Meet an author: Yejide Kilanko
Yejide Kilanko was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. She read just about anything she could lay her hands on and that love for reading led her to poetry writing when she was twelve. Yejide started writing her debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, in 2009 and it was published in Canada (2012) and in the USA (2013).
1. When did you start writing and why?
I started writing poetry at the age of twelve. I was an anxious child who needed an outlet.
2. At what point do you know that a story/book is complete?
My short stories come with full-fledged plots which makes it easier for me to know when they’re complete. With novels, I struggle and rely on external voices to say, enough.
3. What’s the hardest/easiest thing about writing?
These days, it’s finding the discipline and motivation to finish the first draft. The easiest thing has been characterization.
4. What books would you say shaped your writing?
The one book would be Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood. I say this because of how much the book impacted me and because my writing is an extension of my inner world.
5. Are you working on anything at the moment?
I have several projects, fiction, and poetry, on the go. I’m particularly excited about writing children’s stories. I hope readers find them interesting.
6. How do you feel about bad reviews?
They are a part of a writer’s journey.
7. If you could be a character in a novel you’ve read, who would you be and why?
I couldn’t think of a character.
8. If your life was a book, what would the title be?
When Lemons Grow On Orange Trees..
9. Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t know.
After graduating from the University of Ibadan, I did a bit of theatre acting and radio drama with Professor Bode Sowande’s Odu Themes Meridian performing group.
10. What books by a Nigerian Author would you recommend to a friend
Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
Sanctificum by Chris Abani