One of Africa’s most fearless storytellers, Chioma Nnani is the 2016 CREATIVE AFRICAN Awards finalist in the category of “Best Fiction Writer”, and a DIVAS OF COLOUR 2016 finalist.
Chioma has also been nominated twice for a UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award in the “Best Author” category.
A talented ghost-writer who is known for “being able to get into your head and under your skin, before writing down exactly how you’re feeling”, Chioma has been named “One of 100 Most Influential Creatives in 2016” by London-based C.Hub Magazine.
She holds a Law (LLB) from the University of Kent and a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law (De Montfort University, Leicester).
She is the founder of THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD (a premium storytelling outfit based in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, where she lives), typically contributes to lifestyle and literary publications, and runs the “Memo From A Fearless Storyteller” blogazine at www.fearlessstoryteller.com for which she won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award.
What is your writing process?
Work is easier when I do stuff in bite-size pieces. I do have lists of stuff that I need to achieve quarterly, monthly, then daily. I put writing into these lists and try to focus.
It’s funny, there are sometimes when I write with a deadline in mind and times when I don’t actually have a deadline … I’m going more with feeling it. I’m actually working on a collaborative autobiography and although we have a date by which we aim to launch, I’m writing it in pieces – so, I’ve written certain chapters, but I’m not sure which chapters they are; like chapter 1, 4, 7 or whatever.
At the moment, I write when I’m feeling it. But because there is a deadline, there will come a time when I have to be more cold and clinical and go, “Right, get this done now!” (laughing)
Describe your journey as an author so far.
It has been amazing. From my first novel, I’ve actually solidified a brand. I’m called “the fearless storyteller” and this book has given me credibility in ways I couldn’t imagine and opened doors and possibilities I didn’t even realize, existed.
Because of Forever There For You, I was offered my own radio show; it’s called “The Fearless Storyteller PowerXtra Show”. It’s with a London-based radio station, even though I am based in Nigeria and it’s on every Sunday from 1900 – 2000 hours GMT.
I have also launched my own storytelling company – The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd – through which we create, package and market quality reading, viewing and listening material for audiences across the globe. I have a blog called “Memo From A Fearless Storyteller” and we won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) award for “Blog of the Year”. The BEFFTAs are called “the Black Oscars”, so that … I don’t think I’ve gotten over that, yet. (laughing). I ghost-write as well, and I am working on more books so … yeah, definitely worth it.
How do you stay motivated?
I look at my bank balance (laughing). I am also a bit of a workaholic and as I said before, I do have set lists of stuff I need to complete on an almost daily basis. I derive pleasure from meeting a goal, no matter how small. There are times when I shut down completely, just so that I can recoup and regroup.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
Trying to do too much, too soon tends to happen now and again. I try not to remind myself that life is for the living, and everyday is a new day to try again
What makes you cry?
Oh, lots of things (laughing). Getting a result after trying for a really long time – whether it’s personal or professional is top on the list right now.
What do you know now that you wish you knew as a teenager?
That I would be fine. I was miserable as a teenager; I put people who didn’t matter, on a pedestal and it made me suicidal. I was afraid of just about everything, and that’s one reason I’m working on The Triple-R Series for teenagers that I mentioned earlier. I’ve grown and developed, been to hell and back, become an influential voice … I wish I had known that I’d be aight.
Title: Forever There For You by Chioma Nnani
When NADINE is confronted with the reality of her failing marriage, her first instinct is to work it out. She has had it drummed into her that marriage is ‘for better, for worse’. Walking out is just not an option – her faith would condemn her and her culture would make her a pariah.
The combination of Nadine’s background, education, social standing, friendships, faith, experiences and past relationships is meant to equip her to become a success. Failure is alien to her and love means forgiving at all cost.
As she tries to survive and make the most of the curves that life has thrown her, she discovers that ’success’ is a subjective term, and ‘happily ever after’ is something that you have to discover and define for yourself …