… as published on @naijabooks, an Instagram page dedicated to Nigerian book news, reviews and author interviews
What is the inspiration behind your new book, ‘Because Home Is’?
A long time ago, I read a novel written by Faye Kellerman in which one of the characters said that “Everyone is either running away from or towards something.” So, people tend to run towards (their perception of) pleasure or away from (their perception of) pain. Everyone wants to feel safe in some way. And that's what you find at home – whether home is a person, place or thing. And it takes everyone a different amount of time and process to find, go to and function with(in) who or where or what they call home. It's a vocation or life calling, it's that relationship, it's that physical place where you are safe even if you're challenged to grow. It's the perfect symbol of “naked and unashamed”.
Can you tell us a little about the book?
It's a collection of short stories - each one detailing how a person found home or didn't, and what home means to each of them. There are elements of love and marriage, women in media, mental health, cancer, endometriosis, trying to do the right thing, bereavement ... I'm not going to say it's for everyone because there's no such audience as "everyone", but it's like a smorgasbord that you really want to eat from.
Besides writing, what are the other things that you do?
I am also a blogger and my blogazine "Memo From A Fearless Storyteller" won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award for "Blog of the Year". I am a radio presenter with London-based PowerXtra Radio Station. And I am CEO of The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd - we are a media and publishing firm and have a suite of products and services manufactured by our various departments. The "Author Services" department deals with everything from concept to physical or digital product of books and magazines. The "Learning & Teaching Unit" creates online and courses, seminars and training programmes for individuals and organisations. We also have the "Office Angels" department that has done-for-you packages for entrepreneurs and SMEs who are getting distracted by administrative and other tasks, so they can't focus on their real business. There's another department that will start off properly next quarter - focus is on screen, stage and audio productions. There is also an online shop.
You relocated back to Nigeria a few years ago. Would you say it has been a wise decision?
Absolutely. A part of me thinks I should have come back earlier, but maybe I wouldn't have been as ready as I was ...
What is behind the name ‘The Fearless Storyteller’?
I say things that people are usually too afraid or politically incorrect to voice or confront. And I do that without fear.
Where can you works be gotten?
Information on where all our books can be bought is available on www.chiomannani.com/publishing - there are currently five books (one will be released on 30 March 2017) and people can buy copies inside and outside Nigeria. People can also sign up to our mailing list by emailing email@example.com or via any of the afore-mentioned websites