You are never alone
I figured that it was about time that I updated this page since I am no longer a high school student. I am now a first year Mechanical Engineering student studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Will I miss my high school days?
Hmm…yeah, I think I will, but it’s nice to finally be able to take the next step in life. LAMP (my high school) has taught me many useful skills that I have already started to apply in my life. I must say though that I am going to miss my teachers with a burning passion. It is extremely rare to find a group of people who love their jobs so much that they are willing to go the extra mile. So allow me to take a moment to thank each and every single one of them:
You guys are truly amazing people. I love each of you dearly for guiding me through a very important stage in my life. Whatever feats that I accomplish in my life, know that you are the ones that help set the foundation. I will try my best to make you proud.
When it comes to writing, I would have to say that the majority of my inspiration comes from my imagination. I am a dreamer, that is for sure. I dream when I sleep, when I eat, when I walk, and sometimes even when I talk. But, my dreams are not all fantasy lands and dragons, mind you. I like to picture my future self a lot. My job, my goals, my life in general. A few years ago, I use to write letters to myself every year. Each time I would open a letter I cannot help but be surprised by how much I have changed in such a short period of time. One year I remember being obsessed with an online game called Neopets, so in the letter that I wrote that year I told my future self the goals that I wanted to accomplish in that game by the time I next read the letter. Little did I know at the time that I would stop playing the game a couple of months later, so when I opened the letter I busted out laughing –much to the confusion of the people around me–at how passionate I used to be for the game
I like to write. When I was organizing my room before I left for college, I came across several incomplete stories that I have written in the past. Originally, I thought that the first story that I began to write was The Legend of The Con: The Untold Truth, a story that I began in the sixth grade, but I found the first few chapters of a book that I started to write in the fifth grade. It does not have a title, but judging by the booklet that it was written in (a notebook of sorts that I got from a restaurant in Nigeria) I must have started writing when I was visiting Nigeria (the land of my parents birth for those of you who may not know) for the summer.
I looked over these incomplete stories and began to wonder why I never finished anyone of them. It is probably because I lacked the patience to stick with a single project for so long at the time. I find it a bit disappointing, but perhaps one day I will re-visit these stories and complete them. As I re-read some of them, I began to recall the thoughts that were going through my head at the time. I remember the endings that I had intended for them. I also remember some other random stuff including where I was when I wrote a particular scene (most of the time I was in GoodTimes, an afterschool program that I attended in Elementary and Middle School) or in class when we were given some free time.
Another fun fact about me is that I never took a creative writing class beyond my mandatory English classes, not even in high school. I guess I just did not want one of my favorite past times to become something that I get graded on.
Well, that is pretty much it about the writing side of me. Of course there are other sides of me like my engineer side, athletic side, drawing side, and theatric side, but I figure that I should leave it at that for now or risk boring you all to tears with page after page about my life. Thank you for sticking with me for this long, though; I appreciate it.
Tell us about your first book.
Naga Ceyon follows the journey of a young girl named Antoinette on the path to become a warrior. Antoinette’s parents had moved from a different world, formerly known as Z.O.N.E., to Earth on their king’s orders. Their mission was to gather as many followers as possible before their enemies landed. Naga Ceyon picks up roughly twenty years later when Sekai, the organization of followers that Antoinette’s parents almost single handedly built by themselves, has become fully established. Antoinette journeys to Z.O.N.E. for the first time in many years to learn the ways of a warrior. One of her tasks is to decipher and understand the meaning of Eien’s Emblem: “Shikai. Bo naga ceyon. Ei notori une zeteh iteh.” which translates to: “Trust. You are never alone. Have courage and strength always.”
Where did The Zone and its characters come from?
The Zone has existed in my mind for as long as I can remember, though it did not get its name until I started writing The Zone Chronicles. I dreamed up an imaginary world of dragons and warriors one night and have expanded on that one dream ever since. In a way, Naga Ceyon is just simply a compilation of those same dreams that I have had since elementary school.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
Wayne Thomas Baston is one of my favorites because he is the writer of the phenomenal Door Within Trilogy that introduced me into the world of Christian Fiction. I fell in love with those books immediately. After discovering the genre, I had to read more. Once I read my first Ted Dekker novel, I could not stop reading his works. I now own 20 of his books (House is my favorite). I am also a huge fan of Bryan M. Litfin, the author of the amazing Chiveis Trilogy. The reason why I adore these authors so much is because I love the new worlds they created in their books.
When did you start writing?
The first time that I actually put pen to paper was sometime during my sixth grade year. Before then, all of my fantasies existed only inside of my head. Naga Ceyon was not supposed to be my first novel. A short little story entitled The Legend of the Con: The Untold Truth was the first book that I started to write. Unfortunately, at the time I lacked the motivation to complete the novel, so now the unedited pages rest quietly in a small red folder on top of my desk. I do not know if I will ever complete that particular book, but I was able to incorporate some of its themes into Naga Ceyon.
Were you afraid to publish your book?
Yes, I was terrified of sharing my book with the world as most people would be. I found myself constantly worried about whether people would like my stories or not. Then I reminded myself of the reason why I wrote the book in the first place. I want to inspire people that are in the same situation that I was in. I want to show them that yes, life is challenging and many times we will find ourselves in a deep, dark pit, but everyone of us in capable of rising above it all. I still found myself trembling as I first turned in my novel to the publisher, but I knew that I would have never forgiven myself if I did not. In the end, I was happy that I published the book, because I feel like it is making a difference in somebody’s life, and that means the world to me.