Interview with Yas Niger

Published 2014-06-25.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in northern Nigeria and the feisty complexity of the multicultural nature of that environment influences my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I started my creative writing more than twenty three years ago. I actually started with songs & short poems.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
For well over a decade I have been trying to get published but no literary agent or publisher was even interested in going through my manuscript. The very few publishers & agents I managed to bombard with my queries didn't show the slightest interest in my work. It was a very frustrating experience.

So in order to put my work out there, I started my "Witty Written Works" blog, using the alias 'YasNiger'. It was quite a hit and I sought to go a step further & publish online.
I actually googled "eBooks publishing" and came across Smashwords. It felt perfect for me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The thought of having my works available worldwide, to be read by everybody, gives a huge sense of accomplishment.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am particularly fond of Leon Uris and Chinua Achebe
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read a great deal, everything. I coach football (soccer), love great music and good films.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote is about a short story about destitute lady in northern Nigeria. I wrote it more than two decades ago. It has since transformed into a novel and it is one my earliest Smashwords publications; Breasts of Doom.
What is your writing process?
I normally start with a simple story in my head, something that comes to my mind from an experience or something I see around me. I develop the story gradually, plotting and setting up the characters and their dialogue to unfold the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love all of Leon Uris' books... "Exodus" and "Trinity" stand out for me because of the way they use actual events in history as the background for their fictional tales. Chinua Achebe's "Man of the people" and "Things fall apart" and finally Uris' "The Hajj" are my top five books. The nature of having historical details embedded in these works make them wonderful pieces of work.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read compelling fictional novels mainly but almost everything goes generally. I love a realistic feel to whatever I read. Fictional works should feel quite realistic for me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my laptop predominantly.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Self promoting on virtually all social media outlets. I use my 'handles' on all fronts and get my followers and those I follower to get in on my efforts.
Describe your desk
My desk is wooden, I just love wood (with plenty of guilt because I massively adore trees). I have a transistor radio handy on my desk because I listen to the news and music while I work. My desk is always very untidy when I am working on it because I tend to do a lot of researching. But once I am done, it is cleared and all clean.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Like most of my other works, I indirectly write about my country and its people; Nigeria and Nigerians.
I published three works simultaneously; "Fever (V)" "The Whore" "The Poet in the Poem (Collection".
My passion for writing about by immediate environment is hugely present in the first two works as usual. Using the bases of purely fictional stories I attempt to bring forth the underlying details of Nigeria. The third work is a collection of over 250 poems.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have incredibly self-published 15 of my over 20 written works in just under 2 years with the aid of Smashwords! Unthinkable in any other way. If that isn't success, I will love to hear what is?
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Why Chickens Walk
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 2,070. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
There is a simple tale behind why chickens do not fly like most other birds do & it is the story of a young boy who wanted to have more fun than it is safe to have. Chickens were wise brave birds & once had long thick feathers in their wings, when they flew as high as eagles. Chickens were the oldest flying birds in the world then, because it took them long to grow thick feathers in their wings.
Why Lizards Crawl
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 1,900. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Lizards were lazy creatures and got their name for their laziness. They walk slowly on two legs and were not as fast as dogs, who had always walked on their four legs. The Lizards have sharp crafty tongues and can talk themselves out of any trouble, but are not quite smart. That was long before they had to scurry about in secret places, crawling in sneaky fashion, hiding away from everybody else.
OBAMA Student of Time
Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 22,520. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
For most people, life isn't about grasping a meaning but making meaningful contributions. For some, it is a race against time they set out to win, not learn from, until they know better. Time is always in a race & Obama had set out to win. He had a mother in Anna that had set the pace & a mate in Michelle that kept up. An Islam laced history threatened to hold him back in a land that know better
Friendly Foes: A World of Sentiments
Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 35,570. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller & Suspense
Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of victims, their relatives, res-ponders & their purpose, perpetrators & their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions. The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends & foes
Everyone Hates The English
Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 77,450. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: August 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Fiction » Alternative history
It is human to be annoyed by certain aspects of life, by individuals or group of people. People habitually associate exhibited characteristics with specific people and for centuries the English have dissatisfied the most people across the globe. But as diverse as the reasons why Everyone Hates The English are, the world still respects and simply enjoy the English the most. These tales say as much.
Price: Free! Words: 23,340. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Graphic novel
A collaborative book convened by Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria, facilitated by Nameless strives to inspire change in Nigeria. Eight budding Nigerian writers; Rafeeat Aliyu, Fola Lawal, Kalu Aja, Chioma Agwuegbo, Pearl Osibu, Yas Niger, Elnathan John, and Azeenarh Mohammed, reflect a common vision for their nation's future. Nameless is about the complexities that is Nigeria.
Boko Haram: Western Values Are Forbidden
Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 40,520. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: December 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history
Boko Haram translates into Western education is forbidden, a clarion call that forbids Western values. It is the insurgency across northern Nigeria with political bombs in Islamic shells, establishing Islamic values by expunging Western ones. It likens this mysterious young vengeful quest to fight a perception of God's war, deny itself the fair chance to live according to values it holds dearly.
The Whore
Series: Laraba Thomas. Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 103,670. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Kengua is visibly a male journalist with a secret dual sexual condition. Laraba is his clueless female colleague and most probable suitor, who refuses to be evaded by him. They both have impressive careers and this is the story they both live in their race for a culled national prestige.
The Poet in the Poem
Price: Free! Words: 24,650. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Poetry » African Poetry
A collection of over 250 poems that reflect on man as the poet and the actor who handles the helm of his affairs, on a timed cruise. His abilities compose and steer his story, as his capabilities and fate enables him. It encapsulates the essence of poetry, using eloquent words to convey the poet’s thoughts and experience. The poet mans the helm, and the cruise is his composed poem.
Fever: The Coldness of Fever (Book V)
Series: Fever. Price: $15.00 USD. Words: 72,590. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Nonfiction » History » Africa
Fever is an exposition of a heady but not inscrutable abstract tale conceived on the likeness of bodily symptoms to a dysfunctional family, coexisting like the nation it is indigenous to, resembles and lives within. Its nature points seemingly to a fictional story it likens in every aspect and symbolizes with such inane clarity. This is the historical tale of the Nigerian nationhood and its people
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