Featured Interview With Laolu Otiko
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m a pencil artist by day, and a poet, author, overall storyteller by night. I grew up in a sub-urban town; Akure, in Nigeria. With a mix of exposure to the urban/western lifestyle, through cable TV, and a reality of superstitious beliefs, through my immediate environment. I grew to see the world from differing perspectives and it helped groom my narrative skills. I live in Lagos; Nigeria, now. A fast paced city, with lots of people and lots of stories to tell. I enjoy the madness of the city, as an observer.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I can’t place the exact age I got fascinated with books, but I got into comic books really early. Archie comics and DC were my first points of contact, and at the age of 10, I created my first comic book. It was something about the capture of Osama bin Laden by the American army. Yes, I was 10 when I made that. Writing, for me, started about two or three years after that. I got into a lot of poetry and songwriting. It was mostly rap songs, so both mediums had a good convergence for my young brain, I think.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have a few favourite authors. From Wendelin Van Draanen, to Chimamanda, to Shakespeare, Wole Shoyinka, Robin Cook, and a host of others. I must not understand the meaning of the word; favourite.
My favourite genre to read is romance, don’t let the looks fool you. I get inspired by too many things and people, to think of just one thing or person. The inspiration for what I’m currently working on however, came from the shape of a character’s mustache, in a Spanish telenovela. Yeah, I watch them, and I love them.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book, “Roving Birds” (not out yet) is a romance short. It’s about love from the perspective of someone who is unworthy, or thinks so; of their self. It explores the thoughts we have when in love, those ones that remain thoughts, and how these thoughts are interpreted from different vantage points. I’m trying to be very vague but it’s quite hard, as I’m very excited about the book.
It is a short story infused with poems, so it only took two months to write it. That’s excluding the two months of re-drafts however. By re-draft I mean you write something really amazing before going to bed, you wake up the next morning, read it, and forget the night before; ever happened. Yes, two months of that.
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