" We all are stained by experience." - AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF "DAPPLED THINGS": IWEKA KINGSLEY
Kingsley – At the time I was writing mostly flash fiction pieces that revolved around several socio-cultural issues that are common in Nigeria and then it hit me that I could actually fuse these stories together to form a fuller piece that is now DAPPLED THINGS.
BBR - Do you have a specific writing style?
Kingsley – I’m not sure what that really means, a specific writing style, but I find that in my works I try to make the language and grammar as common and simple as possible. I think that it is important that my readers understand my work as much as possible. So, talking about my writing style, I would say I like to keep it simple.
BBR - How did you come up with the title?
Kingsley – Well, ‘Dapple’ means spot or dotted stain, and the book reveals how as humans we all are stained by experience, although in varying degrees, so DAPPLED THINGS sort of captures the essence of the book I think.
BBR - What's this book all about?
Kingsley – DAPPLED THINGS captures and addresses several socio-cultural issues common to Nigeria. It tells a story of how the characters were dealt with and how they dealt with several issues that they encountered. How they failed and lost; how they learnt and succeeded. It tells a story of pain, grief, strength, betrayal, faith and love.
BBR - Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Kingsley – Not quite, the lot of the story is told from a female POV so the case of it being based on personal experience may not fly. I would however say that the story is based on powerful imagination mixed with some actual research, and then of course knowledge of other people’s experience.
BBR - What books have most influenced your life?
Kingsley – I’m guessing you mean influenced my life as a Writer. Well, I started reading more Nigerian and African Authors about four years ago and so far I have come to admire the likes of Late Chinua Achebe (may his soul rest in peace), Helon Habila, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo and several others across Africa. I particularly like Chinua’s ‘Things Fall Apart’, Helon’s ‘Waiting for an Angel’, Ama’s ‘Changes’ and Ayi’s ‘The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born’.
BBR - If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Kingsley – I have come to respect a lot of Writers for their craft and a few for their personality, but in terms of mentoring I’m not sure I have such a close enough relationship with anyone in particular, however, I have deep and sincere regards for those who have helped me in different ways to get to this point, the likes of Myne Whitman, Eghosa Imasuen, Noviolet Bulawayo, Nze Sylva Ifedigbo, Binyerem Ukonu and the others I have not mentioned here.
BBR - What book are you reading now?
Kingsley – I am currently reading Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah’.
BBR - Are there any new writers that have grasped your interest?
Kingsley – The country is blessed with immense literary talents and I find such readily on platforms like naijastories.com, there are several fresh Writers honing their craft there, like Nicole Bassey who writes using the pen name ‘Sunshine’.
BBR - Do you see writing as a career?
Kingsley – Yes, of course, I am a Writer and I am proud to state that as my profession. The problem though is it is not yet well appreciated in this part of the world. Writer-friends around me know that it is a concern I hold dear to my heart, that Writers should be appreciated more for the amazing work that they do.
BBR - Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Kingsley – I always say that I have not been writing from my mother’s womb like many Writers claim, but I started taking it seriously after a Writer’s Workshop I attended proved that I was good at translating my imaginations and thoughts to text and since then the interest has grown to the point of intense passion.
BBR - Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Kingsley – These days the major challenge lies in finding ample time to write as much as I want to. I have a series running that will form part of my next book and I’ve had several readers write to express displeasure with my inconsistency with updating the series.
BBR - What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Kingsley – Well, the story follows majorly the life of Cindy from when she’s a little primary school girl to when she’s grown and falls in love and gets married, so for me the hardest part was progressing the story as steadily and quickly as possible without losing plausibility with the plot, it is after all a novella.
BBR - Do you have any advice for other Writers?
Kingsley – Well, I am still learning and growing my craft as well, but I guess I could say that as much as possible a Writer should stay true to the craft, give it as much as you want out of it, and read, read, read!
BBR - When are we expecting your book in stores?
Kingsley – Early September, but the e-copies should be available sooner than that.
BBR - How do you see Literature and Publishing in Nigeria today?
Kingsley – Impressive and frustrating respectively. But I have hope, and not the type of hope that just sits and lashes out at the system, it’s the type that will get down to work to make it better.
Well, India provided me a good opportunity for quality publishing at the
time it did and I took it, it's that simple, besides, they have a good
appreciation for literature too.
BBR: Why did you choose to publish in India ?
Kingsley:Well, India provided me a good opportunity for quality publishing at the
time it did and I took it, it's that simple, besides, they have a good appreciation for literature too.
NAME OF BOOK:DAPPLED THINGS.
NUMBER OF PAGES:148.
PUBLISHER:PARTRIDGE PUBLISHING, INDIA.
RELEASE DATE:SEPTEMBER 2013.
EXCERPT:“When he was done, he warned her fiercely not to say anything about what had happened or he would kill her. He pulled up his clothes and walked out of the room with her dignity and pride of purity, leaving behind his stench of shame to last forever.”