The Eddie Interview

hl_blue joined #the-eddie-interview

hl_blue set the channel purpose: To take apart the many personality mystery that is Eddie

amanda joined #the-eddie-interview by invitation from @hl_blue, along with @edgothboy@ima_theflyingbishop@naaki

ima_theflyingbishop: So Edwin, how are you doing?

edgothboy: Very emotional, I’m watching the French film Girlhood and it has me in my feelings.

hl_blue: What is the movie about? Do you understand French? How many languages can you speak?

edgothboy: It’s basically a coming of age story about a black girl called Marieme in modern day France. Very gritty. I speak three languages, English, Hausa and French.

ima_theflyingbishop: Girlhood! That movie made me so uncomfortable. Left me feeling things I wasn’t sure I should feel. What do you love the most about the movie?

edgothboy: The relationship between Marieme and her younger sister. It’s rare to see black girls portrayed like that.

hl_blue: I don’t remember watching a movie about a young black girl. I think Diary of a Mad Black Woman was the first movie I saw with a lead black lady. I know I don’t go out much. It’s for reasons like these I am happy for series like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder (even though some people hate them). Somehow I think stories of young black girls or women are not told enough.

ima_theflyingbishop: Do you agree Edwin?

edgothboy: There is Eve’s Bayou with Jurnee Smollett and the British film Kidulthood and the new Annie.

But yeah, black girls are magic and we never get to see that portrayed. Black girls have no representation, which is probably why I desperately love Jesmyn Ward.

hl_blue: All these names you are calling. Weird names. I’m already scared of your library. Do you have a library? What are the books on your shelf? When did you start reading? Where do you get your books? Sorry for the question flood LOL.

edgothboy: Hmmm.

I’m currently rereading White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson. I don’t have a library, I have a reading list. Life’s much easier that way.

I have always read. I’m severely short sighted so books provided safe entertainment for a blind boy with no glasses. I usually illegally download them because I generally prefer experimentative fiction and short of ordering I can’t get them to Nigeria any other way.

ima_theflyingbishop: Do you have a girlfriend Edwin?

edgothboy: Nope. I currently have multiple crushes though.

hl_blue: Ahem. Back to Editing! Have you ever edited a story in Hausa? Do you read any Hausa books? Do they have any novelists of note?

edgothboy: There is a thriving Hausa pulp fiction community and a Hausa lit fic community but I think everyone knows Zainab Alkali. I haven’t edited a story in Hausa because colloquial Hausa is very different from official Hausa which I speak. I still have Hausa novels from my gran-gran.

hl_blue: My mind is slightly blown right now. I will try and learn that Hausa language before I die. Thanks for the inspiration LOL.

Tell us how you started writing Eddie. Why do you write? Where do you think writing is taking you in this life?

edgothboy: I started writing as a child. I used to draw comics and I would write storylines for them, mostly Nancy Drew type comics. Then I entered my teens and started taking writing seriously as a way to understand myself.

I write because I am. Writing is like speaking for me. In fact a funny thing I do is edit dialogue in my head when I talk to people.

I don’t know where writing will take me, but I hope my writing will provide representation and a community for people like the person I was as a teenager.

amanda: Ed, what editorial challenges upset you the most?

edgothboy: Easy, mediocre content.

People send in lukewarm material that they barely gave a second read and expect you to overlook quality because they bothered to write at all.

hl_blue: But you know how you can write something so deep and think you felt it and then Eddie reads it and says it is lukewarm. Your ginger will just disappear. Sighs

edgothboy: Haha. I’m not always right but I have a pretty good eye. And lukewarm is only bad if the person thinks it can’t be improved. I believe a story is never finished, only emancipated to live as its own creature. I just want the story as well equipped for the real world as it can be.

amanda: That’s an excellent thought, Eddie, about stories being emancipated to live on their own. I am taking notes. More gems, please.

hl_blue: Tell us your experience with people criticizing your writing please. How does it make you feel? How do you deal with the good, the bad and the ugly? Help us.

edgothboy: I like it. In fact a problem I’ve had is people empathizing so strongly with the story that they miss blatant typos. Critiquing for me only matters before the story is sent out for publishing and I have a small group of truth tellers (side eyes Amanda) whose opinions matter to me.

But once a story is published it becomes a living thing and all critique and praise becomes part of its character and not my problem.
(P.S. Preying Mantis critiqued two of my stories and liked them. I can die happy.)

Also, this is how I feel about critique by a stranger, something a lot of people dread.
I encounter dozens of blogs that I see a first paragraph, roll my eyes and close the tab. A stranger critiquing your work means there was something there that caught and held their attention and they formed an opinion strong enough that they felt they had to share. In this age of heavy attention deficit that is a compliment.

amanda: Ooh, another gem. (I’m sorry, I’m here more in the capacity of adoring fan than objective interviewer.)

hl_blue: Eddie has said it. Editors criticize because they care. Amanda we have seen you o

edgothboy: Don’t mind her, Anthems weeps from editorial neglect. (Anthems is a book Eddie is working on).

amanda: Haha! Mea culpa. I’m terribly lazy. In all seriousness, you really are an excellent writer, no question about it. What life experiences would you say heavily influence your work?

edgothboy: Hmmmm.

I was lucky at fifteen to discover three books in my father’s library at roughly the same time. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen and The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. Those books changed my life.

hl_blue: How? You have to help us. Maybe some of us will do things like books for our kids someday. Please elaborate.

edgothboy: It started my obsession with understanding women as full beings separate from their gender roles. The Girl’s Guide in particular introduced me to writing that was simple but layered and a funny female lead who was also terribly introspective. No word in the Girl’s Guide is needless, not one.

hl_blue: _adds Girls Guide to read list_

edgothboy: Girl, Interrupted and The Bell Jar both were about teenage women dealing with mental illness. I had my first serious depressive episode at about that time and they gave me hope. Both women were noble though they were going through horrible experiences, something I have found has pervaded my own writing. Lol.

hl_blue: Wow. Thank you.

I’ve noticed from this interview I hardly hear the names of male writers from your answers. Have you noticed that most of your preferred authors are ladies? What do you think this says about you? Is it of any significance?

edgothboy: Eoin Colfer is my favorite male writer then Jeff Jackson. Mira Corpora reads like spun gold. I like emotionally draining literature and women do it better, sorry guys.

amanda: I wanted to launch into a finger-snapping spiel about how women always do it better but I’m not that person, sorry.

hl_blue: LOL Amanda, trust you to come charging in. Calvary.

Eddie you spoke of depression. It seems like depression is something often associated with brilliant writers. Do you agree? Is there a science behind this?

edgothboy: There is.

To be a good writer you must be able to shed your life and fully immerse yourself in the experiences and lives of others to properly document it. This is a kind of empathy.
And with empathy comes helplessness, the realisation that there is so little you can really do, so few ways you can genuinely help. Many writers experience depression because of this.

hl_blue: I think I can empathize with this.


amanda: Alright, them. We shall close with the Lightning Round.

Ebooks or hardcopies?

edgothboy: Ebooks. All the books I want to read are indie press so Ebooks.

hl_blue: Eddie the Baddie or Ed the Editor?

edgothboy: Razor Eddie the Patron Saint of Freewheeling City Carousers.

Lmao. It’s a mouthful.

amanda: Lol! REPSFCC for short.

Books or movie adaptations?

edgothboy: Books. Movie adaptations are merely summaries. Or footnotes, plus they limit your imagination.

amanda: Who’s your favorite African Lit author?

edgothboy: Igoni Barrett.

amanda: Finally, which book do you wish you had written?

edgothboy: Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

hl_blue: It’s been really nice having this interview Eddie. Thank you very much for your unveiling.

edgothboy: Tis a pleasure as always.

So we hope you enjoyed Eddie’s interview. He’s one of the most open people you will ever meet, trust me, you can ask him anything in the comments section you are interested in knowing (same for all the other editors to come) and he will reply there.

On Monday we will be peeling Amanda, our self proclaimed Stories Queen. Till then!

P.S: Don’t forget to subscribe (There’s a reason we keep telling you this, we promise) 🙂


I love to learn. I love to teach. For me the two are the same.


  • Faith says:

    I enjoyed reading this interview. Loved the openness and what it made me feel and how that it left me wantig to ask Edgothboy (or perhaps any of the other Editors) this question:
    someone recently told me that it was pretentious to love books for the love of reading only (and perhaps in a bid to convince me that I was born for more) and not want to write. Must all book lovers write? I’ve tried my hands at editing, I liked. Can I live with this or must I begin to drum up the aspiration to writer status? (pheew! Long one. Pardon s’il vous plait)

    • Tomboxe says:

      I can answer this one for you. No one has the right to tell you how to love. If you feel inspired to write – if you think you have an idea worth telling and you can bring it forth in a way you’ll love, then go for it! But there are so many other ways to show love to literature, and guess what! Reading is top of the list. You say you enjoy editing. That’s vital. There are so many authors whose work would be almost unbearable without the work of a good editor.
      At the end of the day, do whatever you do because you want to – not out of a misplaced sense of duty.

      • Faith says:

        Thank you Tomboxe for putting it across the way you did. I think I especially needed that part where you said reading topped the list for showing one’s love for literature. If writing ever becomes a thing for me, I’ll take the walk arm-in-arm being content that it is a love relationship.

  • Ranti says:

    Lived for this interview.

  • A says:

    Felt like such an olodo reading this but it was enjoyable still.

  • Rose says:

    Faith if you feel led to write do so but sha make sure it’s not “easy and mediocre” before Eddie will come and pour cold water on your joking o)
    Eddie I like your hair and glasses. Will you marry me?

  • edgothboy says:

    Olumide has basically hit it out of the park Faith, but I will add this.

    The main thing books do is create/foster community. For this reason the person who first tells you about a book is just as important as the most profound writer. A person who keeps her books in pristine condition for 30 years so her children can enjoy them is doing as much as say Stephen King.

    It’s the reason Stories was founded, the pieces we get are a perk we enjoy, but the Stories community is the main event.

    So the only thing I think a reader must do is foster community.

    • Faith says:

      Thank you Eddie! This definition (and in some way for me, a redefinition) will always remain with me. You also just gave me one more legit reason to harass all the no-book loving people I know.
      Er..we may need a lawyer soon:)

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