Monday, 9 January 2012

Guest Author of the Month - Chika Onyenezi

I would like to welcome Chika Onyenezi – author of Sea Lavender to my blog.  I am honoured to have you over here today.  Chika’s website can be found here: GREY SCALE  I urge you to check it out.    You can find my review of Chika’s book Sea Lavender here 

You like works by Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Wole Soyinka.  Did they inspire or influence you to write?

Yes they did inspire, but I don’t think they have any influence on my work. I just write and try to be as original as I can. Though I accept that every original has origin. For me Dickens represents sincerity, Thomas Hardy too emotional, and Wole Soyinka basks in words. These are things every writer strives to understand. Each day, they inspire me.

You started writing a novella Locust Invasion at 18 years of age.  Was this the start of your writing career?

Career? No, journey? Yes. It’s been a long walk; one you can’t master all. I see writing more like a journey than a career. The journey began much earlier than that. It started with fascinations when I was still a little boy; from there I picked up paper, started to put my words in motion. In this journey you keep on learning and eager to accept that you know nothing. In career you know something and try to improve, so I better be on a journey.

Later on a publisher encouraged you to work on Locust Invasion and you re-wrote it into a full length novel.  Although this is your first novel, is this correct it is to be published in 2012?

I decided not to publish it for now. I had a lot issues with the publisher on what is right and wrong. It might never get published, but if I find the right home for it, I will let it live in it.  For now is just there.

You have written several short stories, poetry and children’s stories which have been published in literary magazines.  Have you published these short stories electronically?  Where can your readers access these stories?

Yes I published them electronically, I think you can find my earliest short stories at, also here  also I have poems published in Aesthetics

Your second novel Sea Lavender was published last year.  This is completely different writing to your usual genre – thriller.  What made you decide to write about Nigeria specifically?

      First I come from Nigeria and I lived in Nigeria for 24 years. I feel more comfortable writing about my country, and Sea Lavender is an unusual story that breaths from its environment, it can’t lose contact with it. Maybe in my next book I will be writing about Europe, with European characters and so on. My writing doesn't have any boundary, critics are welcomed.

Does the book Sea Lavender have any similarity to real life or any experience of living in Owerri, Nigeria?

In Switzerland after signing a copy for a couple, the husband called me aside and said ‘tell me the truth, did this story happen?’ is a fiction, the locations are real, the events in the book are fictitious, the characters can be found in any corner of Nigeria. The work of every writer is to collect piece of life events, then stitch them together, undeniably such some events in the book have similar life occurrence. I just did my work!

You are currently studying for a Masters at the European Peace University in Austria.  What are you studying?

Peace and Conflict studies

How do you manage to make time for your studies alongside your work as editor at AuthorMe and your writing?

Well, AuthorMe work is not that serious, throughout last year I received just two manuscripts of short stories. Also the publisher (Bruce Cooks) knows I am currently studying for another degree.

Are there any other interests or sport you enjoy?

Yes, I have other interests and sports. I like to research and travel around. Also I am passionately interested in playing scrabble. I play basketball and football, whichever one is available, but not on a professional level, just for fun.

Finally, for fun.  Music - what is your current listen? 

Wow! I think is Hangover by taio cruz…

Thank you for sparing your time and being my guest Author on the blog this month.  


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