Interview with D.U. Okonkwo, author of Rise

Born and raised in London, D. U. Okonkwo writes commercial literary fiction. She graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc in Business with Spanish which included an ERASMUS exchange living in Salamanca, Spain. RISE is her first novel.
To learn more about D. U. Okonkwo, visit her website at:  She is also on Twitter @duosays, and keeps a blog at

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About The Book


Author: D.U. Okonkwo
Publisher: A Few Words Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Pages: 292
ISBN:   978-0993161711 (Paperback) /  978-0993161704 (eBook)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Format: eBook (.mobi / Kindle), ePub, PDF

The extraordinary story of how a facially-scarred and reclusive sculptress breaks free upon discovering the true source of self-esteem.

Riana “Ria” Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially-scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. But when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love for sculpting, a well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract however, she finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. And with malicious lies, he intends make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, for the first time, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for Rise came while I was browsing in a book shop. I was on my lunch break from work, and for some reason I had the random thought: I wonder what it would be like to see my name on the front cover of a book?’ I had been writing since childhood, but had never considered it as a career path. However I did that day. When I got home from work hours later, the story of Rise, and the main character, Ria, popped into my head. And that was it.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

This book was hard to write. I know there are many authors how find writing easy, but unfortunately I didn’t experience that with Rise. It was a gruelling process! The book is very emotional, and so getting into the character’s head was challenging. Also I learned so much about what I was writing about that I had to keep rewriting the book. I can’t count the number of revisions and edits I made. Whenever I thought it was finished it never was. It was tough.

What made it even harder, at the beginning, was that I wouldn’t move forward onto the next chapter until the first three were perfect. Oh my. Big mistake. Other authors told me to move on but I struggled to. Eventually I realised that the book would never get finished if I didn’t’ just write it, like other authors said I should. Truth is, right up to the last minute you will be making changes to the book, from the first chapter to the last. So getting it all written is imperative. That’s my advice to other writers: get it written first. You can revise later.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published through my own publishing company, A Few Words Press Ltd.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Probably how much I’d learn, enjoy, and embrace the new opportunities within digital publishers. It definitely beats sending out countless query letters to agents and publishers!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on my second novel. It will be published later this year.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Industry blogs, YouTube, and online retailers. I love shopping.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The importance of pursuing the truth. Definitely that.

Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you for having me!

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