Today, one of my favourite authors and literary friend, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, is visiting my island oasis of creativity here in the Green Room!
Joy has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Her first short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18. Since then, she has published numerous others in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, Bks 1-3.
Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.
The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria was published in 2014
In Pregnant Future, her new novel, Justina is the story of every young woman who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a woman. It is the story of survival.
Siân: Welcome once again, Joy! Let’s get down to some desert island wool-gathering now! Can we take a quick peek at your disc selection for your self-imposed sabbatical, please?
Joy: Hi Jan, when it comes to entertainment, what I do because I move around a lot, is go back and, in one sitting, watch all the favorite shows that I missed. So for 8 pieces of shows or music, I will mostly go for shows and a few of my own recordings.
My top choices are Sherlock Holmes, Doc Martin, Downton Abbey (I love the English shows. They are so laid back and relaxing), The Middle, The Big Bang Theory and the classic cartoons.
Siân: You’ve mentioned some of my favourite TV shows! I adore Doc Martin and The Big Bang Theory. The Middle’s wonderful too. I’ve never allowed myself to get into Sherlock or Downton – I quickly get addicted to that kind of show and then I never get anything done!
As for the classic cartoons – my heroes are Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny – the old Mel Blanc classics never fail to cheer me up, and the animation on all of those is just superb.
Let’s move on to your more personal musical collection, Joy.
Joy: I chose my songs, and one from my daughter’s because I believe that charity begins at home. I am also a songwriter and a singer. Why not talk about my songs? There are a few more on YouTube. All were uploaded by someone I didn’t know, nor gave permission to. In fact, I plan to re-master and upload them myself sometime in the future. I also have a large collection of folktale songs I want to score during this period.
Siân: I love that you’re giving us such a wonderful a glimpse into your musical career, Joy!
I agree that YouTube’s a double-edged sword for vocal artists. It’s great to get the exposure, but the quality of the videos vary so much.
I can hear your operatic training coming out in places during the first video. Do you like a fusion of musical styles when you write for yourself?
Joy: The next link is a song just uploaded by my daughter. Written, sung and recorded by her. I think that if I have to talk about songs, they should be my own work or works by my family members.
Siân: You must be so proud that your family is musically gifted as well, Joy.
Before we move onto your reading selection, I’m very curious about what you’ve chosen to take as your luxury item to your desert island destination – that usually reveals a lot about you!
Joy: Believe me Jan, my luxury item will be a cache of wines. I like a glass of wine every now and then. Wine relaxes me when I’m writing, and if I am in company, it loosens my tongue… ha, ha!
Siân: I’m right there with you with the wine – my island has a solar-powered fridge for the white wine and beer!
So, finally, we come to your book choices.
Joy: For books, I will use the chance to read old classic romances – all of Jane Austen’s, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Middlemarch and Silas Marner by George Elliot. Those were books that introduced me to the English literature, the English romance. They were my growing up books. I cried when Jane had to leave Mr. Rochester and rejoiced when they met again and married.
Or is it the subtlety of the love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I devoured these books when I was in college (high school), in the US, loved and hated the characters, wished I could live their enchanted lives, and promised myself to write stories, such as those someday.
Siân: I think we’re both treading the same waters again! I totally fell in love with Jane Austen and the Brontës as a teen in high school – I much preferred them to Dickens and Tennyson. Those ladies were all such great observers of real life. George Eliot is also such a feminist icon – they were all remarkable women, which is why I was so intrigued by your choices. Have they been a big influence on your own writing?
Joy: Oh yes, great influence! Because of them, I wanted to write. I loved Dickens too. I read and enjoyed Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. Tennyson?! Not so much.
Siân: I like Dickens now, although I prefer screen adaptations more than the original book form. Tennyson’s more interesting to me now that I don’t have a teacher analysing him to death!
While we’re touching on lyrical poetry, how has your own vocal training affected your literary stylings?
Joy: That’s a very good question, Jan. My training was in operatic singing. In this musical style, we interpret stories in songs, with music. Don’t forget that at one point during my training, I went and studied cinematography, scripting film stories. As you can see, I’ve always either interpreted stories, or scripted them. This is why I chose writing novels as the logical thing to do in my retirement.
Before we end this conversation, I would like to use this opportunity to pitch my newest book titled: Pregnant Future. It is now on pre-order on Amazon.com and will be ready for download by the end of this month.
Siân: All I can add to that is that I love the way your ‘African’ voice comes through in all your books. So much so, I’ve already pre-ordered Pregnant Future!
Joy, many thanks for sharing your desert island ‘must haves’ with us – I hope you enjoy the rest of your desert island escape, entwined with all your favourite things!
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