Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meet the Woman behind Lagosian Conversations

Please give us a brief introduction of yourself?

My name is Joy Isi Bewaji; I’m from Edo state. I grew up in Festac Town, attended Umbrella Nursery and Primary school; Model College, Kankon; and The Polytechnic Ibadan.

What is your approach to writing?
I try to be as liberal as possible when I write. I would like for my readers to see that I am progressive in my thinking and writing.

Take us down memory lane from playgroup to University.
I can’t remember too much of primary school, I spent most of my time with my mum as a child. However the best time of my life was as a teenager. I loved my secondary school to bits!

What is the first impression you would like your readers to form when they read your work?
I would like to provoke laughter basically, and have readers appreciate my style of writing.

Why such a title Eko Dialogue?
It’s a title that says it as it is. The book is about Lagos and the rapport amongst its inhabitants.

Has your work been misinterpreted before?
No, not yet. Lol!

Did you have to do any background research?
Yes. I have been a Lagosian all my life. I spend time talking to fellow Lagosians on a regular basis. I am very inquisitive; my study was based on how we manage to live our lives despite the odds, and I tried to capture that in Eko Dialogue.

Where do you get inspiration for your characters?
From the people I encounter everyday. These are the people that make Lagos what it is – the groundnut seller across the street, the disgruntled employee, the snooty celebrity etc,

How long did it take you to pen the book?
I wrote it in 6-8 weeks

Any particular reasons for self publishing?
I wanted to be in control to a large extent, and I didn’t want the book delayed or told to increase pagination and all that. I also wanted to see my ability as a business woman.

What challenges do you face as a first time author?
My biggest challenge at first was getting it to those interested in having the book. I had to hire a couple of people; I literally started a company just because of the book. The demand has been awesome and I have handled distribution quite well, but it can still be better.

What is your assessment of the Nigerian publishing scene?
The writing scene is just as challenged as the music or movie industry. The talents are available but the umbrella under which to grow is feeble.

Do you have another job?
Yes, I am the editor of Spice magazine.

In what ways as working in a magazine helped or hindered you in writing your first book?
A 9-5 job can be very tasking for a writer, but I was determined to bring out this work. It was a stubborn decision, I just had to see it through.

What are you working on presently?
My second book

Any advice to up and coming authors?
Just do it. Pen those words down! Get enough information on your subject matter, and get a good editor to clean it up nicely.

Can creative writing be taught?
I do believe anything can be taught.

Final words on your epitaph?
Let my creator not reject me, whatever it is I need to know, let me learn it now and when I come in his presence, I want his embrace.

What is your favourite vacation spot?
I have never gone on a vacation. Never!

Embarrassing moments?
Too many. But I remember times on Funmi Iyanda’s show that I was totally clueless on what they were talking about. It was a great time, but I really didn’t belong there.

On being true to yourself?
I speak the truth always, it doesn’t matter whose ox is gored

Aspirations for the future?
I want to go fully into writing books and being a great author.

Facebook, myspace, twitter or hi5?
Facebook, after much persuasion. Twitter registered, but I have no idea how it operates.

What do you think of Obama?
Obama is the change we all need. His success can be translated to personal motivation. The minute he won, I knew I could – snub the good pay cheque and walk into something else that I find more interesting and challenging. Yes I could, and I did!

How do you relax?
I love to hang out with friends and gist. And I love to watch movies, I love reading magazines.

Three things you are most passionate about?
My kids, my career, and the new Nigeria.

Describe your self in one word?

Strangest thing in your handbag?
A toothbrush, I use it to achieve a smooth hairline when I have a weave on.

1 comment:

  1. So na you be bookaholic! I don think the matter tire, haba! hahahahahahahah see this babe oh! where that your email again self?