Skip to main content

Literature & Publishing in Nigeria is Not a Billion-Dollar Industry. Talking with Author U. A Daniel

U. A Daniel had written a book with an alluring back cover design. And you hardly get a title as this in the list of Nigeria novels. We were excited to get across to him for this brief interview. Please read and always, get back to us where possible.

How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about a whole year. Or maybe less. I started writing it towards the end of 2016 into 2017. I abandoned it for a while to chase other things and then came back to finish it up. And by September of 2018, I had begun sending it out for editing.

It’s an interesting thing that you decided to write a story about boys, what are your


Boys of course will be my inspiration, but not exactly. I think my fascination for boarding school was the blueprint of my inspiration. I went to a boarding school for six years and a whole lot happened, so much so that long after I left every other thing was a reference to my time in the dormitory. I was bound to write about it.

How did you publish? How was the process? Did you struggle with your editor?
Publishing was a bit shaky. I actually wanted to make it an e-book. I mean, it was easier that way, but I hungered for the imagination of having it in print. You know, having it in hard copy even if it was going to be just a few copies. And so, I searched for some self-publishing deals around and found Swift Publishers online with a good deal and I took it and made it happen.

The process was a bit tedious, from selecting book covers to editing, to formatting. But there wasn’t so much stress, it was just about deciding what stays and what goes. It was as if the more you fixed, the more damage you made and It was beginning to get frustrating. Time was going and I just wanted the damn book out. I just feel the work comes from writing and editing, every other thing is just a simple yes or no decision. I guess.

Your story seemed like a full or part of your own personal experiences, true?
Yes. It is a full or an almost full part of my time in the boarding school. But it is all fiction, deducted from true experiences.

Who are your best writers?
My best writers? Truth is, I don’t think I can say I have best writers. I’m mostly into the works. Like, into the books. I know some writers that I loved and disliked some of their works. It’s really hard to say. Maybe I will have to read more. But out of my head, I loved Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke, he is a Facebook friend who writes. I love how he writes, and he is pretty young too, and he is a lot of things, a journalist and a speaker. Then there are a few up and coming writers I have on social media who share their works, I know an Okegbe Ezekiel. I guess because I know them to an extent. For the very popular ones I can go for their works because I can’t say I like them, I don’t know them but I loved the Night Dancer, I loved Season of Crimson Blossom, I love Half of a yellow sun, I love Chimamanda and Elnathan only mostly because of their outspokenness and what they stand for and they are good too. Hopefully I may like them in person when I meet them. I really hope I just made sense.

What has been the response and reviews around your book since it’s published?
So far, it’s nice. Thank god. I only had out a few copies released and so far it’s been good. Encouraging. Of course, there are things I could have done differently but, I appreciate the thumbs up. It is a well written piece. In fact, it’s good and brilliant. Getting more praises for the twist and ending. I think people like the fact that the book went from just your regular drama to a horror fantasy. I try for that part. Lol.

What are your concerns around literature and publishing in Nigeria?
My concern around literature and publishing in Nigeria is that it is not a billion-dollar industry. Lol. OK. Seriously, I don’t exactly have so much concern. I feel it is a progressive one and I know a lot of publishers are emerging and everyone is trying to make it a big one. I just wished there were more diverse markets on specific genre of stories especially stories that do not always have to preach. Honestly, I realized a lot of books by Nigerians always have something to preach about. It is as though your book would not sell if it is not fighting against something ill about the society. There must be a message of some sort. Heaven know how many western books I have read that had literally no message, but were good books regardless and it sold too. I just wish our publishers would look else where for something fresh. I feel pressured to fight against something in my book. I know our society has a lot going on, but isn’t fiction suppose to be an escape? Instead it is a reminder, which is not a bad thing but then, it gets really old.

Do you have anything you are working on currently?
I am currently working on a novel. About a guy who comes out from prison into a whole different world from the one he left behind. It’s almost done. And by almost, I mean not close at all. I am also working on a YouTube channel for a vlog series where we get to have conversation over things that may concern us.

Any final words to all the writers and readers that will read this interview?
Please write. Write honestly, write genuinely, find your voice and don’t be pressured by the publishing tradition to write what isn’t you. And don’t just write, share. Share!! A writer must be read to be called a writer so don’t write and keep. Share. 


Popular posts from this blog

The Mark of the Lost: A Review of Chetachi Igbokwe’s Stage Play -Homecoming

In a time when theatres face a dearth of good pieces and theatrical performances gradually fade into plain text, the need for a homecoming of the art form, its representation of the dramatic, becomes important. Homecoming is an unpublished play that brings to the fore, the old craft of tragic dramatic art. Written by Chetachi Igbokwe and directed by Ugochukwu Victor Ugwu. The play premiered at the New Arts Theatre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka under the auspices of the Maestro Theatre. The play, which more beautifully, is a debut, brings you closer to African art, draws you in to fear, pity, myth, and of course plunges you afresh into a communion of tragedy; that man is born broken, for he lives by mending his brokenness, and only his chi becomes his death or salvation. The play is an Act on three characters: Nwakibe, Adannaya, his wife, and Nebeolisa, a lost son who appears to us as just Mr. Johnson; a writer from Moldova who becomes a neighbor to Nwakibe, whom he rents a room o

MEMORY'S INESCAPABILITY: A review of IFÉSINÀCHI NWÁDIKÈ'S How Morning Remembers The Night by Ikechukwu Iwuagwu

Author: Ifésinàchi Nwádikè' Publisher: Winepress Publishing & Griots Lounge Publishing Year: 2020 Pagination: 66 Reviewer: Ikechukwu Iwuagwu The inextricability of literature and reality is a standard which gives literary pieces varying degrees of quality. Grief, sorrow, regret, joy and happiness amongst others are fabrics or components which lace our memories. Ifesinachi Nwadike's 33 poem collection titled How Morning Remembers the Night bares relentlessly the colour and mien of memories as regard to the poet, and by extension his immediate society. Ushering us in with an introit which in my view, is a painting with words which gives us a nutshell of this literary master piece, more or less a foreshadow, Nwadike shows his proclivity for activism and concern for ones nation:   Grief came knocking on my heart's door... Grief of a comrade, in a hurry, No goodbyes...    Of activists, nationalists, patriots whose bloods, their nation's root sprout in

N30,000 Worth of Books for Young Writers in Nigeria

Books, literary meetings and magazines are essential to the creative development of a writer. Over the years, we have observed that lack of finance affects the young and emerging Nigerian writer's access to these literary essentials. At  Black Boy Review , we are aware of the consummate fire of artistic connection which books, magazines and literary events offer to the writer, and we are committed to providing that experience for the young and emerging Nigerian writer, whose literary potentials have been inhibited by lack of finance. We are therefore excited to announce our new project:  The Writers’ Money.   This project is a fund in vouchers for young and emerging Nigerian writers, living in the country, who are between the age bracket of 18 and 25. The funding ranges  between  N20,000  to  N30,000  worth of books by African authors disbursed to successful applicants twice in a year, starting  November 2021.  Applicant must be a writer, who has published at least a poem or a shor