Temi, Temiville, the author of Musings of a Caramel Latte Addict, ok, I recently was named ‘Featured Writer’ for the month of December by NaijaStories.com, a website that features the works of authors of different genres for my story ‘This Life Sha’. I am so elated! I consider it a great honour. I am truly humbled by this and grateful to God and thought to share the news with my readers.
I started this blog with fears on the 1st of October 2010 so that’s happy 2 months anniversary to MCLA (The Musings of a Caramel Latte Addict). This is such a great present!
Here is the interview that was conducted. For the full story, please click NaijaStories.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Temi or Temiville. I love God, I love reading and I love writing.
When and why did you begin writing?
*Scratches head* I have been writing for a while now ranging from the ‘Myself’ and ‘How I spent my Christmas holiday’ type of compositions we were asked to write back in Primary School to the more complex essays in A-Levels. I enjoy writing so even when there’s no ‘reason’ to write, I find myself scribbling things down a lot. I usually come across some of my pieces when going through my stuff and I’m like, ‘Temi, did you write this?’
What inspires you to write?
God, others’ experiences, my own experiences and reading blogs give me inspiration. I have a very wide (healthy) imagination which means I can come up with random stories of which I have no personal experience. I empathise with people a lot, which means I write about emotions I have never felt before and yet make it sound so real. I recently wrote a story about the ordeal and eventual triumph of a young woman waiting on the Lord for a child of her own on BellaNaija (The Waiting) and I had lots of people congratulating me on my pregnancy. With the Chukky and Ireti story, I have had a number of messages telling me to ‘be strong’ and that it will all be fine, lol.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I didn’t think I did until my friend told me that I usually do a lot of flashbacks in my stories. I guess that is due to the loads of Nollywood movies I watch *sigh*. It all depends on what I am writing. With the stories, I take my readers back in time. However, with non-fiction such as my musings on the Bible and Christian living, I tend to be pretty random. I always infuse a lot of humour into whatever I write (I hope).
Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work?
Usually, you will know from reading most of my pieces that I am a Christian and I am in love with God. I cannot separate that from my writing. I also love writing about relationships and marriage. Whilst I do not purport to be the next Bimbo Odukoya (of blessed memory), I believe I have a lot to share on the things I have learnt through reading the Bible, books and listening to older and wiser people.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The Books of Isaiah, Psalms and James (to name a few of the Bible Books) have been a strong influence on me as I have learnt a lot about love, faith and life in general through them. I used to read John Grisham like my life depended on it back in the day. Of all his books, my absolute favourites are A Time to Kill and The Firm. I also love A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o and everything by Shakespeare. John Keats’ poems are so inspiring and deep. Emma by Jane Austen has also been of great influence to me.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
What books are you reading now?
Psalm 34 and A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
It depends on what you mean by ‘authors’. If bloggers are allowed in the category, then I’ll be mentioning people like Tomi Oladepo of Gospel Metropolitan, Myne Whitman, Jennifer Abayowa and Buky Ojelabi and all the storytellers on Naija Stories to name just a few.
What are your current projects?
I am running my blog, ‘Musings of a Caramel Latte Addict’ (https://temiville.wordpress.com/) which I started on the 1st of October this year. It is where I muse about different interests that I have. That is my Number 1 project in terms of my writing. I aim to post solid pieces three times every week. It is quite challenging but I’m absolutely loving it!
Do you see writing as a career?
Possibly, but only alongside my main career.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
1. Being objective: I see my opinions seeping through everything I write. One day I’ll shock my readers and speak with the voice of someone dark and sinister *mean grin*.
2. Thinking like the opposite sex would: I find myself always writing from the standpoint of a female but now, I’m working on a piece which speaks with the voice of a man. Let’s see how that goes.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Ngugi wa Thiong’o if only for his book, A Grain of Wheat. Where really do I begin? Let me just put it this way: because of that book, I started doing proper research into the Kenyan culture quizzing every Kenyan I came across and speaking my very poor Swahili to them till their ears bled.
What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
I hate to admit this but I’m not conversant with what obtains now. However, from what I pick up here and there, we seem to be going places but as I love to say, there’s room for growth as there are higher heights to attain.
What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
I think there are much more readers now than before due to the New Media. Through blogs and websites such as Naija Stories, more people are reading…and writing too. We should keep that up.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I am grateful and encouraged to keep getting better by all your views and encouraging words. I want to say a special ‘Thank you’ to Myne Whitman for her advice when I started public-writing as well as to the admin and members of Naija Stories for coming up with and sustaining such a wonderful idea. Keep reading my blog and watch out for more of my writings on Naija Stories. Thank you and God bless you.xxx
To find out more about NaijaStories and possibly join the group of tale-tellers,
Follow NaijaStories on Twitter
Visit the website:http://www.naijastories.com/
That’s all folks (for now)