Welcome back to ON THE SOFA WITH KIRU where I chat with a guest about books and life. Today I have the fabulous Nana Prah whom I'm proud to call a good friend. Join us as we chat about writing, publishing and her upcoming book.
Welcome back to my blog, Nana. It's been a while since we chatted about books and writing romance. Please reintroduce yourself to my readers by telling us about yourself.
Thanks for having me back, Kiru. It’s always good talking to you. Now about me. I’m a nurse, educator, and a published author. I adore chocolate, reading, puppies, and the random sayings and actions of children. I’m a strong woman who doesn’t take a lot of nonsense, at least that’s what my friends tell me. Other than that I’m pretty cool and can get along with mostly anyone (especially if they gift me with chocolate).
So you've had eight of your books published to date and a ninth one on the way. Congratulations! How would you describe your writing journey so far? Are you where you want to be as a writer?
Thank you. It’s been quite the ride. I wish I could say it’s been smooth all the way through, but I’d be lying. For me actually writing a story is the best part of being an author. Letting my characters dictate where they want to go and then being surprised when they get there. The one thing about writing is that there is no consistency when it comes to confidence. A friend of mine said that confidence as a writer is as slippery as a greased pig. Very difficult to maintain, but worth it when you do.
There is always something more to accomplish as a writer. Ten published books then twenty. Becoming a New York Times Bestselling author. Being revered by the world. Nope. I’m not quite where I want to be yet.
You write romance that is essentially sweet and vanilla. What do you think about closed-door versus open-door romance novels when it comes to sex and sensuality? Does it matter?
I’m chuckling at vanilla – You are so right. For me it’s about the romance of the story, not the sex. How the characters engage, desire each other and come to fall in love. If a story can make my stomach flip as I read then I’m happy with the romance. To be honest there are some closed door scenes I’ve read that I wished I could’ve peeped through the keyhole because I was so vested in the characters. It all depends on the story.
LOLing at 'peep through the keyhole.' Does being an African affect the way you tell your stories? Do you worry about who will read your books and what they will think?
Yes it does. Even though I grew up in the US, my conservative Ghanaian upbringing plays a big role in the sensuality of my writing. My first three books are completely devoid of sex. I kept worrying about what my family would say when they read my books, so I kept them completely sweet. I broke out with my fourth book – Destiny Mine. Esi and Adam are passionate characters. When I released the fear of judgment and let them do their thing, it lead to the bedroom and it fit into the story perfectly. This was a revelation for me where I learned not to think about what other people would say about my books but to go with my gut and trust my writing.
I'm going to be a little controversial now. We know some romance publishers have come under fire recently about their reluctance to publish POC (persons of color) stories because they think readers don't want those stories.
What is your opinion about those publishers? Going even further, I noticed your last two novels have been set outside Africa. Was this driven out of the necessity to conform to the publisher or was this something else?
There’s definitely a market for books with POC and publishers should acknowledge and accept this. I don’t know about anyone else but I like to read stories about people who look like me just as much as I enjoy reading stories about those who don’t. It’s all about variety and I hope the same is true for others. This year I have made a concerted effort to have my reading list consist of about 80% of my books being written about or by a POC. So far I have loved ever book I’ve read and look forward to even more fabulous books.
I spent most of my life in the US and ten years in Ghana. I can identify with both cultures, but sometimes a story draws me to one rather than the other. It all depends on the story line that pops into my head. I tend to write the story first and find the publisher second.
That's good to know.
So let's talk about your upcoming book, Path to Passion. Can I just say, I love the cover. It reminds me of Spring and rejuvenation, which I suppose is the theme of your story since it is a second chance romance. Tell us about your story and the inspiration for it.
Brilliant assessment of the cover. Miguel is the only heir to the Astacio fortune who actually likes being in the spotlight, and he’s good at it. When I started his story I needed a heroine who wouldn’t be in awe of his rich, celebrity status. Someone he could consider an equal even though they were financially and socially worlds apart.
Tanya had no idea who Miguel was when her brother introduced them in college. They became friends and she, being a forthright and honest person treated him in the same respectful and unawed manner even when she did discovered who he really was. Miguel destroyed their friendship when he hurt her by choosing a much needed friendship with her brother rather than a relationship with her back in college.
When they meet up again years later, it’s their initial friendship that was revived when Tanya needed his help. It doesn’t hurt that the attraction they’d experienced years ago sparks up again, too.
I'm so looking forward to the book. What other stories do you have in the pipeline? When can we expect the next book to come out?
I’m so excited to return to Africa for my next story, even though it’s a fictitious country. I’m collaborating with two fabulous authors you may know – Kiru Taye and Empi Baryeh - to tell the story of three sister princesses.
Of course as the youngest, my character is the most beloved (and spoiled) of the three. Just saying. There is an illicit love in her life that she isn’t willing to give up even though her father tries to make her do so by placing her in a situation which would help her country rather than her heart.
I'm so excited about our project too. I can't wait reveal it to the world.
So If someone has never read any of your books, which book do you recommend they read first?
This is a really hard question because I absolutely love them all. I’m going to break it down. If you like paranormal than Love Through Time is for you. If you want a sweet romance with a taste of Africa then Midwife to Destiny. For adventure, laughs and a possible cry then you should pick up A Perfect Caress. Everyone should read Path to Passion when it is released this July.
All great books! What is the next book on your To Read Pile that you are dying to jump into?
I’m not just saying this because I’m being interviewed here, but Sacrifice just came out and I’ve been waiting for it since I read Outcast. Both by you, Madam Kiru Taye. And now that my princess story is completed and waiting for editing I’d like finally start reading A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. I’ve been excited about it since I first saw the cover.
Yay! Alyssa Cole's book is also on my reading list.
Now the serious stuff is out of the way, let's have some fun with a game. Which do you prefer?
Books or Movies >>> Books – duh!
Reading or Sleeping >>> There is a time and need for both, but I’d gladly relinquish sleep for a good book.
Sweet or Spicy foods >>> Sweet – I’m a chocoholic
Safari or Beach holidays >>> Beach. I love the ocean
Killmonger or T'Challa >>> T’Challa – I love, love, Love Black Panther. I didn’t agree with Killonger’s way of Equalizing things amongst the Underprivileged Black people in the World. He killed without remorse and would have other do the same. That is never a good thing. Killmonger did have some fabulous lines, though. T’Challa was honorable, Good, Brave, and oh so Delicious. A born and raised King and leader.
Ghana Jollof or Nigerian Jollof >>> What kind of question are you asking A Ghanaian? Ha ha ha. Of course Ghana Jollof!
😂Let the #jollofwar continue.
Thank you for chatting with me, Nana.
Do you have any questions for Nana? Leave a comment for a chance to win a book from her Destiny series.
Path to Passion is available for preorder now.
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/nbTvYU
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/KaobsG
Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/eH9ok8
Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/hbCASz
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