Tag Archives: character

Obiageli Danjuma~The Woman Behind The Men.

My good people, nno nu. kedu? Don’t be alarmed that just means welcome and how are you in Igbo. I know you must know by now that that’s where I’m from. Specifically I’m from Enugu in Anambra State. It’s in the eastern part of Nigeria. For those of you that know Nigeria, you might be wondering how an Igbo girl (Not a word! I am still a girl, young at heart) as I was saying a girl like myself end up having Danjuma as my surname. One word…love.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.”

Gee m nti…Listen to me…there is real love and what we make ourselves believe is love. The Bible says not to be yoked with unbelievers. For all the wrong reasons, I yoked myself to a dashing young Muslim man and I payed for it dearly. I was living in London when I met Zayd, he was not a bad man but we didn’t share the same fundamental philosophies however we did love each other. Or so I thought… his decision changed the course of life for my sons and I. I was very angry with him for a long time. Note to all you young women out there…trust your instinct, if something smells like a rat, it is a rat. When a man hides you from his family…something is wrong. (I can’t go further, Ms. Unoma is looking at me one kind of way…read A Scoop Of Love to find out what I mean.)

But God is faithful..His joy was and continues to be my strength. I raised three well rounded boys so I come to tell you, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5. If anybody had told me living in East London raising three boys with no family that one would turn out to be the owner of a conglomerate ( my Rasheed had to embrace forgiveness to walk into his destiny) or a medical doctor, my Jabir, that operates on peoples heart (if only he will let Jesus work on his) or my international soccer star, Kamal…I would have told them kia! asi. It is a lie.

Nne nu m o…look at me…I have been talking and talking and haven’t introduced my self. Ndo nu… Sorry o. For those of who who do not know me, I am the mother of those three men that Ms. Unoma has introduced to you since last year..the ones she calls the Danjuma brothers. Eh umu m…my children. You have already met diokpala m…that is an igbo phrase for first son, Rasheed. I used to call him my little protector (in a way he still is) I’m honored God allowed me to bring him into this world and I am so proud of him. I love all my sons dearly but Rasheed became a man when he shouldn’t have. I exposed him to so much, a child should never have to go through that. It shall be well with him all the days of my life.

Very soon you will meet the first of my ejima, my twins. Jabir, my strong, opinionated, comforter. I knew he would grow up caring for people. My doctor… just like his brothers, he is stuck in his ways. But unlike Rasheed, he is a womanizer…they think I don’t know about the women he carried… carried? that is our Naija way of saying dated…Deep down, all the women he carried was just a way for him to forget the one that broke his heart. I sure hope they can get it together before it is too late. I saw her in Abuja when Rasheed was marrying my sweet Ibiso. Damisi is a good Christian girl, I hope she can show my son the way to Jesus.

As for Kamal, you will know him better when you read about Jabir. They are like 5 and 6. So close. Jabir protects him and I am happy for that…I need to find him a sweet young girl to marry…


Daalu nu o…thank you for sitting with me while I ramble about my children…parents, you know how we are…. Ehen..before I go. click this link here and buy Anchored By Love. It is on sale now. Daalu nu


Unoma here! I hoep you enjoyed hanging with Mrs. Danjuma. If you did do as she said o…click the link. I no dey for her wahala. 😉



Away With The Pleasantries

I always begin a post with a greeting. It was the way I was taught. It is customary to exchange greeting whenever you “see” someone.

Where I come from (Nigeria) greetings are done with a lot more meaning than in the Western world. Back home, when a child sees an elder or an adult meets another adult there is a pause and pleasantries are exchanged. It’s not a hurried “How are you?” but a “Good(morning/afternoon/evening), how are you?” then a whole conversation ensues in responding to that question simple question…”how are you?However, in the West, I’ve come to learn that depending on the relationship, the “how are you ?” is just a check box.

I say all this to tell you that,when it now came to writing my books especially my debut novel An Unexpected Blessing. I had full blown conversations behind the question “how are you?”. I mean that’s what I knew but a huge no no in book writing.

Bubble on red background

My ever fantastic editor got me to do an exercise that I found do intriguing. My audience isn’t primarily African so I had to get my books conversations (dialogues) to be fast paced and book-like. What did she mean by that? The pleasantries had to go!! I learn’t from that exercise that even though in real life we go around saying , “hi”, “how are you?” those should be rare or non existent in a book.

Other things I learnt about effective book dialogue are:

  1. It’s always choppy: People love to cut people off or finish each others sentences. It helps move the story along.
  2. Do not use internal dialogue as an information dump. You never see someone in a conversation with another just “thinking” for long periods of time without saying anything.
  3. Effective dialogue curbs long narrations and is a great way to drop pertinent information.
  4. Great dialogue, make for great action scenes.
  5. Every character should have a distinctive voice. Does your male character sound male? If they do, they shouldn’t be able to describe female clothing in DETAIL in their internal dialogue. Does your female character sound female?
  6. Beats Balance: When we are talking, we are never idle. We gesture with our hands, move from one place to another, shift positions…you name it. As you know, these are called beats and they are to be used in moderation. Imagine dialogue in a book where you’re constantly being told what the character is doing as they talk.
  7. Lastly “said” still remains the best tag.

Writing dialogue has become one of my strong suits when I write. But it took practice. Try this exercise: Ask 5 people, preferably of varying relationship to you, the same question and see how they answer. You’ll notice, everyone is different.

How do you write or like to read your book dialogue?




Remember to join my exclusive community here

What’s In A Name

character names

That which we call a rose by any other name, would smell as sweet~William Shakespeare

Hey y’all. The Christmas is a mere two weeks away. My house is fully decorated and my kids have written out their wish list. I know I’ve said it before… I love this time of the year. I get to spend time with family and celebrate my birthday as well. Every year, my last day at work is the 20th of December. I spend the rest of the year de stressing and trying to make my home as festive as possible. Some might not like Christmas or the hoopla of it. This was the case with my heroine Olanma in The Christmas Ultimatum but consider what Abayomi told her “If not for anything, consider the fact that Christ left all His glory and came down to subject Himself to His own creation so we might have chance at eternal life” that Ladies and Gents is really the reason for the season.

I also spend the last weeks of the year, trying to organize what I want to accomplish the next year by God’s grace. Almost everyone I know swears by vision boards. I am not that kind of girl…I’m more like a “write the vision down make it plain” key word being WRITE. I have this notebook I take everywhere. My husband jokes and says “Babe if that book gets missing, I will go into hiding cos I know your wrath will come down.” It’s not that bad, he is exaggerating but you kind of get the gist.

I’m am an introvert but I promised myself I will do more offline events in the coming year. Book Clubs, book signings and conferences. It is also my aim for now, to release three novels. The first one will be in Spring, then late summer and the fall. My first release for the new year will be titled Amarachi. That bring me to the title of this post. What’s In A Name. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but where I come from we take our names very very very seriously. You see how many  “verys” I got in there right. In Nigeria, we don’t just name a child because the name is cute. We name kids based on some significant meaning.

My name is Unoma, I love my name, it means “Happy Home” I was named that why? I am the first born of my parents so, I made their home happy…you get it. Most of my family lives in Lagos which is Yoruba territory so although I’m Igbo, I’m also called Abiodun…why? I was born on Christmas Eve and it means “born during a festive period.” And I could go on and on  telling you the reasons I gave my kids the names they have…Even my novels, any character with a Nigerian name is named carefully.

So Amarachi means grace of God. As I told you before, it’s not romance but women’s fiction. So what is grace? It’s commonly recited as “unmerited favor of God” but I like Bill Gothard’s definition “Grace gives us the desire and the power that God gives us to do his will” or James Ryle definition “Grace is the empowering Presence of God enabling you to be who He created you to be, and to do what He has called you to do”  Betrayal is a hard things to let go of. Grace truly describes what my heroine Amara, as she is fondly called will go through and how she really will need that power and presence of God to pull her through to actually do His will…Forgive.

I’ll like to know the significance of your name…drop me a comment below and I may just ask for permission to use it…Amara’s friend in my book needs a name!