline.
5. What activities do you do offline to market your book?
I talk to friends and colleagues and tell them about the book. I have done one radio interview which will also appear online on their website. I am planning on talking to some bookshops and libraries.
6. In college, what were your favorite subjects? What are your current hobbies?
My favorite subjects were actually in the sciences like Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Even though I also loved English language, I never studied Literature as a subject. I love reading, walking, watching TV and movies and listening to music.
7. Where can you be found on the web?