Welcome To The Book Tour Of The Domestication Of Munachi By Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu

Today, Creative Writing News plays host to Nigerian author, Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu. This is the first of all the ten stops in her week-long online book tour. You can read the tour schedule HERE. Now, please join us as we listen to readings from her Modern African literature novel titled The Domestication Of Munachi.

I enjoyed reading this fantastic novel. And I’ve been looking forward to this book tour, much like everyone else who has read the book. Most of us have questions for her. Others might become more curious after they’ve listened to the audio and read excerpts. And thankfully, Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu will be here to answer your questions.

For the benefit of those who haven’t read the book, we’ll start by giving a quick summary of the plot. Scroll further down to hear Ifesinachi reading from The Domestication of Munachi. Write your questions in the comments section. Join in the discussion with the author. Share. Invite your friends. Enter fro the rafflecopter draw by clicking and participating in the tour. Triple your chances of winning by ordering a copy.

Let’s begin.

DOM cover page - the domestication of munachi edited

On a hot Sunday afternoon years ago…

…Two sisters walk in on their father’s sexual liaison with the family’s hired help which leaves them both scarred in different ways.

Years later…

Unable to bear the thought of marriage to a man she barely knows, the younger and more adventurous one, Munachi, runs away from home on the eve of her traditional marriage, unwittingly resurrecting a long buried feud between her religious mother and eccentric aunty. This conflict leaves a door open for the family’s destruction.

The Domestication of Munachi (DOM) is a novel about the unnecessary pressure on women to take on life partners, regardless of who these partners are and the psychological impacts seen through the stories of two sets of sisters—Munachi and Nkechi versus Chimuanya and Elizabeth.

Listen To Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu read from Page 87 of The Domestication Of Munachi

Click To Download Transcript Of Book Reading pg 87

Let’s chat with the author for a while

CWN:    Take us through your journey to publication with Parresia Press.

Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: I had been writing and developing myself in the best way I could through workshops and trainings, and I thought to myself that I would like to get published someday. When I received a call (was it a call or an email?) from Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi asking if I had a manuscript to submit, I was pretty excited. I mentioned that I had started working on an idea, and she was kind of enough to give me time to work on it and send across for consideration. I was really pleased. I had to stay committed to finishing it in time and sending to the Parresia team. That was the beginning of the long but exciting journey.

 

CWN:   How long did it take you to write The Domestication of Munachi? Did you encounter doubts and fears? How did you overcome them?

Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: DOM took a little over a year to write. Many times I left the manuscript for fear and doubt that it would turn out wishy-washy. Other times, I was too tired to write. Another fear was the faith in the book distribution network in Nigeria. I kept thinking ‘what if I put in all this effort into this and nobody reads or it does not get into the hands of potential readers?’ The thought came on so strongly many times, but I kept thinking: if one person reads it and gets something out of it, that would make all the difference. The determination to reach that one person, who of course was faceless at the time of writing the manuscript, spurred me on.

My husband and mother were also big motivations. They kept asking how the book was going; when it would finish…Their questions just kept coming. At some point I advised myself that if I wanted to avoid those increasingly embarrassing questions, I would just have to finish it!

 

CWN:  You write a lot of short fiction, screenplays and even copy. Was there a difference in the writing process for this novel and other fiction projects you worked on in the past?

Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu: Not really. I think my own writing customised process is the same for all kinds of content though their formats differ. I work on a synopsis or the main idea, introduce the main character’s goals and antagonist or oppositions to the goals. Then I map out a working treatment before I start working on any writing work. It’s much easier for me this way. I hardly go straight to writing except I have gone through this process of internalizing who and what the main idea or story is about. In fact, I think the time taken is 70% planning and 30% writing.

 Here’s another reading from Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu’s The Domestication Of Munachi Page 130.

Click to Download Excerpt (Book Reading Transcript) page 130
Click to enter

Want to order a copy? Click HERE, If you’re in West Africa

Click HERE if you’re in East Africa

Enter the Rafflecopter draw

Now leave your questions in the comments section. And don’t forget to join the tour tomorrow on brittlepaper.com and magunga.com.

Enjoy.

19 thoughts on “Welcome To The Book Tour Of The Domestication Of Munachi By Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu

  • Apr 4, 2016 at 5:41 am
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    Hi. Ifesinachi here. Welcome to the book tour. Hope you enjoyed the reading. I’m available to answer any question you have. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 11:24 am
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    Hello Ifesinachi, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your novel. I particularly enjoyed Aunty Chimuanya’s character, her philosophy of success (advanced prostitution, as Munachi put it) and her ruthlessness. Do you know anyone like her? You painted her so well, she was very real, and I won’t forget her in a hurry. How did you manage to accomplish this?

    Again, why did you choose to write the novel from different POVs? Of course, it worked, in that it made the novel more exciting. But did you have any doubts when you decided to use this narrative technique?

    Thank you

    Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 11:53 am
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    Thank you for the lovely comments, Chioma. Aunty Chimuanya was real to me, because she could easily be my next door neighbour’s aunt! I do have one or two aunties who tend to be as eccentric as she is, but I thought she brought a perfect balance to the story.

    As for writing in different POVS that was just my adventurous streak showing through. I’m so glad you thought it worked. I thought it would be engaging to make the reader be involved in every single character’s story. I had no doubt that it would work though.

    My question to you – who was your favourite character?

    Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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    My favourite character? Lol. Let me shock you! Aunty Chimuanya. Like you said, she brought a perfect balance to the story. She made me laugh the most, with her blurts of ‘ Hian!’ and her unabashed hypocrisy. But I do like her logic , especially when it concerns extramarital affairs.

    I liked the way you presented Mr. KJ too. Hmmm. I went from admiration to sympathy to disgust.

    There were many likeable characters, but aunty Chimuanya got me laughing every time she stepped into the scene.

    Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm
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      Interesting to note. Aunty Chimuanya? Who would have thought? Lol.

      Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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    I am yet to read the novel but the excerpts read by the author in addition to my knowledge of the authors short stories (had the privilege of publishing her years ago on Sentinel Nigeria where I was features & reviews editor) is enough to convince me that this is a remarkable work. Well done Ifesinachi!

    From the excerpts, it would appear the novel is written from different points of view. It would be interesting to see how you pulled that off and how that helped the plot.

    One must also note that the author is among the very few first time authors who did not go searching for a publisher but rather had a publisher knocking on her door. That is not the typical experience of young writers from this clime. I guess her body of work (viz short stories published around) had drawn attention to her and made her book publishing experience an atypical and happy one. In here lies some lessons for other writers seeking to get published.

    All the best Ifesinachi with this book. I hope to read it soon. Cheers

    Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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      Hello Nneoma, I’m wondering the same thing too. A writer friend once argued that dabbling into both forms of writing can ruin your ability to write one genre well.

      Ifesinachi, Is this true in your experience?

      Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:22 pm
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      You do have a point Nze. Her experience is unusual. I often advise budding writers to build their publishing credits. The experience is worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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      Aww …Thanks so much, Nze. You are one of the few writers I respect and admire, so this is huge coming from you. My experience was unusual, so I can only attribute it to God. I am blessed beyond words.
      Thanks again for the encouragement.

      Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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    Lovely read. The excerpts left me wanting more. I am sure the book will be veeeery interesting.

    Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:33 pm
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      Thank you Miriam.
      Hope you get a copy soon!

      Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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    Hi Ifesinachi, I look forward to reading your book. It does sound interesting. I have a question though. I understand you’re a script writer as well. Do you find it challenging to balance the two writings? Prose and scripts?
    Does one seem to overshadow the other? In terms of time, headspace, creativity, convenience etc.

    Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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      Hello Nneoma, I’m wondering the same thing too. A writer friend once argued that dabbling into both forms of writing can ruin your ability to write one genre well.

      Ifesinachi, Is this true in your experience?

      Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm
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      Thanks for the question, Nneoma.
      This is an argument I once had with a film maker I respect so much. In my usual way, I set to prove her wrong. I think, to some extent, I have.
      It is challenging writing both forms. However, what I do between projects is to take a break to ‘exorcise’ one form from my head space before dabbling into the other. That way, I can deliver on both to the best of my abilities.
      By the way, it’s also fun for me. I love both!

      Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    Happy to be here, though invited by Chioma. Ifesinachi I hv read an excerpt of d work. I found it intriguing, and although I can’t really remember the characters names. I would like to get a copy. I have a question for you. what did ur venture into creative writing look like?? the ups and downs. adrift from the topic ” you look beautiful”.

    Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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    ‘Why put mouth’ – I heard this in the first reading. Great writing. I smiled when I heard it. I also enjoyed listening to your beautiful Igbo accent, Ifesinachi.
    The synopsis is enticing and the reading even more – I think it is a beautiful work and will make a good read. I also noticed, when I listened to the second reading, that the story is written in two or more point of views, when I read the novel I will find out how you were able to pull that off.
    My question is, what aspect of writing do you find most challenging: the character development, ploting or editing and why?

    Reply
    • Apr 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm
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      Hello Obinna. Great to have a fantastic writer here too.
      Thanks for listening, and oh my, you complimented my accent *fans self*
      About the different POVs, I found it interesting taking up that challenge. I hope you find it as interesting when reading.
      Regarding your question, editing is such an uphill task that I wouldn’t touch with a long stick. I love character development and plotting, but editing? Nah…

      Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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    Hello Nzekwe. So glad to have you here. Thank you for the compliments. You surely know your way around a woman’s heart…

    I look forward to you reading the book, and then we can talk some more about the high points you enjoyed. I would love that. You can order online here: https://www.jumia.com.ng/parresia-publishers-the-domestication-of-munachi-2637090.html

    Regarding your question, creative writing has not always been a smooth sail, but what makes the difference is that I enjoy thinking up stories. There’s a rush that comes with creating characters and determining whether they win or lose.
    Sometimes I struggle through completing a work, or I get stuck and frustrated. But the prize for me is the finished work at the end of the day.

    Reply
  • Apr 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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    Whew! I finally got round to joining the tour, and did I enjoy listening to you read the excerpts!
    I’m curious and in fact interested in finding out how you handled different POVs, so I do look forward to reading your book.
    Weldone Ifesinachi, good job CWN

    Reply

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