Interview with Feyisayo Alao

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in primary four, 1997, at Mayflower Junior School Ikenne, Ogun State.( a boarding School)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Lagos but spent my childhood, teenage years in boarding schools, in different parts of Nigeria. Most of my time was spent on writing, singing and sketching. I wanted to capture every moment of my life if possible and did not want to forget any part of it. As early as eight years, I kept a diary. I was tired of trying to be like others. I wanted to be myself, wanted to understand and discover myself. I wanted to make impact even as a child and make others smile too. So I started writing real stories eleven years ago. Growing up with the stories, I modified them at every stage till I was sure I was satisfied and felt fulfilled with the content.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I met an old friend Michael in 2001, he was my best friend. We were moving from where we used to stay in Lagos to Ogun State and I knew I was not going to see him for years. So, I promised writing a story using his name,though the story was not really about him.
I wrote Crossroads because I wanted to document my childhood imaginations and days. I knew I had a voice and reading other people's works did not satisfy me well enough. There were so many things around me as a child I longed to change but couldn't. I wanted the world to hear my thoughts which could have been similar to the thoughts of other children in my generation. I simply picked up my pen and started.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
yes I do. I titled it 'a beautiful Mind'.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Wole Soyinka- Lion and The Jewel
Chimamanda Adichie- Half of A Yellow Sun
Chinua Achebe- Things Fall Apart
William Shakespeare- The Merchant of Venice
Thomas Hardy -Tess of the D'urbervilles
The books all have their unique ingredients that make them stand out. They helped shape my view and style of writing, and that's why my book is unique, very different in every way.
What motivated you to become an author?
The desire to see things change. The desire to be different. The desire to make an impact. I realized that teenagers were missing a lot. They were gradually being rushed out of childhood. They had so many questions that needed answers. They wanted to be assured that it was normal to be a child, act like one and gradually grow into being an adult. This moved me to write.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has really helped by making it easy for teenagers and youths all over the world to have access to 'Crossroads'. This has made things easy for me and I'm sure that anyone that gets to read it, in any part of the world, will have something precious to hold on to.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My Joy is seeing people read my book, not worried about how to get the money. My joy is to see people read my book and get inspired to do great things. My greatest joy as an author is to be told by a reader 'your book changed my life'.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean so much to me. They inspire me to want to give more.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that everyday is a fresh day and everyday is a great opportunity to make someone smile.
Published 2013-09-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: Free! Words: 28,730. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
At an early age, two multi-talented ladies Lara Williams, Nike Bright and a handsome guy, Michael Davis are pulled together by the powerful magnet of destiny. Just as they are beginning to enjoy the bond, fate gradually tears them apart, giving them new directions. What becomes of these three?