My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes


"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Author Interview: Michelle Onuorah

Hello, readers!  I hope you remember yesterday's book review, because today I have Michelle N. Onuorah for an interview!

But first-- about her new book!


I love the look on her face!


Orphaned. 

Neglected. 

Damaged and abused.

 Jane Daugherty has survived what can only be described as the childhood from hell. After years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse, she has become a fiercely independent young woman - closed off from human connection. Unable to believe in people or their capability to be kind, she has vowed to build a new life for herself so that she never has to rely on, or trust, others again. At 24-years-old, she is fulfilling this vow, successfully working as the youngest tenure-track professor at the University of New York.

  Brilliant and remarkably accomplished, Jane's life takes an unexpected turn when she is reunited with the childhood friend she protected in foster care. Alexa Masterson introduces Jane to the family that adopted her, a family that includes her older brother, Aiden Masterson. Instantly drawn to each other, Aiden and Jane embark on a relationship that will either destroy them both or shape them into the man and woman they were always meant to be. Can what started as lust transform into love? And what will bring about the transformation that they ultimately need?

 Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

 
Allow me to introduce Ms. Onuorah!
 
Michelle N. Onuorah is the bestselling author of Remember Me, Type N, and Taking Names. She wrote and published her debut book, Double Identity, at the tender age of thirteen and has been writing ever since. A graduate of Biola University, Michelle continues to write and publish under her company, MNO Media, LLC . You can learn more about Michelle at www.mnomedia.com and like her page at www.facebook.com/authormichelleonuorah.

Hello, Ms. Onuorah!  First off, please tell me about yourself.  What are you like?

Hi Allison, thanks for having me! Oh boy, where do I start? I am 24-years-old and I’ve been writing since elementary school (initially for fun). I graduated from Biola University in southern California two years ago and have been writing professionally ever since. I release my work under my publishing company, MNO Media LLC. If you asked friends or family about my personality, many would say that I am bold, driven, intelligent, and persistent. I personally think I’m kind but that’s an attribute one can always increase, don’t you think? : )

After reading your bio, I am very impressed at how early your literary career began!  To contrast that, the title character of Jane is a professor of literature who never mentions writing of her own.  How much did your passion for words feed hers, and where does it differ?

Thank you! I recently wrote on my Facebook page that it has been just over ten years this month since I released Double Identity at fourteen. It wasn’t the best writing but I got my start by simply saying “Why not?” and I moved forward with something most teens wouldn’t try. My passion for writing began with my passion for reading and that is an attribute Jane and I share. We both use it as an escape mechanism - she had to use it for much more traumatic reasons - I use it for leisure. The difference between the two of us is that she never feels a pull to create art in the form of words. She’ll enjoy a story, discuss it and reflect on it - but her passion for creating art comes out in photography. I like to shoot beautiful landscapes as well - but I’m nowhere near as good at it as I’ve written Jane to be.

Jane tackles many issues such as race, abuse, extramarital relationships, and trust.  Did these naturally come into your writing, or did you specifically target these themes?

I love these questions! With regards to the issues Jane covers, I honestly started with a more simple premise: the idea of writing a story about a woman who was deeply hurt on a level most people (thankfully) never experience. But rather than being completely broken by her pain, she used much of it to fuel her to outward success. At the same time, the wound never completely healed on the inside of her - it was masked by her achievement. Her relationship with Aiden exposes this wound and pushes her to get the healing she needs - which can only come from God. The issue of race was somewhat part and parcel of featuring an interracial couple but I wouldn’t say it is the main point of the story - more so a facet of it. The abuse she experienced plays a huge role in who she is and what she has to overcome emotionally and spiritually. This completely ties with her trust issues and how that frays at her relationships - even her capacity to start relationships with others.

The extramarital - or pre-marital - aspect of the book was an opportunity to confront the myths of modern day relationships. Romance often glorifies pre-marital sex and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, using marriage as a bumper sticker for a deeply intimate relationship when it’s really the other way around - at least in my opinion. In my first romance, Remember Me, I wrote to emphasize the beauty of marital love. In this novel, I’m writing to emphasize the necessity of it.

The characters of Jane have a wide variety of opinions on different issues, which I loved.  Were they inspired by people in your own life?  How did you portray people with such different backgrounds and ideas while still remaining respectful of their beliefs, identities, and integrity?

I really wanted to write a book that was realistic in terms of the diversity of thought and opinion amongst people. Unfortunately, whether in Christian fiction or secular fiction, very rarely do I find people who have different opinions, much less discuss them in a way that is respectful. I know it can and does happen because I’ve had conversations with people of different religions, sexual orientation, races, etc. who have differed with me but understood my heart and my character enough not to make accusations against me.

I think we live in a climate of intolerance and it’s occurring on both sides of the aisle, be it political, religious, social, etc. Democrats are just as disrespectful as Republicans. The LGBT community can be just as vitriolic as “Bible thumpers.” I wanted to show that it’s okay to disagree - that doesn’t mean the person disagreeing with you is bad or hateful or homophobic - it simply means they are a person who disagrees with you. And if they do it respectfully, you have no right to berate them. I often say, and this quote has picked up steam on Goodreads: You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to dictate mine.

I think it’s important to recognize that people should be treated by their character and integrity and not so much by their perspective (which can change). I portrayed these people with different backgrounds and ideas with respect because I remembered they were people (well, in the context of the book at least : ) ).

And finally, what can we expect next from you?  Are you writing another book now?
 
Next month, I will begin work on a dystopian thriller called Atlas Died, predicated on the question: what if America’s middle class became extinct? And what if freedom of expression, particularly religious freedom, was abolished? I’m really excited about it. I am also very aware of my readers who are waiting for the final book in my Type N trilogy. I hope to write that towards the end of the year. People can stay abreast of things by following me on Facebook (facebook.com/authormichelleonuorah) or checking in at my website (www.mnomedia.com).

Thanks so much for the interview, Ms. Michelle!  You had wonderful, thoughtful responses, and it was a privilege to interview you.

If you're interested in reading Jane, enter the giveaway Ms. Michelle is hosting!  And be sure to follow the rest of the tour:

Saturday, February 14th

-          Guest Post at To Be A Person

-          Review at The Art of Storytelling

Sunday, February 15th

-          Interview at The Art of Storytelling

Monday, February 16th

-          Interview  at Crafty Booksheeps

Wednesday, February 18th

-          Review at Remain in His Love

Friday, February 20th

-          Review at Crafty Booksheeps

 Saturday, February 21st

-          Review at The Book Junkie Reads. . .

 Monday, February 23rd

-          Review at Kim Talks Books

 Tuesday, February 24th

-          Review at i blog 4 books

 Wednesday, February 25th

-          Review at To Be A Person

 Friday, February 27th

-          Review at Romance Between the Covers

 Saturday, February 28th

-          Book Spotlight at Musings Of An IR Romance Junkie

4 comments:

Michelle Onuorah said...

One of the best interviews I've ever had - the questions were so original and well-thought. Thank you, Allison!

~Michelle

Allison Ruvidich said...

Thanks, Michelle! : D

Laura Pol said...

Fantastic interview! It's amazing how the story JANE grew as she wrote. Also I am SUPER excited about her next novel! I'm really into dystopian novels right now so this sounds like something write up my alley! ;)

Allison Ruvidich said...

I really love this interview! : D And I agree: her new book is going on my to-read list.