(Left: Obe Keno, Right: Ms Oyindasola.)
It is with great pleasure that I, Obe Keno, welcome YOU to Episode 1 of the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES.
With me here today, is our very first guest/interviewee on this series, (DRUMROLL PLEASE!) the spectacular Author, Ms Oyindasola Asiwaju-dada. And she is going to answer some very interesting questions for us, so please grab some popcorn if you can, stay tuned and ENJOY!.
Keno: (smiling brightly) Welcome to the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series Ms Oyindasola, thank you for having this interview. Alright, to kick things off, I’ll begin by asking the first question we have for you today….. What is something you can proudly boast of and I mean 100% when it comes to your books?.
Ms Oyindasola: (smiles) Before I answer that, I want to say thank you Keno, for inviting me as a guest on the YAB series, I really love what you’re doing on this blog and to everyone reading this, I say THANK YOU. Now to answer your question, when it comes to my books, something I can boast of would be how authentic, raw and unfiltered my works are; they are literal rollercoasters and I try to make them as realistic as possible. I feel like each book is a new way for me to express my creativity— to talk about things dear to my heart. Each one is relatable and directed towards someone out there in the world who needs a reminder, a reassurance that they are not alone— even in fiction books.
Keno: (gives a little salute) WOW!. Your books sound awesome!. Question 2, As a young author in Nigeria, what has been your biggest struggle?.
Ms Oyindasola: My biggest struggle as a young author in Nigeria is being able to consistently promote my works and build an audience, as well as you know, secure freelancing jobs as an author, a creative writer, yeah. Because authors are underrated, writers are even worse off. I’m trying to change that narrative too and it’s not easy.
Keno: (nods) I can imagine. Despite these struggles, why do you keep on writing, why haven’t you thrown in the towel and you know, moved on to something else?.
Ms Oyindasola: (laughs a little) I continue writing because I know that if change will happen anytime soon, it has to begin with someone. Hopefully, that person is me.
Keno: (smiles) Amazing. I reckon we’re on the same path when it comes to that. Question 4, As a published author, what advice would you give to a writer working on their first book, and to aspiring authors in general?.
Ms Oyindasola: Nice question. To aspiring authors, I would say take your time, don’t be in a hurry to “make it” or to “be a published author“. The world waiting for your work is vast and you can lose everything with a single foul mistake. Slow and steady makes the process. Don’t be worried about not having a lot of readers or getting bad criticisms. Focus on working on yourself, your skills. Lastly, keep writing. Just keep at it. I have been writing for eleven years and I’ve only gotten better and better.
Keno: Great advice and woah, eleven years is a long time. Question 5, How long did it take you to complete your first book?.
Ms Oyindasola: (smiles big) My first signed book ”ARAMIDE”, took me about five (5) months to write and edit. It has about 300,000 words and I had to make it work between TWO final exams, so yeah, it was hectic.
Keno: Wow, you sure are hardworking!. Question 6, When did you first fall in love with writing and why did you write your first book?.
Ms Oyindasola: Well, I uncovered my passion for writing at age seven. By then, I had already written my first book. I wrote my first book titled “STEPMOTHER” because of the many stories I’d heard about step-moms as a child. I wrote it at age seven but it was never published as I lost the draft in the same year.
Keno: Aw sorry, that must have hurt. Question 7, Reading your book blurbs and some chapters in your books, I have noticed that your characters tend to have some serious mental health issues; like in “FIRECRACKER”, the main character Danielle Dawns is a drug addict who also suffers from depression/anxiety. And in “ARAMIDE”, the main character Aramide was raped by her uncle and repeatedly physically abused by her significant other, Dayo…. which of course means she struggled mentally. Why do you tend to focus on mental health issues in your books?.
Ms Oyindasola: (nods & smiles) Mental health issues are prevailing and the more they spring up, the quicker we sweep them under the rug. The majority of my characters are portrayed as struggling mentally, to show that—yeah people go through these things—it’s real, it’s not just in their heads and to show that it’s not a death sentence either; there is HOPE (which is the best part). In “ARAMIDE”, we read how she transitions from a rape and domestic abuse victim, to a successful woman and a mother who is capable of loving both herself and her daughter. Daniel Dawns in “FIRECRACKER” also goes through a series of issues, Not to leave any spoilers (haha!), but in summary, I try to make people understand through my books that mental health issues do exist. I show them the ugly parts and how the blur clears up too.
Keno: (wipes imaginary tear & smiles big) I love that. I’m all for mental health awareness!. You are doing such an important thing with your books. Question 8, Did you ever include your personal experiences in any of your books?.
Ms Oyindasola: (nods) Yes, I included personal experiences in my debut teenage paranormal novel “NARROW”. Narrow simply mirrors the bullying I went through in high school. Some events in the book did not happen to me, but most of it, concerning the bullying, gaslighting and a lot more happened. At the time, I needed a way to express myself and you know—writing about it seemed like the best option. That was how “NARROW” was born.
Keno: WOW, I guess writing about it was quite therapeutic for you. Question 9, Have you ever written under a pseudonym (a different name)?. Why or why not?.
Ms Oyindasola: I do write under a pseudonym for Creative Writing Companies and I used to have a pseudonym on social media because I wasn’t confident back then, and I just wanted to vent and express myself without you know, being judged and all that.
Keno: (nods) I’m sure a lot of us can relate to that last sentence. And now, the last question, Can you tell us in a sentence or two, why you think your latest book, “DEAR YOU”, which is now available for preorder would be beneficial for teens and young adults?.
Ms Oyindasola: (smiles big) Of course. “DEAR YOU”, is my message to teens and young adults reminding them that there is more to life than dopamine filled social media, the thrills and ambitions that social media instills us. It has answers to questions they have suppressed for so long and I know, because I have been there and the writings in this book helped me cope, I believe it will help them too.
Keno: Page-turner alert!. That sounds like a book I and many others should read……It was delightful to have you with us, Ms Oyindasola. Thank you for this interview and for being our first ever guest on the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series.
Keno: Also, amazing readers, Ms Oyindasola’s book “DEAR YOU” might just be what you need at this point…. You can also check out her FREE books: “ARAMIDE” and “FIRECRACKER”. Please follow our Instagram page @taleofthebook if you aren’t already doing so!.
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed reading this or if you learnt something from the interview! And please SHARE with others. Sending you love as you do❤️💐
Thank you for reading YOUNG AND BOOKED Series 1: Episode 1. You are AMAZING!. See you on the next Episode!.
*If this is your first time visiting this blog, please read more about the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES here…..
Join the TOTB email community to get notified about new blog posts. Stay updated on exciting book recommendations/reviews!.