A River Heights man has released his first novel, The Divine Alien.
A play on words, The Divine Alien is about an unloving American man who receives a heart transplant from an immigrant woman. The transplant changes his life and love
"The basic message of the book is the amount of transformation that can happen in the life of somebody," author Charles Nfon said of the story. "People with a troubled past can actually change."
Nfon, 43, is a research scientist who initially moved with his family from Cameroon to the United States, and then later to Winnipeg in June 2008. He said he started writing because of his experiences moving to North America.
"I think, and many immigrants think, it’s really good to inform the people from various countries about the real situation in North America, or in every country they want to move to," Nfon said. "Because most people make that decision to move, but it is not an informed decision."
He said though the book is not directly about immigration, he looked back on his experiences in writing the book. He said he believes most immigrants don’t know what they are getting into.
"It’s basically fantasy," Nfon said of what immigrants think it will be like to move. "Many people get here before they realize that it takes quite a bit of work to be able to integrate into society and to be able to get your feet on the ground.
"So I thought I should put something in writing that would inform people," Nfon said.
Nfon also started writing because he had extra time during the harsh Winnipeg winters.
"I don’t do winter activities so I thought I could use that time to write," Nfon said. "But (my experience immigrating) was the driving factor to writing it."
He called his novel The Divine Alien, referencing the heart and American immigrants.
"With the heart transplant the young man’s life is turned around," Nfon said.
"The heart was on a mission and the mission was to transform the young man. Then ‘divine’ was putting a faith aspect (into the title) because in addition to a heart transplant, it is also a spiritual transformation."
"Then I used ‘alien’ just to put a twist to the story because immigrants in the U.S. are called aliens."
Nfon started his book in May 2011, finishing two years later.
"Before that I was forming ideas in my brain," Nfon said.
"I just didn’t get them down on paper."