by Tayo O
We interview award winning short story and children fiction writer Uche Umez. He answers 10 questions, speaking about his latest work, The Runaway Hero which made the shortlist for the NLNG Prize for Literature, 2011.
What is the name of your first published piece?
The Little Hawker – a poem.
How will you introduce your child to literature?
Making sure books abound in my home and reading stories and poems to my kids.
Why did you join the Jalaa Writers’ Collective?
I admired the members who made up the Collective and I felt there was some little something we could offer to the literary community in Nigeria.
What was most challenging about writing The Runaway Hero?
The most challenge was finishing it. I am a poor finisher of novels, which is why I mostly take to short fiction. Maybe because I am lazy; maybe because I have to find a way, if there ever is, of balancing writing life with work life, and then family life, and other tiny little yet exacting obligations a man must encounter as he plod his way through life.
What part of the process of writing do you enjoy most?
The polishing, a slow, sure pace.
What would a story about your life be called?
The Misadventures of a Convoluted Man.
What is your greatest fear?
The loss of love and passion.
Why do you write?
Because I hope I can inspire some degree of change in people and the society.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Then We Came to an End by Joshua Ferris
What is your philosophy of life?
Hope is a beautiful thing.