Akintayo Akinjide is a freelance writer who blogs on the art of fiction-writing through his website, www.writertain.com. He uses Fortune City Series to show how every human is different and should be understood in their unique way.
As one of the current moderators of Nairaland literature section, Team member at Nigerian Writers’ Hub, author of several fiction works, and curator of the Writertain Fiction writing school, Akintayo has got years of experience in this industry of ours, and has been a very strong support for a lot of writers, new and old.
And so I caught up with Akintayo to discuss him and his books. Bellow is the interview.
Pelleura: It nice to have this chat with you.
Akintayo: Thanks for having me. I, really, am grateful.
Pelleura: Please can you share details of your background with us?
Akintayo: This can be hard to talk about…Well, my background is full of stories that I am currently writing a memoir about, titled ‘I Never Had a Home’. My growing up days was such a beautiful experience that became like the hummingbird, but it was never spent for long in a single place. So, my background is not one I like so much at this time. It was rough, and I still have the scars on my emotions at the moment.
Pelleura: Ok. But what were your dreams like when you were in school?
Akintayo: My dreams in school was to finally own a publishing house and write books that will touch generations. I wanted to build a fictitious home that not only me but other people can find solace in. I wanted it to be a representation of what Nigeria could be.
Pelleura: Are you full time into the writing/blogging business? Or do you have a day job or other businesses, that you run?
Akintayo: At the moment, I’m a full-time freelance writer and will surely take blogging more seriously. I really need to. I think I’m putting more focus on freelance writing.
Pelleura: Please tell us what your writing business is about.
Akintayo: It’s basically freelance writing for people in need of it. At the moment, because I built Fortune City Series, I have to live on the same scale I want for Fortune City. That implies that I have to be honest with my methods and endeavor to produce works of high quality (it might be hard to do and I still undergo rigorous training for that). So, I’m not getting what others are getting but I’m definitely enjoying it.
Pelleura: What prompted you to start Writertain?
Akintayo: Writertain started out to be something different from the regular forum for learning how to write better. I wanted it to be our own Writer’s Digest, our Writer Helping Writers or even our own Wikipedia for African writers. These websites mentioned do not have the African feel needed. I searched for some information about some African writers and couldn’t find much. So, Writertain became the means of getting the necessary information.
Pelleura: Awesome! Do you think you’d ever take writing as a full-time business?
Akintayo: I always wanted to start a publishing house, not go into full-time writing. But here I am, still writing full-time
Pelleura: When did you first notice you love to write?
Akintayo: Oh! That was absurdly in my primary school days. I heard a story and wanted to tell my classmates, so I wrote it out. Then, I was stuck. What next? That was when I asked myself what gave most authors the idea. So, I asked my dad to buy books for me and in those books, I encountered many of the writings that shaped my mind today. A few of them are – The boy slave, the boomerang, the second chance, Mother’s Choice, Tunde on the run. So, when I got to secondary school, I had these stories on my mind and I kept imagining what will happen after the end of the story. I didn’t like that some of the stories ended the ways they ended. Thus, my hunger for more imagination began and I was forced to write and rewrite the story I wrote in primary six.
Pelleura: Have you written any book? If yes, what are the titles”
Akintayo: Yes, three. ‘A Dread in The Spine’, ”Grabbing The Hot Gate’, ‘Purified Tomorrow’
Pelleura: What are the obstacles you’ve faced as a writer and how were you able to overcome them?
Akintayo: Well, the obstacle I have faced as a writer was finding a mentor. It’s not easy to learn on your own. I can say I am trying to overcome it by creating Writertain. With it, I have been able to learn at the feet of some great writers and I trust there would be more.
Pelleura: In a country like ours, do you think the government has put in place structures that helps full-time writers survive?
Akintayo: I’m not sure I can point to any major structure in place that allows small businesses to thrive in the country. However, we are Nigerians and have learned how to prevail in the midst of adversity.
Pelleura: So what do you think can be done to further help full-time writers?
Akintayo: Well, the only thing that can be done at this time is good government policies. At this point, I think our frustration is getting to us and one thing the government needs to do is to give small business owners as well as writers something to elevate their hope in the system. A good example is the 90-day price reduction in registering a business.
Pelleura: Presently, what are those achievements you’ve made and what future goals are you aiming for?
Akintayo: At the moment, I can’t call them big achievements but they are really appreciated. I’ve organized a series of free classes to teach beginners how to write fiction, and Sunday class, where I bring top writers to teach some rudiments of fiction.
Plan for the future? I’m trying to bring a sort of Writing league that will excite what we know about flash fiction, something that will change the way we deal with creativity.
Pelleura: How have you used social media to your advantage?
Akintayo: Well, to some extent, I have been able to garner a level of loyal followers. Though small, we have been building a sort of community. And that is the aim of Writertain.
Pelleura: What’s the most important social media activity you engage in daily, to grow your reader base?
Akintayo: I can’t really say I use it daily but I ensure I get to engage with the post of my followers that are writers or publishing houses as well as those I’m following. For now, Writertain is all about the Brand because, with it, we can build other writers.
Pelleura: If you were to do it all over again, what will you change about Writertain?
Akintayo: Not much, but I will change the person in charge of its media because I really ‘suck’ at it. Nevertheless, I like the direction I’m going for now. Slow the pace might be but it’s still on the path I want.
Pelleura: Great! So what advice do you have for other writers running a small business/job?
Akintayo: Please, write and enjoy it. On October the first, I made a calculation of my net worth since I started out fully as a writer and a blogger and I can’t help but appreciate my level and I know I might definitely marry someday and would have to get another source of income but writing is by level: the better you become, the more money you make.
Pelleura: Thanks so, so much for your time, Tayo. It was a pleasure knowing something more ab0ut you
Akintayo: Thanks. A lot. I always knew I would be in interviews, but I never knew the journey will start so soon.
So you’ve read it all guys. If you want to be a part of the Writertian community, and you should, please click on any of the links below
Your Blog: www.writertain.com and Akintayo.wordpress.com