… Only the book ended up being about Nigeria instead. You see, in 2010, when I started to write it, Americans on the whole considered Nigerians scarier than Arabs. I had just taken a job with a Nigerian oil company where I often worked late in a common room and couldn’t help but overhear the phone calls of my young, male Nigerian co-workers as they called home.
Please read the entire post on my x0 blog at More in Common
A few of my tales, however, happened almost the way I tell them. One such narrative is Lola’s realizing how running the face painting booth at her children’s grade school changed her life.
Read the rest of this post at Face Painting for World Peace.
Also check out Kurt Brindley’s blog Relating to Humans. You’ll find a more personal account of this story here on his page on Race Issues.
Every so often my characters surprise me with their wisdom. I’ll be writing away, happily trying to convey some occurrence crucial to my plot, and one of them will interrupt the action with a remark that causes me to pause and wonder where that came from.
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When I started writing a book about a telepathic link developing between two strangers, I wanted the second woman to lead a life that was very different from my protagonist. There were a lot of good reasons to make her Nigerian. For one, I’ve gotten to work with and know a variety of Nigerians in my day job, and I had both information on and appreciation for Nigeria’s cultures. Secondly, I recognized that few nations have as poor a reputation here in the US, largely due, I think, to the ongoing rash of Nigerian internet scams.
But I also knew that Nigeria has lessons to teach the rest of the world about learning to get along.
Read the rest of this post at Empathy lessons from Nigeria.