1. Can you walk us through your regular writing process?
I write about life and mundane everyday experiences of people. I believe while it is important to write about the weighty issues, they don’t tell a complete story; the simple, seemingly unimportant everyday experiences matter as well. So my writing process is simple. I pay attention to my environment, experiences and people around me. When I observe something, either by myself or of others when out and about, I make a note of it on my phone, capturing the context as much as I can. Regularly I go through this idea bank and pick things to write about.
2. How many hours per day do you write?
There’s always something to put in my idea bank daily, but I don’t write everyday; it’s probably a few times a week and it varies, from 10 minutes to a few hours.
3. How difficult was it to publish your first book? When you did, how did it change you or your writing process?
My first book (like my other books) are self-published. It was challenging as there were so many things to learn. I was determined to make it good, and not be dogged by the typical issues that attend self-published books.
After that first book, I realised the importance of diligence and due process when writing and publishing a book; it’s A BOOK, once it’s out there, that’s it. You can’t change it anymore. The experience also humbled me. I realised how powerful books are; they will go to places you have never been, get into the hands of people you will never meet, and these readers will form opinions and make decisions about what you have written.It’s a great tool of influence.
4. Which of your books is your favourite? Why?
The most recent one ‘ Funny Men Cannot be Trusted’. I’ll like to think my most recent work is my best work.
5. How do you manage to nurture your interest from the beginning of the writing process to the end? Do you not get bored or tired?
There are times you do get tired, and not tired in the sense that you despise what you are doing, but you get impatient and eager to see the end of the project. That is where you must get disciplined and not cut corners.
6. What was the inspiration behind your Poetry of people who hate poetry series?
Poets tend to ‘show off’ with their words, while there’s generally nothing wrong with that, it becomes unproductive when it’s done at the expense of communicating with the audience. Poetry is a language, the flowery words it’s delivered with are useless if the recipients don’t understand, not because they are stupid, but because the poet has been unncessarily obscure. You end up having people who enjoy every other form of writing but avoid poetry as they find it difficult and sometimes intimidating. These are the people I write for; hence the phrase poetry for people who hate poetry.
7. Was writing books what you always saw yourself doing?
Not really, but I always knew I would do interesting things with words.
8. Describe your writing space.
Anywhere there is pen and paper or a device with a charge on it.
9. Are your pieces usually personal?
They rarely are.
10. Which African writer or/and poet do you look up to?
I once watched an interview of Ben Okri. I was really fascinated by the consideration he gave to properly gather his thoughts before opening his mouth to answer any question. There were lots of what should have been long uncomfortable silences, but they weren’t, they only made the things he said seem more valuable.. That’s something I admired and I’m emulating.
11. What gave you the confidence to own your writing style?
It was effective and it felt like it was mine.
12. Was doodlustration a name you came up with? What motivated expression through that means?
Haha! Yes it was. Asides writing, I doodle a lot. I’m not sure why, but I enjoy it and it seems to stimulate other forms of expression. I could be writing a poem, and while I’m pausing to rephrase ideas, I’d realise the edges of the paper are covered in doodles.
13. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to write about outside your published literature?
Haha! If it’s weird and unpublished, maybe it should remain so, and unmentioned. That was a good question though. Perhaps I should give you something; I once wrote about a lady I met on a bus in London. It was a hot day and she had such a thick layer of makeup on her face it seemed like her face was melting.
14. Do you consider yourself born with a silver ink pen or did you have to do a lot of work to get to where you are?
I’m often tempted to believe talent doesn’t really exist. What we call talent is interest that was worked hard upon, I once heard a phrase “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” . When you say someone is talented, the chances are high that there was something they were interested in, and they worked hard at mastering it, till they became good at it.
15. What do you think success as an author means?
16. What are your favourite literary journals?
I find myself returning to the New Yorker Poetry Magazine a lot.
17. If you had to do something different as a child or a teenager, to become a better writer as an adult, what would it be?
Read more and more widely. Every great writer must first be a great reader.
18. A lot of young upcoming writers will be reading this, hoping to find some tips they can use. Do you have any writing advice you feel would have helped you out if you had known sooner?
Network more. Submit to competitions and prizes, it’s a good way to build confidence, improve and get noticed. Attend events. Learn and learn and learn as much as you can. Read as much as you can. Put yourself out there more, (Don’t be afraid to) ask for help. Establish relationships with people ahead of you on the same journey. Work harder; ‘talentless’ harworker trumps a ‘talent-full’ sloth.
19. Are the titles of your books your favourite pieces from them?
Haha! No they are not. It will be hard to choose a favourite from any of my collections.
1. How do you spend your free time?
Write, explore nature, travel, cycle, play tennis (and more recently since the Covid-19 lockdown), play video games (FIFA 20)
2. Do you ever Google yourself?
Haha! Anybody who has an online presence should. It’s a part of managing your brand.
3. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Homo Deus; A brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
4. What does your family think about your writing?
I don’t know for sure. They probably think it’s brilliant.
5. Do you ever consider work related to architecture and design?
I have worked in an Architecture firm and I currently work in a design agency
6. Can we be expecting any new book(s) from you soon?
Two books in the works. At least one slated for this year.