1.Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into writing?
My name is Kenechi Udogu and I live in the lovely city of London where I write YA fantasy/paranormal/contemporary fiction, when I’m not working at my day job as an Architect. Growing up, I spent far too many hours devouring as many novels as I could consume. The rest of the time, I dreamt about being a writer. I don’t think anyone was surprised when I started writing short stories and drawing comics at a fairly young age and I haven’t stopped since.
2. Is there a particular book or film that inspired you in writing Aversion?
It’ll probably be best to explain what an Averter is first. Averters are people who push thoughts into the minds of their assignees to stop them from carrying out acts that will affect their futures. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of people with super powers who try to help others. I’m also particularly interested in abilities that involve mind manipulation (I blame TV shows like Heroes and The X-Men). Aversion was conceived when I wondered what it would be like to have a character who helps others by manipulating their minds whilst giving them the freewill to mess up their destiny. Of course something has to go horribly wrong in the process to make for an interesting story and once I threw that element in, Gemma’s story was created.
3.What would you say the easiest part of writing this book was?
Coming up with the general idea was pretty straightforward as I knew I wanted to write about a protagonist who was an anomaly amidst a special group of people. The rest of the story followed easily after that.
4.If you could be a character in your book, who would it be?
Seeing as I’d love to have psychic abilities of my own, I’d have to say Gemma.
5.How long did it take you to publish your first book, after you started trying?
Years! But that was mostly because I wasn’t too clued up on the idea of going solo. Since I discovered the world of print on demand books and e-books, publishing time has been drastically shortened to months (every good book still needs time to be edited, etc.).
6.How did you come up with the title?
I initially thought I’d call Gemma a Preventer as she was supposed to be preventing future events from happening. But it didn’t sound right; in fact I have to admit it sounded pretty lame. So I played around with other similar words (e.g., Mod, which is short for Modifier), until Averter popped into my head. I knew it was the right word when I wrote it down. Following on from that, I wondered what the right word would be to describe an Averter’s mind altering ability and Aversion sounded about right. Averter – Aversion. It was that simple. A friend of mine thought the book should be called Averter but it sounded too similar to Avatar and I didn’t want people to keep making that connection.
7.What book are you reading now?
I always have two books on the go, one hardcopy and one on my Kindle. At the moment the paperback I’m reading is Nefertiti by Michelle Moran and the e-book is Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller. They are very different genres so it’s easy to keep track of both stories as I switch from train journey mode (Kindle) to bedside mode (hardcopy).
8.Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve discovered a lot of new authors recently as I try to support other self-published/indie writers. One of my recent memorable reads was This Thirtysomething Life by Jon Rance. It’s not the genre I usually write or read but it made me laugh. I’ll definitely be looking out for Rance’s next book.
9.Tell us your most rewarding experience since being a published author.
I know it sounds silly but, every positive review I receive makes me a teeny-weeny bit tearful. The fact that something I’ve conjured in my head touches someone enough for them to reach for their keyboard and write about it …sometimes words can’t express the feeling that courses through my veins. Oh and don’t get me started on my beta-readers (YA bloggers) and book cover designer. I was so blessed to come in contact with these six amazing ladies who gave me so much of their time and energy for free. I can’t thank them enough!
by Kenechi Udogu
For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?