Meet an author: TJ Benson
TJ Benson author of “we wont fade into darkness” is a Nigerian writer and creative photographer whose work has appeared in several online journals like Jalada Africa, Expound and Bakwa magazine: in print magazines like Transition Magazine and more recently Saraba’s Transitions’ issue. His chapbook of photography ‘Rituals’ was published in downloadable PDF on Sankofa Magazine in 2015. His short story ‘An Abundance of Yellow Paper’ was the joint winner of the Amab-HBF contest in 2016 and this collection was shortlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Prize. He is the first runner up for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize themed ‘Migration’ and he is a two time writer-in-residence at the Ebedi Writers Residency Nigeria. He currently resides in Abuja.
1. When and where were you born?
I was born 3rd December 1991 or 1992 in Kubwa, Abuja.
2. When did you start writing and why?
3. At what point do you know that a story/book is complete?
Your hand literally stops. Irrespective of where the narrative of the plot is in that moment you feel a genuine sense of an ending.
4. What’s the hardest/easiest thing about writing?
5. What books would you say shaped your writing?
Short story writers of the 1900s, Ondaatje’s The English Patient, Marquez’s one hundred years of Solitude and so many others.
6. Are you working on anything interesting at the moment?
I am always in between interesting projects. Always between uncompleted short stories and images shoots. Trying to finalize my collection of parables though.
7. How do you feel about bad reviews?
The only review I am interested in is my review. Before the work is published I am open to criticisms and thorough editing but once the work is out in the world there is nothing i can do so good or bad reviews do not interest me much.The only review I am interested in is my review. Before the work is published I am open to criticisms and thorough editing but once the work is out in the world there is nothing i can do so good or bad reviews do not interest me… Click To Tweet
8. If you could be a character in a novel you’ve read, who would you be and why?
I’d want to be Simon Adaro from Our Memory like Dust. Coolest guy in fiction I’ve ever read. He turned the stereotype of a male hero on its head, was compassionate, rich and was always ready to sit back and allow the female protagonist lead. Richard Cypher from the Sword of Truth book Series also for the same reason.
9. What kind of music do you listen to? Titles?
All kinds really. I use music for writing so I have to be open all the time. From edm to classical jazz. I am currently enamored by the new Alté scene in Nigeria. Artists like Tay Iwar, Wavy the Creator are doing their thing. And the new palmwine music scene of which Cheso is my favorite.
10. Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t know.
Indomie disgusts me.