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Azie, Celebrating Nigeria’s Beauty Through Her Books

@naijabooks interview

Amaka Azie, is a part time family doctor and author of two novels “Melodies of Love’ and ‘Thorns and Roses’. One of five children, Azie, who enjoys reading, writing and watching crime TV shows, is self-published under Accomplish Press, a publishing consultant firm.
The author, who lives in England with her husband and two daughters, discussed her work and motivation with @naijabooks. Enjoy.

When did you discover your love for writing?
It was in secondary school. I was only about twelve years old when I joined the press club. I was responsible for putting together interesting articles to read on assembly every Friday, and enjoyed the process tremendously. An avid reader, I found it exciting to be a part of the press club and was made press club president at some point in secondary school.
I also loved reading African literature. I remember being a huge fan of the “Pacesetters” books that were popular in the 90s. I think a major turning point in my desire to write was after reading “The concubine” by Elechi Amadi. It was such an exciting story that inspired my desire to create lovely romance stories with an African setting. I started to write stories thereafter. They were handwritten short stories, which I passed around my classmates, and I remember vividly, people queuing up to read my stories.
On one occasion, a classmate of mine was reading it during English lectures and my class teacher seized it. I remember being terrified when she called me to the staff room, thinking I was in trouble. She simply told me she read the book and that I should consider writing as a career option.

What motivated you to fulfill or realise your writing dreams?
I love literature written about Africans by Africans. Most of the time growing up, I read a lot of non-African books and I always longed to find more African contemporary romance fiction. I found that literature about Africa was often surrounded with negativity, and I abhorred that. So, anytime I came across a lovely fictional story about Nigeria or Africa, I was inspired to be a part of that.
Yes, I know there are challenges in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. There are challenges in every other country in the world. The difference is we see the other sides of those countries and not just the challenging aspects. I wanted to create a story where Nigeria was celebrated with the various rich and exciting aspects of our culture. The Nigeria that I experienced, where education, wealth, love, family and music are celebrated. After years of rumination, I met an Indie author who encouraged me to follow my dreams. I have not looked back since then.

How do you combine writing with your demanding job?
First of all, I would like to say, it is not easy. I am really committed to doing this, so I make time to write. I work part-time as a family Doctor so I do most of my writing on my days off or when the children are sleeping at night. Because I enjoy writing, I don’t see it as stressful. I believe if you enjoy doing what you do, you can easily fit it into your schedule.
Tell us about your books?
They are both contemporary romance fiction set in Lagos Nigeria.
The first, Melodies of Love, is about Adaora, the last of three children and only girl child from a wealthy home. Abandoned by her first love, Ikenna, she is heart broken, and finds it difficult to trust. Twelve years later, she has been employed by him to help organize his finances. He is now a popular musician with fame and money, and is trying to win her back. It is a sweet romantic story about obstacles he faced battling with his fame and struggling to gain her trust, and the involvement from her protective family. It also celebrates music from Nigeria and Africa.
           The second is titled Thorns and Roses. It is about Adaora’s older brother Chuma, a twin, and his relationship with Ifeoma, a chef. Ifeoma escaped an emotionally abusive father with her sisters and moved to Lagos to start a new life. She is scarred by the abuse she endured from her father. Chuma on the other hand, is obsessive, and a cutthroat businessman. They are from completely different backgrounds but they find themselves drawn to each other.
As the title suggests, it is a bittersweet love story, which follows these two characters from different backgrounds as they navigate through a turbulent relationship.

How has the reception being like?
So far, I have gotten very encouraging reception from fans and I’m getting new readers daily. I am glad I decided to embark on this journey and followed my dreams.

Are you working on a new project?
Yes, I am currently working on Nnamdi¾Chuma’s twin brother’s¾ story. He is a single father who navigates a relationship with a single mother. It explores the cultural barriers single parents face attempting to build new relationships, and cultural ideas about divorce as well as re-marriage after divorce. I wanted to write about that because it is a common situation many single parents find themselves in, where they feel judged by others because of their past.

Where can your books be found?
They are available on Okadabooks (eBook), Amazon (eBook and Paperback), iBook (eBook), Kobo (eBook), Smashwords (eBook)
Below are the links:

Melodies of Love

Thorns and Roses