Friday, December 13, 2013
Interview with Fey Ugokwe, Author of Wifey
Fey Ugokwe was born in Washington, D.C., to immigrant parents--one from British Guiana, South America, and the other from Nigeria, West Africa. She was subsequently raised in Pennsylvania, and attended both college and law school in Massachusetts. Fey is an attorney, and the founder of a socially-conscious media activity. At the age of three, she was taught to read and write by her maternal grandmother, a British-trained schoolteacher, and has been writing fiction and poetry since a child. She received her formal training in novel writing, genre fiction writing, contemporary fiction writing, and political fiction writing in Massachusetts, where her professors included renowned authors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interests are, namely, in genre, contemporary, and political fiction, and she has a strong interest in uniquely combining the essences of the three, in order to highlight the underpinnings of the human experience.
Visit her website at www.pinkpurseinternational.net.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm an attorney, new indie author, and founder/owner of a socially-conscious media activity. Culturally, I'm what may result when one mingles, marries a foreign student from the then British Guiana, South America with another from Nigeria, West Africa. At the wee age of three, my grandmum, a British-trained schoolteacher, did me a full-on fave by teaching me to read and write, thus rapidly expanding my likely innate desire to journal the universe. I grew on to receive my formal training in novel writing, genre fiction writing, contemporary fiction writing, and political fiction writing in Massachusetts, where my professors included personally pin-drop quiet, but nevertheless well-celebrated, authors. And to that end, I do hope somehow in Wifey, I've begun to make some of all the above folk--whether in this Realm they are or in that of the Divine--a pinch well proud for having mentored me.
When did you begin writing?
Ever since my maternal grandmum taught me to read and write at the age of three--and basically, my hands haven't shut up since. I've a passion for most genres of fiction writing, but I knew my first work would have to largely be a walk in the often still-so-smarting, nearby now, and not anything set in times we just haven't yet met.
What is this book about?
Wifey navigates you through nearby-real-time contemporary social and political justice themes, namely those of a dramatic change in socioeconomic status due to domestic/worldwide economic downturn; multicultural gender norms; gender disparity in marriage; domestic violence; multiculturalism and multiracialism; religion; and more. However, I wrote it to encompass and not to exclude--so it’s meant to eat sweet and stay-awhile, and to seek, find, the common or compassionate bud on you. Deliberately cut with moments of real-world humor, and infused with an array of cultures beyond those that swirl up in its excerpts, it attempts to ask the ‘what if’--in a time not too far removed from now.
What inspired you to write it?
Eons well gone, in the cluttered little starter apartment of a young male cousin of mine and his sweet-beaming-faced wife--both recent Greek Life college grads, like the characters in my book--I observed the former winkingly referring to his spouse as "wifey." I found it pretty cool the way the term slid so effortlessly out of his mouth, but it sparked a hmm in my head, that eventually, in part, gave birth to my book. I specifically began industriously wondering about some other households in the nation, wherein the term "wifey" was perhaps being conversely used to demean, dismantle, destroy. Fast forward the pop culture clock, and "wifey" is now just another part of our period's parlance, referring to everything from indeed a wife, to an intergalactically-awesome girlfriend, to a should-be-spousey stranger or acquaintance. And it was just that--the term's continuing use and its expanded, 2013 reality--that gave rise to the story concept dough for my little work of contempo fiction, Wifey.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Publishing Wifey was a more or less a virtually easy, point-click-upload-post production. Writing Wifey, however, was unduly difficult, due to the very sad reality that my mum, a stage IV uterine cancer patient, was at the same time undergoing a grueling chemotherapy regimen, and first set of radiation treatments. Add to that an insatiable urge to seize almost every moment not taken up with caring for her to pen this book, and you have the sleepless-days-and-nights-of-a-dish that is this, my first substantially-sized work.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
My Wifey is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target.com, iBookstore, and other scrumptious, select online book retailers.
What is up next for you?
I would love to tongue-and-tell here, re: future works (or more appropriately sometimes--re: the way life’s other realities oft can be--'kiss-and-kvetch'), but my maternal grandmum did teach me to keep a good secret's mouth well closed, and I am also essentially, yet at the yolk-spilling stage of my career. So, suffice it to say, since many of us writers were almost literally birthed pondering and putting thoughts down, the law of probability says I've probably produced some sort of backlog, somewhere of sorts. And I think I’m going to have to wink and brow-raising, leave it at that now, lest Grandmum’s apparition opt to have a visit with me in disapproval--all the while extending an eerie, pointing finger, whilst standing still and square in a doorway--as she had oft threatened this once sweet-virgin-teenager so to freakishly, posthumously, do.