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Gist Express: Tell us about yourself?
Myne: Myne Whitman is my pen name. I was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, where I spent most of my time, studying, reading and daydreaming or climbing trees and playing with the boys. After a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, I now live with my husband in Seattle, USA. I critique with the Seattle Eastside Writers Meet-up and I’m also a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.
The Pacific Northwest of America is a great place to live in the summer but during the drizzling winter rains, I find myself dreaming of long, hot, Nigerian days and the red palm oil of Banga Soup. A self-confessed adrenaline junkie, I love theme park rides and my wildest ride yet would be the Simpsons at Universal studios, Hollywood. Or maybe it was that reverse bungee jump I did in Scotland, hmm…lol.
In addition to writing popular fiction to get people reading, I am passionate about using the internet and social media to promote the book industry and literacy levels in Nigeria. To this end, I facilitated a session, “Social Media and the Book Publishing Industry”, for the Publisher’s Forum at the 2010 Garden City Literary Festival, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Gist Express: Why the use of a “pen name”?
Myne: I coined my first pen name when I began to write fiction seriously in secondary school. Most of the books I read were in English, and since I was writing in English too, I decided my name would be the same. Also, it sparked the creative side of me that I could make up a name for myself to use whenever I liked. So the pseudonym is a play on the transliterated words of my maiden name, Nkem Okotcha. As a published author, I chose to use this form of my name because it gives me some privacy, and also to meet the demands of my split career in public health and writing.
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