Bookworms Nook: I also relate to the underdog, because everyone loves an underdog, right?
a writer’s perspective
Hello & welcome, Author Onyih Odunze!!
Would you like to share a bit about yourself?
children and I’m currently working on my second masters degree. When I’m not studying, taking care of my kids or hanging out with hubby, I love to read. Reading is a passion…it’s like breathing to me – I can’t live without it.
When did you fall in love with reading?
I read my first novel – a detective story – when I was about 8 years old. It was my eldest brother’s book, and I still remember curling up on his bed, caught up in a world so different from the one I lived in. I read that book in one sitting and haven’t looked back since.
When did you fall in love with writing?
I’ve always scribbled things down. I wrote my very first book when I was in high school. I wrote it in one of my notebooks and passed it around to my friends. I started taking it seriously about a decade ago when I started working on my first book. That book is still in progress, by the way
. But in between then and now, I discovered blogging (purely by accident) and wrote a couple of novellas.
Where are some of your favorite places to write?
I love writing in my room! That’s one place where I feel totally comfortable and I just sit in bed and peck away at my laptop. Much of my writing goes on in my head – I daydream about the story and my characters throughout the day, then I go home and try to capture the scenes the way they play out in my head.
What book has most inspired you, brought you to tears, or changed your perspective?
The book that has had the most impact on me is An Echo in the darkness by Francine Rivers. I cried buckets of tears after reading that book. It made me realize the power of a well-told story to change a life or affect someone. I have it in my collection and I re-read it every now and then. It never fails to move me.
Have you ever found a book so disturbing, that you couldn’t finish it, or had to leave it and come back?
I recently read a series, The Patrick Bower Files, by Steven James. It’s about an FBI Profiler who catches serial killers. Some of the scenes are so disturbing that I skip pages, with my eyes squeezed shut. I generally tend to finish books unless I can’t get into the story for whatever reason, but that happens very rarely.
When reading, what types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than
I relate to flawed characters, because I am one. I love reading about real people who struggle with issues that make sense to me, in my own world. I also relate to the underdog, because everyone loves an underdog, right?
Who are some of your favorite supporting characters? Antagonists?
I enjoy antagonists when they’re anti-heroes. They have to have something in them that’s worth redemption, a spark of humanity.
Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your
mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).
Yes, yes, yes! Anything by Francine Rivers.
If you could introduce two characters from two different books you
have read, who would they be and why?
Hmm…I’ve never thought about that before. I just read Twelve Years a Slave and I was greatly moved by Solomon Northup’s story. I would probably like him to meet Ms. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind. I just think it would be interesting to see what kind of interaction they would have.
What book would you love to see made into a television series?
Hmmm…books that get turned into movies or series usually lose what makes them so great in the first place. I would honestly prefer my favorite books to stay away from the silver screen! But, if I absolutely had to choose, I would choose Agatha Christie’s entire library. A few of her books got turned into television movies, and the movies were pretty good. I’m a mystery buff, so it would be nice to see the eccentric Monsieur Poirot in action on a weekly basis.
What is your least favorite book to movie adaptation?
It would have to be Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer’s book. I loved the book, but barely sat through the movie. It was a long time ago, though.
I enjoyed Finding Grace!! What was the inspiration?
I heard a story about someone whose boyfriend broke up with her, and while sobbing, she got into an elevator and met a man who ended up being her husband. It was a true story and it just made me think about how love can find you in the most unexpected places. It actually started as a short story that I later expanded into a series for my website and then it became a book.
Would you like to share an excerpt from Finding Grace?
Yes, thanks for asking!
Grace blushed and threw Sonia a dirty look. I’ll get you, she mouthed silently. Unfazed, Sonia waved at Grace cheerily and winked at her over Azuka’s head as she walked into her room. Embarrassed, she busied herself with clearing the table and was relieved when Azuka just chuckled.
“Your sister is pretty funny. Is she always like that?”
“Is she always ragging me, you mean?” Grace shook her head, torn between laughter and frustration with her sister. Why did she call me his girlfriend? Now, he’ll think I have designs on him and he’ll probably take off running! Grace found that thought surprisingly disturbing. She didn’t want Azuka to run off…she looked at him and her expression softened. She really liked him, and part of her hoped for more than friendship. But, she was scared. Could she trust him? Maybe things would start out wonderful, like it had been with Alex and go downhill in the blink of an eye. What did he even want from her? She had veered away from that thought because she wasn’t yet ready to confront the thought of dating someone else. But, Alex was married. That chapter was firmly closed – bridge burned, ground to dust and thrown into the ocean! I can’t move backwards because there’s nothing to go back to.
Azuka’s voice broke her reverie and she realized that she had been lost in thought for a few minutes and Azuka was waiting for her to respond to his earlier question.
“Oh…yeah, yeah. Sonia is always teasing me. I’m younger by a couple of years and she thinks it’s her life’s mission to embarrass me in public”, she said wryly.
Azuka smiled wistfully. He was an only child and didn’t know what it was like to spar with siblings.
“I noticed she calls you Cece. Is that a nickname, or…”
“It’s a nickname and she’s the only one that calls me that. My mom told me that she was still learning to talk when I was born and for some reason she couldn’t call my name properly. Instead of saying ‘Grace’ or ‘Gracie’, she would just say ‘Cece’, and I guess it stuck.”
“Cece…” the name rolled off his tongue and Grace blushed. It sounded different when he said it – nothing like the teasing tone that her sister used. His tone and the look in his eyes held a world of promise and something unspoken passed between them.
She stood, rooted in one spot. In an instant, she felt something change between them. Her heart pulsed and her stomach quivered. Shaken, she leaned against the dinette table and placed a hand on her stomach, as though the simple gesture could still her quivering heart.
Wonderful, Onyih. I’ve really enjoyed you! Please stop by, again 🙂
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