I’ve been asked a few questions about me and my writing, so I thought I’d add this page to answer some of them (newest questions are found at the top). If you have a question you’d like answered, feel free to fill the form at the bottom of this page, with ‘Ask Me’ in the subject line, and I’ll add the question and answer to this page.
How did you get into writing?
That’s almost like asking, ‘how did you start eating?’ because, for me, writing is as natural and essential as eating and breathing. Even when I’m not writing pieces to share or have published, I jot things down in my notebook or on my phone.
Writing isn’t something I think about much except that I strive to be better, strengthen my voice, and sharpen my pen; and I believe that will be a lifelong quest.
What things make you smile?
Small, seemingly insignificant things often make me smile… and teary-eyed. From amongst the many things that make me smile are chubby babies, a good cup of Earl Grey, a full moon, the scent of the sea, sunsets, a sincerely warm hug, witnessing an act of kindness (no matter how minor), a good meal (especially if I cooked it), new notebooks and mechanical pencils, meeting artistic people and hearing them talk about their art, talking about a good book with just about anyone, and of course, my family.
Can you post 20 interesting facts about yourself?
Oh, I love those! Can I just do one (or you ask a more specific question), because I find it difficult to speak about myself. Not sure if this is considered interesting or not, but I secretly think I have an amazing singing voice when I have a cold.
When are you going to write a novel?
I’m getting this question a lot lately, and it makes me smile to know that readers believe I should. The truth is that novel writing is a different art from short story writing, and I know short story writing is where my strength lies. I’m apprehensive about attempting a novel because I like my writing to be short and sharp (as you’ve probably noticed!), but I am contemplating taking the novel-writing plunge to push myself into a realm I’m not very familiar with. It’ll be a learning curve, that’s for sure.
Do you have a favourite writing spot?
Not really, because writing can (and does) happen anywhere and at any time. I’m more of a spontaneous writer than a seasoned one. Pieces you find on here sprung upon me unplanned (hence the number of short flash fiction pieces), and I get to know each character as they are penned. I know some people find it strange when I speak about characters like they’re real people, but in some ways they are because I don’t intentionally dream them up – their voices come to me and I write them. I do have a favourite notebook, and it’s the one pictured in the header of this page. Oh, and don’t forget the mechanical pencil too!
What are you currently working on at the moment?
I’m still allowing my voice to sharpen in the fiction genre, but have taken a leap back into non-fiction, and will be freelancing for SISTERS magazine once again. My current writing style differs greatly from work published in the magazine in the past, which (in my opinion) is a good thing. But because I’m so inclined to fiction, a lot of my non-fiction pieces will be of the creative kind – non-fiction that reads like fiction. I’m also pushing myself in the freelance field, so will be looking for other publications where my style can fit.
Who was the best teacher you’ve ever had?
It would have to be my English teacher, no doubt about that! Ms Smith was a star – heads were never laying on tables as students snoozed, they were up, facing her. And it was after writing what I now believe to be a complete pile of fluff that she said, “Don’t stop writing.” She planted the seed of inspiration, and she probably doesn’t even know it.
Why is your blog called From Tuesday?
It seems so random, right? Well, it sort of is and sort of isn’t. One day on FB I mentioned – in passing and as a sort of joke – that I wanted to write my life story. Something significant had happened on that day, and I commented that my life wouldn’t even fit a trilogy! I asked what I should call the possible memoir and a friend said ‘Tuesday’. Considering the fact that that particular day was a Tuesday and I was in a bit of a rut, I instinctively jumped on that suggestion and From Tuesday was conceived.
I must say, though, I was in no way ready to start writing again, but inspiration sprung from fellow writers; I constantly lamented about my writing voice to Nehal Elmeligy; and after making a reality show out of characters with Na’ima B. Robert, From Tuesday took form. And now, I like the quirky randomness of it, ‘cos in all fairness, I’m a random sort of person.
I can relate to a lot of what you write. Where do you get your ideas from?
From life. Seriously. I do a lot of people-watching (no stalking or outright staring, just observing people) and make mental notes of things I see, hear and even smell. Anything that I write under the ‘creative non-fiction’ category actually happened, I’ve just stylised my account of the way the incidents/ stories occurred. I’m glad you can relate to the stories though, connection with readers is a big thing for me. Thank you.
Why do you write so much about love?
That’s an interesting question. I’ve witnessed the falling in and out of love, the different manifestations of love and how much it can be a source of peace and happiness, and how it can cause the deepest of pain. It is so profound in my life and the life of many I know that it naturally sneaks into my writing. Thank you for asking that, it’s definitely got me thinking!
Are you writing a novel?
Not right now. I’ve only just started to re-discover my writing voice, as I was unable to write for 3 years due to personal issues. I’d like my voice to be sharpened with clarity before I embark on the commitment of a novel. I have ideas (don’t we all!) but currently prefer the freedom of short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Or, you could put it down to laziness and forget the whole voice excuse.
Are you a Muslim?
Yes, I am. And I guess the next question would be whether I write Islamic fiction? The answer to that would be, I used to. If I’m completely honest, I like to just write, and since I’m re-exploring my voice I don’t want to restrict it. Having said that, if my characters are Muslims, great, if not, that’s okay too, because the world is made up of such an amalgamation of people that I would like the stories to shine and the characters to speak for themselves, no matter what their religious choices. To put it simply: I respect good writing, whatever the genre may be.
Do you write about yourself?
Not really, but my writing is based on real-life, whether things that I have witnessed, experienced or have come to know of. Of course, characters are formed from aspects of people I know enhanced with titbits from my imagination, and some things I write about have happened in some shape or form… especially that in A Good Girl.
Where are you from?
Nigerian by family and birth origin, but British (a Londoner, to be exact) by place of upbringing. Honestly though, I know more about London than I do about Nigeria, as I’ve never been there! (Okay, you can push your jaw closed now.)
How old are you?
Not quite thirty, still feel like I’m in my early twenties. Yes, I’m being as elusive as I can!
What’s your real name?
LaYinka Sanni is the name I’ve chosen to adopt as my pen name, adapted from my real first name Olayinka. Unfortunately, there are too many Olayinkas in the world, and hence LaYinka was born.
Have a question? Complete the form below.