Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Interview with D.U. Okonkwo, author of Rise

Born and raised in London, D. U. Okonkwo writes commercial literary fiction. She graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc in Business with Spanish which included an ERASMUS exchange living in Salamanca, Spain. RISE is her first novel.
To learn more about D. U. Okonkwo, visit her website at: www.duokonkwo.com  She is also on Twitter @duosays, and keeps a blog at www.duosblog.com

Connect with D.U.:
Author Website:  www.duokonkwo.com
Author Blog: www.duosblog.com

About The Book


Author: D.U. Okonkwo
Publisher: A Few Words Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Pages: 292
ISBN:   978-0993161711 (Paperback) /  978-0993161704 (eBook)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Format: eBook (.mobi / Kindle), ePub, PDF

Buy The Book:

The extraordinary story of how a facially-scarred and reclusive sculptress breaks free upon discovering the true source of self-esteem.

Riana “Ria” Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially-scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. But when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love for sculpting, a well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract however, she finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. And with malicious lies, he intends make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, for the first time, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Rise is a mainstream / literary novel about a facially-scarred and reclusive sculptress who breaks free upon discovering the true source of self-esteem.

Why did you write your book?

The book chose me. Literally. The idea came into my head and refused to leave.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The main character, Ria Ofor, is a gifted sculptress, who, because she was left with burn scars after a childhood accident, is a semi-recluse. This has affected many of the decisions she’s made in life. More specifically, her image has prevented her from fully exploding her artistic talents. Fearful of being rejected by her peers, who display their work in galleries worldwide, she only sells her work online where she can’t be seen. Its’ only when financial troubles hit her that she must venture into the public art world and sell her artistic creations.

Ria has a strong network of family and friends around her however, and it is them who encourage her to break out of her shell. In order to reach her full potential however, it is not only encouraging and supportive words from family and friends that set Ria on her journey to being who she was always meant to be, but understanding the forces that have really driven her to where she is today.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Nope, none of the characters are based on anyone I know. They’re all from my imagination.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I write a very (rough) outline before I start. This ensures that I have a beginning, middle and an end. I also do a bullet point of what I want to happen in each chapter. This helps me to stay focused. I often veer off course, unfortunately, but this is where the editing process comes in.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Ria’s story is set in London, where I grew up. It’s a backdrop, but it doesn’t play a major part.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I’ve suffered from a creative lapse; I don’t believe in writer’s block! But thankfully in a day or so I was back on track.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Definitely the opportunities that digital publishing offers. Indie publishing has empowered authors to give readers a wide variety of books at affordable prices. We can publish what we want, and when.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

Hmm, not sure to be honest. I think just creating a product that you are proud of and blesses others is pivotal.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

1. Read a lot
2. Try to write the best book that you can
3. Learn about the industry so that you can make an informed decision on how to get your books to readers.
4. Share what you learn with other authors.

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