INTERVIEW WITH OLOLADE AKINTOYE
Page Bloom: Please let’s meet you
Aanu Jide-Ojo: Hi, I’m Aanu lol! A non-practicing clinical psychologist; I daylight as a content marketer, foodie and TV show binger. When I’m not doing any of these things, I’m either reading or writing.
Page Bloom: What was growing up like for you?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: Growing up was mostly sheltered. I was that kid carrying 5 novels at a time because I couldn’t decide what book to read. I stayed indoors a lot so I needed stories to keep me company.
Page Bloom: When did you start writing and what influenced this?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: I can’t remember when I started writing generally, I think it was one of those open day events in primary school when my teacher would ask each student to create something. Mine was always to write a short story. i guess that’s where the journey began.
Page Bloom: Are you working on a book currently?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: No, I’m not.
Page Bloom: What is your favourite book of all time?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: Still looking for it…lol! Top 3 would be Teaching my mother how to give birth by Warsan Shire, Autopsy by Donte Collins and Depression and other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim.
Page Bloom: What would you consider as the struggles of a writer/author and how do you think they can be addressed?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: I think the struggle of learning the craft and monetising the craft is a tough one. Navigating that particularly in Nigeria is tricky. I think a lot of collaboration would help, intentional learning and participation by all stakeholders is also key. There are a number of workshops focused on teaching people the art of writing, which is essential, but for any writer to succeed, more light should be shed on the legalities, publishing, distribution and other unattractive aspects, so to speak. Not every time, “what inspired you?” sometimes, “how do you sustain yourself as a writer”. Wana Udobong and Deji have started conversation on this, let’s keep it going.
Page Bloom: Do you think the genre of a book could influence its level of sales?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: I think it is a combination of a lot of things, but genre does play a huge part in level of sales. Self help is at the top of the food chain, generally, prose also takes the cake while poetry has a very niche audience. So it takes a lot of arm twisting and creative marketing to get the level of sales for each book.
Page Bloom: When it comes to writing, who is your role model?
Aanu Jide-Ojo: I don’t think I have one role model so to speak, I read a bunch of people’s work and pull out different things from each of them.