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Philip Oyok
Writing Festival Finalist

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11 QUESTIONS with Philip Oyok - 1st Chapter Novel Winner

1. What is your novel about?

My novel is about a Nigerian real-estate businessman and former vigilante gun-smuggler who becomes blackmailed by a British spy to supply weapons to a militant army called the United Niger-Delta Brigade, or risk exposure of his past deeds.

2. Why should your novel be published around the world?

My novel is a fiction, but it's based on past and recent events that is still ongoing in the southern part of Nigeria. It involves the debacle surrounding the country's corrupt government and of its oil problem, and how it's affected negatively those who have been somewhat involved in it.

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

I've been writing close to ten years now.

4. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Apocalypse Now.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

I'm willing to work with anyone who appreciates his/her creative input and isn't afraid to let it show.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have published a collection of short stories called "The Artist at Work and Other Short Stories", and have as well published several short stories for various online magazines such as Four Volts in the U.K.

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

5 years from now, I want to see myself as a bestselling writer still going on strong. I have a lot more stories to write about, and seek an agent and publisher who will be brave enough to have my work published.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

I am a fast writer, and each day I put down between 2,000 - 3,000 words. I begin my work in the morning, take a two - three hour break around noon, and return to continue. I might take another break in the early evening before returning to complete my quota for the day. I as well keep records of how many words I'm able to achieve everyday, along with how well the story is coming.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love taking photographs of nature, and I as well paint.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

The contest appeared ideal for me to showcase my work, and the fact that it's being read by a group of professionals was enlightening to know that my work wouldn't be judged by just the opinions of a single reader who may or may not find my story totally convincing.

11. Any advice or tips you'd like to pass on to other writers?

First, accept that you are an artist as much as you are a writer, and that you will stay true to your art, no matter whatever direction it takes you. Let the word flow through you, and not from you. Read a lot of books, regardless of whether those books are relevant to your subject or genre. Select one or two of your favorite authors and start by imitating their style of writing, knowing that with time, you will learn to discover you own unique style. And spend everyday living your art by writing, even if you think you have nothing interesting to write about. Just write.

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Philip Oyok