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Hello Unyime-Ivy King. Please tell us more about you.
I am a passionate wife to my loving husband of 10 years, Ubong King, mother of 4 fledglings, author/blogger, who loves the Lord and is not ashamed to proclaim this on the roof tops, if I must. I am reserved, but friendly/approachable, and love to make friends, one person at a time. Writing for me, has been a childhood passion, as I started writing stories from the Nursery school, but never got published until now. I graduated from the Federal University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State with a BA honors degree in English from the Faculty of Arts, went on to pursue certifications in Screen Writing from the Emem Isong led, Royal Arts Academy, and in Media Enterprises from the LBS School of Media and Communication, Lagos. I have worked with some media establishments in the past as a reporter, staff writer and Associate editor and my articles have been published in these media: Vanguard Media Limited, Midweek Spring Newspapers in Osogbo, TW magazine , Green Pastures Magazine, Security and Safety Magazine. My first novel, Burning Hurt, was recently published by AuthorHouse UK. I am also honing my skills as a writer on my own blog: http://unyime-ivy.blogspot.com. Presently, I work with Protection Plus Services Limited as the Executive Director Communications.
Congratulations on your new book, how does it feel seeing your book on the shelves in stores?
Thanks Shola. At the moment, I only have the books available in on line stores, but the hard copies will be available shortly as well. I feel excited that a dream I have nurtured from childhood, has finally found expression and I am grateful to God for enabling me to publish this novel, knowing that it will give rise to yet many more books.
What is Burning Hurt all about?
Burning Hurt is the story of a young girl, Itohowo, who grew up in a dysfunctional home. Her father, Ekanem dies after being poisoned at a bar, and her mother, in an unexpected move, quickly re-marries her late husband’s friend, Sunday, and this gives room for a lot of suspicions regarding her, and Sunday’s culpability in Ekanem’s death. Itohowo is forced, by circumstances and personal challenges at home, to find succor in her friendship with Daniel, a rich heir, with a playboy reputation, whose relationship with his father is very shaky. In no time, they become lovers, and the relationship results in an unexpected pregnancy which Daniel ends up denying responsibility for. Forced to leave home after she breaks the news to her mum and the man she thinks is her step father, Itohowo goes to leave with a maternal aunt, Ikwo, has the baby, but loses him a few months later. The pain of her loss, drives her to strip naked, and with the dead baby in her arms, she curses Daniel and declares that he would never have children. After the loss, fresh problems arise. Edem, her aunt’s husband, makes sexual overtures, and while rebuffing his amorous advances, aunt Ikwo walks in on them, and without asking for an explanation, drives Itohowo away from her house. A chanced encounter with a stranger on the road, brings her in contact with the man, who later becomes her husband. Itohowo’s life seems to have taken a turn for the better; she gives birth to two children, and brings her siblings to live with her in the city. Life is good, but she is still haunted by nightmares of her past as she refuses to let go of past hurts and disappointments. Daniel on the other hand, gets married too, after he turns a new leaf and becomes a christian, but he and his wife are unable to have children. He too, is tormented by nightmares of his past and not until he and Itohowo meet again in very intriguing circumstances, and she is compelled to forgive his past misdeeds, does he become truly free from the torments of the past, and also from the curse of childlessness. Itohowo, in freeing and forgiving Daniel, also frees herself to soar. The story of BH is set in the Southern part of Nigeria, and is rich with portraitures of the language/culture of the peoples from this part of the country.
How has been the feedback?
So far, the feedback has been quite encouraging from friends, and from total strangers. When BH first came out, I received an in box message on Facebook from a woman I respect, and have admired from a distance, but never related with, who is an Associate professor of a University in Arizona, who had seen the book on Amazon, commending me on the work. This, and other unexpected commendations from total strangers, makes me feel that it has been worth it; but I am also open to positive/constructive criticism that will not just help me with the revised edition of the novel, but with subsequent novels as well. I see myself as a naivete in this business of becoming a published author and I want to learn as much as I can, using BH as a test run for other works that will come from my stables
Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book to advocate for a return to the good, old fashion values of chastity before marriage, strong family bonds, which births strong people of character, respect for the aged, and communal accountability. I also want to show that for every action we take in life, there is usually a ripple effect. I want the message of this book to serve as some sort of deterrent to young/old people out there, who think that illicit sexual activities with several sexual partners, as a way of sowing their wild oats, depicts coolness. I want to show that it is not cool, and could be a potential land mine of problems in future. Like I wrote in the preamble, the repercussions of some of our negative/ill-advised actions may not always play out, the way it did in this story, but I want as many people as read BH to realize that, we ought to be be careful with how we live our lives, and what we do with our lives because we will definitely reap what we sow. I want to portray the invaluable benefits of having a strong support network, by way of friends with good, strong values as this could influence some of the decisions we make in life. Above all that, I also want people to take this away from the book-that the mercies and grace of the Lord, when we turn away from our evil deeds, are sure and available to all who turn to Him.
What was your biggest challenge in writing and publishing this book?
The discipline of having to sit down and actually write, because I had the whole story in my head, (Laughs).
Apart from your writing skills what other skills and knowledge have been of help in achieving this?
As children, my siblings and I got introduced to reading books very early, and we learned a lot from reading books of stories from around the world, this helped to pave the way for this. Also, apart from my degree in English, I have acquired additional knowledge in the areas of script writing for the screen, and media enterprises. Some of those courses also included classes in creative writing, which helped me a lot. Also, I am a student of the school of life, and I try to draw lessons from events and people around me. If you visit my Facebook page, you will see a lot of status updates on the lessons life has taught me. This has been invaluable in helping me with some of the thoughts in my book
What is a typical writing day like for you?
It’s funny, but when I want to write, especially when I was working on the manuscript for BH, I’d first write long hand, before I have it typed out. It is now, that I am training myself to just write straight, by typing my articles on my PC. My writing pattern too is very interesting. I can sit down all day, and just focus on writing several pages and chapters, and then for weeks, I will not touch the story again, until the writing itch bites (laughs). So, I’d say that a typical writing day for me, would be a whole day, spent writing/typing away on my PC.
So many women dream of writing a book someday, is having a story idea enough to do that?
Having a story idea is an important first step, but beyond that, the idea needs to be fleshed out. This is where the hard work comes in, because each day, as you study and research a bit more, you expand on the initial idea and in no time, you see your story idea unfold and take on life.
What is the overall message you hope readers get from reading your book?
There is a whole lot to learn from BH. Apart from the cultural inferences, I explored the themes of unforgiveness and how it keeps us bound, the redeeming power that is inherent in not only human love, but divine love as well, and the immense support that we can get from positive friendships with others. The overall message I want to pass across is that, we must be careful with our actions/choices in life, as they could make or mar our lives.
Where can we get more details about your book
The books are available on line in all these book selling sites and more:
AUTHORHOUSE, BARNES & NOBLE ,AMAZON, EBAY, KOBO BOOKS, SCRIBD, BOOKTOPIA, INDIGO POWELLS, ALLBOOKSTORES, BETTERWORLDBOOKS, FOYLES, Abe BOOKS http://bit.ly/QBGYsr.
My facebook page, www.facebook.com/UIvyKing, also has details about my book; My website is under construction and will be live in the next few weeks. Readers can get the books from my site as soon as it is up.