What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?
The theme of this story is very exciting to me. Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman is an inspirational, albeit heart-wrenching tale, of a young girl who morphes into a woman of great courage when mysterious circumstances befall her family, juxtaposed with the struggles of her motherland – Nigeria/Africa (also striving to rise above her past and achieve greatness). Do they have what it takes to succeed? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
I love stories about strong characters who are hungry to achieve and this book has that in abundance. The ‘survival’ theme is a topical choice because we live in challenging times and people want to be inspired and empowered to achieve their goals no matter the odds.
How long did the book take you from start to finish?
Just under six months.
What aspect of writing the book did you find particularly challenging?
Killing off one of the characters left me feeling gutted for days. It was also difficult to move on after I’d finished writing the story because I’d had such a delightful experience. I kept thinking about the characters and wishing I could re-enter their intriguing world. I don’t think I will be writing a sequel though!
Although the essential theme that cuts through the story is ‘defying all odds’ several topical issues are explored in Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman: love and loss, family relationships, domestic violence, women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. I believe that people from all strata of society will find a topic or two that will resonate with them and be inspired to create the change they want to see.
What surprised you most about the writing process?
How pleasurable it can be! I’ve been writing my whole life and never had so much fun as I did with this novel. It was an absolute joy… the story literarily flowed from my fingertips.
Any favorite experiences whilst writing your book?
Writing this book was a privilege and I treasure the entire experience.
I enjoyed doing the research, enjoyed the challenge of actually sitting down to write as opposed to just talking about it, workshopping the story (i.e. getting other writers to read and tear it apart!), getting feedback from my army of proofreaders, working closely with the art professor who designed the stunning book cover and even doing some much-needed marketing (TV, radio, blog appearances etc.) to get the word out.
Creativity and business sense should of necessity go hand in hand so I want to take hold of my destiny by being proactive about the business side of writing.
What do you hope your readers will gain from reading this novel?
I hope my readers will be inspired to defy the odds in their own lives – economically, emotionally and socially. Although the essential theme that cuts through the story is ‘defying all odds’ several topical issues are explored in Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman: love and loss, family relationships, domestic violence, child labour, political corruption and entrepreneurship. So I believe that people from all strata of society will find a topic or two that will resonate with them and be inspired to create the change they want to see.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working hard raising awareness about Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman (and some of the topical issues it tackles) through public speaking and media appearances. I am mentally marinating the next novel too!
Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?
Asides the writing, I deliver training, coaching and consulting services to professionals, organisations and communities who want to make the most of their creativity and overall potential. More information about my purpose-driven approach to personal and business development is available at: www.creativityandsense.com
I do public speaking both on writing-specific topics (e.g. how to structure and craft fiction and non-fiction books) as well as empowering topics suited to women, ethnic minority, organisational and professional audiences. My core specialty is helping individuals and businesses identify and fulfil their unique purpose by making the most of their creative talents and overall potential.
Something very unique and exciting I also offer is leadership and life skills training based on lessons drawn from the writing life. Everyone can find out more about this on my speaker’s webpage. My writing workshops are unique because I empower creative people to think of their craft as serious business that demands proactive involvement. In this day and age, artists who want to be masters and mistresses of their own destiny can’t afford to sit back expecting publishers/producers to handle everything.
Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?
I certainly did a lot of research for Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman although I also drew from the well of personal and collective experience.
How did you come up with such an amazing title?
I’ve wanted to write a novel titled Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman for donkey years, to be honest. I have always been very intrigued by the metamorphosis process butterflies undergo, so my curious observations inspired the title which then slowly, slowly, birthed the story – perhaps subconsciously over a number of years.
What books have influenced you the most?
The bible, undoubtedly a literary masterpiece and arguably the all time bestselling book, is the most inspiring book I’ve read – hands down. Growing up, I learnt much about topical issues and life in various parts of Africa from the classic African Writers’ Series comprising of novels such as: Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe), The Joys of Motherhood (Buchi Emecheta), Mine Boy (Peter Abrahams) and many more.
How come you use the name ‘Akubue-Ogbata’ for Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman?
Two reasons really. Akubue is my maiden name and I use it as a pen name for fiction in honour of the family who sacrificed so much for me. Secondly, I do write non-fiction as well so using a slightly different last name for fictional works creates a subtle distinction between both genres. However, it’s still me in between the covers and I always write from my heart whether I’m writing fiction or non-fiction!
Interview courtesy of FascinatingAuthors.Com