[Interview #13] Lade Ayisat "Before Cold Showers was popular, I got a lot of hateful comments".
Joining me today is Lade Ayisat, the author of Cold Showers on GoodNovel, one of our first books to become popular! However before she wrote Cold Showers, her books got a lot of negative comments that she even took them down! Now though she has been writing for 2 years and though her stories are all CEO related, she has learnt enough techniques to keep each story unique!
November 23, 2020
Interviewer: So how long have you been writing?
Lade: I've been writing for two years now. I wrote my first book 'The Secret Babies' in October 2018. Although before then, I've written two stories which were unsuccessful so i had to unpublished them."The Secret Babies" was my first successful book. I wrote Cold Showers mid 2019 but it became really popular when I brought it to GoodNovel this year.
Interviewer: All the books you write on GoodNovel are CEO related, why is that?
Lade: I've always been a lover of CEO/Billionaire related books even before I ever thought of writing my own book. I just love everything about contemporary romance.
But sometimes, I get sad about the turnouts of the book or the ending and that prompted me to write my own story. I loved the idea of having the freedom to create my story and decides how it ends.
Interviewer: Then even if its contemporary romance, do you plan to write the male lead as someone who is not a CEO in the future? i.e high school romance
Lade: Yes, of course. I have a book titled "In love with with my driver" The heroine is the CEO who ended up falling for the hero, her driver. I'm hoping to bring the story to Goodnovel soon. Yes, I hope to write a high school romance story in future. And I'm working on challenging myself to write other genres. I think I might try werewolf first. I don't want to be known for writing only contemporary romance books.
Interviewer: And as each story you write are CEO related, how do you keep each story “fresh”? How do you keep each story unique?
Lade: It can be tough at times because romance stories get to have similar themes. In every book I write, I try my best to to make sure each plot is distinct. I also challenge myself to think of something new, something out of the box that I didn't include in the previous stories. I think that has helped me keep each story unique.
Interviewer: Then do you plan the book before you write or write as you go along and go back and change things?
Lade: Before I write a book, I write out the plot and make an outline of what will take place. But most of the time, I end up not going with what I planned for the book. The more I go into the story, I begin to introduce new things and cut out the parts I think are unnecessary or doesn't flow with the story.
Interviewer: So how many drafts do you usually make for a book then?
Lade: Just one. Most of the time, I'm always almost halfway through the story before I start posting online for my readers to read. By then, I'll be sure of where I'm going with the story and it will also help me in giving accurate outlines when I'm applying for contract. Also, I take my readers feedbacks into consideration. It helped me a lot in my book 'Love Over Everything'.
Interviewer: Do you have rules on how often you write? i.e 1000 words a day? Or chapters needed to be complete by the end of the month?
Lade: I don't have strict rules with regards to word count per day or month. But I write every day except for days when I'm extremely busy. My crazy schedule made me get used to typing on my phone. I'm always with my phone so I try to type at every opportunity I get. Also, I try not to get intimidated or compare myself with others. Unlike a lot of people who are fast writers, I'm not in any way a fast writer. (One of the reasons why I don't set any word count target). At the end of the day, it depends on how well the idea flows and how much time I've got to pen it down.
Interviewer: Would you say you are always satisfied with the final version of your work? And yeah, how often do you listen to your fans/readers?
Lade: So far, Yes! I'm satisfied with the final version of every story I've written. I think working on only one story at a time has helped me achieved that. My stories are always between 75k to 100k words and I take about a month and half or two months to write a story. (If I was a full time writer, I'm sure it wouldn't be up to that time frame). So working on a story at a time, makes me focus well on the project at hand. I do take every feedback and criticism into consideration but if it's in terms of how the story should go, I don't really pay attention to them (especially if I have something more interesting and thrilling than the ideas they give).
Interviewer: And do you plan on becoming a full time author in the future?
Lade: I can't say for now because I have law school ahead of me. Before 2018, I never saw myself being a writer and when I started writing, I did it for fun. I only took it serious in 2019. But looking at how far I've come, writing is something I don't think I can do without. I plan to write more books, improve on my writing skills, try different genres and most importantly, have fun while creating the stories.
Interviewer: So when I was interviewing Chibuzor Victor Obih, he mentioned that a lot of Nigerian authors write in generic settings. May I ask why do you do so and do you plan to write your future books with the background in Nigeria?
Lade: The first two books I wrote before 'The Secret Babies' were Nigerian themed novels They were short stories and I wrote them in early 2018. One was titled 'Ayisha' (it was a self help book) I posted it on wattpad and the other was titled 'Omonicrown' (a romance story) which I posted on a Nigerian book website, Okadabooks. For 'Ayisha', wattpaders refused to check out the story, I begged people to check it out but they only voted on the story without reading it. I lost motivation to continue writing the book and I ended up taking it down from wattpad.
For Omonicrown, I didn't get good reviews. Readers called it trash. They said it was a waste of time reading the book. The reviews were so horrible; I couldn't take any more abuses so I had to take it down from the website. I actually don't blame the readers, I mean, I was just new to writing and the book was nowhere near perfection.
At that point, I had given up and thought writing was not for me. But months later, I wrote 'The Secret Babies', a foreign themed short story, which was quite popular on wattpad. Even though the story wasn't perfect, I had readers who encouraged me, some even went as far as recommending books of other popular authors to me so I can improve my writing. I also received harsh comments about the story but I had readers who were there to encourage me to keep writing.
Since then, I focused on where the love and encouragement was. I kept up with my foreign themed stories
I'm not sure if I'm going to write any more Nigerian themed books but now that I'm more experienced with writing, I've gone back to my 'Omonicrown' drafts. I've started making amendments to the story and once I think I've done justice to it, I'm going to post it back on okadabooks and I might even bring it to Goodnovel. Hopefully, if I get positive reviews for it, I might be motivated to write more Nigerian stories.
The Secret Babies has a sequel which is titled "Nothing like a perfect moment" it will be on Goodnovel next month. My name, "Omolade" was used in the story. Omolade was the main character's best friend. I also made mention of a couple of Nigerian foods and I think a few slangs.
Interviewer: Where do you get your ideas from? Is it Nollywood?
Lade: I grew up getting addicted to Telenovelas. I still watch them till date. I would be lying if I said watching Mexican soap operas didn't have a great influence in my writing.
Interviewer: So you’ve only been writing for 2 years, and you’ve mentioned how much you’ve improved i.e the critical comments and how you are considering re-drafting previous books. What would you say to writers who want to write as well as you do?
Lade: Believe in yourself, keep writing, and always strive for ways to improve your skills as a writer. Looking at my past when readers use to give me negative comments on my writing for my first few books and comparing it to now with Cold Showers, etc: yeah, I’ve improved a lot but it takes time and effort, and though criticisms can be harsh, some are well meant. And though I write well now, no doubt in the future that I can write even better. So yeah, keep writing no matter what.