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Write On! Interviews: Author Christine Naggenda-Ighorue

Write On! interviews Author Christine Naggenda-Ighorue

Christine says “My name is Christine Naggenda. I’m a mother of two children. I’m also a Community Nursery Nurse working with children and their families, providing support for the children to achieve and thrive in their development. My book is fiction and  full of humour, with a moral lesson for its young readers. My philosophy is to engage with the readers throughout the story to where they can draw their own conclusions on how the story ends. The last part of the story is left to the imagination of the reader, as a question to enable them to determine what they think would happen next.

I was recently given an opportunity to tell my story in Barking and Dagenham libraries during the autumn half term. The atmosphere was lively, with the children eagerly engaging all the time. They enjoyed the story from the feedback I received but, more so, they were inspired to write their own stories, which is the whole point of my writing: to inspire young writers.

WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?

CNI: My writing is comic, with the intention of keeping the reader engaged and making them guess what might be happening next. The book was written in such a way that it encourages the reader’s creativity, imagination and writing skills.

WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book, Mum’s Nasty Habit?

CNI: This book is about a mum who has a nasty habit of sneezing and blowing her bogies in her hands instead of using a tissue. This habit puts Mum in trouble several times, as she is kicked off the bus and gets arrested in the supermarket. Her two children, Gidibas and Verosy, have had enough of their mum’s constant embarrassment. Mum tries to get help, but will it work?

WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?

CNI: My child and one of his school friends inspired me. I observed that he didn’t have much interest in reading. His friend also had a very short attention span and would not finish books. One day, we were sitting down and I just made up a story, adding a few bits I’d observed. I wanted a book that had humour, engaging with the reader to the very last page. I wanted a book that my child and his friend would enjoy but also would encourage them to create their own stories which they could read to their families, classmates, and friends.

WO: A previous theme of Write On! was ‘Realities And Perspectives’. With that in mind, we have two questions for you. Do you always write realistically, or aim for alternative realities? Can you always confidently write from someone else’s perspective?

CNI: My writing endeavours to portray reality as there’s a moral message behind the story. This particular story focusses on one social issue. Though exaggerated in the story, the message is clear for every reader.

One thing I can confidently say is that I write from a mixture of perspectives, not only from someone else’s but also my own. I draw from others, but mostly from my own experiences.

WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?

CNI: If you have a dream or passion to tell your story to the world, please do. Someone somewhere will like to read your book. You might think there are many books in the world. Is there a place for yours? The answer is yes, there’s a place for every writer! You just need to know your target group/market. Look at the sea; there’s more than enough room for every fish, both big and small, which swim side by side. Your story will swim too. I also read somewhere publishers are not looking for the next JK Rowling, but the next big story, and that might be yours. Keep your dream alive and believe in yourself that your story will break through. If you don’t write, how will you know if you will ever make it? As the saying goes: ‘Try and fail. But never fail to try’.

WO: Question from Twitter user: @madeleinefwhiteWhat do you feel is the biggest barrier for people who want to start writing?


  • I think finance is the biggest barrier as publishing a book, however small, is not cheap.
  • Finding a good publisher can also be a barrier. Writers need to navigate to find genuine publishers who would do a good job. Some people self-publish, but they also need professionals in some format.
  • Some people might lack confidence in the overall writing project.
  • Some people might not be sure on how to start writing.
  • Time is another big barrier, as writing requires a lot of time investment. Most people are working and find it difficult to balance their time between work, family, leisure and writing.

WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?

CNI: Oh yes. My next projection is already in progress. Watch out for Mum’s next antics, as her wonders –or should we say blunders – never cease.

WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?

CNI: A unicorn is a beautiful mythical animal that’s on most young girls’ birthday wish list. Unicorns put smiles on many children’s faces. I like seeing children happy, as childhood is a phase of innocence.

Mum’s Nasty Habit is available to buy from:  Amazon, WHSmith, Waterstones, Fable and Hatchards


Issue 19 of Write On! is out now and you can read it online here. Find it in libraries and other outlets. You can find previous editions of our magazines here

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As the saying goes: ‘Try and fail. But never fail to try’.