Interview Thursday

StandTall the Activist

Myne Whitman is her pseudonym, she is proudly Nigerian with a new hot must read book " Heart to Mend" currently in the market. She stays and work in the States but with yearning for change and unconditional love in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. And given the fact Myne Whitman just granted blogger FFF and bookaholic intensive interviews, I expected her to say no to mine but she did not, that shows how committed and hardworking a writer Myne Whitman is.

Can you briefly tell us more about your new book " Heart to Mend" and how accessible it is to buyers?

The book is about two people, Edward and Gladys, who meet and are attracted to each other almost immediately, but have difficulty in resolving their feelings, especially because of Edward’s past and other twists. The concept for "A Heart To Mend" is from the theme of unconditional love which has always interested me. I also felt that there were not were not enough romance novels set in contemporary Nigeria, and that I could do something to redress that. It is currently available online on Amazon US, UK and Canada as well as Barnes and Nobel, Borders and Autographed copies can be obtained from my website.

Is there a concrete gender dimension to " Heart to mend"?
There is indeed a gender dimension to the book. It is a romantic love story that explores the relationship between the male and female gender especially when the man is of the high income class as opposed to the lady. How does this affect their interactions and how others view them and their perceived future. In one of the subplots, Gladys aunt was treated as chattel by her late husband who dictated what she could do and who she could relatewith. We also see how she coped with this and how things may have changed from that generation to what obtains in the present.

There are many women/girls that inspire to publish their work as writers, any advice to how to achieve this dream?
One of the most important is being able to outline your goals. What is your plan towards achieving this dream or vision? Once you know this, then a lot of discipline and perseverance is necessary to achieve them.

What distinguishes a good writer?
A good writer I think is relative, it depends on who is reading. I have read bestsellers that did nothing for me, and obscure stories I could never forget. It may also have to do with audience, so the writer has to know who they're writing for and strive to remain in touch with them. This enables their stories to remain something that readers can relate to.

Part of security issues faced by women all over the world is sexual and gender-based violence, do you think short stories or novels on these issues can help address this scourge?
I think they do. Art is supposed to imitate life and also to mirror it and we know what happens when we can see ourselves in a glass. It provides a moment of reflection and I think that is what these short stories and novels do. In some cases, the people involved can actually do something to change or affect change in the issues addressed.

What other avenue can be explored to address sexual and gender-based violence against women?
Activism is one strong avenue and the more people that begin to speak out and start conversations about this sort of violence, the better. The effects will be laid bare for all involved, both the perpetrators and the victims and maybe they'll begin to make the right choices.

What change do you wish to see in Africa in 2010?
I want to see more development and I want I want it to be a faster one too. I wish for a change for the better in governance but I doubt this is a prerequisite for the first one so I'll just keep my fingers crossed.


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