Happy September, everyone! Can you believe it’s been more than a month since we visited? I’m excited to share some of the things I got myself into during my time away, but that’s for later postings. Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Crime Novelist and author of the DI Andy Horton Mystery Series, Pauline Rowson to the writers blog. Pauline has agreed to share her writing routines with us.
There are writers who write the same time every day come what may; others who will write a certain number of words a day and when they’ve done their quota, they’ll knock off. Some authors will hide themselves away for a set number of weeks dedicated to writing, others will only write during certain months of the year. Me? I have no real set routine but I do like to write every day, speaking engagements permitting.
Some days when the words flow or I am at a critical stage of writing – usually at the end of the first draft of a novel – I am keen to crack on and write as much as I can. This can result in me spending up to seven hours, maybe more, sitting at my computer. Not terribly good for the posture or the wrists.
Other days I will struggle to find the correct words and the creative flow will trickle to a halt. If the latter happens I usually pick up my knitting, do some sewing or go for a walk while my mind works away at the snag with the plot or with a character.
But writing isn’t only about pounding away at a keyboard, writers also spend a great deal of time staring into space – thinking! (That’s where the knitting comes in handy, I can knit and think at the same time). Writing a novel also involves research and because my crime novels are set in the area in which I live I do a lot of research on location walking DI Andy Horton’s patch which is Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight on the South Coast of England. (Alright so I can’t walk on water but I can traverse the Solent by boat).
My mind is constantly working, thinking through the plots or sub plots and developing characters. Time will also be spent mapping out the plot lines and developing and researching the background of my characters, their personalities and motivations.
All my initial plotting and character construction is executed in pencil on recycled paper and each character is bound together with a good old fashioned India tag, the same for the plot outline. My work in progress stays on my desk until the novel is completed. I do some research before I begin writing, but a great deal more as I write. As long as I have an outline and some characters to begin with, I can start the creative writing process, which is really important for me, because until I start to write and put words into the characters mouths they don’t come alive. When they start breathing, speaking and taking action then the plot also begins to develop.
As to the actual writing tool – it is straight on to the computer for me, so easy for editing.
Getting that first draft right is the longest part of the writing process for me and usually takes me two/three months. It being a crime novel I want to surprise the reader, and myself, so when I begin I often don’t know who the villain/killer is or sometimes it turns out to be someone completely different. And that means a rewrite. Once I’ve cracked the ending though there is a certain pleasure in going back over the novel, fleshing out the characters, making sure all the clues and red herrings are in place, that there is variety in the scenes and in the pace, then it’s questioning each word and passage and generally testing my prose until I feel the novel is the best I can possibly write, and even then I always feel I could do better!
And when I’m not doing all the above there are copy edits to be checked and proofs to be read and another novel to be written… The cycle goes on. I’m currently writing DI Andy Horton number eleven, as yet untitled.
And which part of the writing process do I like the most? All of it, because I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t enjoy it.
Undercurrent (DI Andy Horton 9) was published by Severn House in May 2013
Death Surge, (DI Horton ten) will be published by Severn House Publishers in the UK and Commonwealth on 30 September 2013 and in the USA on 1 January 2014.
Pauline Rowson is the author of the DI Andy Horton mystery series set on the South Coast of England published by Severn House Publishers. Her books are available in printed format, as e books and some are also available as unabridged audio books. The DI Horton series has been highly acclaimed in both the UK and the USA. They can also be borrowed from libraries in the UK and the USA.
For more information visit her official website at http://www.rowmark.co.uk
‘Deserves mention in the same breath as works in the upper echelon of American procedurals (those by Ed McBain or Joseph Wambaugh for example) and their British counterparts, including the work of Peter Robinson and John Harvey.
‘Andy Horton is an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage – an abrasive supervisor and an antagonistic soon-to-be ex-wife. Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms.’ Booklist, Starred Review
Whew, can you believe this woman’s body of work?! I’m exhausted already:) Thanks Pauline, I’m keen to your habit of writing ‘something’ everyday as well.
What about you guys? How’s your end of summer writing routine shaping up for fall beginnings? Please share with us.
Happy Friday to all writers and authors! It’s scorching here in the Midwest and I’m encouraging everyone coping with this heatwave to stay cool and hydrated. Keep alcohol to a minimum or non existent ( nurse in me) Today, author Barbara Alvarez is going to talk about the thing that can frustrate many creatives in the literary world- our muse! Let’s welcome Barbara to clara54′s writers blog.
This might happen to you once in a while – you have a great idea for an article or for your new book. When you sit down to write, nothing comes to mind, even though you have an outline sitting right next to you! After staring at your computer screen for 30 minutes, lolling around on Facebook, checking your email and getting your third bottle of water, you wonder if you should just give up. “Maybe I’ll just wait for inspiration to strike. My muse seems to have taken a temporary break.”
Don’t do that. If you “wait for the muse,” she’ll (he’ll?) never join you. Take a walk if you must, but do so with the specific intention of coming back with at least one idea. Take a pen and pad of paper with you so that, if you do get an idea, you can write it down immediately. The paper and pen are important. How many times have you gotten an idea, only to completely forget what it was by the time you sat down at your computer? If you’re like me, that’s happened to you too many times. I bought several cheapie spiral notepads – you know, the ones with the spiral at the top. I have a pen in my purse. When I go anywhere, the pad and pen go with me. Wherever you are, write it down!
Let’s talk about other ways of encouraging inspiration. When I took a feature writing class a few years ago, my instructor required that we all start a notebook. This notebook had the plastic sleeve inserts into which we could add news stories that caught our attention or that became the inspiration for a story. She also had us add a second section so we could jot down those ideas. We were required to come up with seven to 10 ideas per week – and she collected the notebooks and checked them weekly! We had no choice but to “be honest” and generate those ideas. Fortunately, it didn’t matter if the ideas were good or not. As long as we used our gray matter and imagination, we could come up with something.
I’m a big fan of “what if …?” and allowing my imagination to run riot. And yes, my imagination loves going wild. Here’s an example – I live in the oldest part of town. Close by my home, we have one of the oldest parks in the city. Pioneer Women’s Park. Circling the park, which is simply a big square of grass, benches, trees, shrubs and a gazebo, are old houses. These aren’t the cookie-cutter ranch houses. These are the older houses with the deep porches that invite you to put a few chairs or a porch swing out, add a round table and sit out, sipping lemonade on a hot summer evening. The roofs are pitched. These houses aren’t big. Two, maybe three bedrooms, the kitchen, living room and one or two bathrooms. But most of them are well-maintained.
Anyway … I digress. The neighborhood is old and beautiful. There are two houses on one intersection. The first is one of these deep-porch homes, painted a beautiful green. Behind that house is a narrow, two-story house, painted in the same shade of green. Now, here’s where my imagination got all excited and took over. That second house has some whimsical embellishments. A trailing branch with colorful flowers was painted close to the roof. The words, “La Poste” have been attached to the second story. On the ground in front of the house, a metal table with several chairs sits.
When I first noticed this particular house, I was transfixed. I stared at it – and I hope I didn’t scare the owners by doing so! Truthfully, I had a “what-if” moment when I saw that two-story house. Let me break it down for you:
º The “La Poste” generated a whole storyline alone, one that is promising to become a saga;
º The older-neighborhood quality added to that storyline;
º The overall whimsy of the house just jump-started my imagination.
º My “what-if” moment led to me wondering – a story about refugees from the pre-WWII era emigrating to the U.S. I write primarily romance stories. In this planned book, one of the family members is the protagonist, so the story is about her family. As it’s currently planned, this story will wind up being saga-length.
There you have it. The muse might avoid me, but I do all I can to find her. Here’s another take-away for you – at this point, I have roughly six or seven story ideas written down for future writing. I don’t let my muse stay hidden.
Barbara Alvarez has been writing professionally since mid-2008. She began writing for content mills and has gradually branched out into ghostwriting and writing her own material.
Alvarez earned her Journalism and Mass Communications degree from New Mexico State University in 2006, thus starting her second career.
While she writes non-fiction, her first love is fiction – novels, novellas, romance, romantic suspense and YA are her primary specialties.
Alvarez’ goal is to publish several of her books and become well-known as a novelist. So far, she has one novella published and has ideas for at least seven new books.
Links to Barbara’s books:
Barbara’s website: http://barbaraalvarez.naahub.com/
Thanks to Barbara for her candid talk about the almighty muse! How do you deal with a stubborn muse in your creative process? Ignore or welcome its intrusion?
I’ll be taking a break until the end of August! I know it seems like a long time, but, family reunions and brand building projects lay in wait. I encourage you to read through posts from other visiting authors in my absence- some real gems here! If Breaking News occurs, I might be inclined to inform you guys:) Question. Laptop or no while getting your vacation R & R on?
Happy Friday Everyone! You all know by now how much I enjoy creative writing contests. This year, my submission to Affiliated Women International “NAME” their women business store contest won third place selection- yay! Those who submitted their 2 page entry into The Mirror Monologues a few months ago, received an update from the playwrights informing us of the magnitude of entrants. We’re told our work is awesome-( paraphrasing here) and the final decision will be handed down in October. I’ve only written one-acts before and gotten ‘merit’ responses, so, it’ll be interesting to see how far my submission goes.
Two short story submissions were rejected (drat) but, I enjoyed writing under the umbrella of a 72 hour window where writers had to draft a story from scratch, taking cues from the competition book cover- such fun and showed that I could write a short story ( 1769 words) with a beginning, middle and end:) An awesome book cover and I so wanted to win it!
Enough crying over spilt milk, already. Let’s move on to even better contests cropping up for your summertime fun as you take a break from that book in progress deadline…
Bill Cosby has developed a fun way to promote his new book, I Didn’t Ask To Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) by hosting a Cosby Sweater Tournament on his website. You have to vote for your favorite Cosby sweater in each bracket to be entered to win an autographed copy of his book.
Another Book Cover contest (won’t be entering this one) is Show Me Your Cover Contest by Sunshinestateromanceauthors.com.
July Heat Short Story contest (750) word count, deadline July 25th, at julyheat.blogspot.com
Assent Publishing “Rogue Writing” contest at http://www.assentpublishing.com or baddaybooks.wordpress.com for their guidelines.
Zoetrope; All-Story Short Fiction Contest at http://www.all-story.com/contests.cgi. The fee here seems to increase every couple of years.
My guest post is featured today at Monique Muro’s Passion Series Blog @ http://anovelquest.com/passion-series-clara-freeman/ Please stop by for a visit. It was a fun experience.
Okay, that’s it ladies & gents. If you’d like to add other contests to the list, please, don’t be shy. Who is in the mood for summer contests?
Happy Friday to all creatives in the literary realm! I hope your Fourth of July went swell. Today, a brief recount of what I’ve read recently and wholeheartedly recommend that you add to your summer reading repertoire- between those hot fun in the summertime days:)
Walk On Water by Lorain Hemingway is a memoir about starting life as a young girl in the simplicity of Mississippi where she embodies the pleasures of southern life/ its people, Mother nature, swimming and learning the intrinsic of cat-fishing. Lorian’s love for fishing consumes her as she embarks upon a journey that leads to the heart of her passion for the fish and have her traveling in her grandfather’s fishing/writing circle.
Lorian Hemingway wasn’t aware of her famous namesake until later in life. Her father was the youngest son of Ernest Hemingway. Her love and passion for the art of fishing leads her to fish in the footsteps of her famous grandfather, learn lessons about the sport from her uncle Les, Hemingway’s brother and meet many interesting fishermen whose love for the sport supersedes her own.
Lorian Hemingway’s life is written in bold strokes of abuse, drugs, alcoholism, love, legacy and deep sea fishing-all captured on the page in richness and vibrancy.It is a must read. Who knew that a writer could reel in her reader so effortlessly as she does the fish in Walk On Water?
In, You Are A Writer (So Act Like One) Jeff Goins pulls no punches. He’s direct, assertive and positive in his approach. He doles out sage writing advice, many writers already know, but, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. I found many little ‘reminder’ gems that I need to apply in my efforts to getting published. I’ve listed a few that resonates:
1. Stop writing for accolades and start writing for passion
2.Live up to your calling and make an impact
3.Failure is just a bump in the road to success
4.When do you become a writer? “You are a writer when you say you are”- Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art.
You can read my review of You Are A Writer here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R28MV3WGKOO3FH
Have you read a great book you’d like to recommend? By all means share!
Happy Friday to all of you! So glad to welcome you here. Today my guest is a woman warrior advocate for domestic violence victims and author of the book, Blood Relatives: Breaking The Cycle, Breaking The Silence, Darlene Greene.
You recently published Blood Relatives, a valuable resource for victims of Domestic Abuse and a personal testament to your own personal loss. We’ll talk about your book in a moment, but, first, tell us about Ina Mae Greene Foundation-For My Sisters.—
The Ina Mae Foundation, named for my sister Ina Mae who was lost to an act of domestic violence in 1990. I realized that my sister died because she did not know how to leave her abuser safely. We started the foundation in 1998. The focus of our foundation is to connect victims of relationship violence with agencies and services that will help them leave a violent or potentially deadly situation safely. As well as work to raise awareness about the devastating affect that domestic violence had on our community and our Country.
You share the stories of your cousin, aunt and sister in Blood Relatives Breaking the Cycle…Breaking the Silence. Can you express some of their memorable traits that maybe defined their character? —–
Ina Mae was a very witty young woman; she loved to dance and was always doing things that would make us laugh, her laugh was quit contagious. —- My Aunt Minnie was a beautiful woman, she was always stylishly dressed, hair and face done to perfection. She wore red lipstick and she would kiss me and my sibling’s on the cheek with those red lips and leave a lip print, we would cry to not wash off Aunt Minnie’s lipstick!—My cousin Maggie, another beautiful woman. She was warm and funny, she had a way of making me feel special, even as a little girl she had a way of talking with me so that it made me fell important, that what I had to say mattered. She was never too busy to talk with me or spend time with me. I know that she loved me unconditionally and I will always miss her.
I don’t know if any other reader brought this to your attention, but, I’m still reeling from the lack of empathy and concern on the part of law enforcement in bringing those men in each case to justice! What a disservice you/r family must have felt?—
It was hard for us in each case because it seemed that we had no one to turn to for help. After Ina’s murder the police were protecting their own, (her killer was a cop), and it felt like a betrayal to us because we were the victims in all this, but we were made to feel as if we had done something wrong because we were upset and reacted to the situation and was angry about what happened to my sister.—– In the case of my Aunt Minnie, hers was the only case I feel that we had help from law enforcement, I think we were helped because her brother was a cop, again they were protecting their own, but only this time it worked in our favor. Her killer was caught very quickly and was sentenced to murder. He served 20 years of a 25 year murder sentence—-But with Cousin Maggie I don’t believe they looked for him all that hard. It was 1963, no internet, no crime data bases, so I believe that he simply left the state, and got away with murder.
You addressed this in your book and in light of a recent abuse case in the celebrity news realm, regarding a famous chef and author- why do you think women stay in abusive situations, given what we already know; that women cannot change these men? –
One thing is that these women (ones in violent relationships) often believe they love the men they are involved with.In those cases abuse can be a trap that looks like love. In chapter nine of the book I talk about the “lies at first sight” that men often tell women to convince them that a relationship with him will be the beginning of true love. Often the women, no matter how educated, how rich, how talented (myself included), want to believe the lie that this can be a loving relationship, when this man who likely has no idea what a healthy and living relationship is, has no other objective than to control and manipulate her.
At the end of the day we all want love and a connection with another person. We are brought up to believe that our roles as women are not completed unless we have a mate. There is nothing wrong with wanting a loving relationship, but what we have to realize as women is that we deserve respect in that relationship and that working though hard stuff in a relationship should not include being made to feel humiliated or scared or have to suffer physical abuse to show a man that you love him and that you are committed. If he is asking you to do that, he does not love you and the relationship will likely never be the one you seek.
I’ve been following your work and I read how you were reluctant to answer your calling. How do you feel today, after taking on such an important issue mainly affecting women and girls? —
Although a difficult and often heart breaking task, I am happy I began the work and hope that I am making a difference. I work hard every day to continue to educate myself about this issue and this crime. I want to insure that the information that I am giving is both current and correct. This is an important issue that is getting too little attention unless it is to discuss how a woman had been murdered at the hands of her husband or the father of her children. There are more resources, shelters and services to assist victims of relationship violence than ever before in history, yet there are more cases of abuse reported to police than ever before in history!
This is a crime that keeps getting bigger and harder to defeat. We need the schools, the churches, the workplace and families to take on the responsibility of talking about this crime and teaching young woman and men about the consequences of abusing your partner, both physically and verbally. We cannot afford as a community, as a country to continue to ignore this crime and pretend it is not happening to us and the people we love.
Please tell us the four important rules that victims of stalkers should follow.
Once you have made it clear to the stalker that his or her attention is not welcomed, there are some things you should start to do to be safe;
1.Have no contact with the stalker, that means you, your family, your best friend, NO contact
2.Tell someone—as with abuse do not suffer in silence, let someone know what you are going though
3.Increase personal protection; let someone know when you are scheduled to arrive at your destination, ask them to call to check on you if you are not there on time. Lock doors and windows, close your blinds at night, get a home security system if you can afford one and never go out late at night alone if you know you are being stalked or followed.
4.Collect Evidence- emails, texts, phone messages, photographs, gifts he sends to you, all of these things can be useful if you are forced to take your stalker to court
Where can readers purchase a copy of Blood Relatives and please give us contact information/links to your valuable resource sites
Blood Relatives is available on our website—www.inamaegreene.org—Amazon.com and apple iBook through iTunes.
Some resources are;
For assistance with stalking—contact the stalking resource center–www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center
Help for victims of relationship violence—contact the national domestic violence hotline—1800-799-SAFE-(7233)
For victims of sexual assault—–www.rainn.org › Get Help National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE. At any given moment, more than 1,100 trained volunteers are on duty and available to help victims
For more help and information visit the resource page of our website…www.inamaegreene.org
……..because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!
The Ina Mae Greene Foundation– For My Sisters was founded in 1998, Darlene is on the front lines
raising awareness about the atrocities of domestic abuse.
Darlene’s training background and certifications includes the
expertise in Domestic Violence Basics; Domestic Violence Safety
Planning; Boundaries in Mental Health; Domestic Violence
Victims Services for National Victims Assistance.
A community voice, Darlene is a member of the National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as the Collin Council
on Family Violence and the Dallas Council on Family Violence.
There are so many good people out here fighting the good fight against domestic abuse and relationship violence. I applaud women like Darlene Greene. Please pick up a copy of Blood Relatives for someone you think might benefit from the valuable resources included in this book and who might need to know how to leave a situation-safely and regain their life. Thanks for joining in the discussion to follow.
Hello Everyone! I’m caught up after completing a few projects that needed my attention and so this is my Friday’s post, a tad late,_geez, such is the life:) I’m going to have a very special guest author on this Friday for a one on one conversation regarding Domestic Violence or Relationship Violence. Darlene Greene is no stranger to me in that she has contributed often to Authentic Woman’s “From The Experts” section, speaking and offering invaluable insights to women on ways to leave a violent relationship “Safely.”
I recently read Darlene’s new book of her own personal tragedy where she talks freely about losing three members of her family to domestic violence. I asked her to share her journey with all of you. As founder and executive director of The Ina Mae Greene Foundation, Darlene is on a mission to help save lives.This book is such a valuable resource and a powerful testament to women worldwide, who are faced with life threatening situations from men who profess to love them.
In her book, Darlene shares “red flags”, safe measures women can take to leave an abusive relationship without becoming victim and more resources that are put in place to help any woman who seek refuge or a safe place to land. Darlene Greene wants you to become empowered and break the cycle and the silence of domestic violence…
Hope to see you on Friday!
Here’s Darlene’s website http://www.inamaegreene.org.
Here’s where you can pick up a copy of Blood Relatives; Breaking The Cycle, Breaking The Silence.
Happy Friday everyone! I’m a frequent flyer to this professional writer’s website and I’m so pleased to have her here to share some take away writing gems with all of you. Please welcome Jennifer Andrew to Clara’s Writers Blog!
When you say you’re a writer, some people ask you what inspired you to write and why you chose the writing profession. I love to read and I like being able to absorb myself in the world of the writer and live an alternative life in his or her eyes. During my teens, through my English and art classes, I discovered poetry, short stories and comic strips which all told a story in one way or another and I fell in love with writing myself. Romance was never my first choice as I was drawn to science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal but I found that in every story there was a romantic element.
The beauty of romance today is that a writer is not stuck to the old stereotype of what a romance should be. You are free to write the story that projects from your heart; whether both characters find each other forever, their love is dark and by the end of the story they can never be together or the character flows through love and discards her partners at a whim. Whichever way you play the romance card, the genre has seen its many changes to enable a writer to create with no holds barred.
I have received mixed reviews on what your main characters should be. I have read that the main characters should be well developed, strong and attractive characters that the reader can be drawn to. I have also read that too much description doesn’t allow for the reader to project the look of the character in his or her own mind. I personally like creating a character that is slightly flawed, but not to the point where the reader is going to be put off or becomes disinterested. No one is perfect and I believe that no one wants to read about a perfect main character either. It is more exciting to see what happens to the main character or characters, if their flaw gets him or her into more trouble. If you develop interesting and vibrant characters, the flaws will make them more real to your reader.
How many secondary characters should you put into your story? I have conducted book reviews where authors have put so many secondary and minor characters that it was getting confusing as to which character was whom. The reader wasn’t able to fall in love or be able to despise anyone since you were too busy trying to figure everyone out. I think that as long as there are one or two strong secondary characters that complement the main characters, and propel the story forward, then you’re on the right track.
Plot and subplots are sometimes hard to writer for writers because it’s difficult to keep your story on track. The first thing I like to do before starting to write my story is put down in one or two sentences the core reason for the story. What is it about? What would you write on the back of the book cover to inform readers of what they are in for? What other stories can be used as sub-plots? Do you need a sub-plot? What genre or sub-genre will you be writing the story for? If you think about your own life, you usually have more than one thing in your life that you have to concentrate on. Sometimes, by adding a sub-plot, and one that doesn’t take over the story, it gives it more depth.
Once you have the story-line, write it down and then jot down points as to how you are going to develop the story to meet that end. Sometimes you end up going into another direction but don’t fret, as I believe where your story takes you, is where it is intended to go. Don’t fight it. See what happens. You never know if you like it better. Sometimes, your characters write the story for you.
What you shouldn’t forget, while you are getting carried away with your creation, is ensuring that whatever problem you created for the character is resolved at the end. Don’t leave the reader hanging and don’t rush your story due to word count or deadline. Take your time and tell a good, entertaining story with a final end that leaves all questions answered. Unless you are writing a two book series or a trilogy, then you can leave a cliff-hanger.
Keep your readers entertained and your characters active. No one likes too much of a lull in the story because you end up losing your readers. We all want a life more exciting than ours, without actually getting our hands dirty so let the reader experience it through your story. Keep them engaged and eager to find our more.
Jennifer Andrew resides in Ontario, Canada and has a Business Writing Diploma and a Freelance Writing Diploma in Genre Fiction. She has submitted articles to several online magazines and websites in regards to relationships and dating, as well as poetry, movie and book reviews. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and currently writes book reviews for aspiring writers and for http://www.bookpleasures.com. She also runs a free monthly women’s website entitled http://www.femmevip.com and writes a weekly writing blog called http://www.whimnotes.net.
Contact: Jennifer Andrew, email@example.com
Thanks to Jennifer for these awesome take away tips! What thoughts are you having right about now regarding your professional writing career?
Happy Friday to all of my readers, writers and followers! I have had the most awesome week, celebrating the high school graduation of my granddaughter with family and friends. A very happy week, indeed and today I’m happy to bring you a wonderful, insightful interview with the prolific author, poet and screenwriter, Abiola Olatunde.
Welcome Abiola. Before we talk about your great Novel, please share a little something about yourself.
Thank you Clara for giving me this opportunity. Well my name is Abiola Olatunde but I generally like to use the shorter form Biola Olatunde. I am from South Western part of Nigeria. I am a Yoruba woman. I have been writing for some 30 odd years. I am a trained broadcaster and scriptwriter. Have written quite a lot of plays for television, radio and have a few books of poetry. Have had my poems in some anthologies as well as being the Nigerian guest editor for a literary magazine in Romania as well for a small press publisher Lummox press.
Tell us about your novel, Numen Yeye. What inspired you to write it?
Numen Yeye for me is a very important story about concepts and myths from my tribe. In the old days,( even in some places now), there was a belief that certain children known as abiku could give their mothers a hard time through repeated child births and death. Such children were labeled and treated with dread, and resentment. Women dreaded having such children and they were all types of practices to deter such children from incarnation in a household. The woman was usually pitied and the child will be given odd names that would identify such a child with the intention to shame such a child. Over time, it was understood that high infant mortality could easily have been due to lack of proper medical care. However there was the deeper understanding of another type of incarnation in which the child did not have to be a consequent of repeated births. It was the dreaded and feared emere. This type of being is believed to be one who will incarnate with a set mission to exact maximum pain through the manner of departure from the physical world. They were assumed to carry the ability to be capricious and could wait until they attained a milestone of life achievement and then leave abruptly. If a child had ESP, she was simply called an emere, or if she grew up to be too pretty and was deemed to too lovely. It was also believed that such beings could make their family very wealthy or pauperized otherwise comfortable families. I was intrigued.
I come from a village that had a goddess who was said to come back to earth at certain times. My grandmother told me the story of this goddess as she was the chief priestess. That gave rise to the story, what if a goddess came back and was neither an abiku nor emere? She would need to learn all over again what being human meant and would carry all the hallmarks of an emere. The human being has never being without help from the celestial realm. That was what inspired the story.
I was struck by the poetry in the dedication and at the ending of your book…was this a conscious thought or did your natural ‘poetess’ ability take over?
I guess it is an instinctive thing with me. I tend to express deeper emotion through poetry. I can only say things better that way. I appreciated a young girl Erin. I sensed her depth and I felt I could say what I wanted to say only in that way as I appreciated the loving care her father gives her. Thank you was too small for a friend Skip so I simply expressed it that way.
Although, I understand this is a work of speculative fiction, I learned a lot about cultural traditions and customs from your book (Yoruba) My own God -centered faith-based beliefs and love for comfort foods are forever, mainly because of my Southern upbringing. What are some traditions you carry today to help keep your’Self’ centered?
Well Clara, it really wouldn’t be a hundred percent speculative fiction as some of the traditions, culture and concept is real for us in my corner of the world. We actually also live a One God centered life… Olodumare who very much has lesser gods you might see as saints or I would like to see them as elementals. The average westernized Yoruba person has his worlds. One world is the western education, pretensions and civilization and the other is his essential spirituality and conviction.
He is always at war within himself trying to make these worlds merge. How does he center his Self? He makes a compromise which you find in Imole Ife’s mother. I call it the compromise religion not fully Christian nor truly Yoruba. He still searches for himself. Some overdo it by attempting to be so westernized while there are those who simply wish to let things be. You know , man’s search for identity. I personally feel, every human being has a responsibility to have a luminous goal and try to reach it. It is not an issue of religion.
How did you manage to write over 200 stories for television & plays, in addition to anthologies and novels, without going mad?
Wow! Clara, I thought it would be the other way round. I write everyday, and in the days when I was much younger. I would write a 30 minute TV soap in a day. When I was employed as newscaster/producer, I had to produce a play for radio every week which I generally wrote myself. Then I had to write for the United Nations population fund a TV series for every week and that soap lasted two years that meant more than a hundred. I loved it because I was having so much fun. I had the gift of being able to write quickly and still write TV plays when I am commissioned. I simply love writing. I run blogs, write for my blogs regularly, write articles, and poems . I simply just write Clara. I most likely would go mad if I am not writing!:))
What are you working on next? and please tell readers how they can purchase a copy of Numen Yeye.
I am writing a romance with a traditional twist, exploring a probable sequel to Numen Yeye. And ah yes just finished a 13 week TV series.
Numen Yeye is published by IFWG publishing in Missouri and print copies can be purchased from them as well as on amazon.com here I think you can get the print edition at:
As a nook book on Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/numen-yeye-biola-olatunde/1113739302?ean=2940015934922
Thanks Abiola, it was a pleasure.
Thank you Clara, I am grateful.
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview with Abiola, as much as I did. Have you ever read a book that left you wanting to learn more about its author? Please share your experiences with us.
Thanks WORDPRESS! Time simply flies when you’re doing the thing you love to do:) Thanks to all of my faithful readers, writers, book authors and all around good folk for keeping me interested and interesting!!!
Enjoy your Summer Time Fun weekend and I’ll see you guys back here on Friday with an amazing interview with Nigerian Author, Poet and Screenwriter, Abiola Olatunde.