‘Giving an empty page life is a gift’
What are your top three books?
This is a very difficult question to be honest. In recent times I have been reading a lot of Helen Oyeyemi and Nnedi Okorafor. And making me choose three books out of all their great works is like asking me to choose an ice-cream flavor.
Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
From everyday life. I get my inspiration from stories I hear on buses and from the women that surround me.
What is your greatest regret as an author?
I actually have none. Every sacrifice has been worth it.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I can’t say precisely because I have been writing since I could string words together. My evolution, my becoming a full-time writer happened quite naturally.
After getting shortlisted for the NLNG prize for ‘Eno’s Story’ I wrote two more children’s stories (‘King of the Heap’ and ‘King of the Heap learns to Read’), one Young Adult (‘Children of the Rainbow’) and several short stories for online journals. One of the stories, ‘Adunni: The Beautiful Ones Have Not Yet Died’ was published by I’m not one for passing across messages. I just want the reader to experience the lives of my characters, to feel their joy, their pain. BrittlePaper and is presently available on Okada Books.
Do you have a special writing time?
Most of my writing is done at night, usually between 11pm and 4am. During school term I have to wake up early to take the children to school. I use daytime to rest and do less demanding work. Sometimes I write seven days a week, but sometimes I take time off to rest, to teach or go on short holidays.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/ pages per day?
Not really. I tried that some years ago and it didn’t work for me because as soon as I set a goal and I don’t meet it I get really anxious. These days I go with the flow. Once I have a deadline I always meet it. The process of writing ‘Lakiriboto Chronicles’ really helped in my evolution, both as a human being and as a writer. I no longer see things in black and white, I am also more concerned about women and our important role in policy making that will make Nigeria a home we can all be proud of.
is the hardest thing about
Rewrites. After writing something you consider really amazing, sending it out for review and editing and being asked to rewrite or even remove whole chapters. I used to get so upset when my writings come back heavily lined with red. But I think I’m getting better these days, at least I no longer cry as I delete or remove the things I have written.
What message are you trying to pass to readers and the society in general through your book?
I’m not one for passing across messages. I just want the reader to experience the lives of my characters, to feel their joy, their pain. I want them to enjoy the process of reading my books as much as it disturbs them.I want to make them think, reconsider and maybe change.