Elizabeth O. Ogunmodede is a Nigerian senior high school teenager, living in Nigeria with her parents and two siblings. She is the author of a collection of short stories titled LESSONS FROM GRANDMA, available on AMAZON and author of a collection of poems for kids titled I LOVE TO GO TO SCHOOL which is also available on AMAZON. She is a co-author of a poetry book titled WISDOM AND VOICES, available on AMAZON and she is also a contributor to an international anthology called SCENTSIBILITY by GMGA PUBLISHING based in the phillipines and co, also available on AMAZON. She is also a contributor to an international poetry anthology titled HEART BEATS by Madam Lisa J. Tomey. She was awarded a certificate of participation in the year 2020 Royal Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition where she competed in the Junior Category. A poem of her’s titled THE DREADED CASTLE has just been published in the 2021 spring issue of an online literary Journal called FINE LINES, available on AMAZON. And, another poem of her’s titled GARDEN OF ROSES has also been published in an online literary magazine called SPILLWORDS PRESS. On the seventh of March, 2021, she emerged first runner up of MULHER FORTE AFRICAN LITERATURE AWARDS’S 2020 best short story author, where she had enrolled with her collection of short stories titled LESSONS FROM GRANDMA. She is an admin of MINDFIELD PUBLISHING, NIGERIA’S Facebook page where she anchors a session called WRITER’S PROFILE CORNER. She has been awarded on a Facebook poetry platform called Passion of Poetry (POP) headed by Madam Annette Tarpley for excellent inking of my poems and for the beautiful recitation of a poem by her father, Richard O. Ogunmodede. She was also awarded on CHANNEL’S BOOK CLUB’S Facebook Platform for her excellent inking of a poem titled A ROSE BY ANOTHER NAME THAT WOULD SMELL AS SWEET during the year 2018’s world book day.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Elizabeth: When I was in primary school, grade three in particular, I began to write for I had been inspired by lovely books which I’d read as a first grader. I was that young when I fell in love with writing.
I do adore the power that writers have over the minds that they never even brought into existence and also, as a writer, you have a freedom to unlimited expression of thought.
I believe it’s very frustrating that there are rules in literature which have restricted a whole lot of writers including me, when writing and I firmly believe that there ought to be no rules restricting authors because as a writer, rules makes me feel like a caged bird.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Elizabeth: I have written a couple of books and coauthored a poetry anthology.
LESSONS FROM GRANDMA (my collection of prose works): is a mix of didactic bedtime stories told a teenage girl by a doting grandma. While they are meant to instill morals in the young, they also provide a mirror through which adults can examine life and its values.
I LOVE TO GO TO SCHOOL (is my collection of poems): We all were once children, we all know what it means to be a child and we all know that the best way to make every kid the future leader they ought to be is to make their academic learning foundation as easy as fun. That is why I have put together these lovely kiddies poems and rhymes for your precious Princes and Princesses. I LOVE TO GO TO SCHOOL is a lovely colorful kids’ elementary school book made to help your kids read fluently.
WISDOM AND VOICES (a collection of poems which I coauthored): When different generations of a family with various occupations and talents pool their intellectual resource to craft an anthology of poetry, what you get is a reel of poetic brilliance, witty and engaging ideas…Spewing forth on the pages with clarity of vision, brevity and intent, are the cadences of their rich family heritage. The descendants of Pa Robert Ajayi Bright have will lead you in this collection into the depths of their hearts with profound meanings.
WEBSITE LINK: https://linktr.ee/Elizapoet
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
Elizabeth: It’s the gift of a writer to be able to weave events that occurs, beautifully in their writing. This in essence is to say that I draw my inspiration from happenings around me and the world at large.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
Elizabeth: Not at all, I write my personal books or literary pieces at a time when I’m drunk, under the influence of literature and the passion in my pen would then be felt mightily, when everything is just right but I do draft timetables when embarking on projects that aren’t mine personally so I can meet up with deadline.
I do not outline my novels using pen and paper at all, since my mind’s eye is always doing that. The duration depends on how fast or slow the pace of my writing, researching, editing…goes. I’m currently working on a fantasy fiction novel that will be quite thrilling, I believe.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
Elizabeth: Let’s see. I’ve read quite a number of books but I believe that the first book that ever moved me emotionally is an African literary work titled ‘The reward of labour by Mba Azuonye of Lantern books’ which I read in grade one. That was actually the main book that inspired me to begin writing. My favorite author is the late Enid Blyton. I’m currently reading ‘A game of thrones by George R.R Martin’
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Elizabeth: I’ve had some modest achievements and it’s a bit hard trying to figure out my most significant achievement… but, after giving it a thought, I think my been interviewed by the media both in my country and outside my country and my book been included in my state’s syllabus for seventh grade has been my greatest achievement. I do see better opportunities to maximizing my potentials.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
Elizabeth: All writers are prone to rejection and criticism, that’s the main reason why my beloved father has always taught me to stand tall and believe in myself, better opportunities would definitely come my way.
Most importantly, I believe that when I’m rejected by somebody or some people, they’re at loss because they’re not just well-sighted enough to see the potentials in me.
So far, I’ve learned some things and one of them is that as a writer who is about to be published, strategic marketing of your book is very essential. Never rely on your publishers’ efforts alone.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Elizabeth: Yes, most definitely. It’s not been an easy task but one has to do it because it’s terribly important, it’s a determinant of success and fame in the writing industry.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Elizabeth: Frankly speaking, I sometimes feel sick and tired when reading my work back to myself. It’s not something that I really enjoy doing.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Elizabeth: No, I don’t. Also, I don’t believe that a late start can hinder their chances.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Elizabeth: Like I said earlier, the freedom of expression from writing is extremely fantastic and it’s like you’re creating your own world with your own rules and your own creatures. No one ought to question anyone because that’s just the beauty of writing. Writing really does empower me in my purpose as i believe in inking legacies for generations yet unborn.