Monday, 26 August 2013

Mary Okeke speaks to Karo Oforofuo

Karo Oforofuo author of Susan's Diary. Please click here to read review of Susan Diary 1.

Complete name: Oghenekaro Oforofuo, mostly go with Karo, from Delta State Nigeria. Born in Benin on the 7th of September 1985, where she currently lives. Graduated from the Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka.

Mary Okeke: Are you a writer by profession?
Karo Oforofuo: No, I am a musicologist by profession. Writing used to be a hobby until recently when I decided to take it further.

MO: Interesting, what led you to write Susan’s Diary?
KO: Susan’s Diary was born out of a need to give my readers something to read for free. It started when a Nigerian magazine hired me to write a story for them that had to do with the life of a runs girl. Before then, I hadn’t written such stories before but I took it up as a challenge. After I finished the first ten episodes, they did not want it because they felt it was not good enough for the public, the violence and action was not what they wanted. So, I put that aside and wrote something else for them. Later when I was writing my second novel “Gentle Wild,” I toured some author sites just to see what they were doing and how they were marketing themselves. There, I noticed that they always had a free book or story to give to their readers, so, I decided to do the same. Since I did not have anything at the moment for a free read, I went back to the magazine story that was rejected and started to develop it. That was the birth of Susan’s Diary. I saw that people really loved it and so, after posting each chapter on my blog and face book fan page for a free read, I went on to publish the stories.

MO: I have read first part of Susan's Diary, and I found it entertaining. So, what should we expect from the rest of the sequels?
KO: Well, you should expect to see Susan really change for good and start to do the right things. I believe that a person always get to a point in life where they no longer enjoy living a rough life. Apart from changing her ways, she will use her street skills to help the innocent people around her who really need assistance. Then she falls in love with one of her street pals who also is tired of the street life. Although she has changed her ways, Susan’s life is still far from normal because trouble always seems to find her. First it was the case of finding some kidnap victims and then there was the issue of being kidnapped by Boko Haram. After managing to escape being exploded by the bomb made for the dreaded terrorist group and recovering from injuries sustained during the period, Frank decided it was time to take Susan home to meet his mother and siblings. There, she was thrown into a challenge by Frank’s ex-girl friend, Ese. It wasn’t easy for Susan because the street life thing seemed to be getting out of her veins. She was no longer as care free as she used to be, doing things without minding the consequences but still, she succeeded in overcoming the situation.

MO: Wow... 
KO: Other parts to come include Getting married to her heartthrob and bearing his children. Almost every girl dreams of getting married and having children, but with Susan, it’s more than that. She will not only be getting married and having kids, she will find herself constantly thinking about the best way to protect her husband and children. The story of Susan will end in series 10 and after that, I will work towards producing it into a series film. 

MO: I would so much love to see Susan in action. Have you had a similar life experience as Susan? Or was she only the fruit of your imagination?
KO: Susan is only the fruit of my imagination but, I must admit that there are some unnoticeable or should I say quiet attributes of hers that is also mine. Lol. For example, When Nnkem argued with Susan about the stolen money, she pretended like she did not care but decided within her to return it to Eric. She did this because she wanted to make Nnkem happy; she was not feeling comfortable that someone so dear to her felt bad because of her actions. That is my kind of person. If someone complains about something, especially if it was something I saw no big deal with, I may pretend not to care, but inside, I start to feel bad that my actions have hurt someone. Not long after, I decided within me to make sure I right my wrong. I definitely will not tell the person my decision; I just go ahead and do what I have decided.
One more example is the vault thing. Eric went to Susan’s place in search of a vault containing N6million naira when really; the vault Susan talked about was her rice bag. Lol. I am one who loves to hide things in plain sight.

MO: Susan said somewhere “Hello! Did I tell you that I went through real surgery to get my endowments?”Are women in Nigeria now resorting to plastic surgery to keep in good shape?
KO: No they are not. If anything, I think most of them are waking up to the fact that plastic surgery is actually not the way to go. God created every one of us perfectly but if anyone thinks otherwise, that is their own business. I for one, I can never agree to go under the knife, not for me or for anyone.

MO: Who are your target audience?
KO: My target audience are matured adults who can handle a good story and laugh over it without nursing thoughts of wanting to try out some of the things they have read.

MO: Sure, Susan is not a role model, though, it is fun to read her diaries.
KO: .....So my audience are people from 19 years and above. To me, age is sometimes just a number although this does not apply to every aspect of life. I have met some really matured teenagers and that is why I think a 19 years old person can read Susan’s Diary and take it for what it is, a story. 

MO: How did you find the publishing process?
KO: It is not so easy getting publishers, outside of that, I discovered that most publishers want you to first promote your story and get a good amount of readers before they even look at your work. Thank God for self publishing platforms like Amazon, Createspace, Kobobooks, Lulu, Books baby and so on. The only thing is that after publishing, you have to market and marketing is not so easy.  

MO: Any African writers that inspire you?
KO: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one writer that really inspired me. Not because there are no other good writers but because she is a woman who has made a name for herself in the writing profession. It was usually the men who won awards and gained so much popularity in the past but today, it is a different case. There are other writers who inspire me but most of them are unpublished and I don’t even know their real names but if you visit the literature section of Nairaland.com, you will find wonderful stories written by wonderful authors on the forum.

MO: How did you find out about Mary Okeke Reviews?
KO: I found out about Mary Okeke Reviews by accident. That morning, I visited Somi Ekhasomhi’s website (Lagos Romance Series) for a fresh read but instead saw her book review link to your site. I clicked on the link and after reading the review, I liked what I read, so, I went on to read some others. I was deeply satisfied and I said to myself, this is one good reviewer.

MO: (Smiles) Thank you. What do you love most about it?
KO: I love the fact that there are lots of books in the site and because of this; I discovered other books and authors that I knew nothing about before. I discovered their kind of stories and the names of several other books they have written. That site is one large African Library and really, it is what we need especially in this time and age. 

MO: Reading any book at the moment?
KO: Well, I am reading a story, soon to be a book. The title is False Pretence by Peju Amadi. I am also about to finish one on Nairaland by princessa. The title is Taking Chances. For already published book, no, I am not reading one presently.

MO: Where can your books be purchased? 
KO:

MO: How can your readers contact you?
KO: They can contact me through my email jadejay090@gmail.com, my blog www.karosstoryblog.blogspot.com, or my Facebook fan page.

MO: Thank you Karo, I can't wait to read the rest of Susan's diary.

10 comments:

  1. That's my Girl... keep on the good work

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  2. I put your blog on the community blog you are doing a great work and I am proud of you Mary Okeke!

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  3. I enjoyed reading this interview. She bared it all. Thanks for this.

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  4. I didn't know Karo was a 'she' till today. I am awed and amazed. Beautiful

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