Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE UNDER-APPRECIATED NOVEL?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I don’t know. Everything I read is much appreciated. I guess the many Indie and small press authors out there. It’s a competitive world.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU BALANCE MAKING DEMANDS ON THE READER WITH TAKING CARE OF THE READER?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: The best way I can think of explaining this is to present the Harry Potter series as an example of good balance. J.K. Rowling makes many demands on us as readers. She presents us with impossible situations, enormous tragedies, and huge moral dilemmas — and expects us to process them. She seems to make no efforts to spare us from anything that could go wrong. Yet she does not obscure any of that with archaic language, foggy plot, or bad writing. She does not leave us with a feeling of gloom or depression at the end of one of her books. So she takes care of us as her readers while at the same time not babying us. After a while, I was able to think of how I want to emulate them in my own unique way as a writer.
Romelia: AS A WRITER, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR MASCOT/AVATAR/SPIRIT ANIMAL?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I’d choose a Dog. Why a Dog, you ask? Dogs have a reputation of being powerfully loyal and tend to be a tad bit stubborn yet loved by all. Don’t let my playful sense of humor fool you, I am very dedicated to my friends, family, and ideas and ferociously protective. I am also quite determined when I set my mind to something—just ask my father. I write in several different genres, and I love being a bit eccentric; it keeps people wondering and often makes them smile and just shake their heads at my “off the wall” ideas. I hate being limited by working inside “the box.”
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU OWE THE REAL PEOPLE UPON WHOM YOU BASE YOUR CHARACTERS?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I owe them a dedication or an acknowledgement page as the case maybe and most times, I tend to write so well about them.
Romelia: HOW MANY UNPUBLISHED AND HALF-FINISHED BOOKS DO YOU HAVE?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I have one unpublished novel and two half-finished stories in my drafts. The unpublished novel will be published April 2021, the book cover and book trailer have been revealed on my website already.
Romelia: WHAT DOES LITERARY SUCCES LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: To me, literary success means to write a novel that I’m proud of and which has a loyal readership. This sounds simpler than it really is.
Romelia: WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO MARKET YOUR BOOKS?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Definitely not one-on-one marketing. But I think the best way so far is digital marketing and I really thank God for the various social media platforms we have now. With Facebook, Twitter and Google, I’ve been able to reach more audiences.
Romelia: WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DO YOU DO, AND HOW LONG DO YOU SPEND RESEARCHING BEFORE BEGINNING A BOOK?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: The answer depends on the kind of book I’m writing. What’s worse, it also depends a great deal on what topics I’m researching, and why I need to research those topics for my book. For example, while scripting my novel, Reflection: Rulers And Preys earlier this year, I wanted to write a novel that has a politician as a primary character, and I’ve never been a comrade or part of the executives. Right away, the kind of book I’m writing is fiction – so I needed to ask myself what’s important to the story. Am I going for technical accuracy, or am I going for sensory accuracy? Do I want the audience to feel like I „know what I’m talking about” when it comes to the details of politics, or am I trying to convey the emotional and physical and mental experience of being a politician because I want a realistic character? Ideally, I want both – so it’s a matter of emphasis. And making such research takes several months of study knowing the basics and most used terms.
Romelia: DO YOU VIEW WRITING AS A KING OF SPIRITUAL PRACTICE?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: No, I don’t view writing as a king of spiritual practices.
Romelia: WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT WRITING CHARACTERS FROM THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: The most difficult thing is understanding that women and men are separate human beings who have their own way of doing things and entirely different ways of reacting to the same situations. It is difficult for a man to write a convincing woman, because we put much of our ingrained habits into our characters. That’s why it’s good to watch, observe, ask, and interact with your opposite-sex friends and family as much as possible, and have them read your scenes early on to see if you’re “getting” them right or wrong.
Romelia: HOW LONG WERE YOU A PART-TIME WRITER BEFORE YOU BECOME A FULL-TIME ONE?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I still believe that I am a part-time writer because I write when I’m chanced and I also engage in other works too. I’m hoping to become a full time writer in the nearest future.
Romelia: HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: If there are no disturbances whatsoever, I do write for eight hours straight but most times, I write for four or five hours a day.
Romelia: WHAT PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE DO YOU FIND YOU WRITE ABOUT MOST OFTEN? (CHILD, TEENAGER, YOUNG ADULT)?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Young adult. I always feel the urge to write about my adventures and experiences most of the time.
Romelia: HAVE YOU READ ANYTHING THAT MADE YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT FICTION?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I don’t think I’ve read any in recent years.
Romelia: WHAT ARE THE ETHICS OF WRITING ABOUT HISTORICAL FIGURES?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Some of the ethics of writing about historical figures include; Integrating history with your own fictional characters. Choosing a point of view that is both relevant and appropriate. Clarifying when you’re writing historical fiction and when you’re writing the fictional character’s take on that history. Most importantly, minding your reader’s attention span—they skim history for the sake of enjoying the story you’re telling.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU SELECT THE NAMES OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I select the names of my character based on their roles, story plot, theme and location. For example, if I’m writing a fictional story set in a Nigerian village, I am not allowed to use an English name like ‘Johnson or Williams’ rather, I have to choose from one of the native names associated with the tribe I based the setting on.
Romelia: DO YOU READ YOUR BOOK REVIEWS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BAD OR GOOD ONES?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Yes, I read my book reviews especially the first few ones I get whenever I publish a book. They are very important to me. I deal with the bad reviews by adjusting and making sure that the next release will be better. I take the bad reviews as a challenge to be better so I don’t get offended by them at all.
Romelia: DO YOU HIDE ANY SECRETS IN YOUR BOOKS THAT ONLY A FEW PEOPLE WILL FIND?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Yes, I do that in all of my novels. Each of my novel and short stories contain one or two secrets about me.
Romelia: WHAT WAS YOUR HARDEST SCENE TO WRITE?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: That was in Sad Love Story when the main character lost his wife just few days after he lost his mother and daughter to the cold hands of death. The burial was a very hard scene to write and I wept while writing it too.
Romelia: DO YOU GOOGLE YOURSELF?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Yes, I do that every night before going to bed.
Romelia: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: I’ll definitely give up on studying Botany in the university to become a better writer.
Romelia: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY JOURNALS?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: Emmy’s Journal.
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK?
Ajagbe Ayodeji: David Copperfield.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Ajagbe Ayodeji: There’s nothing funny about my adult life seriously. Adulthood is low-key lonely. Everyone is busy. Everyone sucks at texting and calling. We all just work all day to come home and sleep to wake up and go to work again. On weekends, you catch-up on things you couldn’t do during the week. It’s all stupid and boring.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Ajagbe Ayodeji: My name is Ajagbe Ayodeji David and goes by the pen name Timmy Turner. I am a Nigerian author born on August 29th in Ibadan, Oyo State. I am a storyteller and an artist, from painting to drawing. I am an example of a young writer who sticks up for what he believes in, what he is passionate about.
One thing most people don’t know about me is that I fell in love with my best friend but couldn’t date her because she’s with someone else.
I hate the fact that most people do not appreciate creativity. It sucks really.
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