How writers write.

 

 

Do writers  sit in a coffee shop or work at home? Do they insist on silence or handle noise by tuning it out? Long hand? Computer? Typewriter? Voice entry?

Haruki Murakami (http://ow.ly/RUSX308ju8Y) says, “When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m.”

Maya Angelou (http://ow.ly/RUSX308ju8Y) says, “I keep a hotel room in my hometown and pay for it by the month.

I go around 6:30 in the morning. I have a bedroom, with a bed, a table, and a bath. I have Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the Bible.  I have all the paintings and any decoration taken out of the room. I ask the management and housekeeping not to enter the room, just in case I’ve thrown a piece of paper on the floor, I don’t want it discarded. But I’ve never slept there, I’m usually out of there by 2. And then I go home and I read what I’ve written that morning, and I try to edit then. Clean it up.”

Emily St. Jonh Mandel, author of Last Night in Montreal (Unbridled Books, 2009) and The Singer’s Gun (Unbridled, May 2010):

“I do most of my writing in my home office, at my unbelievably messy desk. It’s by far my favorite place to write—my cats and my music are there, and it’s a very peaceful room. I live in Brooklyn and work at a university in Manhattan, and I get off work in the mid-afternoon. Often if I have theatre tickets or some other plans that require me to be in Manhattan that evening, I’ll linger at work for a few hours. When that happens, I go to the library at the university where I work and write there for a while. Often, very often, I’ll find myself writing in the subway. I spend two hours a day on the F train, five days a week, and I always carry a notebook with me.”

Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh (Picador, 2002) and the forthcoming The Queen of the Night:

“Usually it’s trains where I get the most writing done—I wish I could get a residency from Amtrak on a sleeper car, or an office booth in a cafe car. I recently had a residency at a colony in Florida, where I had two days of writing 17 pages a day and it would have continued if I hadn’t had to leave. I think anonymity and displacement help me no matter where I am—I need to feel like I’ve vanished and no one can find me.”

Nova Ren Suma, author of Dani Noir (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and Imaginary Girls (Dutton, summer 2011):

“I live in a tiny apartment in New York and can sometimes be found writing first thing in the mornings at a cafe, if I can find a good table, but I don’t stay there for long. There are the crowds. The noise. I can’t control the music on the stereo. The real place where I get most of my writing done is called the Writers Room. Billed as an urban writers’ colony in New York City, it’s a place for writers of all genres to go for space, quiet, and uninterrupted time to work. At various desks in the giant loft space of the Writers Room, I’ve written, no exaggeration, thousands of pages. When you pay for an ‘office space’ like this and have a dedicated place to go, one filled with other working writers typing up their own pages, it makes you all the more motivated to do your own work.”

And the rest of us?

            I believe most authors (like me) work at home, at a desk tucked in a corner somewhere, tuning out the normal noises of family going about their daily lives (or wearing earplugs) and adjusting their schedule to the demands of life.

Others don’t have it so good. My Nigerian writer friend says:

Pls you may have to ignore the doc I sent in my previous email. Because of the acute shortage of power I am sort of working under duress. Once I fix my gen I’ll be able to work freely.

And later:

I’ve serviced my generator and now I don’t have to depend on the government for power.

Like many other peace-abiding Nigerians, we somehow still manage to survive. Everyday is an ordeal and sometimes I can’t help but feel the Lord God is punishing us all for the crimes some of us (including the cabal) made by turning to the legendary tyrant Buhari. Nigeria’s pitiful condition is an open book. A researcher some years ago said we are the “Happiest People on Earth.” I wonder if this survey will stand the test of time.

Robert J. Sawyer says it best in answer to this question.

“Name some of the rituals or habits you indulge in while writing.”

Not to be dismissive, but the answer is (a) none, and (b) it should be none. A writer needs to write, period. He or she can’t wait for the muse, shouldn’t need peace and quiet and isn’t entitled to perfect conditions or the perfect spot. Rituals? Fingers on the home typing row. Habits? Getting down to work, whether it’s in my home, on a plane, in a hotel room or (among other places I’ve actually opened up my computer and started writing) in the ruins of Pompeii, on a ferry in Australia or on a park bench in the Yukon.

 

Of slacking off and book titles

This blogger has be accused of slacking off — posting pictures instead of writing or, horror of horrors, talking about the weather.

Today, this blogger has a post of more (she hopes) substance.

Authors agonize over titles. Picking the right one can be difficult.

Here are a few titles. What images do these conjure up? Would you be tempted to buy any based on the title alone? If so, which ones and why?

Forevermore – Tenderloin – The Baby Trap – The Brown House – Revision 7: DNA – Oenone – Waking Up Dead – Where’d You Go, Bernadette? –  Domingo’s Angel – The Palaver Tree – The Son – Legasea – Night Must Wait

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Now scroll down to see what each book is about.

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Forevermore – supernatural creature
Tenderloin – murder mystery
The Baby Trap – infertility issues
The Brown House – haunted house
Revision 7: DNA – sci-fi medical mystery
Oenone – fantasy
The Son – American western epic
Waking Up Dead – woman wakes up aware she is dead but with a murderer to catch
Legasea – fantasy
Domingo’s Angel – story of a small village in Spain during the Franco era
The Palaver Tree – a young British woman caught up in violence in Africa
Night Must Wait – four young girls in Nigeria during the Biafran war

Did any of these surprise you? Now that you know more which would you want to read?

How to make an author’s day

Received this review today and, yes, it made my day.  sun_eBOOK_NEW (1)

Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers’ Favorite

Brittany Wright’s life isn’t going as she hoped. She can’t afford to go to college, despite graduating as valedictorian of her class, and is stuck in a small town, working as a cleaner at Happy Hearts Nursing Home. The job goes wrong from day one when she stumbles upon Flo, the home’s most eccentric patient who terrifies Brittany, but also holds a strange allure. An unlikely friendship develops between Brittany and Flo, despite the shadow of Alzheimer’s – a friendship that is discouraged by the home’s head nurse, who forbids Brittany from seeing Flo and forces her to sneak into the home after hours. The nurse’s reaction strikes Brittany as curious, until she sneaks in one day to find that Flo is being treated unethically. Soon, Brittany finds herself and two of her remaining high school friends embroiled in a mystery surrounding Happy Hearts that’s putting Flo and the other patients in grave danger from the very people who are supposed to protect them. When the Sun Was Mine by Darlene Jones is an intriguing mystery with twists, turns, and revelations that will keep readers guessing.

I truly enjoyed this story, and think it could appeal to both young adult and adult audiences. When the Sun Was Mine is more than a mystery; it captures the essence of multi-generational friendship. This book reminded me of the senior citizens that I became friends with when I volunteered in a nursing home right out of college. It also touches on the issues that affect both the young and old, from the expense of a college education and life planning to elder care and end of life issues. The mystery bridges the gap between two divergent generations to show us that friendships can truly transcend anything. Darlene Jones does a wonderful job of not only weaving a compelling mystery, but showing readers the beauty of friendship as well.

 

 

Inspiration – essential for a writer?

Edison

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas A. Edison
Edison may very well have been right, but what good is the ninety-nine percent perspiration without the inspiration?

Where do our stories come from? Daydreams, life experiences, the people we meet, nightmares, what we hear, see, read, and imagine? Every author will have a response unique to their life experience and their interests. The answer, for me, is all of the above.

We listen to the news, read the paper, and build in current events. We laugh with friends and build in comradery for our characters. We yearn for love and romance and give it to our hero and heroine. The adventures we long for belong now to our players. The lives we’ve led, or wish we’d led are, in part, imbued in our characters and plot lines.

But there is another aspect to inspiration that is often unforeseen. As we write, our stories take on a life of their own. Characters develop and lead us in directions we hadn’t anticipated or planned. A minor character creeps in and takes over. We try to contain him, but he has a mind of his own and insists on playing his part.

The hero’s friend becomes our friend. The heroine’s fight becomes our fight. And as we edit and polish and rework our novel, we worry about our characters, love them, perhaps hate them, and can’t leave them behind. They become as much a part of our lives as are the people around us. They, too, are our inspiration.

 

 

 

Authenticity in novels

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As writers, we’re told:

Write what you know.

Draw from your own experience.

Research.

We do all of that and then … we receive a note like this from a reader.

This question has to do with your last book, EMBROILED (I’m still reading it). Emily’s character intrigues me. Do you happen to know anyone who’s visited a shrink before? I ask because Emily’s sessions with David are vivid. Engaging. I can’t help but feel that this goes beyond the imaginary. But then, that is what a wonderful writer does, right? Carry the reader along.

No, I don’t know anyone who’s been to a shrink. No, I’ve never been to one myself. So, if I’ve truly created an authenticity for my readers (as this one assures me I have) where did that ability to do so come from?

Perhaps the portrayal of a patient with her psychiatrist is influenced by memories of such events in books I’ve read or movies and television shows I’ve watched. I think that could be an explanation, but I believe that would be only a partial answer.

Then this conversation occurs.

Discussing a favorite movie, one of our friends commented on a key scene. “Then the character said exactly what I expected her to say.” For him that was a defining moment, the key to the character and the plot. If she had said anything else, it would have thrown him out of the scene and back into his theatre seat.

What does it mean to create an Emily, a character that readers find so real?

What does it mean to have characters that “stay in character” like the one in the movie?

How do we create the characters who take the reader into other worlds?

We can describe physical features. We can show their reactions to the world around them. We can have other characters react to them.

But, I believe the most powerful tool the writer has is dialogue. What characters say, how they say it, their tone and body language show the reader who and what they really are.

To create that kind of perfection, the author must know his or her characters intimately. The motives that drive them, their fears, their dreams, all of their idiosyncrasies, as well as the more mundane details of birthdays, family relationships, childhood experiences, teen traumas, friends and lovers. Most of this the reader will never know, but the soul of the character, as the author knows him or her, will leach into the novel and into the hearts and minds of the reader.

Working with Emily through four novels, I’ve come to know her intimately. I know how she would react in most any situation. I know what would make her angry or sad. I know what would set her on the offensive and when she’d cower away from danger. I know that she’s a passionate advocate for education, that she abhors war, that she’s a chocoholic … And I know that her choice of a psychiatrist wouldn’t be random. She’d walk out on one if she thought he was a quack, or his personality clashed with hers, or he lacked compassion. Emily would want an upfront, no nonsense kind of person and that’s what she’d get.

So now, I’m not only intimately connected with Emily, I’m familiar with her doctor and that’s what the scenes are built from. That’s what creates a situation that does not allow for a false note and provides a credible story for the reader.

Knowing their characters as well as they know their friends and family allows the author to create authenticity through the actions and dialogue they engage in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work In Progress

Anneli Purchase has tagged me to participate in a “Work in Progress” blog tour. Anneli is almost finished writing the sequel to The Wind Weeps which had me on the edge of my chair as I read. Check it out at http://ow.ly/K3i7w

The “Work in Progress” blog tour rules:

Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.

Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress. Some writers give more than the first sentences, and I like that idea, too.

Nominate some other writers to do the same.

My nominations are:

 

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P.C. Zick who says, “I write contemporary fiction, romance, and nonfiction. In everything I do, I seek a challenge. One day I might even write a Gothic thriller, so stay tuned.

I am a storyteller. Any time I use language, either in speaking or writing, I tell a story. I can’t help it. Someone once asked me if I could ever turn it off. I responded, “Why would I ever want to do that?”  http://pczick.com/

Robin Winter – multi-talented writer and artist http://www.robinwinter.net/

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Robin first wrote and illustrated a manuscript on ‘Chickens and their Diseases‘ in second grade. Born in Nebraska, she’s lived in a variety of places, Nigeria, New Hampshire, upper New York state and California. She pursues a career in oil painting under the name of Robin Gowen, specializing in landscape. Her work can be viewed at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara. (Past YouTube videos of two shows can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51nlFnJ71vU   and   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wGxdFFobJA )

I was thrilled that these accomplished writers have agreed to take part in this work-in-progress blog tour. Please stop by their sites and get to know them and their work

And here’s me. http://emandyves.com/

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In my Em and Yves series the heroine’s life is hijacked by beings from “up there.” Heaven and Earth, gods and aliens, reincarnation, and of course a love story holding it all together.

 

My work in progress stays on Earth this time. Teens play a role in an old woman’s life. Given that I worked with teens as an educator for over 30 years, having kids involved again is a natural for me. In this novel old age clashes with youth. Brittany has just begun working in a nursing home after graduation because she can’t afford college when she encounters crusty Flo who speaks to no one, but spends hourss tapping on her laptop. Can one help the other? Or will their interference in each other’s lives make things worse?

Chapter 1 – Flo

“Don’t look so shocked, Missy. I’ve still got a brain and a clit.”

The girl caught me red-handed so to speak, the fingers of my right hand in my crotch working the oil, the other on my right breast tweaking my nipple.

Chapter 2 – Brittany

I leaned against the door, my heart pounding. I couldn’t believe what I’d seen. I could never have imagined such a thing. Lying there naked, her hand running along the inside of her thigh. Caressing herself like that.

Chapter 3 – Flo

Brittany Wright. Brittany Wrong. Right. Wrong. Right. Wrong. I grabbed my laptop and peered out the door. Hallway empty. Good. I snuck past the nurses’ desk. Needn’t have worried. It was vacant. I could hear talking and laughter coming from the staffroom. Yep, that’s the way we work at Happy Hearts.

 

 

 

No Room for Error

pilots

Recently I called my doctor’s office to inquire about test results and was told that everything was fine, but that the lab had neglected to complete the one test that was crucial for my doctor to make a decision on medication, should it prove necessary.

When I went to the doctor’s office to pick up a new requisition, I commented that I was upset about the error. The receptionist told me not to be too hard on the lab staff as they were only human and they received so many requisitions.

Of course people make mistakes, but there are professions that don’t allow for error. This particular situation was not life or death for me, but what if it had been? Recently I met a woman dying of cancer. Her doctor had told her repeatedly that she was too young to have cancer and now that the cancer has finally been diagnosed, it’s too late to effect a cure.

Pilots, transit drivers, ferry captains … are all responsible for a great number of lives as they go about their daily jobs. How much room for error are they or should they be allowed? Pilots have an advantage in that they are not alone in the cockpit. The captain has the luxury of being able to check and cross check all procedures of the flight with the co-pilots on board.

A doctor interviewed on television suggested that his profession should adopt the pilot mode of co-operation and cross checking, particularly in the operating room as opposed to the “one man knows all” attitude that currently prevails in his profession. He claimed that surgical treatments would improve dramatically with a team approach.

And authors? Where do we fit in this picture? In one novel, a well-known and well-respected author (with a huge publishing company and its staff behind her) had one of the major characters in two places at the same time.

Does an error like that matter? Probably not. We can figure it out for ourselves, but it does spoil some of the pleasure in reading the book.

Errors of that nature could be much more serious in a non-fiction work. But in fiction too, accuracy is important.

A survey of fiction readers found that the one element most important in terms of enjoyment of the book was what the reader felt they had learned something. In Domingo’s Angel, I learned about conditions in Spain during Franco’s regime. In I Do Not Come to You by Chance and 419, I learned about the conditions in Nigeria that drove young men to participate in the flood of email scams we received. I like to think that the authors had done their research and that what they presented was as close to the truth as possible. (From what my friends in Nigeria tell me, both authors were spot on.)

Since I became a self-published author, I’ve been reading books by fellow indie authors. I don’t claim to have completely error-free books, but my writing partner and I are like those pilots in the cockpit. We send files back and forth for proofing and work very hard to find and correct all the little glitches. Knowing how difficult the job is, I sympathize with fellow authors and ignore minor mistakes, but I lose patience with books that have so many errors it seems obvious the author didn’t take the time to proof and edit properly.

With pilots and doctors there is no margin for error. How much of a margin should we concede to authors?

We indie authors want to be seen as professionals. We want to be respected for our work and devotion to writing. To achieve these goals we too, have very little margin for error.

 

 

The hook that sells the book

Yes. No. Maybe. What’s the hook that gets you to buy the book?

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That’s the question any author would love the answer to. As we scroll down the email from Kindle, Bookbub, The Fussy Librarian, etc, the first thing that catches our eye is the cover. Coming in at close second is the title or vice versa. Either way we know both are important.

Here are a few titles. What images do these conjure up? Would you be tempted to buy any based on the title alone? If so, which ones?

Forevermore – Tenderloin – The Baby Trap – The Brown House – Revision 7: DNA – Oenone – Waking Up Dead – Where’d You Go, Bernadette? –  Domingo’s Angel – The Palaver Tree – The Son – Phone Kitten – Legasea – Night Must Wait

As readers we can reject a book in seconds on cover and/or title. But, if either pulls us in we then take the time to read the description.

In the years that I’ve been writing and promoting my books, I’ve come to the conclusion that readers aren’t particularly interested in author interviews, or author bios, or book excerpts—at least not initially. I think readers, attracted by a cover or title want a quick book description that will entice them to download the sample.

The final decision is made after reading the first few chapters. Either the reader is irrevocably hooked and buys the book immediately or they know it’s a no go and they delete the sample. For some books, the reader may still be undecided after the sample. That’s when they likely go to the reviews, if they haven’t already read them, to help them decide.

So, if my theory is right, what constitutes a great book description? I have some ideas, but I’d like to know what readers think. What is the essential information you want in a blurb?

The blurbs below come from emails I’ve received – some from well known publishing houses. I’ve made no changes to the descriptions other than deleting author names, book titles, and character names to preserve anonymity.

  1. “In this #1 New York Times bestselling e-book, Z, an experienced foster carer, is pressured into taking Y as a new placement. Y’s challenging behavior has seen off five carers in four months but X decides to take her on to protect her from being placed in an institution.”
  2. “The sensational New York Times bestseller from X, is a gift for readers, an enchanting, luminous novel about the accidents, both big and small, that affect our choice of friend, lover, and spouse.”
  3. “X has discovered the perfect gift for her daughter’s twenty-fifty birthday: an ideal husband. Y, however, is fed up with her mother’s endless matchmaking and grading of available Iranian American bachelors.”
  4. “Z is a fast-paced mystery with a likable protagonist and an intricately woven narrative brimming with bizarre yet believable twists. The first in a series, the book expertly lays the groundwork for X, amateur sleuth, and her love interest, FBI Agent Y. X becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a summer intern at the limestone mine X manages near Z, Colorado (a breathtaking setting that unwittingly becomes an accessory to crime).”
  5. “This anthology of punchy short stories will grab your heart and your wallet and give them a good shake. The stories are set in the turbulent times of the post Global Financial Crisis world. Intriguing and at times twisted, these tales delve behind the facades of modern life to uncover the real struggles, hopes and dreams of ordinary people. Hopeful, insightful and at times humorous, Y is an engaging and thought-provoking work for our times.”
  6. “In May 2000, X is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, X begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books.”
  7. “Our world is being judged and we remain unaware. In a world filled with people, X is uniquely alone. The tiny glowing sparks filling her mind, representing the people around her, confirm it. Clueless regarding the reason behind her sight and her place in the world, X struggles to find an explanation. A chance encounter leads her closer to answers she’s struggled to find, and into a hidden society where fur is optional.”
  8. “It’s a mother’s worst nightmare: When X’s daughter suffers an unspeakable trauma, she whisks her away to a safe house where they begin the difficult journey to recovery. With over 100 five-star reviews on Amazon, a “thought-provoking and insightfully entertaining” tale.”
  9. “A USA Today bestselling author weaves a fun holiday romance with a “clever premise” (Booklist). When X finds herself catapulted to a future Christmas morning, will she be able reunite with her beloved husband and expected child?”
  10. “This deeply poignant bestseller charts the journey of two wildly different families united by their love for one young girl. As adoptee X searches for her place in the world, her relatives encounter love and loss across two continents. Written with “compassion and uncanny perception.”

I would appreciate a comment from you saying which of these, if any, would entice you to buy.

Why not a one-star review?

Have you ever written to an author and told them you couldn’t make yourself read their book? I have and, in this instance, it was an enlightening experience.

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I read Night Must Wait, by Robin Winter. This is what I had to say about it.

Masterful. Authentic. Gritty. Gripping. Complex characters. Night Must Wait has all the elements to make this novel so much greater than just a war story. Winter’s subtleties in depicting the characters, the setting, the basic elements of Africa add depth and dimension much appreciated by this reader.

I lived in Mali at the time and could not visit Nigeria because of the war, but did travel through Niger, Benin (then called Dahomey) and Togo. I saw enough and knew enough about the area to relate to much in Winter’s book. I have great admiration for what she has accomplished with Night Must Wait.

Robin responded to that review. We exchanged emails and got to know each other as well as one can, electronically. I like her philosophy and attitude. Her writing is strong. I admire that. She’s a painter too, with some amazing visual art to her credit.

FuturePast_Draft-1But what most impressed me, was her response to the note I had sent saying I couldn’t read her second book. The novel in question, Future Past, is set in a dystopian future. The first few chapters proved that her writing was as strong as ever, that her characterizations were clear and sharp, that she would handle this topic as well as she handled any other. That said, why couldn’t I read the book, write the review, and get on with my life? The story was simply too dark for me.

Robin did not take offense at my note. In fact she assured me that she understood my position and didn’t want anything to interfere with our fledgling friendship. She asked if I would consider writing a one-star review making my comments as a warning to other readers who might find this departure from her usual style offensive. I told her I couldn’t bring myself to do that as a one-star review would imply an unwarranted negativity to her work that I surely did not intend.

The one-star reviews I have read seem to be little more than blatant attacks on the author. To me, as a writer and a reader, there is a huge difference between slamming an author for the sake of slamming and offering an honest reaction which is what I tried to do.

Still, I’m in awe of her openness to and acceptance of a reader’s thoughts regarding a work that the reader didn’t like. I sit at my computer and wonder if I could be that receptive to similar remarks about one of my books. I would like to think the answer is yes.

Introducing Uzo

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I don’t remember how we met. Uzo reminds me that he was surfing WordPress looking for authors, found my blog, and read some of the posts about Mali. He made a comment, I responded and a new friendship was born.

Uzo is a young Nigerian with a blog. He lives in Asaba, Delta State (South-South Nigeria), one of the oil producing states in his country. I’m an older Canadian with a blog. I live a world away (in so many respects) on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Uzo writes novels. I write novels. Uzo writes in English, which is not his first language. As he says, “English is quite a vast language. Every day is a learning process for me.”

We begin by talking about books. We both like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’d read Half a Yellow Sun. He told me about Purple Hibiscus. Here’s what he had to say about that book. “Purple Hibiscus is a wonderful story. Adichie did a marvelous job there from the first person pov. Kambili’s account is so real and reflects the life of a rich, caged Igbo child-woman during one of the military regimes in Nigeria.”  We’re both anxious to read Americanah.

Uzo says, “I’m a no-good writer. I’m just a wannabe like you guys call it.” On the contrary, Uzo is a powerful writer. Here’s a sample.

Although the Liberian war is now over, I cannot wish away the memories. There are nights in my sleep when I still find myself dressed in army uniform, AK-47 ready. On these nights I hear the voices of parents calling their children; others joking, shouting: “Where’s your bunker?” The air cracks and I hear the sounds of diving jets and stuttering LMGs. Fire, blood, bullets and bodies everywhere. Things soon simmer to normal as danger passes. People fill the streets, young boys and girls going on various errands. Then he appears in a blood-stained enemy uniform. His oily dark face is teased with abandon. He’s about to aim his rifle at me. In my dreams, he dies in different ways. I’m his killer. Something tells me that he is my son. But I’m too afraid to believe it.

I’m not a professional editor, but I’ve offered to help Uzo with his English as he’d be drained if he had to pay an editor, so files are sent back and forth. I’m careful not to tamper with the uniqueness of his voice.

Only the eyes that moved swiftly would see the legs that desperately sprinted across the farms and pathways. Thereafter thoughts would arise if the runner was after something, or rather, was the prey.

Beautiful, right? And yes, my life, as a person and as a writer, is richer for having met him. That’s the beauty of the Internet.

Here’s what Uzo has to say about himself on his blog. (I don’t like the harmattan season either when the West African trade winds blow incessantly from the Sahara.)

  1. I love the game of Scrabble a lot. And I’ve won a big-money competition in that regard lately.
  2. I love the smell of the air immediately after a cold, long rain. It’s so refreshing!
  3. I don’t like the harmattan season.
  4. Music. Highlife music takes me to a different place entirely. It’s a gift to W. Africa.
  5. I want to learn how to speak Hausa and after that Swahili.
  6. I usually write with my right hand. But can also do so with my left…and it’s legible too.
  7. I still watch a lot of cartoons and can’t do without my PS3!
  8. Biscuits–I’m addicted.
  9. My favorite time of the day is very early in the morning for all the right reasons.
  10. I’ll get my dog friend a partner once I publish my first book. Well, that’s more like a promise.   In the meantime, he can woo those around him.
  11. I still have most of my childhood toys and comics with me.

Uzo’s blog: http://85degrees.wordpress.com

CLICK ON BADGE FOR LINK TO MY VENTURE GALLERIES PAGE.