Thank you for having me (smiling)
My name is Stella Matthews, I have one younger brother and we live in London with our parents. Our mother is American and our dad is British; they're both lawyers … which means I have heard countless lectures about consequences. I like to believe that I am able to think on my feet, but my best friend, Nadine, thinks I'm rubbish at arguments. She had the nerve to say that if she were ever arrested for jaywalking, she would never hire me as her lawyer because I'd argue her right into a death sentence! Imagine that!
What is your role in the story?
I'm Nadine's best friend; I like to think she is literally my sister from another mother and we met at college. I get her to loosen up a bit and live a lot. She is Nigerian and comes from a super conservative background, but there's a mischievous streak there. So, we get to explore clubs in Oxford (even when we are technically under-age), she takes me to London to experience Nigerian food (it's really spicy), and we attend university in Bristol together. We get to go through some parts of life together; some lessons we learn, have more of a lasting impact than the rest …
What is your favourite hobby?
I like to push the envelope as far as I can. I got a tattoo when I was a minor, even if I knew my father would go absolutely nuts! It was just something I felt I needed to do … I was bullied at school, because of my accent. I am not sure why, but even though we live in London, I speak with a New York twang … and kids can be cruel. There was nothing anybody could do about it; we reported to the school authority, but they didn't do much. My parents eventually had to enrol me in a different school. So, I went through this phase where I felt like I needed to have some sort of control and in some way, getting that tattoo was a way of regaining control. Now that's over, I create a bit of mayhem from time to time, because what's a life without a little bit of randomness?
What is the challenge you are trying to overcome in the story?
(laughing) I wish I could be taken more seriously, sometimes. I goof around quite a bit, so some people don't think I'm capable of taking adult decisions or thinking rationally. I've no idea why; I mean, I did attend university away from home! I get to live and work in an entirely new country – Singapore! So, for people to think that I'm not credible is hilarious yet uncomfortable.
If you could make one wish, what would it be?
That Nadine would really follow her own heart. She's a very courageous and kind-hearted woman in a lot of ways … but I wish she would have the courage to put herself and her own happiness first, without focusing unduly religion, culture or the other stuff that weighs her down in so many ways …
Title: Forever There For You
Author: Chioma Nnani
When NADINE is confronted with the reality of her failing marriage, her first instinct is to work it out. She has had it drummed into her that marriage is ‘for better, for worse’. Walking out is just not an option – her faith would condemn her and her culture would make her a pariah.
The combination of Nadine’s background, education, social standing, friendships, faith, experiences and past relationships is meant to equip her to become a success. Failure is alien to her and love means forgiving at all cost.
As she tries to survive and make the most of the curves that life has thrown her, she discovers that ’success’ is a subjective term, and ‘happily ever after’ is something that you have to discover and define for yourself …
Chioma Nnani is an award-winning author, who also contributes to business, lifestyle and literary publications. One of Africa’s most fearless storytellers, she is a 2016 CREATIVE AFRICAN Awards finalist in the category of “Best Fiction Writer”, and a DIVAS OF COLOUR 2016 finalist. Chioma has also been nominated twice for a UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award in the “Best Author” category. A talented ghost-writer who is known for “being able to get into your head and under your skin, before writing down exactly how you’re feeling”, Chioma has been named “One of 100 Most Influential Creatives in 2016” by London-based C.Hub Magazine.
She holds a Law (LLB) from the University of Kent and a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law (De Montfort University, Leicester). She is the founder of THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD (a premium storytelling outfit based in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, where she lives), typically contributes to lifestyle and literary publications, and runs the “Memo From A Fearless Storyteller” blogazine at www.fearlessstoryteller.com for which she won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award.
Amazon (Kindle): United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and India. It is also available on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks, and major online stores. Okadabooks is mainly for buyers in Africa.
As a paperback, Forever There For You is available from Amazon in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and India.