Our Featured Writer for the month of July is TheBeautifulTruth. Her story, Nnamdi, got the highest views in the month of June. To increase the number of views for your own stories, share the links with friends, and on Facebook and Twitter. To read more of the Beautiful Truth’s stories click HERE. Enjoy her interview below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sonia N. Osi. I’m 18 years old, soon to be 19. I’m in my second year in the University. I love to read novels. I love to write. Sadly I don’t have as much time to write these days compared to when I was in high school.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing back in High School. It was J.S2, I was 11 years old and determined to be a novelist. I bought myself a hard cover notebook, I started my novel; I never finished it though.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I never thought I was particularly good at writing till my friends would read my work and be all compliments. With time my high school teachers noticed my ‘talent’ and so I became the person who represented the school at their essay competitions, and I would win! Strange really, because to me it came quite easy; writing.
What inspires you to write?
Do you have a specific writing style?
No I do not actually. I am very versatile but in general I try to make sure nothing is ambiguous and that the reader understands clearly what is going on and is carried along, at least that is what I do with my prose, when it comes to poems I make good use of my ‘poetic license’.
Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work?
What books have most influenced your life most?
Growing up, I breathed books but I remember reading John Munonye’s ‘The Only Son’, Camara Laye’s ‘The African Child’ and Chinua Achebe’s’ Arrow of God’ all in one summer holiday and being moved, very moved. That was the summer I started making attempts at essays and stories; I wanted to move people too.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to, John Munonye.
What books are you reading now?
Right now? I have my Physiology finals soon, so I am reading my textbooks. However, I just bought Wole Soyinka’s ‘Ake’ and I plan on getting to it after my exams.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Stephanie Meyer! I love her! She created Edward Cullen.
What are your current projects?
I have no ‘current projects’. School is my project right now. I write short stories and poems when I’m free, and sadly, that is it.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have this friend. His name is Tochukwu Oduah. He has been mega supportive right from way back in High School. He actually made me write the story ‘I Remember’ that is on this website, because before it, I had not written anything more than a journal entry for about 2 years and then one day he messages me that I really should do something new and so I said to myself ‘O.k’.
Do you see writing as a career?
Right now, I am in medical school. I am going to be a doctor and that is the first dream I plan on making happen. As for seeing writing as a possible career, yes I do actually. However there is no pressure, whichever way God deems it fit for me to use my pen will fall into place in His time.
Can you share a little about your writing with us?
I always do a rough sketch of my stories and poems first. I always paragraph and with each paragraph I either represent a new train of thought or aim to enhance the ease with which you can read and understand my work. I learnt that from my Mum by the way. Moreover, I always pretend to be the people that I write about. For the duration of time I have the pen in my hand, I am not me, I am my character. I think like my character. Lastly, I always try to avoid ambiguity.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
No, nothing really. I rarely experience writer’s block. The toughest bit is my opening, but once I start I can go on and on. Conclusions are tricky sometimes too; you don’t want it looking rushed, and then cheapening the entire write-up or spoiling the story.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is probably Stephen King or one of the many people who write heart-stopping horror. However, someone whose work I find striking is Chimamanda Adichie. She has two books about the Biafran War: ‘Purple Hibiscus’ and ‘Half of a yellow sun’. I wasn’t born when the war happened, but after reading her novels, I feel like I was there. I feel like I lived, loved, lost, fought and cried in the late 1960’s. That’s how good Adichie is at conveying emotions and at involving you in her story. I had the hard facts and main gist of the war already from my Grandmother but then I got an actual glimpse of the war from Adichie.
What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
I have no personal opinion on what industry is like. We are yet to cross paths.
What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
I do not think we have an actual reading culture. Culture is a way of life, right? We don’t have a reading culture in Nigeria, or at least not one that I have noticed.
I think it is a sad thing.
I owe a large part of who I am, how deep I think and how I view life to the volume of books I read growing up. I learnt a lot of things; things that television would not have been able to teach me and things that I am positive would leave me a much shallower person if you took away them away.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thanks a lot. I enjoy doing what I do, hopefully you enjoy reading what I do as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I would also like to apologize because there will be long gaps between my uploads because I rarely have free time. My readers on naijastories.com, all the comments and views have been encouraging and very flattering, God bless.
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