Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Author Interview - Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

I am really pleased to interview a dear friend of mine, Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

My latest release, Stolen Valentine Kiss: Will One Kiss Steal Her Heart? (Holiday Series #1) features an emotionally troubled British/Nigerian heroine (Lorna Ibe) who went to America on holiday to forget about her problems but unexpectedly meets US born hero (Logan Blake) who thankfully, isn’t interested in a relationship.
The cheeky notion of Logan stealing one kiss from an unwilling and uninterested Lorna kicks off unexpected emotion. I imagined the magic of that kiss; the heat flowing through her veins and the tip of his tongue drawing dizzying circles in her mouth making her heart pound so much she’s swayed.
The more I thought about it, the more the story took shape. It was entirely my readers idea to turn Stolen Valentine Kiss into a series.
 
What are you working on next?
 
Cowries From a Prince, book one of my first historical romance series is on my writing table at the moment. (This is the first time I'm naming the new title). There are three books in the series.
Cowries From a Prince is based in the Ancient Benin City, a bustling town in the South West of Nigeria in the 17th Century. The city still has monarchical rule till date.
In Igodomigodo land (as it was called) there were traditions that my heroine, Uvbi Adolo believed took away the rights of women. To change the norm, she must battle against all odds; family challenges and bear unbelievable upheavals.
The hero, Nagudia Igho, seek ways to bring justice to all, but he must use subtle ways that can’t be linked to him. Their attraction is strong but unrecognised.
Nagudia and Uvbi fight the growing attraction as there are family and societal pressure to contend with. I love both of them and the rough tide they face.
 
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
 
I spend my time with my husband and children; laughing, playing hard or going to the Cinema. When I’m not having fun with them, I’m baking or sitting in a comfy leather sofa watching TV. When I have additional spare time, I read lots of romance novels, contemporary or historical.
 
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
 
That’s an easy one. How can I forget? My first contemporary romance, Loitering Shadows is the first story I ever wrote. Published in May 2010, it was inspired in part by my life experiences. For you to deduce what parts are real and the parts that are fiction, you’ll have to read in between Tricia and Prescott’s emotional story.
 
Describe a favourite scene in your current novel?
 
My favourite scene in Stolen Valentine Kiss is when Logan stopped over at Lorna’s place on a date she’d reluctantly agreed to. She’d been pressured by her aunt.
In her state of panic, Lorna stumbled to her bedroom door, placed her ears behind the door, straining to listen to Logan’s conversation with her aunt. The knock on her door sent her tumbling backwards, landing slapdash on her bed. Her aunt walked in, a bemused expression on her face.
I still find that scene hilarious because Lorna had previously denied any feelings for Logan.
 
What else do you have in store for your readers?
 
Book two in the Holiday Series (sequel to Stolen Valentine Kiss) is due out before Thanksgiving 2014. Lorna and Logan will have to overcome a number of hurdles if they want their engagement to climax into the wedding of their dreams. Readers will have to wait to read book two to find out if they'll have a wedding.
 
How did you come up with the hero and heroine for your latest book?
 
Nagudia Igho and Uvbi Adolo, the hero and heroine in my Work-In-Progress; Cowries From a Prince are characters that stole my feisty heart as the thought of life for a young maiden in the chiefly traditional 17th Century Benin City raced through.
 
The story involves a hero who has the heart of a lion, the strength and gait of a thorough-bred horse and a rarely confrontational personality that open doors, who knows how to relate with men in power to push through his ideas. Nagudia fits perfectly. He's a man with a turbulent history and an enviable future.
Uvbi on the hand, is a young maiden with the heart of a lioness, fearless and bold, ready to crush every oppressive tradition and vocally challenges what she perceives as injustice against women.
 
Why are your hero and heroine perfect for each other?
 
To my writing pen, Nagudia and Uvbi are perfect for each other because opposite attract. They complement each other’s personalities but they may be too blind, stubborn and fearless to know how to work together.
 
Do you plan several books ahead or do you work on one book at a time?
 
Yes, I do plan a few books ahead but I only work on one book at a time. Interestingly, I set aside my current work-in-progress; Cowries From a Prince, for almost two years to write and publish two other titles; Husband to Rent and Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series).
 
Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just start writing them?
 
It varies. In the past, I have written straight from the heart. At other times, I sketch loosely by writing down a few sentences for each chapter. As I write, I flesh out the story along the sketched lines.
 
Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
 
Not often. I remember once when I encountered the dreaded block, I packed up my writing for a day. When I returned to the story, I read the preceding pages and it flowed unstopped.
 
What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?
 
A reader wrote to me on Facebook after reading Husband to Rent;  "I just wrote my review. I hope it did justice to a great work. I am so proud of you and my dear you were so bold. The the love making scenes were mouth watering.gooood job." On another occasion, she wrote; "I'll read anything Stella writes."
The worst was a great criticism about SPARKLING DAWN by a reader stating; "Okay I have to say the writing style and dialogue is very formal and stilted. The characters ran so hot and cold that I got a bit tired waiting for them to be on the same page. I don't quite get the story of how the secret came to be as Chloe was young and even with travelling parents suspicions would have been raised. A sweet if unrealistic story."
Interestingly, the same book (SPARKLING DAWN) was rated 5stars by another more enthusiastic reader.
"Awesome piece. True love and a crush eventually reciprocrated. Couldn't quite figure out why Chloe resisted Warren. When the truth came out. I cried for Chloe and fell in love with Warren by standing by her. That is true love! Believable and real. Love it, Love it, Love it. Thumbs up."
As a consequence, I have sent it off to a brilliant editor to have another read. I welcome every comment. It helps to sharpen my skill and story.
 

Book Synopsis

 
One broken heart. Two grieving minds.
To Lorna Ibe, Departmental Manager with one of London's multi-channel retailers, Valentine's Day lost its romantic flavour years ago. An unplanned holiday to New Jersey is her perfect getaway from the stress and emotional turmoil locked in her heart, just what she needs to take her mind off her troubles. That's until she runs into Logan.
Magazine publisher, Logan Blake has had his fair share of stress in the past few years. When his sister asks him to drop off old clothes to charity, he has a minor accident in front of the charity shop where Lorna volunteers. When he sets eyes on her bare midriff as she wipes the display window, he clears his busy schedule to volunteer his time. Two burdened hearts afraid to get entwined.
One Stolen Valentine Kiss. Will Valentine season bring them romance or will their fears keep them apart?
 
 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com
Smashwords
Paperback

Author Contact Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4538936.Stella_Eromonsere_Ajanaku                                                                                    
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Stella-Eromonsere-Ajanaku/e/B004LXE09E
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/StellaE1                                 
                           
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/StellaEA           
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Thanks, Stella for such a great interview. It was a pleasure to host you. :)

9 comments:

  1. Thanks Danielle for being so generous and accomodating. It is a real joy to be here.

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    1. It's a joy to have you here. I'm so pleased with how the interview turned out. Hope you like the layout! :)

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    2. I love the layout, Danielle. You did a fantastic job. Thank you.
      Enjoy your weekend.

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    3. I am so happy you like it! And you are most welcome. It has been my pleasure to host you. Hope you have a great weekend too! Since my hubby will be working, I will be getting on with some writing.... :)

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  2. Okay, maybe the third time is the charm for leaving a comment. Great interview. You've only had writer's blog for one day? Wow. Congratulations on your book release.

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    1. Thank you, Nana for stopping by. Glad you liked the interview. I haven't had writer’s block more than once. Maybe because I'm not under undue pressure to meet deadlines. I believe stress & pressure can result in writer’s block.

      Thumbs up for showing some love. xxx

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  3. Hi Stella, I'm looking forward to reading your upcoming historical romance. Great interview.

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    1. Thank you, Kiru for checking in. Writing historical romance is a new challenge. I hope you enjoy COWRIES FROM A PRINCE. I love reflecting on life in the 17th Century.

      Glad you liked the interview.


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