Recently, the literati site www.naijawriterscrib.wordpress.com caught up with Bee Ifezue and she granted this interesting interview. In the interview, she talked about her book, family and everything related. She is also giving one reader a chance to win a free copy of her latest book, The Crystal River. Read through and discover how you can be the lucky winner…
1. A brief bio of yourself?
I hold a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine & Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria; I worked as the Chief Cartoonist at Outlook Newspaper before returning to the UK. I studied animation and website development in London and now work as a Design Consultant and live with my husband and four children.
2.Have you always wanted to write? / When did you start writing?
I have always enjoyed telling stories. As I was growing up, I would sit with younger children and keep them entertained with my stories for hours; however I had never thought about being a writer. The idea for my first book came to me in 1994 as I sat through a Church sermon and I immediately started writing. On completing my book, I realized that I had to continue writing.
3. Your book, The Crystal River is a fantasy work which is a very rare genre amongst Nigerian Writers. What inspired you to write in such genre?
I have always been a lover of fantasy. A large number of our local folktales revolve around strange lands and talking beast, like tales of the tortoise. I remember looking forward to hearing such stories during tales by moonlight, it was as if you could slip through your back yard gate and walk into the land of talking beasts and world of make believe.
4. Which authors influence you the most (in terms of your writing)?
My first and foremost author would be C S Lewis.
5. Which authors do you enjoy reading?
Francine Rivers, Joyce Myers, Buchi Emechata , Choo Thomas
6. What’s the blurb for The Crystal River?
When a peculiar looking candlestick was brought into the delightful land of Esrom, little did the inhabitants know that its evil Keepers would soon come after it, and their very existence would soon be shaken. A secret woven deeply within the village is revealed and two siblings have to seek help from a Guardian who was regarded a myth. Who are the Zulaqs, and what is the power behind the candlestick? A Book with a gripping storyline that keeps you captivated till the end, yet at the end you want more.
7. How long did it take you to write The Crystal River?
I began writing The Crystal River before I had my 3rd child in 2004 and then continued working on the manuscript after my 4th Child, in 2008.
8. You are a writer and mother of four. Wow! How do you manage your time so you could have time for your art?
It proved to be challenging at the best of times! However, I tend to work better late at night.
9. Tell us more about your book The Crystal River
The River is of crystal can be found In the book of Revelation 22:1, the River was for the healing of the nations. My book is an allegory of the Scriptures. The waters from the Crystal River provided healing for the land of Esrom. The character Rowhak, had a covenant with the people, but they became drawn to the strange magic of the Zulaks and turned their hearts away from the Guardian. Consequentially the rule of the Zulaks brought much distress to the Esromites. In the same way, sin and the abandonment of Christ also bear their consequences.
10. What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer?
I would say, the most challenging aspect is getting your creative juices to flow out on paper and channeling the vision set in your mind out using the best descriptive language.
11. The Crystal River appears to be a series in the Escrow Chronicles. When are we expecting your next work?
Next year, 2012.
12. As a writer, what’s the most fulfilling aspect of writing for you?
The most fulfilling aspect of writing for me would be the passionate reviews I have received from readers.
13. How lucrative has writing been for you?
It has been good – and getting better.
14. We can see your work is already on Amazon. Are you also considering offline marketing and sale?
At the moment, copies can be bought from Cassalinda gallery, Maitama, Abuja. I am still working on other retail outlets.
15. A lot of young and talented writers get frustrated at the inability to get published. What is your take on this?
I would say “never give up”. Keep sending out your work, and don’t get discouraged when it is returned, just send it out to a different one. There is also the option of publishing independently.
16. Your reading Audience. Do you only write for young readers?
Yes. Though it has been high jacked by the adults. I have had men in their 70’s looking forward to the next book!
17. What do you hope to achieve with the publication of The Crystal River?
Habakuk 2:2 says “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” I believe the Crystal River has a powerful message both to the young and old, and I hope it would make a difference in the lives of all those that read it.
18. Favourite quote?
“..nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works” NKJV
19. Why should I buy your book? (Convince your potential fans)
The Crystal River is a unique book that comes alive, it has a way of drawing its readers into the heart of the book, the simple language yet powerful visual descriptions makes it difficult to forget, you walk with the characters, and become a part of their experience. I have had readers narrate their experience of the book with so much enthusiasm; it was as if they were walking through the book page by page. The Crystal River is an allegory, it teaches us that to every negative thing we do or choice we make bears its consequences. It is one of those books that stick with you and one where your mind will revisit it over and over again.
20. Aside writing, what’s your hobby?
21.How do you spend your spare time?
Listening to music, cooking, reading, and watching cartoons with my kids (laughs).
***To win Bee Ifezue’s book, The Crystal River, please answer this simple question:The story “The Little Stone” was featured on…
Follow this link http://esromchronicles.com/author.htm to find the answer.
The first correct answer on this thread wins the prize. Goodluck!!!