Vivian Akay, the Christian Author who brought some controversial topics to the forefront with her book ‘Secret Places’
I was handed the book, ‘Secret Places’ to read and review. It was nothing like I had expected as I had grown accustomed to the conventional Christian books which all started and ended the same way. This isn’t a bad thing. But, for readers like myself who fancy the James Patterson style books and have a relentless love for reading the gory and morbid, it can get quite boring.
This book was nothing like my expectations. In fact, it has to rank as one of my favourite books of the year and I have read a couple of good books. I knew mid-way through the book that I needed an interview with the author, I was interested in the mind that was able to craft something so riveting, yet, upholding the moral and spiritual objective for which it was envisioned.
Secret Places deals with a theme never before explored in Christian Novels, especially Novels within Africa: Swinging. Swinging Christian couples… I’ve said enough. You’re just going to have to buy the book. Here’s what the amazing author had to say.
How did Secret Places come about? I understand that it is your first book? How long did it take you to complete it?
Secret Places is my first Christian Fiction novel. I started writing the first draft in November 2013. I finished it in February 2014. The North American edition was published in
Were you worried about the possible back-lash from the Christian community on speaking about swinging among Christians in the church?
I knew some Christians would dislike the subject matter. I have friends who have refused to read the novel. I respect their decision because we all get to decide what we want to expose our minds to.
Like I said in my author’s note, the reality is that we Christians live in a fallen world and there are some of us who struggle with addictions to different things. My prayer as I wrote the book was for it to minister to the few or many looking for a way out.
Was the story based on a real life story you had heard or been privy to?
No. The characters are all fictional. I’ve never lived in any of the locations mentioned in the book.
If you had to describe your Christian faith and walk with God, how best would you describe it?
My life has been one marked by grace. God has given me many chances and my goal is to keep walking with Him until the very end.
Do you intend to write more books? Will they be faith-based?
There will be other Vivian Kay faith-based books. I’ve started working on the sequel to Secret Places. I’m also working on a short story that I hope to publish by Christmas 2016.
Secret Places was engaging and not your classical Christian or Contemporary romantic book.Was that deliberate?
It wasn’t deliberate. I wrote the story the way it came to me. I’m glad the feedback has been positive. My prayer is that as the novel entertains, it transforms.
Who are your favourite authors and why?
I read across several genres so I will talk about my favourite Christian authors. I enjoy Unoma Nwankwor’s books because they showcase our African culture in such a beautiful way. Abimbola Dare’s books are necessary because they explore important issues. I enjoy Michelle Simpson’s Mama B novels. Mama B could have been my wise grandmother.\
You live in Canada so there were a lot of references to places within Canada and the scenery? Did you grow up in Canada and in future would you be looking to perhaps use other countries as backdrops?
I did not grow up in Canada. I moved here as an adult. The sequel to Secret Places will be set in Canada and Nigeria so I’m definitely open to other settings as long as they move the story along.
Some authors in some ways live vicariously through their characters because they fall in love with them as they come to life. Who would you say was the character you could mostly relate to?
All the characters in Secret Places had a bit of me in them so it’s hard to say which character I could relate to. If I was forced to choose, I would say Shekinah. I know what it feels like to cling to the wrong supports as the world around you spins.
What was your primary objective with writing this book?
My author tagline is “Penning Tales About Imperfect Characters Meeting A Perfect God.” I believe in the redemptive power of God’s love. I would love my readers to walk away with this truth; God’s love is real and available through a relationship with His son Jesus Christ, regardless of the mess we make of our lives.
We’re excited for what’s to come for this beautiful wordsmith. I personally cannot wait to read a sequel to Secret Places, the characters were just so engaging. This is me doing my best to not write any spoilers. However, if you’re an avid reader, Christian or not, this is definitely the book to pick up! So many life lessons were shared in the most unconventional way.