December Featured Writer Howyoudey – Writing my own Story

December Featured Writer Howyoudey – Writing my own Story

Naija Stories has the Featured writer segment to celebrate our outstanding writers and their posts. The lastest instalment of Howyoudey’s A Naija, an Akata, and a Mother-in-Law Series got the most views in November so he was selected as the writer to feature for December. We use the featured interview opportunity to encourage our member writers to continue promoting their works on the site, and they are also rewarded with 10,000 NSpoints. Howyouudey was gracious enough to answer the following questions.

When and why did you begin writing?

Was slim pickings in college when it came to enjoyable books on the shelf. Had to choose between reading tomato cans for fun, or writing my own story. I chose the latter.

Is there an autobiographical element to the A Naija, an Akata, and a Mother-in-Law Series?

I plead the Fifth. Lol. Seriously, my home life is not as ruckus. Thank God.

Please tell us more about the story?

Some of my close Nigerian pals have friends or spouses that are of other nationalities. Very interesting marriages, I tell you. What with all the racial, marital, romantic, national, and cultural issues embedded in those unions. Compared to years ago, today Nigerians marry each other more for love than group affiliation. Fantastic. But as everyone in these arrangements can attest, there are ups and downs, and surviving the downs result, most of the time, in stronger unions and better human beings. I’m using this story to explore some of the issues in these unions. I’m hoping that Sunday, Kim, and Mrs. Afia (main characters in the story), and even I, learn from their struggles.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to get out of the way and allow the characters in my stories to tell the tale. Sometimes this style puts a bit of a burden on the reader to go hunt for more information. This can be good and bad. Good if you don’t like being told stuff; bad if you’re of “the more information the better” mindset. However, I’ve picked up a few things from my time here at Naijastories.com. I’ve learned that sometimes it doesn’t hurt to allow some authorial discretion through exposition.

What books have most influenced your life and or writing, the most?

The Bible, as far as how I live my life. Elmore Leonard has some influence on my writing. I learned from his writing that it’s okay to be authentic.

What books are you reading now?

AfroSF (the first African science fiction compilation) an e-book edited by Ivor Hartmann. I contributed a story to this anthology.

What are your current projects? Any New Year Resolutions for 2013?

Put more stories down on paper or computer. Cut down on the excuses.

Do you have writing as a career or see it as one?

If I can get off my lazy butt and put more pen to paper, I think I can make a career out of this.

Can you share a little about your writing with us?

I write ceaselessly – in my head, that is. The problem is putting it down on paper or computer. I usually pick an issue or a topic I’d like to tackle, pick characters that might drive the story, and then let it rip. This is the fun part because I never know how it would end. When the parameters of the story are established, then I put it down on paper. Sorry, I have to do the paper and pen thing first, or it’s a struggle.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to write.

Who is your favorite author? Do you have a writing mentor?

I don’t have a favorite author, per se. But I enjoy reading Elmore Leonard and the usual suspects at NaijaStories.com – Oluwafunminiyi, Kelechi, TO, Afronuts, Chemo, Sueddi, the 3 Musketeers (una don due o. Raymond, wey your story?), Bubblinna, Berry Feistypen (whatever happened to her?), etc.

What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?

It’s finally showing signs of life, but they’re still copy, copy – like the publishing industry in the West, it’s elitist in its thinking – the bottom line or bust. I don’t blame them, though. No profit, no business. But NaijaStories.com has shown that you can innovate and still thrive.

A little support from the Nigerian government would help. Someday a Nigerian leader would emerge who gets it. She would promote the notion that a country gets more bang for its buck by promoting the country through the arts, than through fraudulent schemes like “rebranding” or any of its orphaned cousins the government had promoted in the past. For example, Nollywood has done more to introduce Nigeria to the outside world (okay we can argue quality later) in a few short years than fifty years of Embassy p.r. bullshit.

How do you see the role of online publishers including naijastories.com

When the history of the revival of the writing business in Nigeria is written, naijastories.com, if the historian is honest, will take up a chunk of that write-up. The first time I stumbled upon the site, I couldn’t believe it. It was, and still is, the most interesting interactive site on the Web. Period. And a good chunk of the kudos goes to Myne, the founder. Maybe she should run for the Nigerian Presidency, abi?

Naijastories.com brings democracy to the writing business. It brings to fore hidden talents in the country and around the world who just need a little encouragement and support.

What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?

Nigerians like to read. Just check out this site. You just have to give them stories they can relate to. People used to say that Nigerians don’t like to watch movies, until Nollywood blew that fallacy into smithereens. If reading is seriously promoted in Nigeria, with the government’s backing, I think that the reading culture will go a long way. But the promotion must be DIFFERENT. Hire young folks to do the promoting. The pay-off is that they will do it differently and more effectively, and they may not steal the money. A country’s citizenry must read or it will die a slow death.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers

Thank you for supporting me.

Answer the following;

Ice cream or chocolate?

Ice cream. Butter Pecan.

Football or Basketball?

American football? Yes. Go Falcons!
Soccer (as it’s called in America?) Yes. Eagles.

Ebook or paperbacks?

Both.

Salty or sweet?

Sweet.

Beach or mountains?

Beach.

Phone call or textmessage?

Phone call.

Early bird or night owl?

Pikin go make u be night owl, trust me.

Dog or cat?

None.

Messy or neat?

Neat.

Heroes or Villains?

Both

Comments

comments


42 thoughts on “December Featured Writer Howyoudey – Writing my own Story” by Admin (@ogaoga)

  1. Profile photo of kaycee
    kaycee (@kaycee): Head Wordsmith - 150005 pts

    A good writer is better with dreadlocks. Give me 2 months and i will grow mine.
    Congrats@howyoudey

    1. Profile photo of tosyn
      tosyn (@tosinosha): Scribe - 12712 pts

      @howyoudey Way to go! Big congrats

      1. Profile photo of howyoudey
        howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

        @tosinosha, thanks.

    2. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @kaycee, thank you, my brother. Would be nice to see another dread on this sight.

      1. Profile photo of Sueddie Agema
        Sueddie Agema (@sueddie): Head Wordsmith - 47808 pts

        @howyoudey: You sure got it right!! @Kaycee is a dread alright!! :)

        1. Profile photo of howyoudey
          howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

          You’ve been outed, @kaycee. My brother put on your locks, abeg. You can’t hide it anymore…hehehhe.

          @sueddie, thanks for spilling the beans on kaycee. I always suspected that that brother was rasta!

  2. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
    Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 32850 pts

    @howyoudey, this your dreads, I like am o. But I can’t grow one sha, the last time I tried even an afro, apart from the ceaseless pounding in my head, I resembled a lost cat. I quickly shaved it off when the girls started complaining.

    Good interview bro. And congratulations man. You deserve this!

    Banky

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @banky, thanks. Funny.

  3. Profile photo of chemokopi
    chemokopi (@chemokopi): Head Wordsmith - 281367 pts

    Congratulations to the King of Dialogue! You deserve this man @howyoudey.

    Usual suspects? Hehehe…Thank you.

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @chemokopi, thanks, boss.

  4. Profile photo of Ville
    Ville (@ville): Junior Writer - 1709 pts

    Hey @howyoudey, very encouraging and please give us more of the series. Keep up!

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @ville, thank you.

  5. Profile photo of Seun-Odukoya
    Seun-Odukoya (@Seun-Odukoya): Head Wordsmith - 103671 pts

    I cannot believe this. I have met this man somewhere before…it did not occur to me – not in the least.

    Whoa. Nice one.

    Very well done. And I know; we’re long overdue. But we’re coming. Just give us some time.

    Kudos.

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @Seun-Odukoya, thank you.

      1. Profile photo of Sueddie Agema
        Sueddie Agema (@sueddie): Head Wordsmith - 47808 pts

        @howyoudey: Wait, you didn’t even reply to @seun-odukoya‘s assertion that he met you somewhere…
        *scratching head small!
        Maybe it wasn’t you in reality masef! Seun, be sure.

        1. Profile photo of howyoudey
          howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

          @sueddie, I think wetin @seun-odukoya mean say he don see that picture somewhere else. If not dat, then it could be say we don cross path for a Steel Pulse concert or something.

  6. Profile photo of henry c.onyema
    henry c.onyema (@ezeakwukwo): Head Wordsmith - 49630 pts

    Man, u are good. Ur story in the first volume of Naijastories anthology was a scream. Keep it rocking.

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @ezeakwukwo, thank you.

  7. Profile photo of omojola
    omojola (@omojola): Writer - 6540 pts

    @howyoudey, congratulations man. And you look every inch the fantastic writer you are: what with the dreads and steel-rim spectacles. And honestly, I almost had a heart attack when I saw my name. That was far too kind. Makes me wanna write something right away… Lol. Thanks for the mention boss, and please keep the series coming in. It should be a soap. Sent u a private message sometime last week. Dunno if you got it? Be well.

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @omoja, you deserve the accolades, man. Go, ahead, make my day (paraphrasing Clint Eastwood), write something! I got your private message and replied. With my clumsy posting habits, won’t be surprised if it ended up in the Black Hole somewhere. Thanks for the kind words, man.

      1. Profile photo of Sueddie Agema
        Sueddie Agema (@sueddie): Head Wordsmith - 47808 pts

        @omojola: for you…

        1. Profile photo of omojola
          omojola (@omojola): Writer - 6540 pts

          @sueddie: Gracias

  8. Profile photo of Seyi
    Seyi (@supremo): Junior Writer - 2433 pts

    “Rasta Writer” is a more descriptive handle.

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @Seyi, thanks.

  9. Profile photo of Ellie
    Ellie (@elly): Writer - 9142 pts

    Interesting read @howyoudey, seems like never a dull moment with you- like your story titles- they scream read me- like one Sunday morning in ATL- makes you want to find what happened there. Keep keeping it real!

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @elly, we’re trying. Thanks for your kind words.

  10. Profile photo of lactoo
    lactoo (@louis): Writer - 8781 pts

    guy you don old oo. Nice interview. this is long overdue sef

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @louis, thanks, lactoo. Abeg send that message to that village winchi wen be say I no go live past teenager! LOL.

  11. Profile photo of Unfathomable
    Unfathomable (@Unfathomable): Beginner - 600 pts

    Hullo Admin. I do not understand why whatever post i make reads ‘deleted user’. Instead of my name. Kindly explain. Thanks.

    1. Profile photo of Admin
      Admin (@ogaoga): Scribe - 19377 pts

      Hello @unfathomable, sorry about the inconvenience. There seems to be a glitch in the site software, and we are working to resolve this so that you can use any display name. In the meantime, your mention-name is now your display name, and you should not see ‘Deleted User’ any longer.

  12. Profile photo of Raymond
    Raymond (@raymond): Head Wordsmith - 47482 pts

    @howyoudey, I dunno why but anytime I think of what you might look like, what comes to mind is a young man. Well, you are young…hehehe… Nice to see your name up in lights. It’s been long overdue.
    As for my story, well, something new, very, very soon…

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @raymond, thank you, bros. Now I know why I’m wise o. That picture validates it! Hehehe….

      Oya, knack us tory joor…. I’m waiting eagerly.

  13. Profile photo of Eletrika
    Eletrika (@babyada): Wordsmith - 36389 pts

    Though I’d posted something here before. I used to think you were female.

    Congrats!

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @babyada, thank you, my sista. I miss your writing sef.

      1. Profile photo of Eletrika
        Eletrika (@babyada): Wordsmith - 36389 pts

        LOL @howyoudey

        Abegi!

        1. Profile photo of howyoudey
          howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

          @babyada, I’m serious o. The story about the married woman and her husband still dey my head.

  14. Profile photo of kaycee
    kaycee (@kaycee): Head Wordsmith - 150005 pts

    Yea, I thought he was female too.
    Mtcheew. Glad I didn’t over fantasize.

    1. Profile photo of Raymond
      Raymond (@raymond): Head Wordsmith - 47482 pts

      Lol. @kaycee, Ur deliverance for carry muscle

    2. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @kaycee, you and your fantasy sef. Na wa o. May be in the next life, when I come back as woman, eh? Ndo. Hehehehe….

  15. Profile photo of Sueddie Agema
    Sueddie Agema (@sueddie): Head Wordsmith - 47808 pts

    Wow! @howyoudey: Nice to ‘meet’ you! Your picture sure came different. You look Caribbean!
    You have a way with words… Wouldn’t forget that expression [who used it first?]: how-you-dey-do-am?
    Really nice reading you here. You were somewhat fluid and the interview proved a breezy read.
    Well done and thanks for the thoughts…
    Cheers!

    1. Profile photo of howyoudey
      howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97646 pts

      @sueddie, thanks, man. You’re right, my brother. Sometimes I think that this howyoudey person sef na Japanese! Look him eyes, abi. Small like Jackie Chan him own. LOL.

      Thanks for your kind words, my broda.

  16. Profile photo of Efadel
    Efadel (@febidel): Senior Scribe - 26498 pts

    The part I liked best was where you said that you had to choose between reading tomato cans or writing your own stories. I can remember having nothing to read except cartons of cereals and bottles of beverages.

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