Rita describes herself as a “Port Harcourt Girl”! She grew up and spent close to 28 years of her life in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Her education up to Post-Graduate studies were all carried out in the city. The exceptions were when she lived in Mexico City (between 1 and 3) and after her move to Lagos in 2008, where she has been since then.
Interview with Rita Okoroafor
I am married to a beautiful man, and we are blessed with a beautiful daughter. Writing has always been a passion since I was 5, and I do it along-side my career as an engineer. My favorite author is John Grisham – I love his suspense, intricacies and humanness in his works. No favorite book from him. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of his books that I have read.
It was only when I became a Christian I found there are also Christian authors. I particular enjoy the books by Karen Kingsbury (and she is kind of my role model). I always find a connection with her characters, and I am always taken on a journey when I read her books. One of her books that I have enjoyed is “When Joy Came To Stay”. What Karen made me realize is that my view of the world had been myopic, and she opened my eyes to see that it is possible that people around me could be struggling with one issue or the other.
What’s coming next?
Hmmm…I am currently working on 2 projects. The first is a non-fiction on preparing for marriage. My drive for this is I do not want my “sisters” to make a mistake with marriage by being ignorant of what marriage entails, what baggages need to be dealt with, or what to be looking out for in the man worth spending the rest of one’s life. Even as I write, I am learning of ways to improve my marriage, so I believe married ladies may also benefit.
The second is a fiction, name of novel withheld, but I am trying to see if I can combine a bit of romance with the message I am trying to convey. The main message though is that women are of great worth, and the love and grace of God is available to all of us.
What inspired Against The Perfect Will?
Against The Perfect Will was first written about 10 years ago. I had just finished my undergraduate exams and was awaiting Project defense when I had a powerful boil. In order to do things quickly and cheaply, I picked up some ampiclox that I saw lying in the house and popped them into my mouth. I took about 3 dosages same day then went to bed. During the night, I thought I was going to die. I could feel my bone marrow “freezing” and getting numb. It was only after I came out of this experience did I know the cause – the overdose of expired ampiclox that I took.
As I reflected, I realized that I may not have done a “very bad thing”, but that decision to take the medicine (without even checking the expiry date) could have cost me my life. I realized that it takes only one decision to change one’s life forever, whether to a right course or to a wrong path. Having made this realization, I decided to share it in a story. That is how Against The Perfect Will was born.
When I wrote it, I was not one who was walking with God, hence the story took a different path. It was only after I decided to walk with God, and allow Him direct this story, did Against The Perfect Will turn out the way it did eventually, with a touch of Christianity in it. [Myne Says - Read my review and enter for a chance to win Against The Perfect Will]
Please describe your publishing experience
It took about 10 years between writing and getting it published. I had contacted some publishers within Nigeria to get help with publishing, but it was not leading anywhere. Either I did not get responses to emails, or some say they want to edit the novel, or my calls were not returned. Finally, I made up my mind that if I was not getting help in Nigeria, I needed to contact people outside Nigeria. That was when I stumbled on Word Association. I selected them because they were keen on publishing Christian fiction. And in a matter of 2 months, the story became reality. However, I had to get the book to be edited to “American English” because I had written it in “UK English”.
Who is the main character in Against the Perfect Will?
Omolola Aderemi (also called Lola in the book) is my main character. Lola is an intelligent, talented, focused young girl. She was raised in a Christian home. She is reserved and easy going. She did have her flaws – she was very clingy (she always needed someone by her side), she was a bit of a conservative, and she was totally unprepared for exposure.
She was very close to two people – her father, whom she lost to lung cancer when she turned seventeen, and her best friend Tolu, whom she had known since she was five years old. Lola’s relationship with her mother and siblings was a bit cordial.
Lola had great dreams of becoming a pediatrician. Against the Perfect Will is a story of how here strength of character was tested, and the resulting consequences.
Where can readers buy the book?
The book can be found at amazon.com; barnesandnobles.com. There are both hard copies and soft copies (kindle, nook, etc). In Lagos they can be found at Patabah books (Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Surulere). Some will soon be available at Debonairs Bookstore (294 Herbert Macaulay Street, Sabo, Yaba). For those in Lekki 1, Victoria Island and Ikoyi, I can be contacted directly to pick up copies of the book. There are currently very limited copies in Port Harcourt - to be restocked in 2 weeks time.
Where can you be found online?
My website, twitter @eroinspirations, and my facebook page.