Author Bio: Ray Anyasi is one of Africa's most published authors with over 25 books which include Ujasiri, Bloodline and This Town: a postcard of terror and most recently, Africa's bestselling epic fantasy thriller series, Sorrows of Udi. His writing influence is majorly the extraordinary stories of ordinary people who have to confront monstrous challenges they do not orchestrate yet must overcome.
He is also a poet and has published a poetry collection, "Lines of Thoughts", that includes the acclaimed Ogbanje. Anyasi has contributed several articles to The Guardian Express and continues to partake in the global conversations that concerns political and social developments; his book, How to Terrorize Terrorism is one of such contributions.
Fresh out of the University, Anyasi published his first book, A Poll of Vampires, a political crime thriller. Since then, he has published over twenty titles. Anyasi is also a certified Copywriter and Content Developer. He is the founder of Book house Nigeria; Chief Event Coordinator of Lagos Comic Convention (Africa's Biggest Geek and Pop Culture Marketplace) and he organizes the Ray Anyasi Writers' Mentoring Program to help new and intending authors navigate their writing careers. His current hobbies are tending a backyard vegetable garden and engaging fans of his craft on social media.
1. I grew up knowing a lot of real stories of regular people facing extraordinary circumstances that they didn't create but must confront. These folks did that with admirable bravery and with varying results but they all inspire me till today to write stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances they didn't orchestrate but must confront. Like Joseph Dahr in my Kony thriller, Ujasiri whose family is abducted by a rebel gang and must go after them even if it was going to cost him his life.
2. It's a tricky one. I started out my career being drawn to thrillers and adventures. But somewhere along the journey, I discovered fantasy and epic African stories and loved it. Right now, I'd describe my major genre as Afro epic fantasy.
3. Clive Cussler. I love the way he delves into historical events and tell a thrilling story around that subject that ends up entertaining you while giving you some good education on that subject that can at least inspire you to research more. This is what I've been trying to do with my Afro epic fantasies, create fantastic stories around real African historical events that will inspire interest in the subject.
4. I had a lot of those earlier in my writing career. I think the best thing I've done about that is to take my characters as real people who have paid me to write their stories and if I don't deliver, I'd be failing them. This have worked for me through the most unmotivated periods of my writing.
5. Read contracts carefully. Take your time. Read every line of it. If there are things that don't seem clear, don't assume it means what you think it means, ask. I've had a bad experience of this with my first book and have learnt my lesson.
6. I've written over 25 Books which makes me one of Africa's most published author yet. Several them have been top ranked in their categories like Sorrows of Udi and Ujasiri, both of which have Spanish and Portuguese translations coming soon.
7. Tyler Perry's Acrimony. It's a great movie, I just want the Taraji character to not die in the end.
8. The major difficulty I encounter in my wiring career is getting Amazon reviews that aren't paid for. Getting honest reviews that just come along on it's own. As for handling bad criticisms, I believe that the moment I put my work out in the public, it is open for criticisms and not all will be fair. Bad criticisms don't get to me because I understand that with art, nothing is universally perfect, and nothing is universally terrible. Not everyone will like your best work and not everyone will hate your worst work.
9. Book signings, meeting readers who have something to say about my book. Whether something positive or not, just listening to people who bought my book, read it and feel the need to talk to me about it, it's golden.
10. I write with good music in the background. Especially rap from Eminem.
11. Write like a billion people around the world can't wait to lay their hands on what you're currently writing, and they think you're the finest writer they've ever read. It helps with your confidence.
12. I try to keep my prices at the lowest possible. It's a lot of competition out there and as long as I'm not yet at the level of the major international bestsellers out there, I wouldn't want pricing to be a reason why someone would pick another book rather than mine. For marketing and distribution, I find that Amazon is a huge market with some interesting marketing tool. So, I try to take advantage of those the best I can. I also have tried some good book blogs with strong twitter following as well as a huge email list.
13. My books are distinct. I doubt there are that many authors out there telling compelling African stories with a global appeal the way I do. I'd say people should read my books because they take the reader through a mesmerizing mental journey through times and lives set in Africa in a way that you will relate with wherever you're from, whatever is your culture and whatever your personal experiences may be.
14. I wasn't that fortunate. I learnt by writing and reading from some great authors like Lawrence Sanders, Edgar Rice Burrows, Chinua Achebe and Flora Nwakpa whose book, Efuru inspired me to decide I was going to stay committed to telling original African stories from historical times that explore our rich cultures.
15. Geography. At 13 I could show you nearly all major international cities on a world map and even say a thing or two about the prevailing climate of the city even though I'd never traveled outside my country at that time.
16. Both. I have some self-published books and some under contract with Naphtali Books.
Thank you so much for these questions. I had a great time answering them.
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