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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Y! Magazine

This is the cover of the Jan/March edition of Y! magazine. I wrote for the first edition. My experience with the Chinese embassy in Delhi was what got published in there and currently, I have a weekly space online with them, which I find very inspiring and energizing, although it sucks me dry thinking of what to write about. However, the truth is that Y! magazine is what every writer would want to get published in. It's well edited and beautifully packaged.

Asa's picture here charms me and I think you will like this edition the more.

I'm thrilled to see such coming from young people in Nigeria.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book of the Week

I have learnt from reading books by foreigners about India and Indians that it is very difficult to impress Indians. You should know enough to write about. In my case, I'm not sure I did a thorough research, but completely immersed myself in writing about a culture I wasn't born into. Then I was able to convince a Nigerian publisher to take up the book. He believed in me and published it. Now, an Indian publisher, Serene Woods, has published it and they have it as their 'Book of the Week.'

I hope the sales increase.

Dhanyavaad, India!

Please check this and order for your copy and for your friends and families:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taming Teju Cole

I met the prolific writer and journalist, Teju Cole yesterday.


You won't believe what happened. Or you would.

I was sitting in a corner of Bogobiri in Ikoyi, tapping away on my laptop and watching a man in a cottonseed shirt, green in colour, sitting with another man. He had some good beard and I was thinking to myself, 'I know this face.' I was not sure. I stood up and went to introduce myself and halfway, I stopped. I wasn't sure and I didn't want to embarrass myself. Halfway going back to my seat, I stopped again and went back and said, 'Sir, you look like someone I know.' And he smiled. Then I said, 'Teju Cole?' And he said, 'You are Onyeka?'

That was funny, really.

I distracted him a bit from the interview he was running with the musician he was sitting with and later excused him to let him finish.

I hung around for a while and later had a good conversation with him.

Teju Cole's book, Everyday is for the Thief was first a blog. Then it was published. And now, his new book, Open City is out for release in the States. The thing is that we have a strong connection, the both of us. He has been travelling to India for the past 7 years and writes passionately about India. His literary agency also represents a good friend of mine, Rana Dasgupta and hopefully, both will be meeting in New York for book launches.

It was awesome meeting Teju and I wish to learn a lot from him.

Jai Hind!

Happy Republic Day to India! I was in the garden of the High Commission of India in Lagos today for the Republic Day event. For the first time, I came early. I had missed it last year, because I had thought the Indians kept to 'Nigerian time,' but I forced myself to wake up early and was at the embassy already before 9 am, which was the slated time. Mrs Rani Mallik was on the podium, delivering her speech, which came out very smoothly and well-patterned. It sounded like poetry recitation in a way, maybe because she implored more of her sonorous voice to the rendition.

After the Indian Language School Choir gave three numbers, she spoke again and people were asked to have breakfast. It was all Indian cuisines, ranging from south to north Indian cuisines of samosas, yoghurt and porridge potatoes. I enjoyed myself. And then mingled with the Indians I knew already.

The main question from them was: when are you publishing your second book? That makes me feel that I can't be able to write a second book, really.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Blog

I'm going to be blogging here. I will try to update when I can. It will be about music, movies and books. They will range from the crude to the sublime to the ridiculous and to the tender. I will talk about everything: sex, drug, love, hate, racism, but they will always have connection with the arts. The truth is that I totally lost touch with blogging, because I started pursuing another life: 'filmmaking' and having tasted what it feels like to make films, I realised that criticism of any sort needs to be tempered with softness and constructiveness. Filmmakers really are tough-heads!

Currently, I'm working on two film scripts that have eaten deep into my brain. I could not finish or didn't even do anything on my first film, The Distant Light, because of fund. As a friend described it, it was an elephant project and I thought I could do something with the little money I had, but hey, I couldn't, so I'm back to writing to see if I could raise some money and go back on set and finish this work.

Then again, my second novel, The Orchard of Memories is almost done. I like having titles before even starting a book. With a title in mind, I'm able to focus. This new book is excitingly fast for me. I haven't had so much fun writing a book before, but this is a new dimension and I'm liking the characters a lot. We can relate. You know how it feels when you write about a character, as a writer, and the character begins to talk like you. It's weird, right? This is happening.

I am reading a lot too. Now I have two big books I'm enjoying now. Reading them simultaneously: Eiji Yoshikawa's The Heike Story and 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg and Martin H. Greenberg.

My first book, The Abyssinian Boy, however, is out in India from Serene Woods and could be ordered through

I should be in Delhi for the launch. So, if you are in India, please get your copy and wait for your boy. You're the reason why I write...