Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Suyi Davies Okungbowa.
Suyi is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and other speculative works inspired by his West-African origins. His new novel, Son of the Storm, is the first in the epic fantasy trilogy called The Nameless Republic, and he is also author of the acclaimed and award-winning godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo.
His shorter fiction and essays have appeared internationally in various periodicals and anthologies, including Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. He has taught writing at the University of Arizona and spoken at various venues and institutions in the US and beyond.
In this episode Suyi and I discuss:
- How to create intricate contradictions within characters and the plot of your story.
- The role narrator and point of view play in the meaning and importance of a story.
- Why he used a marketplace as a foundation for building his story’s world.
Plus, his #1 tip for writers.
About Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and other speculative works inspired by his West-African origins. His new novel, Son of the Storm, first in the epic fantasy trilogy The Nameless Republic, is forthcoming from Orbit in May. His award-winning godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo, Godhunter was hailed by WIRED Magazine as “the subgenre’s platonic deific ideal.” His shorter fiction and essays have appeared internationally in various periodicals and anthologies, recently including Black panther: Tales of Wakanda and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. He has taught writing at the University of Arizona and spoken at various venues and institutions in the US and beyond. He currently lives Tucson, Arizona.
From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, the first book in the Nameless Republic trilogy is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forbidden magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa.
In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands- which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist- and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields.
Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso and Lilong will set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.
Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors.
Black boy joy is…
Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit.
Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race.
Finding your voice—and your rhymes—during tough times.
Flying on your skateboard like nobody’s watching.
And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.
Contributors include: B. B. Alston, Dean Atta, P. Djèlí Clark, Jay Coles, Jerry Craft, Lamar Giles, Don P. Hooper, George M. Johnson, Varian Johnson, Kwame Mbalia, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Tochi Onyebuchi, Julian Randall, Jason Reynolds, Justin Reynolds, DaVaun Sanders, and Julian Winters
If you decide to check out these books, we hope you’ll do so via these Amazon affiliate links, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!