Interview: Author of The Other Slipper

See my book review of The Other Slipper by Kenechi Udogu here.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kenechi Udogu, I was born in Nigeria and I currently live in London, UK. I am an Architect but my first love is (and has always been) writing fiction.
Have you always wanted to write? Were you nurtured as a writer?
I started off writing short stories and doodling comic books in primary school and I’ve never really stopped. I grew up in a family where reading was encouraged and I’m very grateful to my family for encouraging me to keep writing even when my work was basic and probably laughable. Over the years I’ve found that writing fiction has been a great way to de-clutter my overactive imagination. Even when I’m not trying to write a full length novel, I make notes on scraps of paper or in notebooks just in case I ever revisit the ideas I’ve had. I’d always dreamt of becoming a published writer and I’m really happy that my dreams have come true.
What is your favorite book? Author? Genre?
I can’t get enough of romantic comedies but I like a good fantasy or horror story too. I’m not one to have a favourite of anything – people that know me are sick of hearing me say how much I love so many different things at the same time – but I’ve always had a thing for classic Stephen King novels.
The Other Slipper is based on the fairytale Cinderella. It tells the story of what happens to the magic slippers after Cinderella finds her prince. Is Cinderella your favorite fairytale?
Not exactly, but for some reason I have always been drawn to this particular story. In my early teens I wrote a present day adaptation and called it Cinderella with a Twist but that never saw the light of day – probably because it was only a few pages long. I grew up reading a lot of European fairytales as well as African folklore so I’ve been heavily influenced by a mishmash of fantasy stories.
What inspired you to write TOS? What is your favorite part of the story?
Years ago, I misread a café sign that said “The Other Side” for “The Other Slipper” and I wondered what ever became of the slipper that Cinderella didn’t leave on the steps on the night of the ball. It was the first time the name for a novel came to me even before the story was developed.
As dull as it may sound, my favourite part of the story is the forest scene where Jo and Ron run into some trouble – it’s a private joke between my sister and I.
You mentioned that Jo came to you as a stubborn kind of girl. What inspired her character?
Every obstinate girl I know, including myself. I figured, if I was forced into going on a dangerous mission as a teenager and I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing, I would probably be suspicious of everyone I met and I wouldn’t really want to listen to what people had to say if it didn’t suit me. When I wrote Jo’s character, that was the kind of girl I envisioned and I couldn’t betray that by trying to turn her into a more amiable character. I think her stubbornness worked out alright for her in the end though.
I see that this is not your only published work. You have also written The Summer of Brian and The Altercation of Vira. Can you give us a short description of each? How are they different from The Other Slipper?
They couldn’t be more different. The Summer of Brian is a contemporary romance novella about a girl who makes up a boyfriend to get the attention of boy who is staying with her family for the summer. She enlists the help of a boy at her school to play the part of her boyfriend and things escalate from there. The Altercation of Vira is a fantasy novel in which a young girl, Elve, discovers that she is a long lost princess from another realm. She has to return to a place she never knew existed but her friend, Mel, chases after her and they get embroiled in a feud between two tribes. You’ll have to read the rest to find out what happens. I try to keep all my books different as I don’t see the point of regurgitating the same story and changing a few things here and there. It keeps things interesting for the reader and for me as well.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I became frustrated with the long and repetitive process of trying to get agents and publishers to buy into the ideas I had. I’d already written a few novels over the years so when I discovered that people were bypassing the traditional route and getting their voices heard by self publishing e-books, I signed on!
If you could give one bit of advice to new writers, what would it be? What one bit of advice would you give to writers looking to self-publish?
It has to be more than one – Don’t give up. Keep writing, if it is what you love doing. Get people in local writing workshops or writing groups to read your work. Edit, edit, edit!
When you think you’re ready to get your work published and traditional routes have not worked, brace yourself for the second biggest blow you’ll get – marketing your book is much harder than writing it. Accept this and start creating an online presence for yourself. People tend to buy who/what they know.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I am currently writing a YA paranormal romance novella which I hope to release later in the year. Even though I enjoy reading paranormal novels, it is a new genre for me to write so I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Wish me luck!
Where can readers find you and your books?
Lots of places. Feel free to drop a line on my blog, Facebook page or Goodreads Author page.
Buying links –
Thank you, Kenechi for sharing with us.

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