The Olayinka Aikens Interview
Olayinka Aikens is a California native. The founder of an Oakland based PR and events firm, Chocolate Candy Media, she is a frequent contributor for online and print publications and she operates TheChocolateFashionBlog.com. This talented author enjoys the art of writing as we’re about to find out from her.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was eight years old and never stopped. English was my best subject in school. My 7th grade teacher was the first person to really recognize my talent. He encouraged me to write no matter what. I cannot imagine life without writing.
What inspired you to write books?
My first book, Smooth Operators came to me in a dream. My second book Unfinished Business is the sequel.
What steps did you take to publish your books?
I self-published both of my books and I usually hire editors. When I started writing Smooth Operators, editors kept telling me they didn’t know where to put me.
The urban novels had yet to come about and I wasn’t quite romance. I was ahead of my time and a bit of a nomad so I went on to self-publish to learn the business.
What’s your favorite part in either of your works?
My favorite part of Unfinished Business is when one of the characters suffers a great loss and has a moment where he breaks down and shows his vulnerability. A lot of men are afraid to do that for fear that they will look weak or less than a man. This character is an alpha male so for him to be emotional was a huge turning point.
Outside of writing your novels, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?
I mentor students to encourage them to go to college and learn about technology. I also work as an active member of my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., on various community based projects. In addition, I like to show people how to write their own novels. Sharing your knowledge makes you a better writer.
Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?
I have so many things going on personally and professionally I have to play things by ear! I’m hoping to conduct some writers workshops real soon at some of the Los Angeles area libraries for aspiring writers.
How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?
People order books and keep in touch with me through my website. www.olayinkaaikens.com. There is a contact page where they can send me email or inquire about projects and receive more information.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?
Write every day and use life as your best tool for creativity. Most of what I write comes from experiences and people I know. I change names to protect the guilty (laughs) but a lot of the material comes from real life situations. Fifteen minutes of writing a day is best to keep up the momentum.
Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?
As important as it is for authors to write, it’s important for readers to read. Literacy is very important and I encourage readers to keep reading and supporting their favorite authors!
Thank you Olayinka!