Greetings to you all! It was an honour to interview Ms. Praise Esther Ayoola, the author of "The Alien" and other popular stories on Country Tales. Kindly find below the full transcription of our interview with her.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Praise Esther Ayoola. I hail from Ogun State, Nigeria and I am from a family of eight. I'm currently studying English literature in Ahmadu Bello University and I'm in my final year.
Beside writings, what’s something you are good at that only few people know about?
Hmmm... I would say reading, but almost everyone knows that. Singing though it's only a few people, so imagine their shock when they realize I sing well.
What does your family and friends think of your writing?
They love it and ever since I started writing they've been so encouraging. I remember my dad promising to get me a good publisher so that the world could read my stories. And my friends have been so supportive that they read whatever I write. I am thankful to everyone of them who believed in me.
Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your style of writing?
I love Shakespeare and authors who writes romance. I write romance most times and their works keep me up to date about modern and more unique ways of writing romantic stories. I realized that these days we have clichés in romantic stories; it's either they live happily ever after or the other way round. I try to do something out of ordinary. I love Chinua Achebe and Adichie Chimamanda too; they used their stories to talk on social realities which is one thing I love to write about.
Has your upbringing and environment coloured your writing in anyway? Tell us.
Yeah! A bit. Especially when it comes to morals. Sometimes, I use my family experiences as a form of prototype in my writings. A part of the influence is the social realities I talked about earlier. Growing up, I realized that things are not always just the way we see or view them so I tend to write more on what really happens in our society or the next person to you.
How did you come up with the idea for your story titled “The alien”?
Actually, I was in a competition and they wanted us to write on anything that depicts alien. That was how I came up with this story. It is not something you will really catch me writing on a normal day because I am not a fan of sci-fi but then I'm glad it turned out good.
Can you tell us some of the lessons you would want readers to learn from this particular story (The alien)?
OK. I know there are people out there who think they are alone and because of one thing or the other have nobody there for them. First, God is there even when there is no one else. Second, always be you, never act like others just to have friends. Trust me, you get more lonely but when you are yourlself, others will look for you on their own their way. I mean good people... so please don't force yourself on anybody.
Would you risk your life to save an alien in the future if the need be? Why?
(Lol).Well I won't say yes because I don't believe in aliens; to me, they are fictional characters. But I won't say no either because it is good to help... you could be saving a life.
Do you have any other story in the pipeline? Can you give us a little overview?
Yes, I do. The title is "The gods who forgot". It is a story of three gods who were betrayed by the king of the gods. But then when trouble comes to the gods they remembered them. Now the question is if they will help or not. Well, my mouth is sealed; you would have to read to know. I am not saying anything more than that.
What advice do you have for new writers like yourself?
Well, it's not going to be easy, I will tell you that you will encounter challenges that will want you to drop writing altogether but persistence and hardwork is the key. You will overcome if you can be patient.
Final words… do you have anything to say to the avid readers who have been reading your stories?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys are awesome and amazing and I want you all to know I appreciate you and I'm thankful. I love you guys so much. Muah.
Just in case you missed out on any of Esther's short stories, kindly find below links to her stories: