I’m here with Walter Dinjos, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Anambra State, Nigeria. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I am from Nigeria and grew up loving music. It wasn’t until 2010, after reading The Golden Space by Pamela Sargent, that writing first crossed my mind. As naive as I was then, I imagined that through writing I could raise some money for the production of my songs. That plan, of course, failed when the rejection letters started flowing in.
But I didn’t quit. I even gradually pulled away from music, having found much love for writing fiction. In 2012, I enrolled in The Writers Bureau’s Comprehensive Creative Writing course, and in August 2014 I made my first sale to The Literary Hatchet.
What kinds of stories do you write? Why?
I write speculative fiction stories that exude the numerous wondrous cultures peculiar to Nigeria. This is both because I want to show the world the beauty in those cultures and because I feel African science fiction and fantasy are vastly under-represented.
What authors have had the greatest influence on your writing? Why?
I will name three.
Pamela Sargent. She is the author of The Golden Space, the first speculative fiction book I read. The novel was what inspired me to try out writing in 2010.
Brandon Sanderson. I discovered this legendary author through a friend in 2012 and since then have bought and read every one of his novels, novellas, and short stories. I love what he does with magic in his books. It’s brilliant.
Nnedi Okorafor. I discovered this great author in 2014. Before reading her novel, Who Fears Death, the characters in my stories were usually white, blue-eyed, and lived in replicas of mediaeval Europe. And I never managed to sell any of those stories. Her books taught me that it’s possible to write stories set in Nigeria and sell them abroad.
What is your favorite speculative fiction genre? Why?
I love fantasy. As a reader, because of the genre’s capacity to take me to places of magic and wonders. As a writer, because of the freedom that comes with writing in that genre. I mean, I get to play God.
If you could live in any time period, when would it be? Why?
I would live in the 25th century or any other century beyond that. Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by space travel. I figure that by then, the warp drive or some other means of hyperspace travel will have been invented. Also, as clearly stated on my website, I crave immortality. Perhaps by the 25th century, anti-ageing/age-reversal drugs/treatments will have been perfected.
To read Walter’s story, “The Woodcutters’ Deity”, please buy your copy today of Writers of the Future: Volume 33. If you already have a copy and have read it, please take a few moments to click this link and place your review: http://amzn.to/2kNE5eh If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, then still click this link, get your book, read it, and review it!