Interview with Gloria Ogo
“While Men Slept”
Gloria, thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today and discuss your new book.
You are welcome. Thank you.
When did you first decide that you wanted to be a writer?
Right from high school, I have always had a penchant for writing and literature. Then, I dabbled into light writing, nothing too serious. Until ten years ago, when I wrote my first novel( (yet to be published). In-between, I filled time with some short stories. Then, three years ago, I wrote my second one While Men Slept (now published). You could say, the writer has always been in me, waiting to exhale. The decision was never mine to make.
Which books and authors inspire you, and which ones do you just want to curl up with and read?
I am inspired in the wake of Chinua Achebe’s book Things fall apart, Bichi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizens and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. The aforementioned are all educational and research materials for me. The ones I read for relaxation are thriller genres by author Dean Koontz, legal kinds by Sidney Sheldon and suspense shots of James Hadley Chase.
What are you doing when you aren’t writing?
When I am not writing, you will find me being a loving daughter and sibling (or so I hope*laughs*) Other times, I am working as a Secretary or finding quiet spots to read.
How long have you been writing, and is this your first published work?
I have been writing ever since I could hold a chalk and pen. Yes, this is my first published work. (sighs gratefully)
Where did the idea for the book come from?
The book was inspired by my immediate environment. Nigeria is a breeding ground of rich stories, waiting to be told. Rich, not necessarily in its content, but in its propensity as societal mirror to its people and a moral compass for our eroding values and structures.
Your characters, in “While Men Slept” are so vivid and real, are they based on actual people?
The activities are based on real events which African women relive daily and have unconsciously assimilated as status quo. They have become complacent in this unfair re-enactment and for so long considered it as being the way nature intended.
No, they are not based on real people.
Do you have a favorite character in the book, and if so, who and why?
All my characters are like my literary babies, not exalted above the other. They each represent an aspect of my society where I long for changes.
What can you share with us about your process in writing a novel?
I am not a straight-jacket kind of person who would choose to streamline myself to processes and patterns. When inspiration hits, which is at odd moments, I just pick up my pen and pour my heart out.
Now that you’re only a couple weeks from your release date, what other projects are you working on?
I have gone back to my closet to blow the dust off the binders of my first novel which I am in the process of editing and hope to release in 2018.
When is your release date and where can we get a copy of “While Men Slept”?
My maiden novel will officially launch 16th December, 2017. I would have love to have it sold on Amazon, but that platform, currently, does not cater to Nigerian based authors. So, for now, copies can be ordered through my email email@example.com or message me through my facebook page or my Author page https://www.facebook.com/Authorgloriaogo/
Where can my readers follow you on social media?
I love connecting with people. They can meet up with me on facebook, Gloria Ogo or my author page (link already provided above).
What other question(s) do you wish I had asked?
What difference do I see this work making in the future?
Over the years, I have seen Nigerians hunger for change, a difference, a usurp of the cyclical decomposition of our society. But, before an illness can be tackled adequately and effectively, there must first be a determination of cause. In future, an awareness of why we are like this as a nation will be established. An in-depth scrutiny of minds will commence and a discussion will be generated on public platforms, backed by prompt actions of restitution.
And were there any challenges encountered along the process?
In order to accurately depict each character in a manner that would be relatable to the reader, I had to constantly submerge my consciousness into the minds of these characters. It, sometimes, left me drained and was tasking, trying to resettle into my persona. My major challenge was getting a professional editor who would handle my baby right and give it the solid sponge bath it direly needed to sparkle. I was fortunate to take this path with Denis Doty and I have never regretted a moment working with him.