Discussing AHTM with the African Diaspora

Veronica Henry (MyAfricandiaspora.com)

Myne Whitman is the author of new novel, “A Heart to Mend”. We sat down with Myne to talk about the novel, her characters and her writing inspiration.

1. When did you begin writing and why?

I have been writing for a very long time, ever since I was a child and always dreamed of holding a book in my hands with my name on the cover as the author. I think it comes from my very vivid and extensive imagination and from the thousands of books I read. So I was first a reader. The earliest novel I recall writing was of children’s adventures while I was in secondary school. It was a mixture of the sort of stories I read from Enid Blyton and my own experiences travelling to my hometown for the Christmas breaks with my family. I was also not a big talker and so my personality was expressed in my writings. I wrote of the sort of scrapes and adventures I got into and I felt my siblings and friends would enjoy reading about.

2. Tell me about how the idea for the novel formed?

First and foremost I wanted to write a story of love and finding oneself. A lot of the themes handled in A Heart to Mend are motivated by events or stories I’ve heard or read about in real life. 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.

3. What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?

The challenge especially writing in the romance genre is finding a fresh story that makes the journey pleasurable and engaging for the readers. Putting together an emotional, character-driven conflict that provides tension and excitement, knowing that there is a fixed ‘happy-ever-after’ ending. Also, creative writing is not easy as I realized when I compared some of my short stories and scripts with what was already available. So I had to get training to improve.

4. Do you share any character traits with your main character?

LOL…no. None of my characters is based on me or anyone I know in particular but on a cumulative of my experience. They’re just people of my imaginings and are therefore may seem free from some of the usual constraints we real persons face. However, since I try to make my stories as real as possible, they also share our fears and hopes, our victories and our pain. If you look closely, you may even recognize one or more of them.

5. What’s on your current or future reading list?

There are several books. I am currently reading the Dome by Stephen King and Keeper of Secrets by Anjuelle Floyd. Future reading include The thing around your neck by Chimaanda Adichie, 26A by Diana Evans, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover.

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