Meet an author: Hadiza Isma El-Rufai
Hadiza Isma El-Rufai (born June 21, 1960) is a Nigerian writer, first lady of Kaduna State, and founder of Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation, a non-profit literary organization.
1. When and where were you born?
June 21st 1960 in Kano City.
2.When did you start writing and why?
2008. It was a difficult year for me and in order to distract myself from my troubles I started reading fiction again, something I used to do a lot when I was younger. Then I decided to try my hand at writing because that is even more therapeutic.
3. At what point do you know that An Abundance of Scorpions was complete?
When I started the novel I had no idea how the story will end. But as I was writing what turned out to be the last chapter, it suddenly occurred to me that I could end the story right there and allow the reader to imagine what went on with the characters going forward.
4. What’s the hardest/easiest thing about writing?
Hardest: Making sure there are no plot holes in the story.
Easiest: Because of the internet, research is easy now.
5. What books would you say shaped your writing?
Catcher in the Rye, ,Middlesex, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Purple Hibiscus. But so many other books have shaped my writing and many are still shaping it.
6. Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes. My second novel, which I hope to complete in a year.
7. How do you feel about bad reviews?
I haven’t had them yet. I say, yet, because I know it’s bound to happen one day.TBD - If your life was a book, what would the title be? @Hadizel - I do it my way Click To Tweet
8. If you could be a character in your novel, who would you be and why?
Esther. Because she’s a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it, without apologies to anyone.
9. If your life was a book, what would the title be?
I do it my way.
10. What kind of music do you listen to? Titles?
Rick Braun’s Kisses in the Rain, Marcus Miller’s Blast, Keiko Matsui’s Black Lion, Brian Culbertson’s On My Mind, Kirk Whalum’s Do You Feel Me
11. Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t know.
I like solitude. I enjoy spending time alone with myself.
12. What books by a Nigeria Author would you recommend to a friend?
Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me
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An Abundance of Scorpions
by Hadiza Isma El-Rufai
Following a horrific tragedy, Tambaya leaves Kano for Accra to live with her brother, Aminu. Sadly, her dream of a new beginning is dashed when she can no longer endure the indignity she suffers at the hands of her brother’s new wife.
Tambaya returns to northern Nigeria and soon finds work as a matron in an orphanage, under the watchful eye of the ruthless Miss Scholastica. Just when she begins to settle into her new life, an unexpected visit threatens to destroy everything she has worked so hard to build. Tambaya faces moral dilemmas on all sides, but she must stop her life from unravelling once again.
Vulnerable, and surrounded by malice, corruption and greed, Tambaya struggles to shape her destiny. An Abundance of Scorpions charts one woman’s journey through grief and uncertainty to a road that leads to self-discovery, redemption and love.