Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Author Speaks with Bura Bari Nwilo

A.A: How long did it take to write this book?

N.B.B: I started Diary of a Stupid Boyfriend in 2012. It was just a way of finding sanity in a relationship I was struggling with. I knew I was not doing the things I should have done. They were in my head and I knew that if I did them, things would work. But then how many persons do the good things that their spirit leads them to do? 
When we were in the final phase of the relationship, I started writing. Many of the recorded events happened but are spiced up to suit my audience. The pieces could have been more than the nine I collected into the book but then they would hurt. I decided to play around the subjects, took away the unwanted elements and that was it! I have readers who have core literary tastes. I have others who love the free side of Nwilo. So when you read the book, you’ll see a lot of me, basically the experimental writer.

 A.A: I see that you have pieces with this title on blogs. Why did you decide to put it together in book form?
 N.B.B: I wanted my writing to pay my bills. I spend a lot of time online. I update my status and I don’t get paid. I felt the things I had written for blogs could be collated. I tried including other articles but they were mostly political and I don’t have the strength for politics now. The diary worked better. I read through the pieces and felt that since they had been viewed and loved by a lot of people, some of those people could want it in book form. That was it.

A.A: What has the process of going from web to print been like?
N.B.B: The poet, Maxi Uzoatu says anything that’s not printed but is solely on the internet isn’t written. Although the statement is greatly flawed, I do think going from web to print indicates another level of commitment to the craft. The online platform provides you with an audience that may read your book when it is in paperback and that is good. I asked my friends on social media to share the book cover and it worked. It showed that the online community has invested in me as a young writer. Maybe if I had released the book in 2012 it could have been poorly received. But I think it will be well received when it comes out in October.
A.A: Are you done with the stupid boyfriend? Will you continue to write more stupid boyfriend pieces?
N.B.B: Yes. I think I am done with the Stupid Boyfriend title. I may move unto something else. It may be my short stories or poetry. It may be my other collection of non-fiction essays. I like to write about myself and my experiences. My life is a bit better now. I am in another relationship. I am trying not to make the mistakes I made in the previous one. Although it gave me a book, I miss it. 

A.A: Who are your major literary influences?
N.B.B: My influences vary. I started writing non-fiction after reading Teju Cole’s Everyday is for the Thief. I love Dambudzo, he has done quite a lot to my mind. Ken Saro-Wiwa also influenced me a great deal. When I am online, people like Pa Ikhide help me. His writings and the humour are very enviable. The list is endless.

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