Reading and writing has been a long aged tradition of gaining knowledge. We read to gain knowledge and put them into words. Over the years, we have seen writers evolve to give their readers capturing and scintillating masterpieces. One of such writers is Seun Odukoya. We had a conversation about him and his new book titled A Picture Is NOT A Thousand Words.
How did you discover your passion for writing?
Lonely child. Kept things inside. That caused more problems, so I started to express by writing. That coincided with reading stories and not liking the ending or how a particular character was treated, so I would recreate the story.
What drives you to write?
Life;everything that happens, the goings and coming of humans and humanity.
How long have you been a published writer?
Self-published my first book in December 2012, but a site I shared my stories on along with several other writers published an anthology of all our stories in 2010 I think. The site is naijastories.com.
How many books have you written so far?
The forthcoming book is my ninth one.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends. I can get a lot done in a week of steady writing.
Let’s talk a bit about your new book
It’s a collection of short stories inspired by paintings created by Sunny Efemena a professional artist/painter. The book is titled A Picture Is Not A Thousand Words.
All of your books are in digital, why is that?
It gives me more control over my property and enables me to release books as fast as I write them. I do have one physical book though; Saving Dapo.
Ever had a character that was quite hard to let go of?
There are quite a number of those, but for the purpose of this interview, I will say Dapo Ojo of Saving Dapo.
Talking about Saving Dapo, give us a little spoiler. May we know what happened with Dapo and Mope?
Do you hear from your readers much? And how have their reviews helped your writing?
Yeah, usually. I basically know what I do’, I am original and talented – or at least that is what they say.
Download a picture is not a thousand words here
What does your family think of your writing?
They don’t read it. However, they know I am talented, respect my hard work and support me.
Does your relationship with people reflect in your writing; and has any of your characters been inspired by a real person?
Most definitely. I like my own company, but sometimes I go out and watch people. It’s fascinating.
What challenges do you face as a writer?
Doubt. I wonder if my readers will let me evolve. I once met a fan who said she stopped reading my stuff because I stopped writing what she liked.
How do you think you can overcome this? Or do you think it’s better to focus on a particular genre and expand on it?
I don’t believe in genres. I believe in life. And life is interspersed with all kinds of experiences. Genres are limiting; there is always the risk of being repetitive
What in your experience makes a good book?
Honesty in whatever you are writing. The reader must believe in the story. It must make them feel. Highly entertaining too; as long as it is not a text book
How do you feel about writers’ recognition in Nigeria? Do you think there’s anything the government can put in place to make writers more recognized?
As far as government and writing: I think people rely too much on the government. Really, must they do everything for us?
Digital or hardcover, which do you think has a higher level of acceptance amongst readers?
As things are more digital now, I would think the answer is obvious because you can put hundreds of thousands of eBooks on your phone. How many physical books can you carry at once?
Personally speaking, I get sidetracked when reading on my phone because of other things on it. But when I have a book in my hand I get lost in it. I only read on phone because it is readily available.
I am like that too but that is a rapidly disappearing minority. But it helps me get work out faster; I’ve published nine books; of which only one is in hard copy.
Do you have any tips for writers on improving their craft?
Read a lot, write a lot.
Thank you for your time
You are welcome
You can download his new book, A Picture Is NOT A Thousand Words here.