In My Neighborhood today is Unoma Nwankwor , an Akron, Ohio born author who spent her childhood and early adulthood years in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s degree in Global Management. She is the multi-published of several books and is also the recipient of the 2015 Nigerian Writer’s Award for Best Faith Based Fiction Writer. Her work has appeared in Africa Book Club, USA Today HEA blog and The Kenyan E-zine; Wamathai. Her stories are described as a fusion of faith, romance and African spice. Unoma is also the co-owner of KevStel Group LLC and resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and two children.
Let’s get to know a little more about Unoma Nwankwor:
FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?
UN: Descriptive, persuasive, cultural, entertaining.
FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain.
UN: There are two things I must do before I write a book. Create a character profile and outline the story. My outlines are not rigid but they give me a general guideline.
FF: Why do you write books?
UN: Simple, I write to spread the good news of the gospel while entertaining and educating my readers about the continent of African especially my home country Nigeria.
FF: What genre do you write in? Which genre is your favorite?
UN: I write Christian Fiction with romance as a sub-genre. I also read in those genres, Christian and Romantic fiction.
FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.
UN: I have a full time job in addition to my writing and family obligations so I can’t even imagine an ideal place to write. I have to get it in when I can. However in another life, it will be a beach front villa where the waves of the ocean will serve as my white noise. Funny, I think I’m one of the rare group of writers that can’t write in silence.
FF: Tell us about your current book.
UN: My book He Changed My Name was released in February 2016. It tells the story of an unlikely pair. An embattled pop star, Ayanti and a pastor Mensah. The couple meet when the Ayanti is sentenced to community service in the Mensah’s church. He helps her through her issues of un-forgiveness and hopelessness while she opens his heart to the amazing possibilities of finding love in unlikely places. One reviewer called it a “Gratifying love story of forgiveness and redemption.”
FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?
UN: Take a moment to absorb the atmosphere and give thanks to God.
FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?
UN: New York
FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?
UN: Coca Cola & Coffee
FF: Are you a early bird or night owl?
UN: Night Owl. People run away from me in the morning…LOL
FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?
UN: My writing bestie, Nigeria Lockley. She and I have common thoughts but write from different perspectives so it would be great to put that in a work of fiction.
FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?
UN: Gifts, thank you cards and birthday shout outs especially when they are unexpected.
FF: What advice would you give your younger self?
UN: “It” will come. Enjoy the season you are in. I always had a knack for eagerly awaiting the next step of my life that I never stopped to enjoy my process.
FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?
UN: This may be sound cliché but nothing. Everything in my life brought me to where I am at this point in my life.
FF: What is your motto for life and career?
UN: I’ll never be able to give 100% in all areas of my life at the same time. I have long laid down that expectation. My motto is not to allow any one area to suffer for too long. As a wife, mom, author, career woman and entrepreneur. All areas will not get 100% of me at all times but my goal is not to allow any specific area to suffer too long.
FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?
UN: My favorite quote is one by Laurel Bleadon-Maffei “I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go.”
FF: Thanks for the interview.
UN: Thanks for having me.
To learn more about Unoma Nwankwor and to purchase any of her titles visit her at