Abiola A.A is an author, PR expert and a social media strategist. He has been writing professionally for more than six years now. In this interview we’re talking to him about his books and writing skills. We talked about his next book and advice for aspiring writers. I believe the interview is both educational and entertaining for many writers.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Abiola AA, I am a writer, a PR expert, social media strategist/manager, and talent manager.
What inspired you to start writing?
Writing has always been about expressing myself, my pain, anger, happiness, or whatever emotion I am feeling at a particular time. I started writing angry letters to the government when I was maybe 13, so I’d say anger inspired me at first, but these days I’m inspired by so many other factors.
Wow anger! So how long have you been writing?
Professionally, more than six years now.
That’s nice. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Secondary school, my English teacher was always telling I have a very different way with words. He really helped me believe in my writing skills.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Believe in your style. That’s all. Just believe that you don’t have to write like other writers. Art is mostly about confidence. The world will accept your art, you just have to make them. And be patient, it takes time and consistency. You have to do it everyday.
What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I don’t have a rigid schedule, it’s what I do full time. It’s what I do all the time, or let me say most of the time.
Full time writer 🙌🏻 Does it energize or exhaust you?
When I am writing for myself, it’s energizing, but when I’m writing for clients, it can be exhausting sometimes.
Yeah true. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Writers block. That thing can be very frustrating.
Very frustrating. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My immediate society has been my source since I started. The things that go on around me.
So when did you write your first book?
I wrote Catharsis in 2017. Published.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written four books. Catharsis is my favorite.
Where can readers purchase your books and find out more about you and your books?
Readers in Europe or the US can get my books on Amazon Here
Readers in Nigeria can just send a DM to @abiola_a_a
Okay perfect. Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?
Writing Catharsis was important for my mental health, I needed to get a lot of things out and writing was the only way I could do it. I was bare, so the journey was mentally challenging. I had to talk about my pain, confronted my demons to be able to write that book. As tedious as it was, I’m glad I did it because it wasn’t only a turning point in my writing career, it was really therapeutic for me.
I can see why it’s your favorite. Can you tell us something about the last book you wrote, Ajanaku of Lagos and what inspired the story?
Ajanaku of Lagos is a fictional story based on assumed real life stories of “Yahoo boys” in our country. I tried to point out the reasons why fraud has eaten deep into the DNA of our society. The feedback wasn’t what I expected. A lot of people thought I was justifying fraud and that wasn’t my intention. So I stopped promoting the book, I didn’t want to get into trouble (laughs).
Lol, so what’s the significance of the title?
Ajanaku is the name of the main character, and Lagos is the setting.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
The only challenge was getting money to finance the project. I was patient till I had enough financial muscle to pull it off.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Finally finding the courage to publish.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share?
Yeah, I’m working on Catharsis 2 😁 Almost done actually.
Oh nice. We can’t wait! What books or authors have influenced your own writing?
During my university days, I studied and directed the works of writers like Wole Soyinka and Bode Sowande, and I must admit that these writers have some influence in my writing, but I don’t think I’ve been majorly influenced by any writer in particular. I have just always tried to be as original as I can.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I smoke herbs.
Lol, okay. So do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each books?
Catharsis 1 and 2 are connected.
If you didnt write, what would you do for work?
I’d have been a lawyer I think
Oh wow really. Did you study law?
That’s what I’d have studied if I didn’t study theatre arts.
Oh alright. What’s the best way to market your books?
I can’t say I know the best way, I can only talk about my own way. I have used social media so far to sell my books and that is still the platform I intend to use for my future books.
Yes, social media is a very powerful tool. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would it be?
Beautiful, Honest, Consistent.
Alright, we’re looking forward to your next book.
Thank you for your time Abiola. It was nice talking to you.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you guys for reading.
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