How did “The Chosen Six” originate? What inspirations did you draw on?
There’s a common slang we have in Nigeria called “japa.” This simply means migration from your country to another country for better opportunities and greener pastures.
I was having a conversation with a friend who was talking about the hardship being faced by the ever-growing Nigerian population, hence, the reason for the mass migration.
A spark of an idea was birthed during the conversation. What if this supposed greener pasture is not what we think it is? Perhaps, we are too engrossed with the news we hear about such places, not considering that maybe they have their own challenges.
Right there I knew I had to carve a story out of this.
What really inspired this story is the clamor for climate justice happening around the world. The environment is suffering so much from our mismanagement and selfish acts. It’s high time everyone treats her with respect.
Did you get stuck at any point while writing this? How did you get past that?
I got stuck at the scene where I wanted to create a vivid image of Pappylon’s challenge. Being a supposedly Utopian-state, I had to think of an issue that couldn’t be solved by just one person.
I got past this challenge by engaging in other activities. I saw a movie, did some research, wrote a list of issues faced by developed states, and browsed through my Twitter feed.
What led you into writing genre fiction?
When I was much younger I read a lot of comic books and stories, especially the types with exhilarating stuff. This feeling transformed into having a penchant for science fiction and fantasy books and movies.
Over the years I created my own characters and world, with everything how I wanted it to be. But it was all in my head. The only way to bring it into reality was to put it into writing.
What trends in speculative fiction would you like to see gain popularity in the next few years?
I’d love to see African futurism grow in mass. The number of speculative fiction writers of African indigene are growing by the day with amazing work. It will be super amazing to see these stories get adapted into movies, series, and graphic novels, and of course win awards.
What are you working on lately? Where else can fans look for your work?
Currently, I’m working on a cyberpunk novelette that explores the dangers of capitalism.
You can find my other published works in Reckoning, Clarkesworld, Solarpunk, Africa Risen (Tor Books), Our Move Next, Omenana, and Science Fiction World.
Other than writing, do you have any other creative pursuits? What do you do to relax?
Besides writing I have a great passion for photography and artistic pictures. When I’m not writing I browse through pages of artists whose pictures leave me in awe.
I watch comedy videos to relax, and then sleep.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Sure. Be unique in your creations. Find the path that works for you.
Spread the word!