At what point in life did you decide to become an author, Unoma? In terms of being an author, how do you define success? Have you achieved it?
Ans: Great question. I always answer this question by saying I didn’t decide on living purposefully through my writing intentionally. It wasn’t something I told myself I would do. I was “pushed” into living on purpose. It came after a life threatening incident I was involved in in 2012. When I recovered, the question that nagged me was “If I had met my Savior then, would He tell me well done for using my talents?” My answer was a resounding NO. So began the journey of conquering my fears. Writing is my ministry so success to me would be introducing and bringing people to Christ and getting that sweet royalty check while doing it. Have I achieved it? I believe I have.
Do you use your life experiences to influence your writing? In what way?
Ans: Not my life experiences but things from my surroundings that have shaped my view on life. A huge part of that is my culture. You see I’m a Nigerian-American. I was born in Akron Ohio, grew up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and now reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I am what is termed a Nigerian in Diaspora. There are certain things that are unique to us either in living abroad or returning home. I share those experiences through my characters are always returnees or new immigrants.
What genre do you write and how or why did you choose that particular genre?
Ans: I write Christian fiction with a sub-genre of romance. The genre I would write in was a no brainer for me as I love sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. However I’m also introverted so I use my writing to say things I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable saying. Coupled with the fact that I’m a sucker for happily ever after, you have Christian fiction romance. My own uniqueness comes from the pieces of my African culture I throw into the mix.
With all the roles you fill, how do you manage to keep all the balls in the air?
Ans: I don’t think it is possible on any given day to keep all the balls in the air. The trick, my trick is not to let one ball stay on the ground for too long. So when deadlines for my manuscript loom close, I am not the perfect mother…kids eat a lot of pizza. When the manuscript is done, perfect mommy hat comes on and my promotion or plotting might suffer but no ball suffers consistently for a long period.
What is a normal day for you?
Ans: My normal day starts at 5 am with prayers. Then I make breakfast and lunches and the kids and I are out of the house at 720am. I get to work an hour later and end the day at 5pm, home, dinner, homework, family time and everyone is in bed by 9pm. Then my author/entrepreneurial hat comes on until midnight….then the next day, we do it all over again.
What would be a perfect day for you?
Ans: My perfect day would be like my normal days except I work for myself full time.
You’ve inherited 10 acres of land and the money to create your own world, what are the first 3 things you create?
Ans: A home that can accommodate extended family (just for a couple of days) :-), a writing shed/office and a playground for my kids.
Most of us have held other ‘day jobs’ before embarking on our current careers. How did your previous employment help prepare you for your current position?
Ans: Actually, I’m still employed at my day job. That is something I hope to rectify soon…lol. My day job entails people and project management and that helps when I am laying out plans and goals for my writing and publishing needs.
If you had to hire someone write for you for an extended period, what are the top 3 skills they would need?
Ans: Ha! Simple, the person would have to be a believer, a romantic at heart and know or be able to properly research African culture.
Do you believe that your work impacts your community or society? If so, in what way?
Ans: Yes but in a unique way. Apart from ministering and providing entertainment, my aim in writing is to educate people about Africa, especially my home country Nigeria. I’ve received numerous emails thanking and appreciating the effort I put into painting a picture they never knew existed. When you read my books you’re taken on a journey to Africa, where the culture may differ but the universal theme of faith, hope & love prevail.
Looking from the outside in, what would like for people to realize about what you do?
Ans: At the surface, I am a wife, mom and author but that is not all I do. I am also the Chief Operating Officer of my own Christian entertainment company KevStel Group LLC. KevStel group is a company my husband and I own. I take care of a lot of the administrative stuff and running of the day to day operations. In this year, I am actively working on a script for our sophomore movie.
How can our readers follow and or get in touch with you? (Website, email, blog, etc.)
Ans: website www.unwankwor.com
Thank you, Unoma, for spending time sharing your passion and your purpose with our readers!