Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Author Q&A: Kenechi Udogu

Kenechi Udogu, author of the YA fairy tale retelling The Other Slipper (you can find my review here), very kindly allowed me to ask her some questions about her writing and herself. The Other Slipper is a retelling of the Cinderella story which asks, what happened to that other glass slipper...?

{ About The Other Slipper... }

How did the idea for The Other Slipper come to you?
The idea for The Other Slipper came to me on my way home from work one day when I misread a café sign that said “The Other Side” for “The Other Slipper”. This got me wondering about what might have happened to Cinderella’s other slipper after she left the ball and I came up with a story where the glass slippers have an adventure of their own.

Without spoiling anything… Jo grows throughout her journey, but she realizes she’s not the only one who’s grown. Did you start out with the idea to develop multiple characters along the way or was that something that evolved as you wrote?
The story took a life of its own pretty much after I wrote the first few chapters. I had an outline written down but once I started writing down conversations, the characters took over and drew me in a slightly different direction to what I had planned. You’ve read the story so you know what happens in the end but that was definitely not what I had in mind originally and I blame all the eclectic characters who kept popping into my head.

What do you hope readers take away from reading The Other Slipper?
That nothing is ever as it seems.

How long did it take you to finish The Other Slipper, from idea to finished work?
I work full time as an Architect so the only opportunity I get to write is at night and weekends, so most of my novels take a long time to finish. It took just over a year to complete the first draft of The Other Slipper then a little longer to get it ready for publishing.

If you wrote another fairy tale retelling, which fairy tale would you pick?
I recently read a collection of Grimm fairytales and discovered Bearskin. I was surprised I’d never heard of it as it is such a lovely but dark story. If you haven’t read it, go find a copy now.

{ About writing... }

Can you describe your writing process?
Day dream about the idea for ages, jot down notes when I finally have a coherent plot, sit in front of my PC, surf the net for facts, google unrelated nonsense as a distraction, type a few words, stare into space, watch some telly, type some more, play an online game, more typing, decide it’s time to shut down for the night. Recommence the next evening.

Where do you find you do the best work?
In my head, hahaha. Seriously though, I work best if I’m in the right frame of mind so it doesn’t matter if it’s on the train, in front of my PC or lying in bed. Recently I’ve found that I prefer writing on digital mediums than on paper because I love, love, love the undo button. So much better than crossing out bad ideas.

Did you always want to be an author?
As a child, I read a lot of books and comics and it didn’t take long for me to start forming ideas about what I wanted to read. Then I started to write the ideas down and draw comic strips in my note books. My family was always supportive of my work even when what I produced was probably laughable and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.

Do you have any words of advice for hopeful future authors?
Don’t give up! Listen to your critics but try not to get too upset when their opinions are different from yours. Instead, keep an eye out for the criticism that can make you a better
writer. Oh and edit, edit, edit.

Any projects in the works you would like to share?
I’m currently scheduled to release a new YA paranormal romance in December. It’s called Aversion and is about a girl who can push thoughts into people’s heads. There will no werewolves, angels or vampires in sight as I’m trying to make it a little different from a lot of books currently out there.

{ About reading... }

What is your favorite genre to read?
I’m a sucker for fantasy, romance and comedic fiction (even better if they’re all in one book). I also need a good horror story every now and then to get rid of all the fluffiness.

When a book is made into a movie, do you read the book first or watch the movie first?
I’d rather read the book first because if it was good enough to inspire a movie, I want to know why. The only problem is that I tend to be too critical of movies when the adaptations don’t stick to the original story.

Do you prefer to buy books or borrow them from the library?
I buy books then give them away (to a friend or a charity bookshop) when I’m done. I’m in full support of keeping libraries open though.

Do you prefer to read print books or ebooks?
E-books for my train commute to work and print books for bedtime reading or when I’m on holiday. As a result, I tend to have two books on the go.

{ About everything else... }

Do you prefer coffee or tea?
I have a special combination of a cup of tea with a quarter teaspoon of instant coffee added. Don’t question it until you try it. .

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
It sounds really boring but it’s vanilla (I’ll hang my head in shame). Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with vanilla. But to redeem my bland favourite choice, my second favourite flavor is Pralines and Cream.

What is your favorite quote?
If you can’t beat them, form you own group.

Learn more about Kenechi Udogu and her books on her blog,
and follow her on Facebook and Goodreads!

Find The Other Slipper on Goodreads and Amazon!

No comments:

Post a Comment