Interview with Laolu Otiko

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a town called Akure, in Ondo state, Nigeria. It's a slow paced town built for the sub-urban lifestyle. Rare wild stories ever occur, unless in the university area. I lived close to the university campus and had first view access to certain scenarios. Growing up, not much was to be seen on local TV, but coming from an average "well-to-do" family, I had access to cable TV and was exposed early to western and worldwide views in general. I had a lucky childhood, I think. Being a middle class citizen with the privilege of understanding both spectrum of classification, at a young age, helped my ideas on narration from different perspectives.
Describe your desk
I have a simple desk because I dislike any form of clutter. A laptop, a screen monitor, a sound monitor, a pen and pencil holder, and most importantly, a mug. Anything else goes in the supply box.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember exactly when I started writing. What I do remember however, is when I created my first comic book. I was ten. So, it's definitely somewhere around that time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always liked to learn and do things by myself. I believe anything can be learnt, albeit through unconventional means. Being a bit of a control freak also molded me into learning self sustenance. Hence, DIY has been a go-to for me. Indie publishing fulfills that part of me that craves control.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy in writing for me, has to be the feeling of living vicariously through my characters. It's like being a newborn without actually being a newborn. The feeling of reckless abandon, on a path to various possibilities. That form of freedom, isn't it what we all seek, deep down?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm probably drawing something, or making a beat, or planning an event or the other. I'm mostly working to be honest, but I genuinely enjoy all what I do. Other than these, I'm with family or friends.
How do you approach cover design?
Being an artist myself, I've always preferred a minimalist way of conveying messages. Be it through writing or imagery. I like a good point of focus when it comes to cover design.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything funny on Twitter.
How did you come up with 'Demi', in your last book, and what was next for her, after that?
Coming up with Demi was very random actually. I had written my final draft of poems for the book, but there was one poem that I really liked, that didn't make the cut. You know, those poems that have a soul within them? I just had to find a way to put it in the book. The poem comes from a female perspective and I decided to give the female a name. It actually made the book better and I decided to tailor the story around her perspective. Voila, a book was written. Women make everything better, don't they?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Distribution is a big issue in Indie publishing and Smashwords has really helped with that obstacle.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Well, I feel like you can never know another human being; wholly. So, my self is a pseudonym for my whole being. I feel really smart with that answer.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the third book in the "10 Poems in a Short" series. The second is done, and will be published soon. Have an unpublished mystery novel in the works too! Exciting times.
Published 2019-05-18.
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Books by This Author

10 Poems In A Short: Roving Birds
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 2,440. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Poetry, Poetry » African Poetry
Banji, an ideal romantic in the truest form of the word, goes through some sort of trauma which takes him on a mental paradigm shift. Now searching for a new; life long purpose, he goes on interesting journeys as he joins a group of ‘lost’ individuals, hoping to find his way back to love, and ultimately himself.