Author Interview 106 Segilola Salami – Children’s Author/Fairy Tales

 

I don’t often promote books for kids at the library, but this author’s work intrigued me. The books are bilingual – English and Yoruba, that’s a West African Language spoken by nearly 65 million people.  Anyway if you’d like to learn a little more here is some information about the language and people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_language

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people

Over to you Segilola…

Welcome to Segilola Salami

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m a Londoner living in London

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.

I write bilingual children’s books. My titles so far are:

  • Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London
  • Learn to Count in Yoruba and English
  • Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother

Where do you find inspiration? My daughter

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I tend to have an idea of the folktales I want to include in my book, so I do a bit of online and offline research, speaking to friends to see what versions they remember. This way I try to get the version I tell as close to accurate as I can. I also add my own twists to it. I do enjoy this because it allows me to relive my childhood.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I think with my stories, there are some moral guides. This is important, as I hope it teaches children that every action we take has a reaction

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? All my books are available as ebooks. Only Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is available as a paperbook. I definitely would consider expanding the formats the books are available in in the future

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do both. When I write my first draft, I take a good few days away from it. I give the manuscript to beta readers to provide feedback. When I go back to the draft manuscript, I sometimes find that with the way I wrote a paragraph, my intentions were not clearly put across, so I have to re-write it. I also apply any appropriate feedback I get from my beta readers. Then I pass the manuscript to the professional editor. When I get the manuscript back, I re-read the editors versions. I find that because I translate some Yoruba words, if the editor changes some key words, the meaning would be lost. So it is important that I then re-edit the editors version.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? As a reader, I don’t think so.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes I do

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? As a reader, I never bothered reading reviews. The only time I give a review is when Amazon sends me an email asking for a review. As a reader reviews are not that important to me (as I may not have the same views as the previous reviewer) for works of fiction. I like to judge for myself. If I find a book is badly written, I won’t give the author a second go. If I enjoyed the first book, I would seek out other books by the same author. For non-fiction, I definitely check out reviews to see what people think of the content.

As an author, reviews are super important to help me improve and be better at my writing and that’s why I have a network of beta readers and other authors who I call on to get their feedback. In marketing my books, I have been told that it is important to have reviews as there are some people who only check out books that have reviews.

I think authors should not comment on any published reviews s/he gets. If the author knows the person, then they can talk about the review privately.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Only for non-fiction

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/603700

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1R7OVF3

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1S7GM66

Book page: http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/en/book/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother/id1072179529?mt=11

GRs https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28388212-yetunde

 

Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1S0AkQ6

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KJuXDk

Book trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCMv4wU5sHI

 

Author website: http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yetunde3DAnimation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iyayetunde1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/segilolasalami

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7OL37UtAJ-ULNnDGB0SiTg/videos

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+IyaYetunde

Subscribe to Podcast http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/subscribe-to-podcast/

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-segilola-salami-show/id1091366789?mt=2&ls=1

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=85447&refid=stpr

Character Interview Number Twenty-Seven – Arael – Fantasy/YA/Children’s Books

Name (s): Arael

Age: 9

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. “Tall, with red hair, green eyes, and pointed ears.”

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? “All elves have a moral code.  We care for our world and the creatures who live in it, and do what we can to protect both.  The elders believe this includes killing those who threaten it with their harmful and disrespectful behaviour, but I personally believe that killing is never the right thing to do.  I know for a fact that there are many other elves who agree with me.  It is unfortunate that these elves are not among the elders who write and enforce our laws.”

Would you kill for those you love? “I do not think so.  I would most certainly try to avoid doing so, and would hope that I was strong enough to stick firmly to my beliefs that killing solves nothing even when placed in such a situation.”
Would you die for those you love? “Perhaps.  Though I hope I shall never need to find this out.”

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? “I have given this some thought, but I still have no idea.  I think it is common to struggle to admit to your weaknesses, and I do not feel that anything stands out as being a strength where I am concerned.”

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? “The person I am closest to is my identical twin sister, Derwyn.  We have rarely been parted throughout our entire lives so far, and we are best friends as well as being siblings.”

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? “I love all animals; we elves generally do.  We have no pets, since we do not believe in forcing animals to be kept in cages.  Animals should be free.”

Do you have a family? Tell us about them? “As I already mentioned, I have an identical twin sister named Derwyn.  As I also already mentioned, we’re very close, and we’re best friends as well as being siblings.   I have no other siblings.  My Father is the elven king, and my Mother his queen.  This, as you might imagine, means they are often quite busy and have little time to spend with Derwyn and myself.  When we are a few years older and it is time to prepare us for the day we will rule, they will pay more attention to us.  In the meantime, my sister and I have a governess, who is responsible for both our education and our care, though she is generally so relaxed in her observations of us outside of lesson time that we can escape for hours at a time without her noticing.  This is how it works if you are a member of the royal family, though I dare say the governess is supposed to be more observant than she is.  I am unsure whether it will be Derwyn or I who take our Father’s place, but I hope it will be her, since I feel she is better suited for the task.”

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? “I was 5 years old the first time that I saw a human find his way in to our world through one of the magical doorways.  I watched him be killed for the crime of being a human.  I had seen no sign of violence from this man, and yet he was killed.  I felt it was wrong, but when I confronted my Father he just told me the stories of the old wars as though this made it acceptable for the human to be killed.  I swore that day I would do all I could to avoid it happening in the future.  I have since discovered that many other elves feel the same way about it.  This is why we did not report it when the human child, Polly, entered our world.”

Do you have any phobias? “I fear that the elders will turn us in to violent beings with their law that humans should die for simply entering our world.”

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. “I can not swim very well.  With the lake separating our tree town from the mainland we elves are taught to swim at an early age.  But I just can not get the hang of it.  I can just about keep myself from drowning, but that is the best I can manage.  My sister, Derwyn, is a strong swimmer, like almost every other member of the elven population over the age of 3.  But not me.  It is one of the few ways we differ.”

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. “My world has no religion.  We care for animals and nature, because you have to care for your world if you wish to live a healthy life in a healthy world, and especially if you wish to leave a healthy world behind for your descendants to survive in.  But we do not believe in any God, Goddess, or other spiritual being.”

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? “Elves are free to travel where they wish in our world, though being the elven princesses my sister and I should officially not travel out of sight of the tree town unescorted.  Nobody would dare to stop us if we revealed who we were, but we tend to wear plain clothes when we sneak out.  The only people who would dare to stop us if they recognized us would be our parents, and they are generally too busy to notice unless we are gone too long.  Oh, and our governess, though it generally takes her some time to notice we are gone unless we miss lessons.  The only time we travelled very far was when we went with Polly to look for the purple pumpkin.  Every other time we have remained within a couple of hours walk of our home.  It was only our knowledge of geography from our lessons that allowed us to easily know which direction to take with Polly.”

Name and describe a food from your world. “Most of our foods are just like those from the human world, but we do have a couple that are unique to our world.  I shall name and describe my favourite berry.  It is called a silbery, and is a very sweet fruit.  As the name suggests, silberries are silver.  They look just like silver strawberries, and taste like a cross between a strawberry and a kiwi fruit.”

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? “I have read that many people believe that elves are magical.  This is not the case.  There were once magical elves, just as there were once magic users in the human world, but they are all gone now.  There are still some magical items in our world – such as the purple pumpkin – and those items can be used to perform magic.  The purple pumpkin, for example, grants wishes.  As for how magic is viewed in our world… For the most part people do not think about it.  We know the magical items exist, but until we need their magic we spare them very little thought.  There are also the magical doorways, which appear randomly to connect our world to other worlds.  These are viewed as being very dangerous, due to the risk of being stuck forever in a world that is not your own, and are usually avoided by any elves who see them appear.”

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) “We have both a royal family and a council of elders.  Officially it is the king and queen who rule, but it is common knowledge that they make no decision without the approval of a majority of the council of elders.”

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? “The only race in our world is elves.  Once other races shared our world, but after the great wars they were banished, and none visit now.  A few humans have strayed in to our world through the magical doorways, but since humans were the cause of the great wars all those years ago, any human who enters our world is put to death.”

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people.“The most well-known legend is the legend of the doorways.  The legend says that there was once an elven wizard with so little patience he poured his magic in to the soil in which he had planted seeds to make them grow immediately, just so that he could avoid having to wait for nature to do the task in its own time.  His attempt worked, but it had an unexpected side effect; it created ripples in the universe that created magical doorways to other worlds.  But these doorways were unstable, and those who found them and passed through them found themselves trapped in a world that was not their own.  Sometimes people would search for years before being lucky enough to stumble upon another doorway, and there was no guarantee it would be one back in to their own world, since it could lead to another world entirely.  These doorways allowed other races to enter our world, and many stayed, and were welcomed at first.  But when the humans’ numbers grew they wanted to claim the world for themselves.  The result of which was the wars known as the great wars, which led to the elven population shrinking considerably, and all other races being banished from our world forever.  Legend says each race was sent through a different doorway when one appeared next, starting with the humans, and that those races each claimed a world for themselves.  Most of us avoid the magical doorways now, but sometimes curious humans will stumble through a doorway, and from the first time this happened it has been the law in our world that any human entering our world should be put to death, since they were the cause of the great wars that divided the races and worlds.”

What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? “We have no technology, and there is nothing I could not live without that nature does not provide.  As long as I have food, water, and shelter, I can be happy.  Though, of course, I would prefer to also have my sister, Derwyn.”

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. “The answer depends who you ask.  Some would say that it does, because they would consider elves to be mystical beings.  However, since elves are the only humanoid race that populates our world, we do not consider ourselves to be either supernatural, mystical, mythological, or any of the other words I’ve heard are used to describe us in other worlds.  So, as far as we are concerned, it does not.  However, others may disagree.”

Within your civilisation what do you think is the most important discovery/invention? “I think that the most important discovery is the purple pumpkin, since without it Derwyn and I would have had no chance of saving Polly before the elders learned she was in our world.”

***

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Arael is one of the main characters of the story “Quest For The Purple Pumpkin” in the “Wyrd Worlds II” anthology.  Get your copy at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/478114

Author name: Victoria Zigler

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.com