Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Interview with Ugochukwu Kingsley Ani

My guest is a Nigerian author who put pen to paper at eleven when he chose to start working on “the words that were speaking to him in his head. So far, he’s written and published several articles and he has several books in the offing. He’s resident in Lagos, the financial capital of Nigeria as New York is to America.

“When not writing, he focuses on his legal career, and he’s hoping to garner more knowledge and
technical expertise in the Law before delving into the Legal Thriller genre. He loves to keep fit and exercise, and also works on a multi-purpose blog.”

Please tell us something about your writing and how you came to be a writer.

I have always been the kind of person that likes to read books. I always had books lying around at home, and I always made it a point to pick them up and read them, thereby falling in love with the characters and the rich lives envisaged of them in the pages of the works. Then one day, I just picked up a pen and decided to write something down. I was fourteen then, and I have never looked back again.

I write about a myriad of topics, particularly about people and the way they treat each other.

I can see two people on the street discussing something on the street and it will serve as the beginning fodder for a new work.

Who are the writers you admire most? Do you "follow" anyone in particular in your reading or writing?

I have been reading a lot of books across diverse genres. There are so many authors I can say that have really moved me in terms of the impact that their works have made in my life. Many of them have helped me to understand human nature better than I used to in the past.

The authors who have a made a serious impact include: Sir. Henry Rider Haggard, with the saga She, Erica Spindler with the work Forbidden Fruit, Elizabeth Gage with A Glimpse of Stocking. Stephen King with Carrie, Jeffrey Archer with the saga Kane and Abel. These are books and authors I read years ago but their books and the message in them still resonate with me deeply till this very day.

There are several other authors, but I cannot list all of them out or there will never be an end to it.

I do not follow anyone in particular, but what I do is to ensure that there is always a stock of several works by a particular author on my e-reader. I love reading works by authors I have enjoyed their previous works.

What genres do you write in? Do you feel strongly about this choice/these choices?

I have written an erotic saga, The Wedded Whore, which I felt so strongly about because of the fact that it touches on human sexuality and the issue of love-hate relationships. I have also written in the GLBT genre because of the fact that it has spoken to me due to the fact that Nigeria, my home country, is a country that is extremely homophobic. I have seen many gay people living the lives that the society mapped out for them because they have no choice really in the matter.

Note that I can write in any genre, provided that something about a particular story or set of characters speaks to the inner muse in me to pick up the laptop and start to type.

What motivates you to write what you do?

I am motivated by the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. There is a lot to glean from the lives of the people around you. All you have to be is willing to listen to the inner voice that speaks from them; that is what drives my fingers on the keyboard when I work.

There are a lot of stories to be told, all in different voices and using different circumstances and set of persons to lend life to it. So, the motivation comes from everywhere I can look.

What voices/points of view have you written in or would consider writing in? Is your choice related to your motivation as a writer?

I have written from the voice of an oppressed gay man who had been forced to get married and then keep a lover on the side because there was no way he could let his nature die out. I have written using a revenge-seeking damsel, and a stunningly beautiful go-getter with a lot of wiles; I look at things from very different angles at the same time.

I believe that a glass can be half-full and half-empty at the same time; that a man can love a woman and still hate her at the same time; that a woman can protect her own child and still want to kill that child in spite of the fact that she loves that child and would want to protect it at all costs. Because of the fact that I look at things from so many different views, I can turn all those views into the voices of the characters that will tell the story for me that I want to tell to the world.

I would consider writing a work from the point of view of a known villain. The reason is simply because of the fact that there is always an element of good in all persons. I find it extremely hard to believe that someone can be totally bad; even if they are, then there must be someone or something that touches that soft spot in their heart. I would love to write about that; about the redemption of someone seen by the entire world as bad or evil. That would be a challenge.

My choice of point of view is related to my motivation as a writer, because, like I said, I look at the world through a lens that takes in everything and gives away nothing. I soak it all in, and I then transform it into something on paper.

Thank you.


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