|The gifted Biola Olatunde|
Hello Knight Chills readers.
My name is Biola Olatunde
I have been writing since the seventies, I have about 300 or more plays produced for television and about the same for radio. Went into the broadcasting business in 78 and have been writing since then.
I wrote a couple of television series (104 for radio and television) for United Nations population Fund (UNFPA) on sex education, parent/child communication strategies and it was aired on all television stations in my country Nigeria on local, regional as well as National television and radio network. In its second year the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA partnered with UNFPA to sponsor the series for a second year. I also have produced radio plays on democracy and maternal health for USAID within the south west of my country. I am actually always writing plays, novels, poems for people as well. It is a spontaneous thing. I just write. I have always been involved with social drama series that I use as an instrument to hope for change. You might call me a quiet activist for change in the human being. I have self published a collection of poetry, 3 volumes in fact and then decided if I could in any way see what the outside world thinks of my poetry and if it is worth publishing. I submitted some collections to Xoxo publishing and was gratified when they accepted it and had it published. I also have a novel, BLOOD CONTRACT, by another publishing house too on amazon.com
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Hmm.. my latest book will be my collection of poems “MEMORIES OF A FORGOTTEN SLUMBER”
2. How did you get started as a writer?
You would laugh… I was bored as I grew up some kind of a loner. I never felt lonely, just kind of liked being with myself more and will stare at people and weave stories around them. My head of programmes one day asked out of curiosity what I was writing and I showed it to her. She had it produced and I got paid. I was puzzled and became interested in writing. I thought I was just having fun with poetry. My career as a writer took off from there.
3. What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day would be me trying to put them [most of the stories or poems] in my head. Sometimes I see a person and a poem about the person jumps into my head and I write it down sometimes, if I could, while I am doing other chores.
4. What do you like most about reading and writing?
The opportunity to learn something. The opportunity to peep into another creativity and be immersed in another world. The wonder of a world I dream of and my willingness to learn from another perspective and see my reaction to it. Perfection is the union of so many elements and I wish to experience that.
5. Which author influenced you the most?
It will be the English writer Somerset Maugham. There is a calmness and hidden sarcasm to what he writes. He became my role model at a very early age, and for a woman it is Bessie Head; a South African writer who fired me to identify my soul.
6. Tell us 3 interesting things about you.
Well wouldn’t know if they could be called interesting.
1. I like music, all types of beautiful music and it transports me making me write my best pieces I think.
2. I like nature and live in the country here in Nigeria.
3. Friends tend to say, I am humorous, can crack a joke and rarely lose my temper but when I do I could be awful they say.
7. Would you say you write specifically for one genre and if not, what’s your favorite genre to write?
Well for one I am not really keen on horror! But I did write some horror plays and productions before as I had been one of the followers of Stephen King and Dennis Wheately. As I got older and saw that there was enough horror in the way we treat ourselves, and intolerance had gotten to horrific levels, I did not wish to inflict that also on the collective human soul as I felt we have more than enough already. However I am not good at romance either, generally human interest issues, injustice, and the realities of human existence, spirituality gets me so I write about those. Don’t know a thing about science but I write social commentaries. My latest novel a fictional crime/adventure genre is actually a social commentary on the Niger Delta of my country.
8. Best and worst part of being a writer?
Best part of being a writer? Wow, I could get lost in a world devoid of politicians, and see the possibility to persuade Man to see himself in a better world. The worst part? The reading culture is practically dead in my country and writers here get little recognition. We have all gone materialistic, yes we need to eat but where do we leave the quality of life?
9. Advice to writers?
A writer is a dreamer; he must learn to be on close terms with the lonely crag of his dreams. He must accept that the validity of his visions can only be underwritten with the practicality of his surroundings. He must dream dreams but he must weave with the pragmatic wool of a knowledge of his tool and the people. He must be willing to challenge the reader to dare to look himself in the mirror and find himself. He must paint utopia but also show that real people live there too. The myth is tempting that writers become rich, failure too is non performance of a responsibility. If you are writer, it is a long lonely road sometimes to a nod of recognition but the Muse is a hard taskmaster and you are only as good as your last. You should strive to be better. Writers live forever and immortality therefore is a very potent addictive drug.
10. Interesting story about writing
I could share one small anecdote. When I was writing the teenage series for UNFPA, the director of photography assumed I was the mother of one of the young actors and gave me stories of how he planned on taking the writer of the series out on a date. He regaled me with all the antics that cameramen get up to and asked me the name of the actor who was my child. Then the producer came in and smiled saying he was pleased that the director was getting acquainted with me. He smiled and asked when he could get to know the writer saying she would be an exciting young lady since she wrote in the language of young persons and he hinted he was looking forward to an association, He almost fell over in a faint when the producer pointed at me as the writer. A writer’s mind can be young or interesting and had nothing to do with age. He could not get over his shock for a long time. Before the first quarter was over, he was seeking advice from me about his two daughters.
|Love the book cover!|
Wow! Now all our Knight Chills readers can see why I've been mesmerized by this charming, master poet. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for Knight Chills. Biola, I wish you continued success in everything you do.
© Copyright Biola Olatunde 2011. All rights reserved.
Biola Olatunde has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved.
A Knight Chills author interview.