Thursday, 7 March 2019

Interview with Author Feyisayo Anjorin

Today I have an interview with author Feyisayo Anjorin who discusses writing and his novella, The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called.  Enjoy.

Interview with Author Feyisayo Anjorin

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

My name is Feyisayo Anjorin, I am a writer, a filmmaker, a husband, a father, a lover of all good things.

Could you tell us about your latest book?

My novella, “The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called” is an urban fantasy/science fiction set in 22nd century Nigeria, about the personal conflict of a young police officer against the backdrop of the societal changes orchestrated by the possible intrusion of technology into realms that had been hitherto totally human-driven.

What did you enjoy most about writing the urban fantasy/science fiction genre?

I particularly enjoy the freedom to create a world that is familiar and at the same time strange. The cosmopolitan cities in Africa come alive in the book, and I was able to put in a bit of Yoruba mythology. I am Yoruba from South West Nigeria, so a bit of the traditional spiritual beliefs of my people, with my knowledge of technology, where it is and where it would likely go; and the conflict of culture too, and unbridled creativity, all that, in a good mix, got me a great story.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

One day I was thinking about a friend who lost his wife, and who wanted to start dating not long after the bereavement. This decision got some people talking, asking why this man is in a hurry to replace the dead. So I imagined the man and his wife, their life together, their love so strong, I imagined the man’s wife being jealous and not happy about being replaced. That was how the story came. Initially, it was meant to be a short story, but when it was published by Brittle Paper, Ainehi Edoro, the editor of the magazine, wanted me to write a more comprehensive story. It was easy.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

I loved the personality of the dead woman, Sade, and the confusion of Badoo, the lead character, the way I was about to explore Yoruba mythology and what our people believe about dead people.

Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book?

I was surprised by the end, because there was a time that I thought I could not start writing something if I do not know how it would end, but after Brittle Paper commissioned a story series (which was eventually compiled and became the novella) I was just writing episode by episode, not knowing how it would end. The characters developed on their own, based on their motivation, conflicts and relationships.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

When a certain story possibility comes to mind, I dwell on the thought to see what interesting things could come of it, then I start writing things on paper. I guess the things that I write typically come from the synthesis of ideas, whether from the books that I’ve read or from the stories I hear, I mean real life stories, or from a song. I don’t have a strict writing routine but anytime I have the opportunity to be alone, I write. If I don’t have the opportunity to write I would read, because I can read anywhere, no matter the noise. I need absolute peace and quiet to be productive as a writer though.

How do you research for your books?

It depends on the genre I’m trying to write. I notice that anytime I read about the Yoruba traditional religion, I write scary stuff, not because it is scary, but I am a Christian, I am Yoruba too. We typically fear what we don’t understand, especially spiritual stuff. If I am writing about another African country as in the case of ‘Kasali’s Africa’ I just read newspapers and online articles from that country. Sometimes I just read, and then writing something similar becomes easy.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

My next project is a story collection “Women of the City”, it’s about women fighting for survival in a city that is, in fact, a perilous jungle without looking like it.

The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called is available on Amazon.

As the 22nd century Nigeria becomes divided by the plan of the government to introduce law enforcement robots into the police services, Badoo, a young police officer gets a phone call from his dead girlfriend.
The passage of time and the persistence of the calls slowly turns Badoo’s affection for the deceased to hatred. 
Badoo has to summon the courage to face Pa Fakunle, a witchdoctor, a man of secrets who says far less than he knows; and an unknown top police establishment bent on disputing his sanity.

1 comment:

Priscilla Bettis said...

I have to have peace and quiet to write, too.
The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called sounds SO good!

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