Friday, January 20, 2017

John Ukah discusses his new book, “Murder at Midnight”

John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). He has created an intriguing gallery of characters at the core of this whodunit thriller. 

D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue, and welcome.

John Ukah: I am delighted to be here.
D.O: The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

John Ukah: From Lagos in Nigeria.

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

John Ukah: I have always kept a personal journal. Writing is cathartic and exhilarating. It is therapeutic. There was no decision to become a writer. Writing has always been a part of me.

D.O: Whoa! That’s good to know. Tell us, what are the various craft you studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

John Ukah: I have a natural tendency to write stories.

D.O: That’s talent there. What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

John Ukah: I did some research and made a lot of notes. I prepared broad outlines and chapter plans. I wrote a few chapters at a time and not necessarily in a sequential order. I edited them over and over again. It was useful to get feedback from readers.

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

John Ukah: The book has a gallery of engaging characters with struggles and conflicts that readers can identify with. Characters that keep the reader captivated till the very last page and live on afterwards in the mind. Readers can relate with their situation and come to care about them. The story also has unexpected surprises in the culmination. 

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

John Ukah: It deals with the conflicts and relationship dynamics which play out where there are religious and cultural differences. It deals with drug abuse, self-esteem issues and murder.

D.O: What's the subject matter of your book?

John Ukah: The interactions of people from diverse backgrounds and value orientations. The story is about a young lady who discovered a dark secret and was murdered in a guest house at midnight.  Almost every other guest at the Lodge appeared to have had a motive to kill her.

D.O: Hmm. That’s touching. What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in your book?

John Ukah: People are like books. You only get to know a book by reading it. You get to know people by interacting or studying them. People are not always who they profess to be. Don’t judge a book by its cover or people by their social media profile picture. There’s often more to them than meets the eye.

D.O: Hmm. You don’t want to say. You author always plan me when it comes to this question. No problem. [SMILES] Well, what town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

John Ukah: The story portrays the serene and therapeutic Obudu environment in Cross River State, Nigeria. It captures the beautiful scenery and comfortable weather conditions - beaches, gardens, amusement parks and ranch resorts which have turned the Obudu Ranch Resort into a holiday-maker's delight.

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides your story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from?

John Ukah: The story is told from the viewpoint of three characters in the book which provides the reader a panoramic view. 

D.O: What do these points of views infuse into each of the chapter in your book?

John Ukah: The reader gets to see how same events are perceived differently by the characters owing to their diverse backgrounds. This leads to conflicts with far-reaching consequences, including murder.

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world?

John Ukah: He wants to unmask the person behind the chilling and brutal murder of a young lady he admired. The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix do not make the task of solving this case any easier.

D.O: Hmm. What does he do to achieve this goal?

John Ukah: He carries out a systematic investigation leveraging on his experience as a retired police officer.

D.O: What are the core truths for your lead character?

John Ukah: He discovers that things are not always what they seem. The only person he can trust is himself.

D.O: In reality, I’d say the only person we can trust is actually ourselves. It’s the only way we stay sane in the messed up world. What are the two conflicting values you created for the lead character?

John Ukah: He had romantic feelings for the murdered young lady. They shared an intense, but brief moment of passion. However, he needs a clear head to solve the case. He needs to be calm and methodical.

D.O: Do these values make sense from his backstory?

John Ukah: Yes, they made sense. He stayed true to character.

D.O: O.K. What is the personal trait you gave your lead character to survive your book story?

John Ukah: His power of observation. He pays attention to little details.

D.O: In the end of your book did the story goal satisfy your lead character's ambition or did he device another method to achieve his goal or failed at achieving it?

John Ukah: His goal was achieved with the assistance of other characters.

D.O: How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

John Ukah: The book covers a spectrum of societal issues. The individual struggles of the characters and conflicts in the book as well as their resolution will positively influence reader’s growth.

D.O: Any hint about your next book?

John Ukah: My next book is a detective thriller, a testimony on the bogey of love-life amidst confusion and value misjudgments. It affirms the point of duty on young men and women to make the right choices with their eyes open.  The story is a saga of love, pitiful criminalities, investigations, assumptions and deceits.

D.O: I’m sure my audience can’t wait to read that. It sounds intriguing. What better effort do you suggest writers, put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

John Ukah: Content is important. Write a book that resonates with the public. Get the services of trusted professionals to help you create the final published product. Promote the work. 

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. We
wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

John Ukah: Thank you.

Direct link to purchase "Murder at Night" Amazon Amazon UK Smashwords Barnes & Noble

Connect to John Ukah Twitter Facebook

John Ukah joined the Authors’ Curtilage Book Dialogue via email from Lagos Nigeria. 

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