Author Interview - Iria Enahoro
In this week's installment of the Author Interview Series, I spoke to Iria Enahoro about her writing process and upcoming novel, Drift – The Awakening. Check out what she had to say below!
1) Describe your most recently published book and/or your current work in progress.
Drift – The Awakening is book one in a trilogy. Unpublished, work-in-progress. Genre: New Adult Science Fiction.
“After the military battle ‘Operation Invictus’ in 2026, the Guard Regency became the new Iron Fist. Ruled by deserters of truth with a feigned sense of morality, the Regents and its Board Members told its citizens over and over again that humanity’s thirst for war is finally over. Yet, Carmen has been waiting for a better tomorrow ever since. And she’s not alone.
Carmen Aicher knows who she is and what she is made of. She always has; a first-year Law student, attempting to jumpstart a new life chapter in England. A daughter who survived a broken home with an innate curse -- or blessing, to kick up dirt just to get a glimpse behind the scenes. Rockdale University is supposed to be it: her refuge, a fresh start away from the shadows of her past. Alas, it is anything but that. Drift, a newly developed pharmaceutical hits the streets in the little village of Rockdale.
In a single regrettable mistake, Carmen is thrown into the deep end without warning. If the University were to find evidence about the consumption of any drug by one of their scholars, she’d be done. A single strike is all the Guard Regency needs to deem you unfit for society.
Carmen is forced to investigate and undertake a messy venture with no definite end. All the while, the advancing negative side effects of Drift haunt her mind. Drawn into an altered reality of what she knows to be true, Carmen awakens inside a monstrous yet fascinating shadow world, which had been hiding in plain sight. Drift proves to be more than just a drug beyond the comprehension of simple minds. Whether she likes it or not, her rude awakening is initiated.”
2) Which do you prefer: self-publishing or traditional publishing? What factors made you choose one over the other?
Traditional publishing. Self-publishing is too much of a risky route for me to take. The cost of financing and marketing makes this choice less attractive under the circumstances. With my background in producing, writing, and managing film and TV productions, I’ve got much more of a feel for the traditional creative industries.
3) Are there any books, movies, music, etc. that influenced your writing?
In my early childhood and teen years, I was fascinated by horror. Roald Dahl’s books and R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series drove me to write horror short stories for years. Later during college, I fell in love with special effects in motion picture, especially those in mind-blowing Science Fiction flicks. Inception, The Matrix trilogy, Equilibrium, Dr. Strange, and The Thirteenth Floor are just a few examples. Those cinematic universes heavily influenced my writing style 'til today. 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldus Huxley are definitely in my top favorites, but, it was only during the rise of the Dystopian Young Adult trilogies like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner, that I became dedicated to turn Drift – The Awakening from a movie script into a novel. As for music, for some reason rock and metal songs seem to be a perfect fit when writing science fiction.
4) Which is your favorite genre(s) to write in?
Science Fiction most definitely. The beauty of Sci-Fi is that it leaves room for any element of other genres to be weaved into the story worlds. I’m a sucker for a good romance subplot with added erotic elements for mature readers. A sense of magic and a dash of horror are always welcome too!
5) Which genre have you never written in but would love to try someday?
Fantasy and steampunk/cyberpunk as sub-genre. I hope one day I’ll have the patience to work on a high concept fantasy novel. I love reading and getting immersed into alternate realities, especially when the magic systems of fantasy universes are extremely well-made and versatile.
6) Do you prefer reading on an e-reader or actual books? Which do you think is better from a publishing point of view?
My personal preference will always be holding an actual book in my hands. From a publishing point of view in this day and age, I’m glad e-books exist. I’ll remain a happy writer, so long the people keep reading our written works in whichever form!
7) How has the online writing community affected your writing career?
The writing community on Instagram helped me a lot to keep my cool when I struggled to maintain a writing routine or was feeling depleted. It’s always good to know that you’re not alone during the writing journey. There are so many passionate creators out there sharing the same goal and motivation. Sharing thoughts, spreading positivity, and communicating ideas online definitely affected my writing career and how us writers should collaborate much closer with each other in the future.
8) Describe your typical writing routine.
I go through cycles. My manuscript has survived five changes in residence and half a trip around the world. When I get into the flow, I have an unforgiving routine. I give myself a deadline on certain parts of the book that need to be finished, then go ahead and write between 8-12 hours a day and maintain that for a week or two. I’d refuse to go to bed until it's finished, then spend the next morning revising. After completing a deadline, I would take three days off and treat myself. Then the cycle starts over.
9) What is your ultimate goal in terms of writing?
I’m 23 years old and left university behind (I studied Film and Media Productions in Toronto, Canada and in Portsmouth, England) to pursue my writing dreams. I have a supportive family who have gifted me with the time and room to finish my manuscript. I am playing the long game of getting my foot into the entertainment industries through my manuscript. Being able to turn books into movie magic is the ultimate dream. I’m more of a team player and I always dreamt of having a group of talented creators working together with the same vision. Ideologically, the Literature and Cinematic entertainment worlds should be fused to one giant creative industry for all.
10) What has been your biggest writing struggle? What is your greatest strength?
Since discipline does not come naturally to me, I need to be pressured into productivity, unfortunately. But hey, when it works, then it works like a charm! [My greatest strength is] being stubborn as hell. When I really want something done, I can’t abandon it even if it’s kicking my ass.
11) Have you taken any writing classes? If yes, would you recommend them? If no, do you want to?
Back when I studied Film, I had a lot of writing classes. However, I was writing for film, which is a different format to literature. I don’t know whether I’d recommend it, either way it did mold my way of writing very visually.
12) Is writing your full-time job? If yes, what was your last profession? If no, do you want it to be and what do you do now?
I just moved again. I’m currently unemployed and focusing on advancing my writing career.
13) What do you think the future will hold for the publishing industry?
I believe the New Adult genre will develop and expand in the future while Young Adult will most likely be redefined along the way. At least that’s where I lay my bets. Right now, the literary world is a mess! But, with every new generation of writers, new concepts and ideas for change emerge.
14) What advice would you give to someone who has just started writing?
If you have an innate passion for the written art, you’ll never lose sight of it. I learned that even during hard times, I’ve always picked writing back up as a therapeutic release. If you ever feel like not writing at all, read some really good books! Study books that interest you from well-established authors. When you find yourself immersed in a great story it’s always good to ask your writer’s mind how the author made it possible for the reader to feel a certain way. After a really good read, I always feel inspired to write and do the same.