1. How did you first become interested in writing?
For a long time, I never felt interested in writing because coming from a different country, Nigeria, proper English was my biggest barrier. Plus. growing up in the inner city, reading was never the cool thing to do, so in order to fit in, I had to despise books. Silly now that I think about it, but that's how it was coming up in the inner city, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. My hatred of the literary craft led me to a stronger math comprehension and visual expression. After I graduated college, quit my good job, and took a journey to California, God guided me towards writing. Natasha and I, plus our two cats, were living in a car, with no electricity, no internet, and no home, but I had a pen and pad. I believe that that was God's way of telling me to write, and that's what I did.
2. What do you see as the pleasures--and the difficulties--of being an artist in today's world?
The pleasures of being an artist are also the difficulties of being an artist in today's world. It is pleasant to think differently from the status quo, but it is extremely difficult to be understood when you think differently. People categorize artists as crazy, simply because they see things differently. So the smart artist learns to fit in, sometimes.
3. If you had to describe your writing to someone who had never read any of your work before, what would you say?
I would say keep an open mind before reading. My books capture moments, so if I was angry at that moment a few years ago, you will feel the anger when you read it; same thing goes for happiness and sheer dumbness--yes, there is a hell of a lot of dumbness.
4. Would you tell us a bit more about your memoir, Bonnie and Klyde + 2 Cats?
Yes. Bonnie and Klyde + 2 Cats: Journey of a Starving Artist is a nonfiction book about my journey from Connecticut to California. I quit my good engineering job in Connecticut, got into my Jeep with my girlfriend plus her two cats, and spontaneously moved to California. We hit hard times, living out of the Jeep and sneaking cats in and out of motels. I would call it a fun survival guide with a DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME warning label.
5. As someone who writes both fiction and nonfiction, what do you find to be the unique challenges of each genre?
The challenge of writing nonfiction is not writer's block, but the underground demon I call procrastination. I love to experience life, then sit and write about my experiences, but that procrastination devil always has a chore for me to do: wash a car, go shopping, clean up, whatever it takes to avoid writing. The challenges of writing fiction are writer's block and realism. Writing fiction is like making Mars believable on Earth. The more outlandish the idea, the harder you have to work to make it believable to the reader.