Brittle Paper plays host to yet another author. We extend a warm welcome Nike Campbell-Fatoki who is just starting out on a five-day tour that will take her through Nine other blogs [click here to see all the other dates and venues]. Brittle Paper is her second stop, after which she will head out to iquoeke.blogspot.com and others. She is publicizing her collection of short stories titled Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon – an astute story of a brilliant but broken woman battling with mental illness.
It’s such a treat to have Nike here. Now I know you have lots of questions about the book. The aspiring writers among us may have questions about the writing process and Nike’s experience with publishing. Don’t worry, she is on hand to indulge our curiosity, but here is what we are going to do.
First, we will give those of you who haven’t read the book a quick description of this collection of stories. If you scroll further down, you can listen to Nike Campbell Fatoki read a snippet of Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon. Feel free to write any questions or comments you might have in the comment section. Nike will respond to you as best as she can.
Okay, let’s go!
In this short story collection, Nike Campbell-Fatoki filters the lives of contemporary Nigerians through a colorful and vivid prism, where past sins come to upset settled lives, where lost lives fuel a campaign for a better future and nothing is as it seems. She explores well-known themes but delves a little deeper, questioning our ideas about people, our impressions and prejudices. Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon depicts the struggles of a young ambitious and hardworking Nigerian abroad with the same insightful candor as it does the tale of a brilliant but broken woman struggling with mental illness.
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I knocked on the door of apartment twenty-four for the third time. The smell of iru (locust beans) filled the hallway. If I do not get this food in soon, occupants of the second floor will call Mr Theodore, the building manager, about the odd smell in the building. I shook my head and knocked louder. Footsteps approached the door. Tamuno opened it, his towel wrapped around his waist; dark hair covered his broad chest. When he looked down at me, his shaved head glistened. He looked well-groomed with a goatee.
“Bros, good evening,” I said, handing him the plastic bag of food.
“You try for me, Ade. I swear! Ever since you introduced me to this restaurant I’ve been hooked! They put something for the food?” Tamuno joked. I chuckled.
He invited me into the living room. I walked in as he grabbed his wallet on the arm of the recliner. He pulled out a wad of dollar bills and began to count them. I looked away. The living room was furnished with expensive furniture – the dark brown recliner complemented the seven-seater leather sectional and ottoman. He pressed the dollar bills into my hand and walked me to the door.
“That’s for your transportation and for tomorrow’s lunch. Please buy me the stew with cow feet and ponmo next time.” I chuckled and teased him about the weight he would start gaining. When we got to the door, I reminded him of the IT position I applied for at his workplace. “Did you have a chance to talk to the HR. manager yet? You’re one of my references, bros.”
“I haven’t had a chance. You know I just got back from this business trip, and I’m in the middle of bringing my wife over.”
“Oh yes! Congrats! When does she arrive?”
He smiled.“She’ll be here in less than a month!”
“You said she’s a minister’s daughter, right? Which one?” I asked.
“Not that it matters, but she’s the daughter of the Minister of Works and Housing.”
His phone rang somewhere in the apartment. He said he had to go. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He closed the door in my face before I could answer.
Nike Campbell Fatoki was born in Lvov, Ukraine. She is the second of four children born to Nigerian medical doctors in the old Soviet Union. A graduate of Economics with a minor in Political Science from Howard University, she also has a Master’s degree in International Development from American University.
Nike juggles writing with her day job in budget and finance management at Prince George’s county. Her first novel, A Thread of Gold Beads was published in 2009. Her latest work, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon, was released in July 2016.
Nike lives in the Washington DC area with her family, where she is writing her next historical fiction novel set to be published in 2017.
Thanks to Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam author of Finding Love Again for coordinating the tour and writing all the copy for the promotion.
COMMENTS ( 8 ) -
Nike Campbell-Fatoki August 17, 2016 07:26
Thanks Miriam xoxo
Miriam August 17, 2016 07:19
wow! 9 themes. That is amazing. I have not read the book. I am really looking forward to reading it.
Nike Campbell-Fatoki August 17, 2016 06:25
Thanks for this question Miriam. Weaving all the characters and the myriad of social issues they faced would have been too cumbersome for any novel. The readers would have asked me "What were you really trying to say?" If it even got to the point of publication. One or two issues maybe but not nine or ten of them.
Nike Campbell-Fatoki August 17, 2016 06:19
Hi Ifesinachi and thanks. I really enjoyed writing The Appointment. Here was Mariamu whom everyone, including the reader had sized up and assumed was done for. No one was ready for who she really was by the end of the story. It was light-hearted towards the end. I wanted the reader to chuckle and get a breather from the other somewhat heavy stories. We all need to laugh sometimes.
Ifesinachi August 17, 2016 02:41
Hi Nike, Well done! Which of your stories is your favourite and why would you choose that one?
Miriam August 16, 2016 11:36
Hello Nike, Why did you choose to write an anthology instead of weaving all your characters into a novel?
Nike Campbell-Fatoki August 16, 2016 07:34
Hi Chioma, It took a few months. I did travel to the community. but I changed the name of the community in the story. I was taken aback by how people lived. I also marvelled at their resilience to not just live but thrive. As can be expected, some of the people were reluctant to talk. As they said they have had a lot of visitors come by, promise them things and never do anything. They were tired. There were others though, who were willing to talk. Getting into the head of Sade, the protagonist was easy because I had the opportunity to see how such a girl could have lived in that type of community. Having talked with the dwellers of the community, I had found out that many of them were displaced persons who moved there. I spun a tale from there, imagining what could have brought Sade to the community in the first place.
Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam August 16, 2016 07:03
Hello Nike, Nice to have you here. How long did it take you to research the Hunchback story? Did you have to travel to Ileoriomi community? And what was your experience like? Were people reluctant to talk about their lives. I'm interested in knowing how you were able to get inside the head of the indigent protagonist. Thanks a lot.