Category Archives: The Writing Journey

Want to know anything and everything about how I got started? Read it here. I might whine some times but its all good. I also share articles that help me along the way

aND ON THE 7TH dAY…

Seven years ago, I released my first baby…book baby that is into the world. So it’s my 7th year publishing anniversary!!!

If you have been following me for a while. You know the story of how I was running from my gift until I found myself needing intensive care mid flight on a business trip. You can read it here

https://unomanwankwor.com/2020/01/13/my-road-to-publication-my-story/

Well, today, seven years ago, I released my first book An Unexpected Blessing. I was so cared but the book did amazingly well. It was even featured in the USA Today HEA blog. My debut! You can find Alex & Fera’s story on Amazon. For the rest of the month, it is FREE on KU

http://bit.ly/AnUB

The Montgomerys

I haven’t be able to stop ever since. Believe me I’ve wanted to. Especially last weekend when I almost threw my whole laptop and writing career away. Yet I press on. Sharing the things dearest to me: my faith, my culture and that swoony happily ever after.

I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me from the first day and those who have come along from the ride since then. I also bless my Father & King, the One who gave me my gift and because of His grace alone…I am what I am.

Peace & Blessings

Unoma

Dear White Christian Publishers, Black Pain Isn’t For Your Gain…

To get a clearer picture of how I feel right now, imagine the angry feeling from the Emoji movie. Yea…him

Unless you have totally been removed from reality, you know the world is in timeout right now.

Between COVID 19 and the present racial reckoning, a whole lot has been happening. With that said, there has been a so-called awakening in industries that have fostered systemic racism for years. All of a sudden, they “weren’t aware and want to do something”. I’ve always been hesitant in my speech because as a first-generation Nigerian-American who lived her childhood and early adulthood in Nigeria, I understand I have a certain privilege living in America for the past two decades.

I am able to do a lot of the things I do here because I stand on the backs of African Americans(Black Americans) and the fight and blood that has been shed for years. I however do my part to educate my fellow Africans and lend my voice to the cause and culture. But I digress…

One of such industries is the publishing industry. A stunning hashtag on Twitter some time ago…#PublishingPaidMe had me disgusted. I’ve experienced my own share of racism as well as systemic racism working in Corporate America but what that hashtag revealed was just too much.

Overnight there’s a call for #ownvoices #diversestories, all the big to intermediate mainstream publishing houses are now trying to “do their part” I was kinda skeptical because;

  1. Indie publishing no longer has the stigma it once did. I’ve never needed a publisher to validate me. And this is due to many hard-working, talented indie/hybrid writers who have done wonders to revive Black Romance. From Christian fiction, Urban, Paranormal, and every subgenre in between.
  2. How will they market and promote these stories if they aren’t making changes from within by hiring Black editors(of all kinds), working with Black blogs & promoters or Black indie bookstores?

Now to the title of this post and why I’m fuming….you would expect Christian Publishers to be different when it comes to bias. But then look where we are in America..photo ops in front of churches and ish.

Lo and behold, not only are they behind but I promise y’all Jesus is not in that mess, they call themselves doing. So here it goes, I attended a call today( Aug 1, 2020) to “shed” light on the state of Christian Fiction and what they are looking for in #own and #diverse stories

Y’all ready? In a nutshell. They want BLACK PAIN. Well Dear White Christian Publishers, Black pain isn’t for your gain!!

Here’s a paraphrase: Race stories are hot right now. You’ve (Black Americans) had the experience of slavery.

So one of my sheros who reads my work and knows what I am about askes where African stories fit in this “new era”. I’ll pause here, in case you don’t know, or this is your first time here…I do not wax stories of African oppression, I do not tell downtrodden stories of social injustice. Those are not the type of stories I tell.

Newsflash: Black people are entitled to Black Joy! And Black Love that doesn’t come with PAIN. We deserve it!!

I showcase the fantastic culture, experiences, food, music, the scenery from the Continent the media doesn’t show while telling stories of faith. Featuring real people. The kind Jesus came for, those who are flawed and are only redeemed by the grace of God. Our daily struggles clinging to the cross and remaining anchored in faith, hope, and love while living in a fallen world.

Here is the answer to the question of where African stories fit into White Christian Publishing:

Very close paraphrase: “Unless the stories are stories of AIDS, POVERTY, or MISSIONARIES, going to Africa to build wells or it takes place on a Safari… readers( white women between 40-70) and the Christian Publishers won’t really go for it.”

Big African cities with African characters basically not needing the white man as a savior apparently does not cut it.

It’s taking everything in me not to curse right now. Yea Jesus works on me daily. Are you freaking kidding me?? Is that what Africa is to white American “Christian” readers??

You come to our land, steal, massacre, and loot our people and resources. Hundreds of years later, YOU still want to profit off BLACK PAIN? When will your conscience kick in?? I have no idea what Bible you’re reading? But Jesus is not in that. This is why people are leaving the church. We are not the example He has called us to be.

I will be here all day if I go into every single stereotype about Black America and Africa I heard on this call in 2020!!! To crown it however BLACK readers aren’t a demographic that can really make a difference in terms of buying power to sway what white Christian publisher want…

I’m so so done…

Yo America tuck your shirt in, your devil is showing~ Wale

Unoma

5 Years Later, 5 Things I’ve Learned.

Hi there!

Today is my fifth anniversary in publishing. In addition to being thankful for you coming on this journey with me, I want to share 3 things I have learned along the way as a published author.

First of all, I want you to know that I still consider myself a new author, but this journey has taught me a thing or two. I can share the glamour of holding your baby in your hand. Or yes it is glamorous, for me at least. But I want to share with you my transparent truth, it just might be yours as well.

5Years In Publishing

  1. Let your voice come naturally to you. I had to start with this because one of the things that stopped me in the beginning was I told myself I’d never sound as great as those who I’ve admired for years. Well, I was right, they are them and I am me. When God made each and everyone of us, He broke the mold, figuratively of course đŸ™‚Â  So instead of trying to copy someone’s voice, hone the one that God gave you.
  2. The passion for your story will dwindle: The thrill of a new idea is always exciting. I have woken up many nights so excited. But as time goes on, the allure of these characters dwindle under the craft. The number one thing I do is to step back and let the characters loose. One of the reasons the passion may dwindle is the characters aren’t doing what I told them to do…free them but don’t throw away the story. You can’t fix a blank page.
  3. You will not feel like writing every day…and guess what? You don’t have to. I know you see those quotes all the time about “write everyday”, “a writer should be writing” while true, that’s an enormous amount of pressure. I do not write everyday, but I also don’t write only when I feel like either. I set goals for releasing a book and follow my word count action plan to get it done.
  4. Growing a platform takes time. It will not explode overnight. That’s just not how it works. You have to post consistently. You have to put up valuable content. You have to make an effort to build your platform every single day. But don’t be so busy looking for the masses that you forget those that are with you now. Nurture them and they will help you spread the word. I LOVE MY AFRO LUV BUGS, they are my rock readers and I’m so grateful to them.
  5. Writing/Authorship/Publishing are three very different things. Be clear about what you’re doing and who you are. Publishing is a business and should be treated as such.

Have you read my titles? Check them out here

Keep walking in the direction of your dream. It might not be writing but whatever it is, keep at it. Good things take time.

Peace & Blessing,

Unoma