Sunday, February 21, 2010

'Writers are Professional Eavesdroppers'--Favoured Girl

Three adjectives that describe you: Passionate, Dreamer, Loyal

Why and how did you become part of the “In My Dreams it was Simpler” project? The series grew out of a story I wrote in 2008. It all started when I came across a wedding album on Facebook and I thought the groom looked like a cousin of mine who was already married to someone else. Then, I wrote a short story titled My Dilemma. I put it on my short story blog and also pasted it as a note on Facebook. I got good feedback from people who read it, and lots of people asked for a Part 2 to the story. Initially I didn’t think about it until someone left a comment saying that the story could be turned into a series. That caught my attention and it sounded like a neat idea, so I decided to expand it. Then, I invited some bloggers and asked if they were interested in writing a group story. Thankfully, they agreed to come on board and the series began on our blog, which we updated every Friday. The other writers are: Latifat Ayoola, Tade Thompson, Ayodele Alofe, Diamond Hawk, Jaycee, Rayo, Flourishing Florida and Writefreak. Each of us writes from a different character’s point of view.

What’s your blog address? I have three blogs: my general musings blog; my fiction blog; my personal take on relationships.

Which of the characters do you write? I write for Lola in the series. She is the troublemaker in the group. She’s feisty and blunt, but she has a vulnerable side.

What did you hope to achieve with the character? I want people to be able to relate to Lola as a person. She has her flaws, but she knows what she wants and she stands for what she believes. She often sees things in black and white, and she is not afraid to speak her mind or take risks.

How did you connect that character to the whole plot of the story?  When I wrote the short story, Lola was the narrator, and the story focused on her and Titi, another character. So she is quite central to the entire plot.

Were there any challenges writing from just one perspective? No, it was fun. Lola has enough drama for one person. Writing from one person’s point of view was good because that is how we are in real life. We know our own point of view, but we can only guess at others.

What one lesson did you learn from this ‘group’ experience? I’ve learnt that collaboration works! When we first decided to start the series, we had no idea how it would turn out but it has worked very well. The series has brought different styles and ideas together to create something that I could not have thought of on my own. And of course, the actual writing for Lola has helped me improve my writing in subtle ways.

What books are currently reading? I’m currently reading “Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman” by Ogo Akubue-Ogbata” and I’ve got two non-fiction books on my desk to read next.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh? I’ve just been reading the comments on the second instalment of Season 2. I love how our readers are very involved in the lives of the characters.

In your view, how has internet changed the face of publishing? The internet has opened up so many possibilities in publishing. Previously, writing and publishing was only a paper and ink affair, but that is no longer the case. We now have blogs, online magazines, e-books that can be uploaded and downloaded at the click of a button, video blogs, and much more. Content is also widely available whereas before the publishers were the gatekeepers that decided what consumers read, now we have opportunities for writers to access their target audience directly. Self-publishing is also on the rise because writers can now take their work to a much wider audience than they could before the internet came along. It’s all very exciting. 

What’s your take on the Nigerian publishing scene? Good things are happening, thank God. I’m very glad that there are now more publishers willing to take our writing to an audience. A few years ago, the publishing landscape was bare, but now we are seeing progress, slowly but surely.

List five of your favorite blogs and why?  Just five? Okay let me try:
  • Good Naija Girl – I like GNG because she comes across as very real and humble. Her posts always bring a smile to my face. 
  • Vera – I admire Vera, she has been one of blogville’s most consistent bloggers. She is a good writer and she is very funny too. 
  • Solomonsydelle – She is very dedicated, she runs her household, but she still finds time to update her blogs frequently and she talks about real issues that she is passionate about.
  • BGLH – I read this blog for all things on hair, particularly natural hair. It’s been an invaluable site for me in my transition and learning process. 
  • Bagucci - I like his writing style and the random, entertaining tit-bits he talks about on his blog 

What are you scared of? The only thing I’m scared of is having regrets, wishing I could turn back the clock.

What inspires your writing? I’m fascinated by people and their experiences. The things they say, their hopes, fears and dreams. I usually get inspiration from conversations, songs, personal stories, events, everyday life, characters in books or on TV, people I meet in the local post office and so on. Inspiration can take many forms, and sometimes it comes right out of the blue.

What is the worth of a book? A book is worth far more than the ink and paper it is printed on. From a writer’s point of view, a book is the culmination of months of imagination, research, brainstorming, and countless hours spent typing, editing, rewriting and reading. From a reader’s point of view, it is an experience that takes me away from my present space and time, into another world. It is information and inspiration, knowledge, entertainment and education. One should feel enriched and empowered after reading a good book.

Who are your literary heroes? I have so many, going back to Louisa May Alcott, Mabel Segun, Enid Blyton, Buchi Emecheta and more recently, Rose Tremain, Sadie Jones, Sefi Atta and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’ve learnt different things from each of them. In particular, I am very grateful for the friendship and support of Abidemi Sanusi. She’s taken me under her wing since I began my writing journey. She has and continues to be a source of inspiration, encouragement and motivation

What does it mean to be a writer? Being a writer comes naturally to me. Words fascinate me, and that’s the way I express myself. I have memories of scribbling made-up stories when I was in primary school. When I was growing up I always kept a journal, and writing was my therapy when I was going through the angst-filled teenage years. It’s how I interpret the world around me. I think for every fiction writer, an active imagination plays a huge part in your life. You observe things and you are inspired to talk about them. I’ve learnt how to take inspiration from real life and turn it into fiction. Creating made-up stories and characters requires observing and imagination. I’ve heard someone say – writers are professional eavesdroppers.

What does the future hold for you, as a writer, blogger or anything else? We will continue writing the series, so there will be a sequel to the first book before the end of this year. I’m working on a novel and a collection of short stories at the moment. In the near future I would like to pursue a degree in Creative Writing or Literature. Long term, I would like to create opportunities for other aspiring writers to develop their voice, improve their craft and market their work. I’ll carry on writing all my blogs too, for the foreseeable future at least. I also want to develop some of my other passions in art and photography, amongst other things.

That's Favoured Girl; watch out for the next dreamer.


  1. Yay.. Thanks for the shout out...More power to your elbow as you scale more writing heights!

  2. Nice interview and beautiful picture. May our dreams all come true.

  3. Lovely interview FG

  4. lol @ writers r professional eavesdroppers...

    nice interview!

  5. This is such a great interview too – both the questions and the answers. It's easy to see why she's a success!

    Also, I appreciate the shoutout in this interview!