Eleven Questions with Terminus Author Balogun Ojetade
1). How did your writing journey begin?
I began reading at two years of age—Fantastic Four, Beatle Bailey and Batman comic books that my sister used to teach me to sound out words and associate them with pictures.
I loved reading the comic books, but also loved watching Get Smart and The Wild, Wild West television shows with my mother just as much.
The fantastic stories in the comic books and television shows took me to worlds beyond the poverty and violence I grew up around and I decided I wanted to create such worlds, too, but I wanted to create worlds with heroes that look like me.
One day, while watching The Wild , Wild, West, I decided I was going to be a writer—a screenwriter, specifically—so at six years old I began writing short books and screenplays.
2). Who are your writing inspirations?
My writing inspirations are the author Chester Himes and the writer and poet, Henry Dumas.
3). Are you an outliner or a panster?
I was an outliner until August 29, 2012 when I suffered seven strokes that changed the way I process information. Now, the entire book comes to me in my head like a film—dialogue and all—and I write what I “see” and “hear.”
4). What are your favorite books?
Other than my own, my favorite books are Echo Tree: The Collected Short Fiction of Henry Dumas, and the Harlem Detective series by Chester Himes, which is comprised of 9 books, including the popular A Rage in Harlem, The Real Cool Killers, Cotton Comes to Harlem and the unfinished Plan B.
5). Describe your writing process.
An idea comes to my head, usually inspired by some current event I see in the news, and I begin creating the story in my head. Over a few minutes, the plot forms. Over the next few hours, the characters come to life in my mind and then I wait for a title to come to me. When it does, I sit down and start writing the first draft of the story. After that, I edit the story for errors and to change character names to whatever sounds good to me and has a meaning relevant to the character or story. Then I edit it again for flow before sending it off for others to read and edit it.
6). What inspired you to write Bomani and the Case of the Missing Monsters?
I love the noir genre of fiction and I have always wanted to do noir story with elements of horror. I like writing comedic short stories, too, so I put a funny noir spin on Urban Fantasy and Bomani and the Case of the Missing Monsters was born.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
In Bomani and the Case of the Missing Monsters, the detective Bomani and his partner, Stitch investigate the murder of a young man whose scary movie posters are missing some things that might not actually be missing.
8). How do you feel about Atlanta being a Black Speculative Fiction hub?
With so many Blacktastic science fiction, fantasy, comic book and horror writers living here and with events like Blacktasticon, the Mahogany Masquerade, Alien Encounters and Onyxcon happening here, it makes perfect sense.
9). Will there be more stories about this character?
Bomani will be seen again in Terminus 2 and I am working on a novel with Bomani as the protagonist.
10). How do we keep up with all things Balogun Ojetade?
Go to Amazon and search my name and you will find all my books. I write science fiction, fantasy, horror, action and adventure, role playing games, gamebooks and self defense and survival and preparedness non-fiction books.
You can also check out chroniclesofharriet.com for great articles on Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Rococoa, Sword and Soul, Horror and everything Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Fiction.
11). What advice would you give to new writers?
Write. Every day. And know that your stories need to be heard, so tell them to the best of your ability.
Read Bomani and the Case of the Missing Monster in Terminus: Tales of The Black Fantastic From the ATL. Available at the State of Black Science Fiction Booth at the Decatur Book Festival Labor Day weekend.