Author of the Week — Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo 1

An interview with Sylva Nze Ifedigbo. Read our review of his book, My Mind Is No Longer Here here.

LE: Hello Sylva, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Sylva: Hi, thanks for having me. For a brief introduction, my name is Sylva Nze Ifedigbo. I am a fiction writer, op-ed columnist and Communications professional. I am the author of most recently, the novel; My Mind is No Longer Here. I am a father, lover of books and a student of life. I like to say I am a true Nigerian as I hail from Agulu in Anambra State, which is in the South East, was born and grew up in the North Central, Abuja precisely and now live in Lagos in the South West. I am an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and in that sense, I am a Lion. I have quite a good interest in sports. Specifically, I love football, tennis and Formula One and my allegiance in those three are to Manchester United (and the Super Eagles), Rafael Nadal and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who is not currently having a great run, unfortunately.

LE: Interesting. Lady B is a tennis fan and roots for Nadal amongst other players.

What you do for a living? Is writing your full time job?

Sylva: I write. That’s what I do for a living. I do not write full time in the true sense of that term because really, not too many writers especially in this part of the world can live off their writing full time. So, I hold down a job, a 9 to 5 like we like to call it. But I am lucky that in my case, my day job involves writing for the most part, so I can say for a fact that all I do is write even though the dimensions of the writing differ. One part is the creative writing and the other is more of strategic corporate communication, public relations and stakeholder’s management.

LE: When did you start writing and what prompted it?

Sylva: It may sound cliché when writers say the very first thing they did after perhaps learning to stand and walk was to write, but really for me, this is true. I have written since I can remember. My earliest memories were writing alternate stories of characters, some of them, animals, I encountered in children story books. My parents who were teachers with a thing for documentation ensured they captured my earliest stories in note books and I understand I always harangued their visitors back then to read my stories. All through my early education I was always in the press club and literary society and I remember having quite a fun time writing short poems for friends who wanted to impress their love interests back in secondary school. I however started writing seriously in the university. I contributed articles then to The Nation newspaper’s “Campus Life” weekly column and then I attended the maiden Adichie Creative Writing workshop. The rest is history. LOL

LE: Are you currently working on any book and if you are, what is it about?

Sylva: Oh, sure I am. I am thankful that I can finally say that I am because for some time since My Mind Is No Longer Here was shipped off to the publisher, I couldn’t get myself to start any full-length work. Doesn’t help that everyone wants to know “When is the next one out”. The pressure could be counterproductive really. Plus, I had personal issues to deal with. So, I am excited to confirm that we are off the mark on a new novel and it’s gathering some momentum, the writing, that is. I am not sure I want to disclose what it’s about right now. But just to say I hope to, as I always try to do, tell a simple everyday story of life in these parts.

LE: We are guilty of asking authors we know when their next book is out too (apart from in interviews). But only if we like their writing so, in that sense it’s a compliment.

Lastly, what are your hobbies?

Sylva: I already told you of my interest in sports. I will watch those on TV to relax any day. Added to that is news and documentaries. I also like to see movies and to travel when I can. I am not sure reading counts here ‘cos that should be normal for every writer.

Sylva has three published books:

Whispering Aloud

The Funeral Did Not End

The Funeral Did Not End

My Mind is No Longer Here

My Mind is No Longer Here

He is on Twitter and blogs here.