Sunday, March 23, 2014

Author Interview: C M Okonkwo: The XIth Hour: Thirteen Suspects: The Angela Hunter series

C. M. Okonkwo is a Nigerian writer who grew up in Lagos. She started writing short fiction, plays and word games at a young age, but put it on hold when she moved to France in 2005 for her studies. She rekindled her love for writing when she started working on personal projects and ideas for international development, some of which have been recognized. 

Her writing ideas are inspired by her experiences in Nigeria, France, and other countries she has visited. Apart from writing, her other hobbies include dancing, swimming, travelling & touring, playing sudoku/video games, and participating in track & field events. She's also a lover of numbers and some of her characters' names are created with numbers. 

Your real name and pen name?  
My real name is C. M. Okonkwo. 

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood 
Family weekend time: Fridays, movie night; Saturdays, drama/singing rehearsals; and Sundays, swimming :) 

About your education 
I have a first degree in Business Administration and Management, a master's degree in Personnel and Employment Management and an advanced master's degree in International Human Resources Management and Development.  

What career did you plan during your education days 
A career in Human Resources Management and Development. 

What languages you can speak and write? 
English, Igbo and French. 

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life 
God and family.  

What hurts you most in this world 

What is your favorite genre and why? 
I love Mystery/Suspense because it's engaging.  

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing? 
I can't remember exactly what age I started writing, but it was for self expression, and now I write for entertainment.   

Which of your work has been published so far? 
I've published two books and six short stories  

"The XIth Hour" is a (psychological) thriller about a man, Twil Jeafi, who woke up with a sudden type of amnesia. While trying to understand what was going on, he received a phone call from a lady claiming to be his sister. He contacted a third party to help track down the mysterious caller. At the same time, he started having visions and hearing voices, telling him how he can remember his past. The answers he got weren't what he expected but there was no turning back for him.

"Thirteen Suspects" is a murder/mystery book, with a touch of erotica and suspense, about a young student who was murdered in his studio in London. Luckily for him, he made journal entries about all his activities/adventures of the same year. The detectives working his case used the journal to track down thirteen suspects with secret motives, and the killer was eventually caught.  

Short stories: 
"The Angela Hunter series" started off as a short story titled "Closed Door," which tells the story of a teenage girl, Angela, who shared a bathroom with her sister. However, Angela got too frustrated because her sister constantly spent a lot of time locked up in the bathroom. One day, Angela opened the bathroom door and discovered the unimaginable. 
Some readers asked me to make a second part to the story and I did so happily. It's titled "The Confession." There's also a third part "The Pursuit," a fourth, "The Informant," and a fifth, "The Deal." There are two other parts to go ("The Italian" and "Private Eye") before the mystery is solved. Once I start, I can't stop :) 

"Ziora's Surprise" is about a young woman who received a call about an emergency, causing her to leave her house. When she returned home, she met a few too many surprises. 

Ziora's Surprise was a writing challenge with the theme "Surprise." 

What are your forthcoming writings? 
I'm currently working on a new novel titled "The Perfect Finish," and "The Angela Hunter series 2." (No, I haven't had enough of Angela Hunter yet.) 

I'm also passively working on a new novel titled "Playing With Fire." I started it a while back, but I now write every new chapter when singer "Emeka Jayo" releases a new song. It's a personal challenge to create stories from songs, and piece the stories together into a book. The book will be based on his debut album coming out sometime this year, and will be released much later. 

What are your future plans? 
I want to do more writing, and also specialize in Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment as an alternative to the global (youth) unemployment crisis  

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book? 
-At least one crime (oops), 
-Possibility of continuity (I like to leave a story open to a sequel)

Your dream destination on Earth?   
I'm still searching for one 

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?  
I was born in Lagos Island, Nigeria, and I've lived in France. I've visited a couple of European countries and my likes range from warm weather, language, lasagne, spa-town, people, tourists attractions, to annual carnivals, etc.  

Your favorite time of the day? 
Night. I write better when it's quiet. 

Your zodiac/ sunsign? Taurus.

Your favorite color and why? Blue, because I loved it from the first time I saw it.

Your favorite book and why? Hmmm, I'm not sure.

Your favorite celebrity and why? Difficult to say.

Your favorite food? It depends on my mood. 

Some quickies: 
Sun or Moon: Sun 
Laughter or Smile: Both 
Morning or Evening: Evening 
Coffee or Tea: Both 
Mountain or Sea: Sea 
Long Drive or Short Drive: Long Drive 
Silence or Conversation: Conversation 
Water or Fire: Water 
Air or Earth: Earth 
Mars or Jupiter: Mars (the chocolate bar, I mean) 
Tulip or Rose: Rose 
Red or Blue: Blue 
Left or Right: Right 
Glance or Stare: Glance 

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote 
You only live once! 

The last line of your autobiography would be… 
This is just the beginning.

Twitter handle: @CMO2904

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