As a person of Nigerian descent I have always been irritated by the way we are portrayed in the media. It’s either as criminals who are up to scams or as starving victims who lack basics such as food and education. While I am not saying that Nigeria is perfect, of course we have our issues but what the world does not get to see are the stories of up and coming professionals doing great things in the country. Ekene Onu covers this perfectly in her self published debut novel, The Mrs Club which was released back in 2008. I came across it back in 2007 by the lovely Ronke Lawal when Ekene was publishing installments on her website. I was instantly hooked and could not wait to get stuck into the whole story. I purchased it from amazon last year and I can safely say that The Mrs Club proved to be as fantastic as I hoped it would. Ekene really has a wonderful writing style that makes addictive reading and she has a talent for bringing her characters to life. She is currently working on the follow up to The Mrs Club and when she is not doing that she is working as a motivational speaker and has also written a book about it. I caught up with her where she gave me the lowdown on her book.
Describe your book in a few sentences.
My first novel The Mrs Club is a story about three Nigerian American women dealing with the notions and realities surrounding love, relationships and marriage.
How long did it take you to write it?
Honestly, it’s hard to say, but I started thinking about book when I was home on maternity leave, and probably started writing officially the following year, so I’d say about a year or so.
Why did you choose to go down the road of self publishing?
To be honest, I wanted to learn about the publishing business and I figured publishing myself would be a great teaching experience. After the fact, I got an offer to publish that I considered and rejected but sometimes I wonder if that wouldn’t have been the easier path.
What do you think of the way indie and self published authors are perceived now?
I think it depends on the quality and virility of your content and how effective your marketing and public relations strategy is.
How did you market your book?
My book The Mrs Club while having universal themes and concerns in many ways it was a tailored to a niche audience, so I was able to rely heavily on word of mouth within the community and also I hired a PR company to position me and my book with the right media outlets in Nigeria.
What part does Social Media play in spreading awareness about your book?
Social media is huge. I have only tapped into a very small portion of the potential but I still connect to my audience through Facebook, Twitter etc. I am releasing the e-book of The Mrs Club soon and my new novel, Aristocrat Wives is coming out early 2013 and then I intend to use social media to create more buzz and engagement.
You can follow Ekene on Twitter.