Today, Creative Writing News plays host to Nigerian author, Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu. This is the first of all the ten stops in her week-long online book tour. You can read the tour schedule HERE. Now, please join us as we listen to readings from her Modern African literature novel titled The Domestication Of Munachi.
I enjoyed reading this fantastic novel. And I’ve been looking forward to this book tour, much like everyone else who has read the book. Most of us have questions for her. Others might become more curious after they’ve listened to the audio and read excerpts. And thankfully, Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu will be here to answer your questions.
For the benefit of those who haven’t read the book, we’ll start by giving a quick summary of the plot. Scroll further down to hear Ifesinachi reading from The Domestication of Munachi. Write your questions in the comments section. Join in the discussion with the author. Share. Invite your friends. Enter fro the rafflecopter draw by clicking and participating in the tour. Triple your chances of winning by ordering a copy.
On a hot Sunday afternoon years ago…
…Two sisters walk in on their father’s sexual liaison with the family’s hired help which leaves them both scarred in different ways.
Unable to bear the thought of marriage to a man she barely knows, the younger and more adventurous one, Munachi, runs away from home on the eve of her traditional marriage, unwittingly resurrecting a long buried feud between her religious mother and eccentric aunty. This conflict leaves a door open for the family’s destruction.
The Domestication of Munachi (DOM) is a novel about the unnecessary pressure on women to take on life partners, regardless of who these partners are and the psychological impacts seen through the stories of two sets of sisters—Munachi and Nkechi versus Chimuanya and Elizabeth.
Listen To Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu read from Page 87 of The Domestication Of Munachi
Let’s chat with the author for a while
CWN: Take us through your journey to publication with Parresia Press.
Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: I had been writing and developing myself in the best way I could through workshops and trainings, and I thought to myself that I would like to get published someday. When I received a call (was it a call or an email?) from Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi asking if I had a manuscript to submit, I was pretty excited. I mentioned that I had started working on an idea, and she was kind of enough to give me time to work on it and send across for consideration. I was really pleased. I had to stay committed to finishing it in time and sending to the Parresia team. That was the beginning of the long but exciting journey.
CWN: How long did it take you to write The Domestication of Munachi? Did you encounter doubts and fears? How did you overcome them?
Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: DOM took a little over a year to write. Many times I left the manuscript for fear and doubt that it would turn out wishy-washy. Other times, I was too tired to write. Another fear was the faith in the book distribution network in Nigeria. I kept thinking ‘what if I put in all this effort into this and nobody reads or it does not get into the hands of potential readers?’ The thought came on so strongly many times, but I kept thinking: if one person reads it and gets something out of it, that would make all the difference. The determination to reach that one person, who of course was faceless at the time of writing the manuscript, spurred me on.
My husband and mother were also big motivations. They kept asking how the book was going; when it would finish…Their questions just kept coming. At some point I advised myself that if I wanted to avoid those increasingly embarrassing questions, I would just have to finish it!
CWN: You write a lot of short fiction, screenplays and even copy. Was there a difference in the writing process for this novel and other fiction projects you worked on in the past?
Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: Not really. I think my own writing customised process is the same for all kinds of content though their formats differ. I work on a synopsis or the main idea, introduce the main character’s goals and antagonist or oppositions to the goals. Then I map out a working treatment before I start working on any writing work. It’s much easier for me this way. I hardly go straight to writing except I have gone through this process of internalizing who and what the main idea or story is about. In fact, I think the time taken is 70% planning and 30% writing.
Here’s another reading from Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu’s The Domestication Of Munachi Page 130.
Click to Download Excerpt (Book Reading Transcript) page 130
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Now leave your questions in the comments section. And don’t forget to join the tour tomorrow on brittlepaper.com and magunga.com.