Myne Whitman writes a Nigerian love story

MIMI Magazine Blog

My name is Nkem Akinsoto also known as "Myne Whitman." I am a Nigerian writer and blogger whose debut novel A Heart to Mend has just been self published through AuthorHouse. Myne Whitman is a name I coined myself while still in secondary school and is a play on the transliterated words of my maiden name. Personality-wise, I am quiet and laid-back but do like a good loud debate sometimes. In three words, I will describe myself as friendly, caring and fun-loving. I have been a teacher, NGO consultant, banker, skate-hire attendant, researcher and government worker. After a postgrad degree and a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, I now live in the United States with my husband.

On Writing ... I have been writing for a very long time. Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of holding a book in my hands with my name on the cover as the author. I prefer to write in the romance genre and would describe my writing style as direct and simple. I prefer using short sentences and lots of dialogue to tell a story. I like to think that this style is tailored to the situations I'm writing about and will carry my audience on the fluid journey of reading my books. I find inspiration from my life, people around me and stories in the news, movies or books; my imagination just feeds on it.

On Blogging ... Some members of my writing group had blogs where they shared excerpts of their work. They advised that I could start one to get more feedback on the story I was writing then, and to know when it's ready for the market. I began a small blog on the Nigeria Village Square before moving to the Myne Whitman Writes blog. Blogging as a writer has been amazing and I got overwhelming response to the excerpts of a Heart to Mend which added to my decision to self publish. I have now established the blog as a story and writing site and have opened it up to other budding writers.

On The Book ... 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. Coming up with the title was an iterative process. It started as Not the end of the Road, Unfinished Business before we decided on A Heart To Mend.

On Self Publishing ... I decided to self publish because I heard some good stories about the process and how it can be successful if you apply yourself. I felt I could follow the route since I was now a full time writer. To prepare, I began some free online courses and workshops for Creative Writing and Fiction from the University of Utah, MIT, Open University UK and Suite 101 which are still ongoing. I also joined a writing meet-up group in my area and became a blogger. All this helped to polish my manuscript which was finally edited by my husband who is a talented writer too. When I was ready, I chose Author House because I read several good things about them and they have met those so far.

On The Future ... I definitely plan on writing more books. I am currently working on another romantic suspense manuscript which I hope will be published before the end of the coming year. I will continue producing the Blogsville Interactive Story which has shown me so much talent and given me some ideas to play with.

Final Words ... A writer has to persevere, have a story they want to share and push till it's in a form others can understand and appreciate. I wish everyone the best.


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