[Interview #5] Oni Kehinde - I know I am young but I have a good future ahead of me
Today I am joined by Oni Kehinde: who studies hard at university to become a doctor but also
also writes stories in her spare time. Since 12 she has been writing short stories and though she is still young, her first book Your Honor has already reached 5k reads on Goodnovel!
For previous interviews with authors, please click here .
By Alex N.
September 15, 2020
Interviewer: “Your Honor” is your first story on Goodnovel, how does it feel to have it completed and already got 5k reads?
Oni: It feels great to have completed "Your Honor". It's one of my favorite books because it's a thriller and I enjoy writing thrillers a lot. I am relieved I completed it within a short time and I wrote it well. Well to be honest, the reads are substantial but it's the reviews and feedback from readers that matter to me.
Interviewer: Did you have any difficulties writing this book? Or did it all go smoothly?
Oni: Oh yes quite a few, I had difficulties in writing a death scene which I found complicated. The character was to die by being buried alive and it was a lot of work describing it and putting emotions into it. I had some difficulties in writing some court scenes since I am not so familiar with law. I also had slight difficulties in portraying and bringing to life, my main male characters.
Interviewer: What gave you the idea to write about a courtroom? Most girls around your age write on romance, mafia i.e more generic genres, etc. Its rare to see a web story about courtrooms.
Oni: Well I love exploring something new and different. I love to run my imagination wild and free haha. I have never been to a courtroom before but I read quite a few legal thriller books i.e John Grisham, and when I see courtroom scenes in movies, the tension and the drama just excites me. I was just curious to write something new and a courtroom scene dived into my head. I don't think a legal thriller or novel would be complete without a court room scene so I decided to write one based on two twin brothers, one as an ex-convict and his twin brother as a judge. (BELOW: Your Honor).
Interviewer: What made you start writing in the first place? Is writing something you have enjoyed since you were a child?
Oni: A few years ago, when I was 12 I started to enjoy reading into more different genres, mostly romance and short inspirational stories. I enjoyed reading books written by African writers like Chinua Achebe, Woke Soyinka and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Nigeria has many famous authors that even other Anglophone African countries know about.
Then I decided to pick up a pen and write. It was fun to write anything I wish. I wasn't bothered about grammatical, punctuation or typos since I was very young, and from then on I don’t think I’ve ever stopped and I don’t intend on quitting either. Writing is something I enjoy a lot. It makes me happy and light minded, most times when I felt tired or bored, I enjoy sitting in a chair and writing short stories.
Interviewer: Right now you are studying to become a doctor at university; if you keep writing very well, will you consider becoming an author instead?
Oni: Well it's something that I am still considering. I'll love to be both (though I’m not sure if I’ll have time). I had a passion for writing and also a crazy passion to be a doctor. Both are something very dear to me. I can't leave one for the other. I know I am young but I also know that I have a good future ahead of me.
Interviewer: As you are still a young writer, what part of your writing skills do you feel that you need to improve on?
Oni: Descriptions. I feel that I am lacking in that and I look for books that aid in descriptions when I am free and I try to improve myself on it. I also need to improve on my punctuations, everyone has a problem there but I think I need to improve on that point. (BELOW: Oni goes to University of Ibadan, one of the best colleges in Nigeria).
Interviewer: Do you talk to other authors on our platform?
Oni: Yeah, I got to know lots of new authors such as: Angela Carver, Mana Sol, Jane Knight, Javyriah, SamuelAde, etc etc and a lot more. All of them are so talented at writing! And I'm certain that by talking to more experienced authors, I will improve a lot.
Their feedback was mostly positive and it really improved my writing technique. I know I made some mistakes but now I can build up on them and correct them. I am sure that as I get older my writing technique can only improve and get better at showing the story rather than just telling the story.
Interviewer: What do your parents think of your writing success so far?
Oni: Well they are positively shocked and glad of course, haha! They are supportive and I am happy to have made them proud! This is the greatest joy that I have felt as an author.
Interviewer: Do you think your parents would prefer you to become a doctor or an author?
Oni: Lol, that would be up to me! But I know in my heart that they would prefer me being a doctor only but the decision is all mine. I decide who I want to be. Studying is hectic but its fun in every way since I love it. Yeah, it can be stressful but as long as its my passion, its worth it. I've even written a novel based on a doctor.
Interviewer: Where do you get your inspirations from? Is it Nollywood? (Note: The Nigerian film industry is the biggest in Africa).
Oni: I got most of my ideas from books but also from Nigerian films and even Bollywood films and other Korean dramas that I watch. My favorite authors are also John Grisham and James Patterson. John Grisham writes a lot of legal thrillers and James Patterson writes mystery thrillers. Its probably thanks to them that I got the idea to write Your Honor.
Interviewer: Do you have anything to tell other young aspirational authors such as yourself?
Oni: To believe in yourself as a writer and not to be told anything other than to keep at it. Perseverance is important and slowly but surely you will improve as an author. Looking back compared to when I first started I have definitely improved a lot, but I know that in the future I will improve even more.