Greetings to you all! It was an honour to interview Mr. Tony Afuti Eyram, author of My first kiss. Kindly find below the full transcription of our interview with him.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Tony Afuti Eyram. I have a lot of aka’s (if I start, I won't finish today). [laughs] I'm a reader, and a blogger. I'm a shy person but when I get comfortable, I can become an amazingly 'crazy' friend. Oh and I'm from one of the Fodome villages in Northern Hohoe in the Volta Region. I make reference to Fodome a lot. It inspired me to name my blog The Fodome Boy. I believe that in life, while you focus on where you're going, you should also not forget where you're coming from.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing at the age of 12 when I went through my father's old books and noticed he had written a couple of short stories. My brother writes as well. I wondered if I could follow suit so I started scripting. And since then, from my freestyle stories in my diaries to the couple I've published in newspapers and campus notice boards and magazines, to my personal blog, and now two upcoming books, I'm getting better and better.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration. Erm. This question is hard. I just write. Sometimes the ideas just flow easily into my crooked head. Other times too, I'll "squeeze my brain tissues saa" but even a sentence won't come to mind. But I noticed that, my best stories and most brilliant articles usually come when I'm hungry. [laughs]
What is your preferred genre? Why?
Apart from pure fiction, I like (to do) satire. I want people to read stuff that has the truth embedded within in a way that they can smile (or laugh) as well.
Where do you get your ideas?
Life's experiences. Conversations with friends. People's experiences. Sometimes too, when I'm hungry, ideas come.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way?
Oh yes. A lot. Afari Assan's Christmas In the City. Elechi Amadi's The Concubine. Isidore Ikpeho (The Last Duty). Chukwuemeka Ike's Toads for Supper. I can't forget the legendary Chinua Achebe.
Can you tell us about the challenges you face as an author?
My only challenge is that it's hard to get people to read. That notwithstanding, I'm surrounded by a group of loyal and frank readers who would enjoy and support anything I write on my blog. I know they'll come by this interview. From the sincerest corners of my heart, I'm grateful and God richly bless you all.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Heheeheehehe. I won't tell about the book biaa [laughs]. But trust me, you'll be glad you got copies. You'll laugh and cry at the same time. It's a treat. The title is Emotional Marketplace; a story of little Okoh whose mother's life history and damaged reputation paralyzes his dream of becoming an engineer. Let me just leave it here for now. [smiles]. There's a second book also on the way.
Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?
Yep. A couple of advice. One, give time sometime. Two, there's always another time for 'another time'. Three, there's time for everything. Four, God's time is the best.
Remarkable! Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
There's a tendency to give up initially especially when you don't get the wide readership you expect. But you'll have to cross that initial stage in order not to cripple your talent. And also, a writer is a reader. Get more books, read; learn, improve.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Watch out for our book Emotional Marketplace. And keep on reading. Let's keep the reading habit alive. So that the generations after us would benefit from the values and virtues of the reading culture. Thanks.
Thank you very much for taking out time to be part of this interview. I really appreciate. I look forward to interviewing again. All the best.
Just in case you missed out on Tony's book, kindly find it below and read it for free: