Without further ado:
Me: First, the most basic of questions: where did the idea for your book come from? Was there a particular moment of inspiration?
Myne: I witnessed some ethnic conflict in Nigeria while I lived there, and had often wondered how this might affect a budding romantic relationship. I’ve wanted to explore heartbreak, and the feeling of betrayal too. So this was an opportunity to combine both. The major arch over my stories though, is to follow the Hero/heroine through a loving relationship through which they can discover themselves and become better people at the end.
Me: What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter? A pantser? Something in between?
Myne: I am a bit of both. At the beginning of a story, I like to plot out the direction of the story, what happens at particular times. After that it’s by the seat of my pants.
Me: I’ve always found that the first draft is the easiest to write. What about you? What’s your editing process like?
Myne: The first draft is definitely the easiest for me too. It comes in torrents and I just have to get it out. I wish it were acceptable to publish first drafts, lol. Seriously though, that is my most honest work. The editing is more tedious, and some of the cutting process can be painful when I have to remove parts I considered so important to the story. But it has to be done. In fact, while I can finish a first draft in a couple of months, it takes another six months or more to finish the editing.
Me: Is romance the only genre you write?
Myne: For now and for my novels, yes. I’m also trying to get into writing short stories which can be in any genre, or mainstream literary.
Me: What’s your worst habit as a writer? How do you combat it?
Myne: I think it has to be procrastination. Once I get a block, I usually take time off. The bad habit is that even when the story starts coming back, I become too lazy to jump back into it with the same energy. What I do is to keep small notes and write down thoughts so that when I do start writing, nothing is forgotten, and it hopefully goes faster.
Me: Tell me, how different was your final draft from your first? How long did it take until it was “ready”?
Myne: The final draft is a lot different. I had to add a new character to tighten the story, and also introduced a couple of plot points. These entailed numerous new scenes, and a reorganization of the whole book. It then took 8 months to polish the manuscript till I was happy enough to let it go. To be completely honest, as a creator, I find that left to me I could continue editing my works. But after the editor was happy with it, and I was only making changes at word levels, I knew it was time.
Me: What was it like publishing your work for the first time? How did it affect your life?
Myne: I think having a blog was the first step, especially because I shared excerpts of the WIP as a series. This led me naturally to consider self-publishing and it has been great so far. I always feel exciting receiving the proof copy of my books, and then I have to read it cover to cover. I have become a better writer, met some great friends, and developed a very helpful network that I never imagined.
Me: Unfair question time: who are your favorite authors?
Myne: This is very unfair. I have read so many books and love so many authors. Some of them are Sidney Sheldon, Nora Roberts, Jodi Picoult, Khalid Husseni, Chimamanda Adichie, Francine Rivers, Frank Peretti, Barbara Kingslover, among others.
Me: Who has influenced you as a writer (not necessarily any writers/authors, but the also the people close to you)?
Myne: This goes to my husband, and the love of my life. He has given me the freedom to pursue this passion of mine, and also supports me in the writing too. He is a writer, and is my first beta reader. I also run plot ideas by him and he critiques my stories. I look forward to when we can write a book together.
Me: When you’re not writing or reading, what’s your favorite thing to do?
Myne: I watch a lot of TV and movies. I also enjoy taking walks.
Me: When things are bleak, what keeps you writing?
Myne: The stories, and the characters. They also cheer me up as I write.
Me: Any advice for those of us who are still unpublished?
Myne: I say keep writing, and keep polishing what you write. Try to join a critique group and don’t be reticent to send out your work to beta readers, or agents. There are now so many opportunities for writers to get published, make sure to research them and find the one that works for you. I wish everyone the best.
Thanks again for the interview, Myne! It was a lot of fun to look at someone else's writing process. Enjoy A LOVE REKINDLED, available now!