Enjoy the interview. Abby likes her anonymity and prefers not to share pictures of herself. But you can read more of her stories and poems HERE
1. When and why did you begin writing?
Writing’s just one of my avenues of expression: I cannot readily put forth a date when I began writing but I can tell why. I love stories but I really do not do stories, or even poetry. Ironic that may sound. I classify my type of writing self-help. Oh I don’t preach the ‘do-it-right’ maxim but I believe in everyone taking charge and responsibility for their lives. I noticed that we are prone to finger-pointing; from circumstances not being in our favor to the plain old devil. I write that we need to work through that; its not an easy job and it takes some getting used to but with time, it does get easier. That’s the basis for my writing.
2. What inspires you to write?
Well, pain, love, people, life in general, Can’t write on a superficial level, so just about anything works for me. No topic is beyond me, so long as I understand it.
3. Do you have a specific writing style?
Maybe. For the sort of things I really write about, I love to ‘shock’ with directness. Still, that approach does not always work. I do like to experiment so I ask questions on how it would appeal to a certain person to read certain things.
4. Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work?
Yes; a major theme: God, which spreads out into subject matters bordering on love, strength, etc because I believe you can’t have one without the other; and majorly none outside of God. I essentially tie it all to God; directly or subtly and no matter the outcome; painful or happy.
5. What books have most influenced your (writing) life most?
I have read tons of books: entertaining, educational, enlightening, spiritual, practical, funny, but you also wouldn’t believe the books I haven’t yet read. It’ll be hard to give one single book all the credit but it’ll be safe to say The Bible. I have also read great stuff on the site as well.
6. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
7. What books are you reading now?
Ironically, “Getting A Job Is A Job” by Aruosa Osemwegie
8. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Do you mean published authors? People with talents abound and we don’t know the half of them; yet. I have read stuff and they are promising.
9. What are your current projects?
You know NaijaStories set me thinking; I got on the site, read scores of entries and then got thinking. A couple of days later, I wrote my first ever couple of short stories, believe it on not. Same thing with the poems. Will see about working with someone on something soon.
10. Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is a way I relax sometimes; other times its serious business. So the answer is, it does have its own place.
11. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Choice of words are key. I write to challenge people’s psyches; that’s not supposed to be easy. It also means I need to convince them that I understand them in some ways and so do not judge them. Nudging them in a subtle but ‘forceful’ enough way. Its quite like speaking to a bunch of people. No one wants to be ordered around. I don’t.
12. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Myles Munroe. He teaches with so much depth and passion, and guides you to make the right choices. I read and listen to him and I know I’m on track.
13. What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
Well, I dare say that the Industry we have is reflective of our state as a people. They are accused of all sorts but they also are in business primarily for profit, and with the economy being the way it is, one can’t blame them much. With the stuff I’ve seen on the site; I think its time to hope again, the industry will catch up to us.
14. What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
Would it be wise to say that its a 70-30 percent ratio in favor of the non-reading public? I know there are people who couldn’t be bothered but those who read; most certainty do read. Its up to those of us who read to be the light; the trailblazers in our spheres of influence. Reading is important and its all about information. Let’s use the information we have read and imbibed positively so that others can choose to want to read as well.
15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Wow! I always thought of this part as a kid and I still don’t know what to say. Would ‘I love and appreciate you all’ work?
Thanks for this opportunity. Its a totally brilliant thing that Naija Stories is, and I am glad I am a part of it.