With a personality as bubbly as her name, Bubbllinna has been a great part of the Naijastories community since she joined the site earlier this year. Focusing her writing on witty poetry, and doing her best to motivate other writers using feedback and networking, she has been very hard to ignore. Her poem Aphrodite Rebel is the top post for February, probably due to the popularity enjoyed by the writer among other members and the fact that she made it an interactive game to give it a proper title. It was our pleasure to find out more about this key member of the site in the following interview. Enjoy…
When and why did you start writing?
I became aware of the fact that I could write in secondary school. We had this ‘goodlooking’ male literature teacher and girls were usually ‘up in his face’, so he came up with an idea for an anthology and asked for interested people to meet with him. I went for two reasons; To watch some girls ‘throw’ themselves at him and because I loved all things literature. I went with a friend and took her poem as my pass( with her permission though I had no idea what plagiarism meant). The next meeting saw me coming with a poem I wrote myself titled ‘A proud black’and my literature teachers thought it to be nice. Thus began my Writing odyssey.
So far you’ve written only poems, Do you consider Poetry easier than prose?
No way!..Poetry is hard..Imagine having to arrange your thoughts in stanzas, rhymes and add poetic devices to them..Hmmph!..It is work. Truth be told though, Poetry comes easily to me, I’ve noticed that writing poems give clarity to my thoughts.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I can’t really say I do because I am changing, stepping into new territories and all..I am still experimenting, besides variety they say is the spice of life. Why would I want to be stuck with a ‘specific’ writing style?..hehehe.
Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work?
No..I write about anything that comes to mind.(Emotions, nature, personal and national problems etc).
What books have most influenced your life?
That book would be ‘The Children of Ashagroth’ by Richard Ford given to me by my Dad as a gift when I was eight, The heavy, leather-bound book was downright dissappointing and it broke my little heart. I mean who needs a book with seven hundred or so pages when there were pretty dolls to be had?. I didn’t read the book till some years later and that book taught me that Good triumphs over evil, no matter how long it takes or how impossible it seems.
What books are you reading now?
At the moment, The conspiracy club by Jonathan Kellerman, False Impressions by Jeffrey Archer. I’ve got my favourite book waiting, that is Forever by Judith Gould whom people assumes to be a female. Judith Gould is actually a pseudonym for two male writers (Rhea Gallaher and Nick Beines). How ‘cool’ is that huh?..hehehe..
Are there any new authors that have grapsed your interest? do you have any writing mentors?
I haven’t had the opportunity of reading any new author. If the brilliant writers on Naijastories qualify then some are worth mentioning. Sueddie, Seun Odukoya, Kaycee, Jaywriter, Banky, Raymond, Afronuts and all those amazing writers whose stories appear on the Naijastories anthology. I wouldn’t hesitate to read the stories of most of the writers here anyday, anytime, anywhere.
About the mentors, I try to learn from really really good writers, so my mentors ‘full ground’.
What are your current projects?, What are your goals for 2012?
I am charting new waters- prosewriting so 2012 should see me spinning tales using dialogues, paragraphs and all those devices peculiar to prose. It doesn’t mean that stanzas and rhymes would be relegated to the back burner though.
Who has supported you the most outside of family members?
I would drop two names (Ren and Liz).
Do you see writing as a career?
Writing used to be ‘just a hobby’, a way to escape into a world where I was the overall mistress but after joining Naijastories, It is easier to imagine it as a career. (I would be mighty glad to drop the lab suits and high heels to start penning those lines for life).
Can you share a little about your writing with us?
Sure thing. BNs (before naijastories), I would write poems in my little blue book and then keep it for the ‘future’..laughs…Early this year in January, I came across an old Sun newspaper and it had an article written by Henry Onyema titled Nigerian literature at 50. At the end, he wrote about Naijastories the site for budding writers and I joined a couple of days later. The journey so far has been amazing and Boy am I so glad that I decided to read the paper before tearing it up.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
In Poetry; Some poets are of the opinion that Poetry has to be serious and filled with ‘big grammer’ so it could be taken seriously. At this stage of my life, I am writing for FUN. I don’t want people reaching for their dictionaries with every line they read (not that I have anything against vocabulary development) but that does hamper the flow of the reading. I have been told severally to ‘take poetry seriously’ but that has proven itself to be my ‘Poetic challenge’.
In Prose; I am still a beginner but I have noticed that the stories absolutely refuse to come out the way I envisaged them. I find out that the characters colonize my world and decide to take me on a journey. I am subject to the characters I create. The art of letting go of control is one I am learning to master.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favourite author but I can say that I love the way the Late V.C. Andrews wrote about the darker emotions of life like Pain, Betrayal, despair etc. I have a preference for authors that spin tales about murder especially serial murders..hehe.
What do you think of the Nigerian Publishing industry?
Exhales…I think our publishing industry has to ‘Up its game’..The major publishing agencies in the country would rather back the known authors than some unknown writer. The minor agencies are no more than printing presses as the bulk of the work falls on the author from publicizing to marketing of his works. With the new ideas the likes of Farafina books are putting up, I can say that we are approaching the dawn of a new era in our Publishing industry.
What comments do you have about the reading culture of the country?
I am of the opinion that Nigerians don’t read as much as they should. I am only beginning to understand the reason for this. When I walk into a bookstore, it is normal to find that almost all the books are foreign, the books written by our people are not so present. It is still here that the blame falls to the publishers. When publicizing and marketing/distribution is left to few people how then would the books get to the people?..If everything goes accordingly, Nigerians surely would read.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Wow!!..What can I say to all these awesome people who view, comment and criticize my posts if need be? To say I love you all would seem a bit corny but then it is true.
Thank you for making me feel like I could write to save my ‘Kwazie’ self when needed and do not stop with the good work. On my part, I promise to keep ‘bubbling’ for y’all so we would have FUN and the rest can take a flying ****!..”winks”…hehehehe..
And I ain’t forgettin the Lord, I am pretty sure he reads what I write too..So Dear Lord, thank you very much for bringing me this far..Muchas graçias everybody.
– Icecream or chocolate?
This is cheating!..laughs…I would take Icecream-chocolate flavoured so the two shall become one.
– Football or Basketball?
Basketball. The bouncing and jumping is sexier.
– Ebooks or Paperbacks?
– Salty or Sweet?
Sweet!..I’ve got a sweet tooth.
– Beach or mountains?
The beach because it’s more fun.
– Phonecall or textmessage?
Phonecall..not-so-sexy voices are better read than heard though.
– Early bird or night owl?
– Dog or Cat?
Four legged animals scare me but dogs are better though.
– Messy or Neat?
– Heroes or Villains..Heroes..remember the saying; Actor no dey die for film?…yeah right.