Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Elsie Ijorogu-Reed

I have a special treat for all of you today Author Elsie Ijorogu-Reed is here today answering some questions about her book, Love me Mama: The Unfavored Child. It's a little different than the normal romance and YA authors I have on the blog, but the concept of this story really intrigued me, and I wanted to share it. Enjoy!

Tell us about your newest release. Feel free to include a short excerpt/blurb.

There’s a strong and well-proven link between parental favoritism and the abuse suffered by the unfavored child. In an emotive and insightful new book, the unfavored child’s story is told with frank and raw honest. Love Me Mama: The Unfavored Child will resonate with parents and adults around the world. This book is a story of an unfavored child called Victoria. Vicky suffered because of the favoritism her mother showed among her four children, discriminating against Vicky. The difficulties of life led Vicky to build a wall of defense around her. Vicky’s difficult life led her to master the art of escaping the pains of rejection by becoming a high achiever. She thought she was fine and doing all right until the day when her mother died. At that moment, Vicky realized that she never had a mother who loved her. She never would because life cheated her out of a mother and now death had too. The book takes you through the trials and tribulations that Vicky faced before she emerged successful.

This book is available on Amazon.
Elsie on writing...
What inspired you to start writing?
Stories from my personal experience and from the experiences of the myriad people around me needed telling, and I decided that I would write these down.
What is your background with writing?I have always written for me - and for my own personal interests. But this book has been my first full-blown novel.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
I wouldn’t say we struggled – there was just a sort of a back and forth on the ways we could go about projecting he true emotional struggle in the mind of a child that suffers discrimination at home, and to project the thought process of parent who favours one child over the other.
What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
My co-writer Kirthi and I would sit together to brainstorm. It was very easy because we know our work styles. Once we brainstormed, we’d spend some time on the chapter to decide the way it would sound.
How do you choose your character's names?
I wing it!

Where do you find inspiration?
From everywhere: within, without, and with everyone!
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
The ability to be me, all the time!
What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
Nothing is weird when it is research. :)
 What are your thoughts on critique groups/partners?
I think it makes a lot of sense to have such groups to allow writers to improve and evolve.
How do you deal with rejection letters?
I cut the chase short and went right ahead with self-publishing.
If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere to research your next book, where would you go?
To all the destinations of conflict to speak with women of their struggles in conflict.

Elsie's Advice to Writers...
What tools do you feel all writers should have?
Just passion!
What tips would you give others to overcome writer's block?
Just let it be. A writer's block is your talent's way of telling you to take a break.
What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
Just follow your heart. Passion is extremely important!
What advice would you give an author who wants to write erotica? Young adult? Paranormal?
Well, just write away is all I'll say!
Elsie on reading & books...
What authors would we find you reading when you're not writing?Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jean Sasson, Lloyd Jones, Susan Abulhawa, Jason Stearns and Philip Gourevitch!

What books/authors have most influenced your life?
There are so many writers whose works are wonderful. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jean Sasson, Lloyd Jones, Susan Abulhawa, Jason Stearns and Philip Gourevitch’s works have always been fantastic reads. I suppose the matter-of-fact rendition of their stories has been a huge influence on me.

Who is your all-time favorite literary character and why?
Pollyanna: for her unstinting optimism!

Do you prefer ebook or print? Why?
Print - the joy of thumbing through the leaves of a book and smelling it...... HEAVENLY!

Elsie gets personal...

What did you want to be when you grew up?
My self. There was nothing better to me, there is nothing better to me and there will be nothing better to me.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
I run my own NGO called Delta Women, so much of my work goes into that.

What is your strangest habit?
Working all the time, I suppose!

Have you ever eaten a crayon? Chalk? Dirt? What is the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
Nope, none. :) I couldn't say anything I've eaten is strange because everything I've eaten is a delicacy in some part of the world if not mine.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?
Ubuntu: I am who I am because you are who you are!