My Sunday Sun Feature - Author Q&A
I had this interview some months ago with Sola Ojikutu and it has just been published on the Sunday Sun newspaper (June 17, Pg 46). Two of my friends gave me the pleasant surprise of getting pictures and uploading them on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you guys, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday, everyone.
Myne Whitman is the author of two romance novels, ‘A Heart to Mend’, and ‘A Love Rekindled’, and, if I may be so daring as to say so, the resurrector of the romance genre in modern Nigerian literature. Her achievements go far beyond being a Kindle UK bestseller, as in years since her inspired contributions on the Narialand forum – where I first chanced upon her – she has helped aspiring Nigerian writers find an audience through her websites, Mynewhitmanwrites and Naijastories. As she launches volume one of the Naija Stories anthology: ‘Of Tears and Kisses, Heroes and Villains’, Myne takes time out to share her thoughts on how she’s spectacularly exceeded her modest forecast of selling a hundred copies of her first book; the hi-falutin minds of the Nobel Prize panel; and The Road that, sadly, remains famished despite having claimed the Booker Prize.
Which of your major characters would you like to be trapped on a desert island with?
I find Kevwe, the main character in my second novel, A Love Rekindled, very intriguing. He’s strong and at the same time is very open with his emotions, not afraid to admit he’s sensitive, something most men are loath to do. I’ll definitely like to spend some more time with him.
What is the first thing you remember writing?
Apart from the usual compositions in primary school, I remember writing short stories about two girls getting into adventures during travels with their parents in Nigeria. I must have been between 10 and 13 then. Unfortunately, since we moved cities and homes, I don’t know where those early writings are now.
Where/when or with whom have you been most impressed to see a copy of your work?
Since I sold more than 100 copies of my first book, A Heart to Mend, I’m impressed each time I find that another of my books has sold. That was the number of followers on my blog, and the figure I gave my partner when he asked for a realistic estimate before we embarked on the publishing journey. Since then AHTM has gone on to become a Kindle UK bestseller with over 20,000 copies downloaded. Now that is amazing!
What one book by another author do you wish you’d written?
I’m lucky not to have that feeling about books. I thrive on variety and on prisms. I crave different sides to many views, but I have only experienced so much, or know so little. So for me, books are a way to reach out and embrace the world through the eyes and minds of various authors. The book wouldn’t be same if I had written it, and I don’t wish I had.
Name one author that you consider overrated.
This seems disrespectful, but did The Famished Road really win that award?
Achebe or Soyinka?
I may be a bit biased since I recently met Wole Soyinka at the 2010 Garden City Literary Festival. Anyway, it’s been years since I read any of their literature, and it was mostly for school coursework. I’ve read their essays more recently, and both are minds we need to pay attention to. In terms of what each is doing, I’ll say they are on different sides of the divide; Soyinka is more political while Achebe stays truer to the pen.
Read the complete interview on Sola Ojikutu's blog.