BOOK’D: EDWIN OKOLO
I’ve known Edwin for a while now and when I used to write fiction, he was kind enough to edit some of my work. He is a fashion designer and he crotchets everything from dresses to bikinis! Did I also mention that he’s a published author? He is. If anyone knows books and writing, it’s Ed. Enjoy his interview!
*I use affiliate links so if you buy any of the books using my links, I may make a cent or two. It would be a great way to support a blog(ger) you love.
1. What are you currently reading?
2. Have you always been a reader? What is the first book you remember ever reading? What drew you into reading/why do you read?
Yeah I’ve always been a reader. The first book I can remember reading is a children’s detective series, in one of the books, the child detective solves the case by figuring out the criminal uses a defective typewriter to hide their handwriting. I was short sighted so reading was a safe hobby that didn’t require me to go anywhere or do anything.I was short sighted so reading was a safe hobby that didn't require me to go anywhere or do anything. Click To Tweet
3. What is your philosophy on reading? (for example, some people have to finish every book they start)
My philosophy on books is simple. Teenage female protagonists over everything.My philosophy on books is simple. Teenage female protagonists over everything. Click To Tweet
4. How often do you read? And how do you fit it into your day?
My reading pace and frequency has dropped severely but I at least read one article every single day.
5. Where do you like to read? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?
I like to read inside cupboards, wardrobe. It’s always dark and warm, feels a little claustrophobic, which I think is ideal for providing urgency when you read. Weirdest place I’ve read at is a funeral.Weirdest place I've read at is a funeral. Click To Tweet
6. What makes a good book, in your opinion?
When I find out, I’ll let you know.
7. Who are your favorite authors to read?
Janet Fitch. I’ve read White Oleander at least ten times. Melissa Bank. I’ve read at least 20 times.
8. What is a book or who is an author you feel is very underrated?
And of course Pemi Aguda and Uche Okonkwo. When they are eventually ready to give us full length novels or short story collections, their words will move worlds.
9. E-book, audiobook or paper? How do you feel about making notes/highlighting books?
Ebook, primarily because many of the books I love are indie press and the only I have been privileged to read them is Ebooks. I never highlight, probably because I’d much come back and reread the whole thing.I never highlight, probably because I'd much come back and reread the whole thing. Click To Tweet
10. Fiction vs Non-fiction?
11. What happens to you when you read a good book? (at the beginning, during and after the experience?)
The best books always make me cry or finishing it at one or two sittings.The best books always make me cry or finishing it at one or two sittings. Click To Tweet
12. Do you reread books? Why?
I reread books because there are some books that you need to be older to understand certain concepts or themes.
13. What book do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
14. What was the last great book you read?
All the Birds in the Sky Charlie Jane Anders.
15. If you had to choose three books that everyone should read, what would they be?
White Oleander to show that your life can and should survive the horror that is adolescence, The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing to learn that an inner voice makes every life infinitely more interesting, The Library at Mount Char to learn that the Idea of a thing is not the same as the thing,
16. What book(s) are you embarrassed to have read? What books are you embarrassed to still not have read?
I used to be embarrassed that I hadn’t read many of the classics, but then I realised most of these ‘classics’ were determined by stodgy white people. So I said fuck ’em and was never ashamed again. lol
17. How do you feel about ‘classic’ literature?
18. How do you feel about book clubs?
Well, I like them, provided they let me choose all the books we read. Just kidding, I think they foster community, which is invaluable to a writer. Readers need to be celebrated and celebrate themselves too.
19. What book(s) have changed your life, and how?
I became a writer because of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I decided to write primarily about women because of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander, and I decided to treat my female characters with delight and wonder because of the Melissa Bank’s The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing.
20. How do you choose books to read?
Recommendation from friends I trust, and Buzzfeed end of year lists (Buzzfeed often fails me terribly so I end up at Flavorwire).
21. What book are you currently DYING to read?
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch.
Edwin Okolo is a master level artisanal crotcheter, a lover of Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor who spends his spare time being the cool uncle. He is working on his first novel.
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