Name of Book: Cat Eyes
Number of Pages: 180
Author: Pever X
Release Date: November 2013
BBR: How have you gone till this point of being published?
Pever X: I’ve been doing nothing extraordinary; just living. There was school, which I hated at some point, and National Youth Service. Then I worked jobs – I would rather not work – here and there; writing whenever I could spare a second. Those are the happiest moments of my life – when I write.
I got a publisher at one of the Benue ANA readings in Makurdi. I remember I read Sister Vanilla that day. Everyone loved it; everyone loves it. They tell me it’s a great piece; they tell me all my pieces are great. Well, I don’t know about them being great. I only know i enjoyed writing everyone of them.
BBR: What inspired you to write this book?
Pever X: Nothing. I don’t need to be inspired to write because I was born to write, I think. I can write a hundred books if I have the time.
BBR: Do you have a specific writing style?
Pever X: I think every writer who has found his or her voice has a style peculiar to him or her. The question should be if or not I have found my voice. The answer is yes. I leave my stamp on everyone of my pieces. It’s not a conscious effort.
BBR: How did you come up with the title?
Pever X: I didn’t come up with the title, the title came up to me. Titles have a way of sneaking up to me. Hahahahaha. Actually, the title came to me before the story itself. It’s like that with some of my works. The Heirloom and Sister Vanilla are some of such works. The Heirloom is the book I’m working on currently.
BBR: Please, what’s Cat Eyes all about? A shot please.
Pever X: I’m really not good at this; I mean telling people about my book. Perhaps I should read out the blurb for you. I didn’t write the blurb. Su’eddie Agema, my editor, did.
“Pededoo, a country boy struggles to balance a relationship with his father who has come home after many years abroad with a family – of cat eyes. Pededoo is however hardly able to resist the charming Melissa-Jane, the dashing Cat-eyed blond. Cat Eyes is a book of family, adventure, self discovery and love that would take readers on a voyage they would hold dear.”
BBR: Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Pever X: Cat Eyes is ninety percent fiction. Then there is the ten percent which is based on the experiences of people I know; my grandparents, to be more precise.
BBR: What books have influenced your life most?
Pever X: Time Changes Yesterday by Nyengi Koin. My admiration for the book made me pick up pen and paper. Today I feel like I was born for the pen; I mean born to write.
BBR: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Pever X: No one writer has significant influence on me to be branded my mentor. I’ve read quite a lot from a legion of writers; I think its why. But if you insist on a mentor, then I would say I am my own mentor.
BBR: What book are you reading now?
Pever X: A Man Called Blessed. Ted Dekker co-authored it with Bill Bright. You know Ted? Author of Blink, Three and Heavens Wager. He has written more than these four but the four are the ones I’ve read.
BBR: Are there any new writers that have grasped your interest?
Pever X: Yes. I would have said Toni Kan. But of course Oga Toni is not a new writer. Well, Elnathan John is another one. And that’s not because his Bayan Layi got on the Caine 2013 shortlist and every one other person but the judges declared him winner. It’s because he is another writer who paints pictures with words. We have very few of such writers around.
BBR: Do you see writing as a career?
Pever X: Referring to writing as a career trivializes what it means to me. Writing is the core essence of my existence. It’s what I must do to live; like you breathe to live. I always say this, that, it will kill me if I don’t write. I’m a practising accountant, if we must talk about career.
BBR: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Pever X: It was from reading novels. At first I marvelled at how authors could string words together and write a complete book. Then I wanted to try and see if I could do same. Next thing I was writing. Today I’m published.
BBR: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Pever X: Time is a major challenge. Most time I have to write into the wee hours of the morning. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a practising accountant and you know how it goes.
BBR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Pever X: It was smooth sailing all the way. I loved the story I was writing. I didn’t want to stop writing it. Sometimes I stayed up all night. I have a funny way of writing. I don’t plot stories like most writers do. I write instinctively – that’s how I prefer to call it. Most times, I don’t know how a story I’m writing will end until I finish it. That’s what keeps me writing all night.
BBR: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Pever X: Yes. If you must write, then you must read. Read even more than you write, perhaps. Su’eddie, my editor refers to it as the price we pay for being writers – reading.
BBR: When are we expecting your book in stores?
Pever X: Last Quarter of this year. Aondo awase.
BBR: How do you see Literature and Publishing in Nigeria today?
Pever X: Nigerian literature is getting better every day; we have a lot of good folks around. I can’t mention names now. Publishing in Nigeria is nightmarish, especially for the mediocre and first writer. Well, there should be no room for mediocrity. The good ones will get to be heard anyhow.