Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am 16 years old at the time of this interview. I live in Nigeria with my mother and younger brother. I love art. A lot. Makeup has always fascinated me and I absolutely love it (I haven’t ever applied makeup on before but plan to), I love dancing (I can’t dance to save my own life), singing (I have bad voice days regularly), comedy (I love laughing but can’t seem to make anyone laugh) and painting (Goodness! I suck at that). I am also absolutely in awe of nature (Colors of the Wind from the Disney movie, Pocahontas is my favorite song) and everything to me has a much deeper meaning than what most people think.
And please, if you think from what I wrote, that I am some kind of deep person, no. I’m really not. I’m pretty chill, though.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Integument is my first book and the only book I have written. I am currently working on my second book. As weird as it might sound, anger, depression and extreme sadness motivated me to write this book.
Where I live (Nigeria), writing is not much encouraged, especially by parents. It is what I have always loved and I was denied that opportunity and encouragement. I was always forced to do the school stuff. You know, math and physics and all that stuff. No one wanted to understand what I meant when I said that stuff wasn’t for me.
One day, I just got very angry and began putting down to paper one of the very many stories in my head. Four months later, Integument was born.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t know if it can really be described as unusual but I don’t really like writing on paper. I know, I know. All authors are supposed to write on paper but I just don’t fancy writing and cancelling and rewriting. Wasting paper is not my forte.
I prefer writing directly in the computer. I figure I can backspace whenever I want and that I am skipping one very stressful step (writing on paper). It kinda makes things easier for me.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
A lot of authors have influenced me. I’m not kidding when I say I read everything I can find. But the ones that stand out amongst all the authors I have read are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author. I love the fluidity in her deliverance and her deep understanding of human rights, women’s rights and feminism. My favorite book of hers is basically every book she has written. Chinua Achebe, the late Nigerian author whom I call the African literary giant. His brilliance is breathtaking. Things fall apart is legendary. Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian Nobel Prize Laureate. The Lion, the King and the Jewel is one book of his that I hold in high esteem. Ngugi wa Thiongo, a phenomenal Kenyan author who did not let incarceration stop him from putting his thoughts, bold and somewhat controversial, on paper. Wizard of the Crow and Devil on the Cross are two of his best books in my opinion. Toni Morrison whose writing was so frustrating that I had to read over and over again to be able to get to the emotional planet she wanted me to be on. James Patterson, whose writing is so vivid and hair-raising. The intent behind his words make your breath catch in your throat every time. He created the hero that is Detective Alex Cross. Sidney Sheldon too, whose stories are so advanced and intelligent. If tomorrow comes and Morning, Noon and Night are my best book of his.
And of course William Shakespeare whose writing are so complex, his intelligence vast, his knowledge of psychology mesmerizing and his poems challenging. He is my favorite author of all time.
What are you working on now?
I am sculpting my second novel in my head right now. I will write a simple outline today. It is going to be Book 2 of this series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I do not have a website yet. I am working on creating one. But I do use Facebook groups for promotion and I try submitting to various sites such as this one for free promotion. I am working on my Paypal account too so that I would be able to attempt paid promotion sites. I have yet to use the Free promotion and Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon just yet. But I will soon enough.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
As a new author myself, I don’t feel wholly qualified to give anyone advice but I will say this: continue doing what you love and know how to space yourself. No matter how hard things get, if you want to write, write. But there are times when we as human beings should space ourselves and give our minds and bodies some rest.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Be unapologetically yourself. That’s about the best advice anyone ever gave me. As someone who is constantly conscious of everything and is struggling with body dysmorphia and depression, this advice keeps me grounded and makes me understand that it is totally not worth it to change yourself for anyone or to compare yourself, in terms of looks, to the ‘perfect’ people one sees on the internet.
What are you reading now?
I juts finished reading Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel and I am onto The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am planning on writing and finishing my next book. I am also thinking about writing in another genre. Science Fiction mixed with a little bit of African Literature.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
First off, I will take four books. The more, the better. Those four books would be: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe and Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic ’cause you know, having at least one motivational book is compulsory and it sure goes a looooong way!
Author Websites and Profiles
Althea-Nymph Storm Amazon Profile