It all started with a broken roof and a bangle made of cowries.Victor Ogana – Seeds of Heaven
Shortly after Gollancz’s Rivers of London Award, I got in touch with the winners and other shortlistees to find out more about them and thier projects. In this post, Victor Ogana talks to me about his shortlisted novel, Seeds of Heaven, and his influences as a writer.
Tell us about the work you submitted to the RoL award in a tweet or less.
Seeds of Heaven is the first in a planned series of books about a boy and his sister, a washed-up prince, and a runaway academic and how their actions shape the future of humankind in the face of a rising holy war.
Where are you in your process with the work?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the first draft for the second book and boooooy it’s a doozy
What are three things that inspired or influenced Seeds of Heaven as a novel?
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan was an eye opener for me on the emotional impact of high fantasy. Secondly, the Broken Earth series by NK Jemisin. I mean I don’t think I need to explain why this one is on here. And finally, the variety of African culture and an exploration of how the post-colonial loss of identity has affected spirituality and gender politics
What is one key part of your writing process?
When I read something I’ve just written, I ask myself ‘Am I excited by this?’ If the answer is no, then something’s gone horribly wrong. If the answer is yes, then I’m on the right track. Simplistic but it really does help.
Which book or author has most influenced you and why?
Octavia Butler. Her ability to use the macabre and bizarre to tell a riveting story is something I’ve spent most of my writing journey trying to learn. It talks to me.
Finally, what are you reading at the moment? And what is one book you would wholeheartedly recommend everyone to read right now?
The Will To Change by Bell Hooks and… er… The Will to Change by Bell Hooks? Such a good book!