April Featured Member is Kaycee – A Writer is not always his Work

April Featured Member is Kaycee – A Writer is not always his Work

Kaycee is not the most prolific writer on Naijastories and may even be better known for his ubiquitous and mostly helpful comments on submissions by other writers to the site. He will let you know if he enjoyed your work or not, and sometimes he tells you why. He has written short vignettes from both the writer’s and the critic’s perspective, and has also written fiction and non-fiction discussing the place of Lucifer, and the reality of Heaven and Hell. However, it is his latest and quite controversial story Sex with my Father that has now earned him the top spot for March. 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 begin writing?

I think it was in Junior Secondary. It doesn’t mean I have been writing since then. I just think it was the period I knew I could actually be a writer.
As to why I started, well, if u read so much like I did, it’s only natural that a day would come when you will encounter a book that would impress the notion that you could do it too, and even better. A BBC anthology of short stories from East Africa and Abubakar Gimba’s books gave me that impression. So I represented my school in the Annual School’s Carnival of Arts and Festival of Songs (ASCAFS) organised by ANA Niger State chapter, and got my first writing award in poetry.
When I found I could write if I put my mind to it, I lost interest in writing and stuck to my reading.
So far, you’ve been very versatile in your writing. Which is your favourite genre?
That word ‘genre’ sounds familiar…
I don’t think I have any favourite. It really depends on the story and the thoughts that inspired it. Prose fiction is always easier to pull off. Everybody can do poetry; if you have a good message, the rhymes do not matter, so I don’t bother about metre and other measurements. Haven’t written any plays yet.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Well, style, style…uh, I don’t know about that. I like to write in my own POV. I think grammar calls it the First Person Singular.
Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work? Like the belief or lack of belief in God or Lucifer?
I see why it would seem like there is a recurring theme of God or lack of the belief in God in my works. There are few reasons for that.
First, is that you write better when you write what you know. I swear, I know God. I know the Bible like no man business. If you grew up in my home, you would too. It was that kind of home where to miss morning or night devotion was simply asking to be killed. I stopped all that tradition in my teens. It wasn’t easy, but I overcame.
Secondly, I have a degree in Philosophy. Philosophy doesn’t make you hate God; it only makes you question all beliefs using reason. I subjected God and religion to my reason. They both scored less than average.
But I was a born deviant; it won’t be fair to blame philosophy. I find myself looking at things in a different light, most times the unpopular version. I don’t do it for controversy; I just like to represent the other side. And when I do, I find there are salient points in favour of the unpopular.
Plus, the life of an iconoclast or nihilist (mild) is far more interesting. I am grateful to be born one.
I do believe in God, but…
About Lucifer, I like that dude. I love greatness, positive or negative.
Same way I like Hitler and Saddam. It doesn’t mean I want to be like them. I just admire the stuff they were made of, their achievements and impact. Imagine the strength and character that made all that impact. It would be more interesting to study Hitler than Ghandi. It would be most interesting to study Lucifer…from a distance.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Ah, that is almost impossible to answer, I don’t know if anyone has read as much as I have. Books were my life. I stole them, walked miles to borrow, missed exams for them… My family even thought it was a problem. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to get a book.
I can never recall all the books that influenced me. The most influential books in my formative years were nameless, and untitled. Those ones you find under the bed, or in dusty cartons in an uncle’s house, the kind of books without cover and starts from the middle pages and ends anywhere. Those books thrilled my childhood.
I remember Gobolino the Witch’s Cat; I remember Pace Setters and African Writer’s Series. I loved Cyprian Ekwensi’s books: Juju rock, Passport of Mallam Illiya ; Nigger at Eton, by Dilibe Onyema and ….many, many other books. Recalling these books is almost tearful. I miss characters like Wilson Tagbo, Shettima, Tom Sawyer… do they still have all those English Readers in schools?
 But for God, James Hadley Chase would have turned me criminal.
Above all, MARK TWAIN is the greatest influence on my writing, and on my reading pleasure.
What books are you reading now?
Over the years it has proved increasingly difficult for me to find a book that would hold my interest. I mentioned this wahala to Seun Odukoya months ago. He understood. All my favourite writers are dead or are dying on me. I lost Sheldon, I lost Ludlum; many died before I was born.
After reading Ludlum all other CIA, espionage works couldn’t grab me anymore. Patterson felt like a watered down version of things. Much Grisham made me lose interest on other law fiction writers. I am waiting for the latest from Grisham, Baldacci, Deaver, Soyinka and some other good guys. I am so used to the masters that I can’t read anything less. But the masters are all gone or dying, or yet to publish new works.
So, I am at a loss.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not really. These new authors just write with the voice of the old masters. It’s not the same. Instead of having originality we are having “Nigeria’s Stephen King”, or “Africa’s Ludlum”, or some other comparison. The new authors lack their own distinct identity.
My fellow NS Musketeers (@seun odukoya, and @raymond) would soon come into their own.
Do you have a writing mentor?
Mark Twain, Mark Twain!!
Soyinka is Deputy Mentor.
What are your current projects? Any goals for 2012?
 Yes, I will be publishing my novel, UNHOLY BIBLE: King Lucifer’s Version, in May, and a collection of Short stories in September.
There is also this marriage project that I am cultivating…abi that one no follow for the project? (Yes o, congrats! Ladies, he’s taken!)
Who has supported you the most outside of family members?
No one. Not even family.
I hear a writer is supposed to be a loner.
I don’t mind.
Do you see writing as a career?
There is no other career.
Can you share a little about your writing with us?
I am first a reader. Will always be one. Everything I know about writing came from reading other works. I have never studied English or grammar. My work suffers for it. I tend to use a lot of full stops because I don’t know where to put the commas and those other semi things. Writing gives me joy. I get so excited when a story idea props up. Some times it is difficult to reproduce in a work the exact picture or feeling we have in our minds. Sometimes the right words fail to reveal themselves. It is same with other writers, I hope?
 I still regret that I didn’t read Literature and Arts, instead of sciences in Secondary school. I am sure it would have made a lot of difference in my writing.
I’m finding lots of joy in blogging too. There is nothing like interacting with fellow writers. The effect is awesome. That reminds me
Join me on:
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Major problem I find in writing, like I said earlier, is that I know almost nothing about punctuations. And I also lose interest too fast and too frequent. If I happen to start a story and for any reason stop midway, that would be the end of that. I have hundreds of unfinished works that I can’t for the life of me remember what I was thinking when I started them.
I just know that I have the imagination and talent for writing. If I can ever learn the ropes entangling grammar and sentence construction, I would be a very good writer. But it is a very hard matter.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
His sense of humour is incomparable.
He is the funniest writer I have ever read; funny without being silly.
Reading Twain has made humorous writings the only books I want to read.
If you know of any good humorist, please, let me know. I want to read them. (Check out Lola Shoneyin and Adaobi Nwaubani)
What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
We don’t have publishers in Nigeria; we only have printers and photocopiers.
What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
 I don’t know where people get the notion that Nigerians do not read. That is so not true. I wouldn’t have gotten so much books to read if it were so. I personally don’t know anyone who does not read.
I remember how we used to queue up to get a copy of Hints magazine and Reader’s digest, and all the romance novel our ladies consumed.
Do we even want to talk about the Sport papers and their millions of readers?
If Nigerians find what they want to read, they will devour it.The problem is not from the readers but from the writers, book distributors and publishers. Nigerian books do not get enough exposure, and the ones that do are not what Nigerians want to read.
A lot of Nigerians read the Harry Potter books. Why? They liked it, and it had exposure. Nigerians have had enough of Chinua Achebe and Biafra and all the other depressing books written by Africans. Only the west love African stories of war, butchery and disease.
You think any Nigerian would have read Adichie if not for the accolades from the west? She still has more sales outside the shores of Africa than within.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My readers should expect some shocking themes carefully tempered with humour.
Above all, they should always bear in mind that a writer is not always his work, and that a writer is not altogether in agreement with the views expressed in his works, but rather is putting these views out to be aired and observed, or just simply as a work of art to be appreciated and enjoyed.
And now to more lighthearted stuff
Ice cream or chocolate?  
Football or Basketball?  
Ebook or paperbacks?  
Paperbacks; ladies like guys that carry them around.
Salty or sweet?  
Beach or mountains? 
Mountains. Definitely mountains.
Phone call or textmessage?
Text message.
Early bird or night owl?  
Dog or cat? 
Messy or neat?  
Heroes or Villains?
Heroes are boring.

74 thoughts on “April Featured Member is Kaycee – A Writer is not always his Work” by Admin (@ogaoga)

  1. Glad I read this this morning. It is so interesting. After reading this, I would certainly love to meet you one day. We so much share a lot of POVs.
    Glad you made this.

    1. Thanks, @layrite. If you will be @NS meet on the 14th, we would see.

  2. At last! a kindred mind! I totally get you Kaycee! Nice to know that I’m not alone in the way I think. This was a pleasurable read. I totally enjoyed it.

    1. @esosa, thank you. Its indeed a relief that there are kindred spirits out there.

  3. Hehehehehehehehe.

    You know; I strongly believe there is something to the whole ‘musketeer thing’…I believe not in co-incidence.

    Good to see you up there man.

    Congratulations – keep making them think. Would like to see the UNHOLY BIBLE; would like to hold a copy of that.

    And yeah; get married and start raising a bunch of small ‘Kaycees’.

    Well done.

    1. Thanks,@seun-odukoya
      Mannest man!
      There is no co incidence, I agree.
      I can’t wait for the kaycee brats. Lord should just not give me any girls.

  4. Whoa!..An enjoyable read. it’s nice to know these little things about kaycee..

    @seun-odukoya..Uh huh there is something to y’all..
    January- Raymond, February- Seun, April- Kaycee…
    Na jazz?..

    Congrats Kaycee..U deserve it.

    1. A lil lady inserted herself into the musketeer midst. Wonder what her intentions are?
      @sibbylwhyte, thanks. How have you been? Whatever happened to our…

      1. The lil’ lady’s intentions would remain unknown to us.

        Our??…there is no our o..shebi U wan keep malice?..hehehe..
        By the way God go pack girls give you..Amen!..

  5. Congrats bro, this is long overdue. Thought it was going to be you last month, but that pretty gal broke the musketeer ranks.
    And like Seun said, there really is something about the musketeers o. Maybe you guys should consider writing a story together. Dunno, just saying.
    Revd. Kaycee (yes, I called you that!), keep up the work -good or bad- someday, you’ll make us proud.
    God bless you, your excellency sir.


    PS: I refer to each of the musketeers as ‘Your Excellency’. You guys try!

    1. @banky.
      You too much.
      As per the Rev thing, pls nau, u say it loud enough and God will hear.

  6. Kaycee, while I enjoyed this, walahi I couldn’t handle this “I subjected God and religion to my reason. They both scored less than average.” It would have been ok with me if you didn’t subject God to your reason. I grew up under a father who has degrees in Philosophy and taught same subject for years. He strikes a balance between his beliefs and what Philosophy taught him- as a Church elder and a doctor of philosophy.

    While I do not mean to challenge your beliefs, I beg to say that you don’t know God- else He wouldn’t have scored less than average. I think all these are wrapped in an euphemism that you are an atheist.

    Meanwhile I can’t wait to read your novel! I know I’ll enjoy it as I enjoyed this.

    *and yes I am a church boy*

    1. @femtrols, thank you.
      Yup, it is a subjective matter. I did subject both God and religion to the dictates of reason; they didn’t pass. If God ranks high in your own human reasoning then you have a problem. The human mind can never grasp the majesty of that being. To worship God, truly, is without reason, it is a matter of emotions and believe and faith.
      I leave reasoning and philosophy in the car when I go to church.

      And yes, I am a church boy too.

      Hail your father for me.

      1. @Kaycee, I had to take minutes out of my hard-earned time to visit your blog.

        You don’t say I’ve a problem when the reasoning is mine. And you seem to have changed the context, and if I should go by this again “The human mind can never grasp the majesty of that being. ” Brother, then I think your statement should have been that when you subjected God to your reason, you couldn’t comprehend rather than scoring Him beyond average.

        I read everything readable on your blog. I’ve read and seen your mind. Some of those things are near blasphemy, nonetheless I hold you by your words “A Writer is not always his Work”

        You write well. But I think you should be able to manage your philosophical thoughts. Nobody will sue you for whatever you believe in.

        1. Lol
          I hear you, loud and clear.
          But near blasphemy is no blasphemy.
          But even if I commit blasphemy, its for God to say.

          God and religion, when subjected to reason, would fail. Must and always will.

          I appreciate your good intent.
          I assure you, my mind and faith is intact.
          If you look very closely, you would find that I only thread a thin line.
          I am careful.
          Thanks for visiting my blog, you have a blog?

          1. Chai! You are a very good badt guy! You almost gave me hypertension!looool! However I enjoy the controversial subject you write on! True!

            I blog here http://www.iyemishi.wordpress.com

  7. Now, this is interesting! Or rather, you are interesting; or maybe I should just say you have an interesting personality! It’s all same jor, in as much as you get my point!:D
    You are an inspiration.
    Keep the good work up bro.

    And thanks NS for this great opportunity you’ve given Nigerian writers, home and abroad, to perfect their skills.

    1. Perfection of skills and honing of talent. You talk true @dr2103
      Really, thanks to NS.

  8. ‘Those ones you find under the bed, or in dusty cartons in an uncle’s house, the kind of books without cover and starts from the middle pages and ends anywhere. Those books thrilled my childhood.’
    How true…how true…

    Chairman… Musketeer. U do well. U do well. I’m waiting for Ur work.

    Submitting God to ya reason? Hmm. U wan turn to Onyeka Nwelue abi? Hehehe.

    Carry go bro. Marriage? Hehehe… Good luck. God bless.

    1. Yeah, musketeer, you read those too?
      Who is onyeka?
      My brother, a writer is not always….

  9. Yea, heroes are boring….and predictable too. The religion thing is too sensitive in these parts as I’m sure you know, buh then, people forget that Lucifer was God’s right-hand man before the creation of man and knows almost as much as the Big man himself. Sometimes I think that one day, they’ll sit together somewhere and have a drink to it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a staunch believer in God. I simply believe in worshipping Him in a way pleasing to me and not according to the dictates of some religion.

    Congrats. Looking forward to more of your writing though.

  10. …And the trilogy is complete….Kudos….I won’t say you deserve it because you know you do

  11. Your kind would love your ‘ada’ so much….. Watch it, she’s coming….

    I hope we’ll get an I.V to the big day. And this interview? Shows just how intellectual you are which I’ve always known except….

    I hope your unholy bible doesn’t have same kind of effect da vinci code had on people’s minds *i never read am sha*.

    Congratulations to you once again… I remember telling you sometime before.

    1. @gooseberry.
      You havnt read da vinci?
      Well, its no biggie.
      I will be an intellectual. You know, those kind of men with multiple degrees and multiple egos, that would never use one word when 5 would do?
      I hope so too about Unholy bible. I will write other works that would over shadow.

  12. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


    1. @babyada
      Thank yooooou!!

  13. Congratulations… @kaycee; aim higher, work harder and I pray God sees you through.

  14. Weldone Kaycee,my oga. Its a honor well deserved. Your write ups are very incisive,leaving the reader with many thoughts to resolve on his own. I have always admired your attention to details and how you invade, and sometimes provoke the readers mind. It takes a great writer to achieve that;and you have passed. Personally, you have affected my writing skills through your ‘naked’ comments- they have really helped. I am truly proud of you. Weldone!

    1. Thanks, @phronesis, your words are flattering.

  15. Congratulobia Kaycee

  16. There is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat;
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.

    – Brutus

    Congrats fellow philospher and never sleep on the oars.
    The Muse bless you with a Pegasus.

  17. @ Oga Kayceeeeeeeee.Ur mind is simply amazing!On d Unholy bible,ehmn.. I COMMENT MY RESERVE!CONGRATS ONCE MORE.

      1. You are welcome.One more thing, you are a fine gentle man o.

  18. Controversy synonymous with Kaycee, a signature NS had done well to recognize this day, a signature imposed on the mind of the readers wherever they see them. I wouldn’t disagree with NS on its rareness and uniqueness. Thumbs up to you man. Keep signing…
    But do me one favour, don’t sire another Kaycee?

    1. Lol
      Thank you, will try not to.

  19. Congrats Kaycee.
    I personally wonder too when people say Nigerians don’t have a reading culture. Nigerian pubs seem to be more concerned with literary works than commercial fiction and then go on complain when sales don’t meet their expectation. Even in the west commercial fiction does better than lit works. Most lit works that sell are those that go on to win awards

    1. @osakwe, so true, so true.

  20. Anyways as for not wanting too many girl…

    1. @osakwe, not too many?
      I want none at all.

      1. In your dreams. You have to have o so some guys can give you heart attack when they start sniffing around them

  21. Congratulation @kaycee sky is you`re starting point

    i`m curious about what the unholybible is all about
    hopefully its something intriguing.

    i`m a church woman oo.

    1. Am a church guy too
      Thanks, @iykewifey

  22. I like this interview – it is so interesting. Now I know some things about Kaycee. I’m waiting for your book o.

  23. shai (@shaifamily)

    Good one…enjoyed every bit of reading what this guy @kaycee has got in there in his head.
    Guy, just keep doing what you re doing. When that book “Unholy Bible” does come out, I am grabbing a copy. U know I like it…loved it. The bit u shared.
    See u, stay blessed.

    1. @shai
      Where did you find this. Been looking for the thing.
      Thanks, much.

      1. shai (@shaifamily)

        Wish tin? No implicate me. Wish tin?

        1. Your comment got me sobered up and thinking of good things.

  24. Enter the mind of the resident NS madman…

    Interesting…amazing how an interview like this can reveal the genesis of a rebellious spirit.
    lol…I’m eager to see the response to that novel you’re working on.

    1. Na u get nuts as ur username o

  25. This Unholy Bible. . . Wouldn’t it be okay for it to just be unholy? Why does it have to be King Lucifer’s Version? That combination makes it very interesting. It makes me think another versison might exist.

  26. So much fun reading ya…

  27. Congrats man. You deserve it. Your writing is cool and stimulating. Your reasoning is impeccable, and you exhibit a level of maturity that is often found in writers who have held high office.

    I am booking for an advance copy of the Unholy Bible, effective from June 30th, 2012. Any month you miss the deadline, will attract a fine of N5.00, which will be applied as a discount to the cost of the book when published.

    Remain blessed, and keep questioning.

  28. @kaycee, I really want dat ur book oo. Hala me immediately its out.

  29. Always nice when a little bio is given on someone. Thanks for sharing a little of your mind Kaycee. Looking forward to your reign.
    You should have kept the no girls part to yourself, now you’ve gone and said it, guess what? Kayla, Kimberly and Kristina are just waiting to cling..lol.

    You did real good!

    1. @dottaraphels, dont be mean now.
      How far with Kimberly na?

  30. Very impressive interview. I am always happy when people give honour to Cyprian Ekwensi. Even though the West didn’t accept him as much as our other shining lights, I still consider him one of the best Nigerian writers ever. AN AFRICAN NIGHT’S ENTERTAINMENT, PASSPORT OF MALLAM ILLYA, BURNING GRASS, JAGUA NANA’S DAUGHTER, DRUMMER BOY…that man!

    On the subject of punctuation, you can’t be serious–I do think you have a good grasp of it that is way ok for a novelist, even though we know there is never any end to learning.

    And yes, it is really impossible to start penciling down influences when you are a voracious and assymetrical reader. This days I don’t. even have the time to read a book from beginning to end. There is so much to read!

    Nice one man and congrats!

    1. @chemokopi
      Thank you for your kind words.

  31. Looks more of you showing “YOU MAN IN THE MIRROR” Good to read you share yourself here!

  32. The book, the book. Today na may 1.

  33. tade (@tadethompson)

    Excellent interview.

  34. AH, K the C. I took out time to read the interviews of our featured writers today. For starters, you are the authentic madman of this site, like one nut tagged you in his comment. You are something else.Wish we could meet for a carton of ‘shine-shine bobo’ (or do you prefer tombo or paraga?). I was laughing all the way. We are kindred spirits in our love for Mark Twain though you are clearly much more devoted to him. Still remember Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Now I know the root of your ‘arrogance’ and I say CARRY GO! My respect for your comments on my work here don quadruple. I will make your site a regular diet. Hope Madam has taken her place in your house and hearth. If I had known, I would have given you free ‘totorials’ ! Aside: maybe Adichie should have been your wife. She is as opinionated and arrogant as you in some of her interviews.

    Now, where is THE UNHOLY BIBLE? This is August.
    Keep being your wacky self but remember, if your writing does not aid in making Planet Earth more inhabitable for man , then you should stuff your pen under the bed.
    Nice knowin’ you.

  35. great interview bros- keep up the good work

  36. ”Taken” that’s heartbreaking… you are such a skillful and strict writer, nice blog by the way……… am glad I’ve finally seen your interview.

  37. Ajenifuja Adetokunbo (@Ajenifuja-Adetokunbo)

    @kaycee My oga, your head dey there o. As much as me and u dey always quarrel when it comes to comment on my works, i still dey by ur side. Lol. And i swear your writings are always philosophical told from hilarious angle. I should have known you studied the course. Thumbs up. The sky is ya limit.

  38. @kaycee…..was going to ask when you had this interview when I remembered the date is shown at the top! Still laughing out loud.

  39. I can’t believe i just came across this. This guy is one of the most interesting guys in the world mehn. I’d disagree with some of his views but I love his character. Reading this was thoroughly enjoyable.

  40. We have a lot in common. Glad to find someone who shares history with me.

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