What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Kenechi Udogu, I was born in Nigeria and currently live in the United Kingdom.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I read a lot of books right through my childhood and started to write short stories and draw comic books in primary school. I always dreamt of becoming a published writer but I also considered becoming an English teacher when I was eight, although I quickly dropped that idea when I realised how much patience teaching requires.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I saw my name in print for the first time.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I published my first book, It Happened One Summer, in the year 2000 when I was in my teens, and it didn’t take too long to get published after I finished writing it.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’m an Architect so I do all my writing in my spare time – weekends and late at nigh (I’ve always been a nocturnal being).
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is called The Altercation of Vira. Summary would be: What happens when long lost princess Elve returns to her realm and her friend Mel crosses over to rescue her?
Who is your publisher? Or do you self publish?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Nothing less than five months. Some books have taken me years to complete.
Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
My contemporary romance novella, The Summer of Brian, was really easy to write compared to The Other Slipper and The Altercation of Vira. It only took a few months to finish but I left it on my computer for years before I published it. The others took years from start to publication.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I am currently trying out writing a YA paranormal romance. Don’t worry, there are no vampires, werewolves or ghosts in sight. I will happily return to fantasy afterwards – there have been requests for a sequel to The Other Slipper.
What genre would you place your books into?
YA fantasy and YA contemporary romance.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Because that’s what I read and would have liked to read more of as a young adult.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I have a soft spot for The Altercation of Vira, probably because I started writing it a long time ago and kept at it for so long that it began to feel like more than just a story to me.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? And why are they your favourite?
I have two favourite characters from my books, Locke from The Other Slipper and Mel from The Altercation of Vira. They are quite different characters but for some reason I enjoyed writing them more than any other characters in my books.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
This might sound like a bit of a cop out but I get my inspiration from everything in life.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I write where I feel comfortable - in bed, at my desk, on the train, on a bus. Recently though, I prefer the comfort of the undo button to crossing out words in my notepad.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
My family, friends, work colleagues and fellow writing group members (if I can pin them down).
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, I post giveaways on Goodreads, my blog and my Facebook page.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes! You have to take the good and the not so good and remember that reviews are subjective views.
Who designed the Cover of your books?
I designed all my covers. I took some inspiration from the cover of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust as I liked its simplicity.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title for The Other Slipper came to me as I was walking home from work one day, the story came afterwards. All my other books have been the reverse, stories first then titles. The Altercation of Vira had multiple names in draft, some of which are too embarrassing to repeat.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I run through names alphabetically in my head and settle on the ones that I feel suit the character or place best. For fantasy stories, I’ve made up names that sound right – I haven’t gone as far as inventing a whole new language…yet.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
For me, it is crucial to develop some character traits right at the start of the book but I am not afraid to change these traits if the story calls for changes as I write.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I write out a few pages of the story from start to finish. It doesn’t have to all be there at first, as long as I can see where it could go. Once I start writing, if the story draws me in a different direction, I follow it and see what happens.
How do you market/promote your books?
On my blog, facebook, word of mouth, asking renowned bloggers for reviews, giving away freebies.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Luck and perseverance in the face of rejection.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes. My remedy is to leave whatever it is I am working on for a little while. Something always comes to me when I am not thinking too much about it.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I usually watch sitcoms/TV series, listen to music or play online games.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, but I won’t say what!
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I don’t set out to push morals but I always end up having them. I think most good stories have to have a point to them.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I read a lot so I have been influenced by many writers over the years but probably most memorable are Stephen King from my teen years and Enid Blyton from my younger years.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
E-books are easy to read because e-readers are so small and light but I do like to hold a paperback every now and then.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I have two books on the go at the moment, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince for bedtime (paperback) and The Rock Star’s Daughter for my train commute to work (e-book). I’m enjoying both immensely.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Probably in many years to come but paper is going nowhere yet.
Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I’m a closet hopeless romantic and love, love, love romantic comedies.
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I don’t want to give away too much detail (I hate spoilers) but if I could go back in time, I would give some characters happier endings. At the time I wrote the stories, I was happy with them (and I still am) but I’ve been besieged with requests by readers and occasionally wonder, “what if?”
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Join a local writing group and try your work out on them. Strangers tend to be more brutally honest than family and friends but sometimes that’s what we need. Also don’t underestimate the effort that has to be put into marketing your book. Writing a good book is only the beginning of the journey.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I don’t at the moment but I might in future if I want to try out a different genre that might confuse my readers.
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