Friday, February 8, 2013

Interview 13: Emeka Iwenofu

Greetings humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview my new friend, Emeka Iwenofu. He is visiting the ECS as a guest and sharing loads of interesting insights into his work. Be sure to look around and see what he has to offer. Here are the results of our interview. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.

Hi there Emeka! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Universe. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.

 So tell me, who is Emeka Iwenofu?

My friends call me “Mecca” for short. I am a resident of Cleveland and graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in accounting. I first fell in love with the pen when I was 12 years old. I became fascinated with writing my own stories after reading many other stories. During my adolescent years, I began to write different stories here and there before I eventually took it serious and put down the calculator (in accounting terms) and picked up the pen.  It was something I loved to do and I knew how to do it well. Since then, I founded my own publishing company Hope Point Press, LLC and have produced a three book series called The Miracle Trilogy with the first and popular release being, Jackie’s Miracle, already out now while the other two will come out later this year. Writing is what I do full time now.

Well Mecca, that’s very impressive. Not too many people can say that they’ve taken a childhood dream and made it come true. You’ve taken your dream to the next level and claimed ownership of it…Good for you.

So whacha got for me today?

My highly acclaimed book, Jackie’s Miracle (release 1 & book 3 in this oddly ordered series) tells the story of young black girl who has just been released from prison for violent crimes she committed. Prior to this, she had a very painful childhood. She never knew her father and her mom was a drug addict who later died. She was also abused and neglected before entering different foster homes, later dropping out of high school and engaging a life of alcohol and drugs. It isn’t until she is assigned a parole officer named Mandi, who mentors her on secret success principles, that Jackie’s life takes on an extraordinary journey beyond what she ever thought possible, once she applies the techniques.  In all, this book is one you will not want to put down. It embodies love, peace, inspiration, and what we as people can all accomplish with the power of our minds regardless of our present conditions and circumstances.

This sounds like a very powerful story with many layers. I’m sure people will be interested to see just how and ex-con is able to turn her life around and live with positivity and success.

 So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of Jackie’s Miracle?

There are a few characters that stand out in this story. Jackie is the main character of this story and she lives with painful scars of her past as she tries her best to live a life of positive change.

Mandi (Jackie’s mentor) is a healthy black woman in her late thirties, who’s married and has a strong desire to help teach misguided people how to live successfully. She primarily chooses to do this because the “secret” was passed on to her when she was near death and in return, she promised that she would pass it on. Mandi gains knowledge of the “secret” from her mentor Francine and both of their stories are told in Mandi’s Miracle (release 3 & book 2 of the series) and Francine’s Miracle (release 2 & book 1 of the series).

Eriq is a young black fitness coach who becomes Jackie’s soul mate, the person with whom she shares many exciting experiences. Though what’s really interesting is what becomes of Jackie and Mandi’s children. It truly is a fascinating read and tear jerker.

I can see that strong females are dominant in this series and I like it. I’m sure that if I’m wondering about this “secret” others will too. You definitely have something here.

 Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

I primarily have a thought already mapped out for what I want to write and then just go along with it without procrastinating. It’s strange, but I guess it’s that Infinite or Higher Intelligence that experts talk about that helps me out.  I write on my laptop in a place where there’s no distraction of any kind, so that I can focus. I write until I’m done with at least one chapter. There’s no writer’s block of any kind and I usually finish one chapter in a day. I pace myself to do just one chapter a day, which can take me, at the most, 4 hours of pure concentration to do. For instance, I completed both books, Francine’s Miracle and Mandi’s Miracle in under six weeks back in November 2011. Also, I titled all my chapters which express the primary theme and nature of the chapters, which I do in all my books.

I like your work ethic. A chapter a day is very ambitious and if you’re able to pull it off, why not.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

Napoleon Hill and Og Mandino are authors whose books express success principles, the need for having a positive attitude in all things, and most importantly how to think. These are all primary themes in my stories, telling why and how that “new” change affects the life of Jackie in my story. The personal turnaround Jackie makes is meant to empower readers to develop these same principles in order to achieve success in their lives, while eliminating all excuses of why they can’t attain something.
I enjoyed Alexander Duma’s classic book The Count of Monte Cristo, which is where I really learned how to develop characters and plots in order to make an interesting story and keep readers on the edge. Og Mandino’s book, The Greatest Salesman in the World sort of expressed that same style in a true positive form among characters. And as for the plays of William Shakespeare, I just enjoyed learning the various personalities of all of his characters and how he put them together in order to make his powerful masterpieces.

Well, I’ve read from all these great authors and am now feeling quite proud of myself. These are great examples of writing styles and techniques to mimic and admire. I say it all the time and will say it once more- you must read the kind of material you want to write if you expect to be any good at it…Kudos to you Mecca for a fine selection of influence and inspiration. 

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Napoleon Hill for his masterpieces of The Law of Success, commissioned by Andrew Carnegie, and Think and Grow Rich, the most treasured success book in history with other 70 millions copied sold. Many famous celebrities and business moguls throughout the world have credited the latter as the reason for their success.

I am very intrigued about the whole process of interviews, adversity, and setbacks he endured and overcame to complete the work of Carnegie’s commission. From him, I think I can learn how I could further better myself as a human being, since what he expresses are universal laws to be successful and not just suggestions.

Yes, I agree that the story of how The Law of Success came about is almost as interesting as the book itself, and it’s hard to deny the wisdom of Think and Grow Rich. It seems that that one would have quite a bit to gain from having an in-depth conversation with Mr. Hill.

Who is so you and why?
I’m so Tony Montana from Scarface because I can relate to a man who has a dream and desire in life, and doesn’t waste any time procrastinating to achieve it. In essence, Montana is a go-getter. Regardless of his profession, Scarface has a dream and a goal, and is going to fulfill it at all costs which just so happens to be the first law of success Napoleon Hill teaches. A man must have “A Definite Chief Aim” before anything can work. The general population just doesn’t have that kind of or aim or purpose, which explains the level that most people are at. Basically, man must have a hungry desire or fueling obsession to achieve or become something and that’s what Tony Montana has. That’s why I relate and idolize him so much. He understands: The World is Yours!

Not too many people can put a positive spin on Tony Montana, but you did it. I guess even in the mind of a mad man, once has to give credit to determination. In all seriousness, I know what you mean, but Scarface is crazy.

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

Basically I like to read in a quiet area, ideally in a library or my home where there’s no noise or distraction and I can devote full concentration and/or focus to what I’m reading.

I’m currently reading, Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill. It was a manuscript written by him back in 1938 but wasn’t ever published until 2011 since the entire book was so controversial and believed to be very troubling to churches, schools, and other institutions in carrying out their “duty”, which had Napoleon and his wife in fear of ever releasing it to the public, thinking they would be condemned by everybody and thus locked in a safe vault until a brave family member uncovered it 35 years after Napoleon’s wife died in ’84.

I never knew about this book and again the story behind it is so fascinating. I can only image what other wonders and insight Mr. Hill had to offer so long ago, which I’m sure is still relevant now.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

That’s some pretty heavy reading for a pre-teen, but good to hear. It’s a very emotional and controversial story. Kids gotta learn about that stuff sometime and if you read it that early in life, you must have been ready for it…

Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?

Fo’ sho.

Alright then, here we go.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Freedom Writers: starring Hilary Swank. MTV Films/Paramount Pictures. 2007

I’ve never seen that film, but I’ve heard it’s pretty good.

What makes you geek out?

Freedom/positive change, or documentaries that tell the truth of different economic issues affecting America or the massive cover-ups, which the news never reports.

Sounds to me that you’re a bit of a Conspiracy Theorists, not that I see a problem with that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having questions and not taking everything at face value. There is a time and place for everything, including complacence and defiance.

 So what’s testing your patience right now?

JACKIE’S MIRACLE! I have already gotten offers from screenwriters and was suggested by many fans for it to become a movie or screen play. Seriously. However, I want to release the other two books of the Trilogy later on this year so as to determine the best route to go.

Along, with that, I intend to do some traveling throughout the world, learning more and more about the other fun things in life while being inspiring to mankind. I just want to have fun, living life financially free.

Two excellent points that would surely  test my patience: the possible of your work being made into a film or play and the prospect of doing some world traveling sound great.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

I love jazz and old school R&B (like back in the 80s). I can’t stand Alternative or Heavy Metal. I’m sorry.

There’s no need to be sorry. I get all kinds of answers from people that praise and bash musical genres. I even had one person tell that they didn’t really like any kind of music. I’m a music lover, so it’s hard for me not to find something admirable about most musical genres, but I find that the average person doesn’t think in terms of genres, even though they think they do. I like the idea of exploring personal preferences because there is no right or wrong answer.

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

Believe it or not, I think the moment I got fired from my job with the federal government was the most exciting time in my life. It was fun because it was the first time in my life that I discovered how to really think of what I really wanted and where I wanted to go, rather than follow the crowd that just goes on to work and doesn’t really know why they’re doing it, other than to pay the bills. In fact, I believe that if it wasn’t for that incident, I probably wouldn’t be here today as a guest on your blog…because I’d be working some job and wouldn’t have been inspired to write my books.

That’s quite a prospective you have there. I guess it’s one of those scenarios that’s not very funny when it’s happening, but inevitably you end of laughing about it down the road. In any case, I think it’s great. Thank goodness for hidden blessings and miracles.

 Remind me again how I was lucky enough to meet you?

I saw your post on LinkedIn under the group Black Authors Network, which I check daily. If not that, I at least check it 3-4 times a week.

Oh yes, I remember I posting a message there and a few other places. I’m glad that I did. Meeting all the great authors, including you, has  been a wonderful experience.

Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

I believe I will be on multiple talk shows throughout the country and beyond, speaking at major events, be it on stage, on radio, or TV spreading my message. Plus, I believe and know for a fact that I will be travelling the world, meeting all kinds of people and experiencing all kinds of cultures, thus educating myself to a whole new world while enjoying every minute of it.

Ok humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Emeka Iwenofu, check out these great links:’s Miracle