Hey hey! I’m taking The Spotlight to a whole new level!!! Today, I’m doing my first ever interview of an Author, which will be part of the #UfuomaeeInterviews series, under my Book Reviews category. Every now and then, I will interview a special author or publisher that I really like to talk about some of the books they’ve published or that they have in line for publishing. I hope it will be a refreshing addition to my Spotlight series.
Today, my Author is someone, or should I say, a brand I have spotlighted before. It is The Fertile Chick, and they are the ones who published my favourite book of 2017, Accidentally Knocked Up! Since then, I’ve been an addict for their writing, and have now read three of their six published titles! Wouldn’t you like to know more about this awesome entity? Okay, let the interview begin…
Ufuomaee: Hi, please can you introduce yourself and your initiative, The Fertile Chick?
The Fertile Chick: The Fertile Chick is an online support fertility, pregnancy and parenting community. It started in 2014 and we’ve offered support to hundreds of women (and men too).
Ufuomaee: What is the nature of this support?
The Fertile Chick: Advice, Sounding Board, Pointers, Hospital/Doctor Verification, Peer Counseling, Shoulder to cry on, Cheerleading. That kind of thing.
Ufuomaee: Okay, cool! What was the inspiration to start this initiative?
The Fertile Chick: Personal experience. I had a delay and one of the ways I decided to give back was to create a community like this, to be there for other women in the same situation.
Ufuomaee: Okay, nice one. How does one join your community?
The Fertile Chick: It’s very easy. There is a sign-up button on the home page and voila, you’re all signed up and have access to all our support groups on the site.
Ufuomaee: Okay. I thought there were a special group of women you work with. Can people volunteer to assist in that capacity, if they don’t need the support themselves?
The Fertile Chick: We’re lucky to have a wonderful alumni. Women who passed through the system, had their babies and are now also giving back.
Ufuomaee: That’s awesome! Great… I think I have a better understanding of it now. So, how did you get the idea to start telling stories? Had it always been in your plans?
The Fertile Chick: No. We started off with diaries contributed by real life women. These still run on the site. It was in 2016 we decided to try our hands at a fictional series. And the reception was mind blowing. So we continued.
Ufuomaee: It definitely is! People love love love stories. And I guess your diaries must have come in handy…?
The Fertile Chick: Yes people do love stories. You mean my personal diaries?
Ufuomaee: Yes… Your diaries and those of your other contributors.
The Fertile Chick: No I didn’t use my diaries for any of the stories. Probably haven’t kept a diary in 25 years. Our contributor diaries are about fertility and healthy lifestyles, so these haven’t influenced our stories either. We’ve drawn from (loose) personal experience and just good story telling.
Ufuomaee: Wow! Your stories are so captivating and detailed, anyone would think they were built on real experience. Well done! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 So, which was your first story?
The Fertile Chick: Thank you 🙏🏽 Faith’s Pregnancy.
Ufuomaee: Okay… I’m yet to read that one. I’m sure it’s awesome. What about your second?
The Fertile Chick: Faith’s was written in a diary format, but with drama infused here and there. It was seeing the reaction to it that led to ‘Accidentally Knocked Up’. That drew quite a bit from my own personal experience and that of a few of my close friends.
Ufuomaee: Wonderful! I loved loved loved “Accidentally Knocked Up!” It’s still my favourite, but maybe because it’s the first of your books I read. Great!
The Fertile Chick: Thank you.
Ufuomaee: So, after that was?
The Fertile Chick: You Used To Love Me.
Ufuomaee: Another amazing one! Loved it 👍🏽
The Fertile Chick: 🙏🏽
Ufuomaee: Then which?
The Fertile Chick: The Love Triangle.
Ufuomaee: That’s in line for reading! Mehn… How do you make time to write so many wonderful stories?!
The Fertile Chick: Thanks 😊 I’ve committed to writing a chapter a day. They are published per chapter on the blog, so that helps. Especially as our readers don’t take it easy with us if we miss a schedule 😄
Ufuomaee: Wow… That’s quite a burden. Do you write and publish the same day or week, or write in advance? I mean, your story telling is so structured, one would think you spent time getting everything to connect just right before publishing.
The Fertile Chick: Oh I storyboard before anything. Before I even start writing, I have a storyboard from start to finish. That way, I’m guided on an episode-by-episode basis. With my earlier writing, I didn’t do this and often got stuck in places. Storyboarding ensures we know the end from the beginning and vice versa. To answer your question, I write a day in advance. Sometimes, even on the day, struggling to meet our 9am deadline 😄
Ufuomaee: That’s cool! I’m doing that with my A Small World seasonal series. I’m juggling too many characters that if I don’t I’m going to get lost.
The Fertile Chick: It’s a great way to stay guided.
Ufuomaee: Wow wow wow. I used to write and publish the same day…and I started writing a few in advance. When I had to write a story well in advance to be published on another platform, I couldn’t go back to writing on demand. I take my time now, and have books in line for publishing.
The Fertile Chick: That’s great. I have a full time job so that’s not always possible.
Ufuomaee: What is your full time job?
The Fertile Chick: I work in Corporate Finance/Investor Relations/External Relations for an indigenous oil and gas company.
Ufuomaee: 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 How do you manage to joggle that and motherhood and marriage and this ministry???
The Fertile Chick: It’s not easy hun. I have to get to work early so I can write before work starts. And when my kids go to bed, I throw a bit in as well. That’s why I take lengthy breaks in between stories to just rest and recharge.
Ufuomaee: Thank God about the breaks! I for fear! When you said you wrote a chapter a day, I was doing the maths in my head, lol! It’s not easy! I’ve written three stories this year, though I’m still running the first, and my brain is TIRED!!! I still plan on writing three more before it’s over.
The Fertile Chick: Wow. 3 in 6 months. Impressive.
Ufuomaee: Thanks! They are not very long stories…not like The Church Girl. One is about 16k words, another 30k and the last is about 40k.
The Fertile Chick: Nice and short. Very good idea.
Ufuomaee: Thanks! 🙂 Do you rely on word counts for your chapters? Or you just flow until it stops?
The Fertile Chick: Our audience determined that 😄. Our earlier books had a word count of about 1k an episode. But our readers thought this was too short so now we do 2k to 3k. But for some of our finale chapters, especially when everything is just flowing, they could get up to 5k.
Ufuomaee: 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 As standard, 2-2.5k is the length of my chapters. But with the ones I’ve written this year…actually because of the books I’ve read with short chapters, I decided to use less words per chapter. So, after The Love Triangle…?
The Fertile Chick: Golibe
Ufuomaee: Okay…so Golibe! The reason for this Interview!!! That’s your FIFTH title? You must be so proud 🤗
The Fertile Chick: Very ☺
Ufuomaee: 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 So, tell us about Golibe… Any special inspiration behind that story?
The Fertile Chick: It just came to me one day…a young girl searching for her roots. I got the idea right after ‘Accidentally’ but it hadn’t taken form yet. I spent a few more months just dreaming through the story and along the way, I fell in love with a mystery character named Duke 😍 And falling in love the old fashioned way.
Ufuomaee: Lol! He was born in the spirit world before you wrote his name in your story 😄
The Fertile Chick: Lol. He was 😄
Ufuomaee: I must tell you, I loved his character too… I could just imagine this guy with afro and a wild beard, and deep eyes who was so calm and cool….but got hot with passion, if you mess with his woman! FIREEE!!!
The Fertile Chick: Exaaaaactly!
Ufuomaee: Nice one… So, can you give a summary or a little blurb for our readers…?
The Fertile Chick: Golibe is the story of a young woman who starts off on a quest to locate her birth parents, but ends up on a journey of self discovery and love.
Ufuomaee: 👍🏽 I remember the first blurb you did on Okadabooks… It did give some of the juice away. This is a nice blurb that will let the reader discover the true story for themselves.
The Fertile Chick: Oh really?
Ufuomaee: But it was that juicy one that convinced me that I wanted to read the story sha.
The Fertile Chick: Lol!
Ufuomaee: So, how has the reception been? Overall.
The Fertile Chick: Phenomenal. It’s been mind blowing. We have steady following from not only Nigerian, but Ghanaian and Kenyan readers too. Facebook is our biggest medium and the comments per post shows how emotionally vested our readers get. Especially for the book after ‘Golibe’ and ‘Where Is The Love?’.
Ufuomaee: 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 Well done! It was a really good read. I love how all your stories take people on an emotional journey.
The Fertile Chick: Thanks dear 💖
Ufuomaee: But Golibe broke my heart sha… Duke and the rest will forgive her, but for me, her shakara was too much!
The Fertile Chick: 😄😄 She was young naaa… A small gal.
Ufuomaee: So, I hear you have a new story… Is it published yet?
The Fertile Chick: ‘Where Is The Love’ has been published on Flip and is already doing great. It will be published on Okadabooks shortly.
Ufuomaee: Okay…why the time separation? Also, what is it about?
The Fertile Chick: No real reason. Was just trying to sort out a glitch with the Okada team. It’s about marriage, and the consequences of not taking care of your love.
Ufuomaee: Hmmmmm…. Sounds interesting. Okay…which is your favourite?!!! 😁
The Fertile Chick: 75% of our readers have rated it their favourite. And to be honest, it’s mine also. I drew quite a whole lot from my own personal experience as well.
The Fertile Chick: Where Is The Love?
Ufuomaee: Oh wow 🙂 My next read! Okay, a couple more questions before you go. How do your stories relate and contribute to your ministry on The Fertile Chick? Would you call it ministry?
The Fertile Chick: Our stories are not always related to our core ethos of fertility and the like. They were designed as a way for our community members to ‘escape’ from all the (in)fertility talk. So no, I wouldn’t really call it a ministry
Ufuomaee: Okay. Do you aim for your faith to be communicated through your stories, or is your intention just to be real and not necessarily have or share a religious perspective?
The Fertile Chick: We aim to keep our stories clean and to promote Christian principles, but we wouldn’t classify our work as Christian fiction.
Ufuomaee: 🙂 Cool! I was surprised and pleased with how clean your stories are. With Accidentally Knocked Up and your name, I originally thought you stood for something else. I really appreciate what you do. 👍🏽
The Fertile Chick: Thank you.
Ufuomaee: Oh, it’s been so wonderful having you with us today! Thanks so much for your time and what you do at The Fertile Chick.
The Fertile Chick: Thanks for having me.
Ufuomaee: Do you have any last word for our readers? How can they learn more about you and follow you?
The Fertile Chick: For women going through infertility, you’re not alone. If you need to talk, drop by our happy place at www.thefertilechickonline.com 💖
That ends this week’s episode of The Spotlight! I hope you enjoyed it, and will follow our featured author. Have a lovely weekend!
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
If you liked this post, you might like THE SPOTLIGHT: A REVIEW OF “ACCIDENTALLY KNOCKED UP” BY THE FERTILE CHICK
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