V.Richardson: Greetings Myne! I am happy to chat with you.
Myne: Thank you for the opportunity Vanessa.
V.Richardson: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Myne: I started writing as a child but only began to save my manuscripts when I was like 20 or so. A Heart to Mend is my first novel. The narrative of AHTM is very instinctive, from my heart and from my head too. I am practically a novice at writing. I entered this writing business, really, from outside. My entire background has been in sciences; I studied biological science for my first degree, then public health research for my masters. I’ve never had any formal training in writing. So what I write is from my own personal makeup, and less from what I have picked up in writing books and online courses, which go more toward the craft of being a writer.
V. Richardson: “A Heart to Mend” is your latest release. What is the synopsis about and how did you come up with the title?
Myne: A Heart to Mend narrates a love story and a journey of self-discovery and the title comes from the main characters who are very cynical about love. Gladys Eborah moves to Lagos from a deprived single-parent home in Enugu, to seek a job. She lives with a formerly estranged aunt who wants to be forgiven and so has the uneasy role of the bridge between both families. A new job and good friends gradually transition Gladys into an independent young woman and then she meets and begins to fall for Edward Bestman.
Edward is handsome, very wealthy, and believes money can buy everything. Though physically attracted to Gladys, he is not ready to give his heart. To make matters worse, Gladys is implicated in a plot to take over his company. Who are these people that want to betray him and destroy their happiness and will Edward trust Gladys enough to give love a chance?
V. Richardson: What do you want readers to take away from “A Heart to Mend?”.
Myne: The novel details how we can be affected by events from our past and how it may limit our opportunities in the present, especially in the area of love and relationships. Gladys obsesses over the divide between her and Edward, while he had barricaded his heart and was not letting anyone in, man or woman. The message is that none of us is perfect but we should be able to keep our heart open for that (sometimes one) person who has enough masking tape to cover our imperfections.
V. Richardson: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Myne: Well I’m not sure about that. But a few of my readers have mentioned that they would have preferred if the business setting of the novel was not so detailed.
V. Richardson: Who are your literary influences? And what books have most influenced your life most?
Myne: I read a lot and have so many authors that I love. They include several Mills and Boons writers, Barbara Cartland, Francine Rivers, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Leon Uris, John Grisham, and Micheal Critchton. And in Africa: the Pacestters writers, African Writers Series, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe, and more recently Chimamanda Adichie and Jude Dibia.
V. Richardson: What have you discovered about yourself on your journey to publication?
Myne: I have discovered a strength and dedication I did not previously know I possessed. I thought, when I became a full time writer that I would lack motivation to finish a novel but I have managed to finish the first and I’m now working on the second. There are also other ideas I am toying with.
V. Richardson: There is always a story behind the author’s works. How do/did you handle rejection (s)?
Myne: It hurts and I may feel discouraged for a while but then I look at the rejection letters again, take a deep breath, and say to myself, "So what do I do next." There may or may not be another step in there, which would be to analyse the work I submitted, to see if it can be improved in any way. It usually can. And then there may be other markets to send them out to.
V. Richardson: What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
Myne: To the aspiring writers, I will say that they should keep at it. A lot of upcoming writers are actually very talented and just have to continue polishing their craft till opportunity knocks. I wish everyone the best. To my fans and readers, I love you all and say a great big THANK YOU!
V. Richardson: Are there any up coming and/or future projects readers should be made aware of?
Myne: I am working on my next novel, titled Ghost of the Past. The novel will be released in February 2011 to be followed by more contemporary African romances.
V. Richardson: How can readers contact you?
Myne: For more info, readers can visit my website at www.mynewhitman.com; Join me at http://www.facebook.com/Myne.Whitman or Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/Myne_Whitman.
From The Heart:
V. Richardson: When life can get a little hectic and you are feeling a little dismayed. How do you find peace in the storm?
Myne: I believe in the power of God to heal our pain and doubt. I usually pray at such times. I also listen to some gospel or soft music and maybe write a little, if there is a manuscript I’m already working on.
V. Richardson: Myne, I truly count it an honor getting to know you and your work. Thank you for sharing yourself and your works with our viewing audience. Greater success to you! As always in closing, continue to inspire as you aspire!
Myne: Thank you so much once again. It has been a pleasure getting to know you too. You’re also an inspiration. God bless you.
ps, watch out for the radio interview coming soon.