Christina: Hi Stanley! Welcome to the first edition of Friday’s Stars. I am told you are the very first contributor of articles at Mandy’s Pages, and for this reason Mandy has been keen to showcase you first. The stage is yours: Tell us who Stanley is?
Stanley: My Dad named me Courage. But at age 17, I added Stanley, when I dreamed about becoming a writer renowned at a young age; and had the bizarre idea that “all great writers have two first names!” I am Stanley Courage Dugah—a confident writer; a poet, a playwright, a humorist, and a columnist—a typical Jack of all trades, but, to an appreciable extent and untypically, master of all.
CP: Courage seems to be an apt name and I guess this “courage” of yours has been translated into writing after all. Can you describe the first time you sat at your desk to write? What was the feeling? Any special motivation?
SCD: The first time I aped the committed hands of a writer was in 2006 after stumbling on an ad for writers of short stories targeted at young adults. I sat down and wrote the first draft of Nora’s Mistake, which had since then developed into a short novel titled “Too Young for Love,” currently under final revision.
CP: How do you usually find your ideas, Stanley?
SCD: Wish I knew. It’s, actually, not something I can pinpoint and shackle and call upon at will. I find ideas everywhere—and, everywhere lies within and without my creative imagination—and ponder them with the help of a pen and paper before assaulting the keyboard. Ideas chase me all day long. But I tell them: “One at a time, please.”
CP: I understand you are resourceful and you love what you are doing. However, is there anything like a writer’s block for you?
SCD: Who’s she? Can’t claim her acquaintance. Really. The closest to her, whom I’m familiar with and can talk about, is ‘tiredness of body and mind.” But I’ve invented an obvious and simple cure for that—a 30 minutes walk, or a smart siesta with a soothing song tuned low and playing.
CP: From all this accumulated experience, would you say you are an expert in your field?
SCD: Absolutely. I’m better than both E.L. James and J.K. Rowling, and Charles Dickens will soon be overtaken. I’m in the race and improving day by day. Really.
CP: It is obvious you have no issues with confidence. Does this mean you do not face any challenges as a writer?
SCD: Only when life gets in the way. But I always tell her to let me be, and she obliges.
CP: Let me ask you this: If a publisher is to approach your work and review what you write, how do you think they will grade you on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?
SCD: Because she’s not my ideal reader, I’ll be placed somewhere between 6 and 10 in her not-valued-and unimportant opinion.
CP: So, based on your valued opinion, how would you rate your quality of writing from 1 to 10?
SCD: 9.7. Really. I’m Shakespeare’s second coming if the reincarnation nonsense be true.
CP: What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
SCD: Read a lot. Write a lot. Read and analyze three good novels per week. Write a short story or flash fiction per day. Learn five new words every day, and never stop working on the major work-in-progress. Always write. That is what writers do. They write. You need such discipline to improve your craft and confidence, which is vital if you want to become a successfully published author or one that gets noticed.
CP:What stands out for you when you visualize your future?
SCD: Winning the 2013 Man Booker and the Nobel Prize before age 27. Tears streamed down my cheeks once while I was in the throngs of visualization. It was that real. Vivid. It was. Very.
CP: Thank you Stanley; I really enjoyed our conversation. It has been an honor sharing this time and audience with you and I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors. I look forward to reading about your work at the Book Reviews and Author Spotlight pages here on MP in the coming months. Best.
Image Credit: Stanley Courage Dugah
Stanley Courage Dugah at Word Press
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