Abel Onyeneke is a fiction writer and the owner of abfictionstories.com. I got to know him sometime last year after a mutual friend introduced us and since then, we’ve been keeping up with each other’s activities. During the day, he works in a microfinance establishment that gives out loans to small business owners. At night, he is a super duper writer.
So we decided to have a chat about books, and everything writing See it below:
Pelleura: Hello Abel. It’s nice to have this chat with you.
Abel: The pleasure is all mine
Pelleura: Please can you share details of your background with us?
Abel: Okay. I am Onyeneke Abel, and basically, I am known for quite a lot of things. Some know me as an artist, some others a minister of songs, and to a greater number, I am a writer. I graduated from the department of mass communication Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi. I grew up in different parts of this country. I was born in Lagos, then moved to Edo state, sabogidda area to be precise. And then I moved to Auchi for my school, to Benin next and now, I am in Anambra.
Pelleura: What were your dreams like when you were in school?
Abel: First, it was to be a great Gospel singer, but along the way, my love for writing began to overshadow that love for music. I had to talk to myself one day, like, “I can actually become the two, a writer and a Gospel singer.”
Pelleura: Awesome. That sounds almost like my own story. So, are you full time into the writing/blogging business? Or do you have a day job or other businesses, that you run?
Abel: Not full time per se. I work in a microfinance bank. I do that alongside my writing business. I use mostly my weekends to attend to client jobs and update my blog and numerous pages.
Pelleura: Please tell us what your writing business is like.
Abel: I write stories; Adventure, action, romance, paranormal, fantasy… in fact, I write all genre that sometimes people wonder what genre I am really into. I can actually write anything that comes to my mind. I have most of my books on sale online on OkadaBooks, Smashwords and I also have them on sale on PDF. I am also a freelancer/ ghostwriter, Blog content writer and poet. I also offer adverts on my blog.
Pelleura: What prompted you to start AB Fiction Stories?
Abel: At first it was my love for writing and wanting the public to appreciate my work. It was actually my sister’s idea to set up Ab fiction stories. And then along the line, I wanted more. I developed bigger dreams. It still serves to publicize my work to the public.
Pelleura: Do you think you’d ever take writing/blogging as a full-time business?
Abel: I am not really sure about that. In the future, I might, but for now, I am not really sure. The income gotten from writing is not really enough to cater for my daily expenses, although there are people who make thousands of dollars with this career. It is what I aim for, and once I get there, well, of course, I would take it as my full-time business. That’s for the future and when I achieve my dreams, but for now it would be a No.
Pelleura: When did you first notice you love to write?
Abel: In JSS 2. I first loved reading. My mum would tell me stories of how I started reading as early as primary one that she nicknamed me her professor. And then in JSS 2, I started thinking of writing and I wrote my first play. I wrote another and another till I switched and wrote my first novel in SSS1 titled “Vital clash”.
Pelleura: How many books have you written, and what are their titles?
Abel: I have written a lot of books, but I have published only a few. I would be listing the ones I published online:
Caught in the moment (house of Earl)
Life of a celebrity
Just A Taste
The other side (a ghost story)
Love is a game
Pelleura: What are the obstacles you’ve faced as a writer/blogger and how were you able to overcome them?
Abel: Plagiarism! Plagiarism!! Plagiarism!!! It was the major obstacle that made me almost gave up my love for writing! I mean how does it feel to see someone else claim the work you put in all your efforts to write? The story you wrote in sickness and in health. I can’t tell you how that feels, only a writer like myself would understand. It is like a knife to the heart.
Innocently, I was publishing my complete story on my Facebook fan page which I had just created at that time. And before my eyes, more than 15 people were claiming rights to my story. There are other obstacles I’ve faced, but Plagiarism was my major obstacle. My fans helped me overcome Plagiarism. They went online and helped me claim ownership to my stories. I also went ahead to publish it on top sites like Nairaland and Coolvall22 so whenever someone searches on Google, my name would be tagged to the story as the owner.
Pelleura: In a country like ours, do you think the government has put in place structures that helps small business/ full-time writers survive?
Abel: None that I know of, sorry. The Government do not recognize writers in my country. it Is the sad truth.
Pelleura: So what do you think can be done to further help small businesses owners and full-time writers?
Abel: In a country like ours, they would need to help themselves. And what they need are, determination and persistence. Try out new ideas, build your content. We have lots of writers but something should make you stand out. It might be your style of writing or something else but something should stand you out. No matter how busy you are, always find time to update your blog. If you have one; keep your readers hooked or you’ll lose them.
If you are a freelance writer, first put up the adverts on every top page you can get your hands on and then when you begin to receive clients, always try to meet the deadline, submitting a work before the supposed deadline is a good bonus. You must understand that writing for a client is different from the normal stories you write. You have to do as instructed. Lastly, social media, it is the most effective tool for advertising your works.
Pelleura: Presently, what are those achievements you’ve made and what future goals are you aiming for?
Abel: I have first, been recognised as a writer online. If you search my name online now *Onyeneke Abel* you would see what I am talking about. My books, especially this two blockbusters “Caught in the Moment” and “Moonwalker” has made it around the world. If you can search on Google “Moonwalker by Onyeneke Abel” you would see what I am talking about. Now different story sites come to me and offer to feature my story. A good number pay to feature them. Recently a top Ghanian story site, “Coutales” paid to feature my story, Caught in the Moment in their story forum. I have been interviewed by Coutales, Bambooks and Flip.ng.
My goal isn’t to stop here. I want my stories to trend around the world!
Pelleura: Awesome strides. How have you used social media to your advantage?
Abel: Social Media is everything for a writer. I used social media to tell the world what I do, and also sell my books and earn some cash.
Pelleura: What’s the most important social media activity you engage in daily, to grow your reader base?
Abel: My blog and my facebook fan page, my Instagram page follows and then my Twitter page
Pelleura: If you were to do it all over again, what will you change about AB Fiction Stories?
Abel: I would delete all the complete stories I uploaded there, if I had not uploaded complete stories, they wouldn’t have been plagiarised.
Pelleura: What advice do you have for other writers running a small business/job?
Abel: Same as I said before, determination and persistence. Also, be unique. Work on new ideas, do something new. Yes, we a write but we have different packages. Package yours well, follow those who are above you, see what they do and copy them but hey listen, copy but develop your style. Your leader might write “she killed him” and you chose to write “she had him murdered”.
Pelleura: Thanks so, so much for your time, Abel.
So, you’ve read it all guys. I hope you took something away from this interview? You can connect with Onyeneke Abel via the links below.
PSS: Do you have something to contribute to this interview? Please drop it in the comment section. We’d love to read it.