We were privileged to interview her to know more about her new book (OVERTHROWN) that will come out very soon. Overthrown is definitely one of the most culturally diverse and interesting book we might be seeing soon. It centres around kingdoms torn by their quest for supremacy, and there were a lot of twists of events in it.
Below is our interview with Miss Walker Miriam Ihuoma:
LITEMAG: We were able to see some parts of your upcoming book, Overthrown, and I must say it’s interesting. Please tell us what inspired you to write Overthrown.
MISS WALKER: What inspired me was the desire to preserve culture and history. Unlike in the western world and other places where they have many books about their history dating back to BC, such are not really common here and especially in my place. I don't want a future where the people don't know what their history was like. I personally feel bad when I don't know much about my culture and often wish there were more books on it; perhaps an Ikwerre language dictionary! Because I believe history and culture are important, I was inspired to write something on it, so that even in years to come, people will be able to have an idea of the past.
LITEMAG: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
MISS WALKER: The most difficult thing is trying to imagine how the opposite sex thinks and would behave in a particular situation. I'm not a guy and guys probably think and see things differently from the way girls think and see things. So I try as much as possible to imagine that I am a guy in that particular part so that I can write better.
LITEMAG: How do you select the names of your characters?
MISS WALKER: First of all, it depends on the tribe of the character. If this character is Yoruba for example, I will give that character a Yoruba name. Secondly, it depends on the role the character is playing. If the character is a strong warrior, I will give him a name like Dike. Thirdly, I prefer using names that are not too common and I just seem to like. Such names could be names that was used mostly in the past. And in situations where I can't get a name that satisfies all these categories I just mentioned, I simply make them up myself.
LITEMAG: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
MISS WALKER: I try to be original. It's left to the reader to appreciate or not to. I don't just write for my readers, I write for recollection. So that, years later when I read that work, I can see how far I have come in writing and how much I have changed and improved.
LITEMAG: When are we expecting Overthrown?
MISS WALKER: By God's grace, before this year ends.
LITEMAG: What plans do you have after publishing Overthrown?
MISS WALKER: I want it to go global just like Chimamanda Adichie's books! I have always had such dreams ever since I went to a book store and saw great books published by Nigerian writers. Then I was like, "So Nigerians can write like this? " I don't just want it to sell in Nigeria, I also want it to go outside the borders of Nigeria so that people out there would have a better knowledge of our culture and Africa, as a whole.
LITEMAG: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
MISS WALKER: I would tell my younger writing self to never give up and keep on dreaming big. Before I used to think that publishing a book was something 'others' did; it seemed like an almost unattainable dream. I would tell my younger self that publishing a book is indeed possible if I work hard towards it. I would also tell my younger self to research a lot and learn a lot about my culture and environment so that my written work would be reliable and educative. And of course, I would tell my younger self to keep on practicing so that I would be a better writer.
This was how the interview went, and we will keep you posted on her book, Overthrown, coming soon!