"Author Tichaona M. Chinyelu Admits Reading of Black Literature Inspired Her Disilgold:What can you tell the Disilgold community about yourself that will explain why Disilgold has sought you for a perSOULnalized interview?
Tichaona: I believe that our goals align in that we (Disilgold and I) want to see black people excel in the literary world.
Disilgold: What is your latest book about?
Tichaona: My latest book is my first book, In the Whirlwind. It is a compilation of my poetry with personal, historical and cultural themes.
Disilgold: How long did it take you to complete your book?
Tichaona: The book itself, as a finished product took a couple of months to complete. The poems in the book are the product of almost a decade of off and on again work.
Disilgold: What were the happiest moments you have experienced while writing your latest book?
Tichaona: The happiest moments in the life of my book came when I realized that I had enough material to fill a book and that that material met my standards.
Disilgold: Describe your writing style?
Tichaona: I am an African revolutionary writer. I write pieces that speak to the status of Africans as a worldwide colonized people as well as our history of resistance through centuries of oppression.
Disilgold: How did you develop your writing style?
Tichaona: Mainly through reading black writers who lived through times of intense struggle by black people worldwide. Also by writing and rewriting until my style developed into what it is.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite author of all time or someone who inspired you to achieve your goals as a writer?
Tichaona: My favorite author, the writer who inspires me to bring my sense of the world into my written work, is Ngugi wa Thiongío.
Disilgold: Where do you see yourself as a writer ten years from now?
Tichaona: Itís my dream and goal to be able to sustain myself and my family through writing-related work. I also want to have between 4-5 books in circulation.
Disilgold: What marketing tips can you provide to new authors?
Tichaona: As a new author myself, that is kind of difficult. However, based on what I have learned, I would advise new authors to talk to more established writers for marketing tips. I would also suggest joining email groups for comradery as well as information. And most importantly, maintain a website that can be an outlet for your work.
Disilgold: What other projects are you working on?
Tichaona: I am starting work on consider transforming one of my short stories into an audio play. Iím also, slowly, pulling together material for my next book, Living on My Feet.
Disilgold: What are your top ten favorite books right now?
Tichaona: Right now, I am working through a long list of books and itís hard to decide on a top ten list since I havenít made it through half of the books.
That said, out of the books I am reading right now my favorites, in no particular order are:
Homosexuality and the Effeminization of Afrikan Men by Mwalimu Baruti
Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiongío
African Sleeping Sickness by Wanda Coleman
The Devilís Pulpit by John Agard
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney
Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo
Disilgold: When do you write and for how long?
Tichaona: I donít have a set writing time or schedule. Usually what happens is a phrase or set of words will come to me and Iíll try to fit them into a structure. If I find thatís not working, then I just save what Iíve written knowing that at some time in the future the words will fit somewhere.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite location for writing?
Tichaona: I usually write on the computer.
Disilgold: What method did you use to write or organize your book?
Tichaona: When I wrote the poems that ended up in my book, I wasnít thinking about a book. When it came to compiling the poems into a book, I organized them chronologically, except for the opening poem which I felt defined my writing philosophy.
Disilgold: What three words best describe your writing style?
Tichaona: African, revolutionary, self-love.
Disilgold:What other hobbies do you pursue when you aren't writing?
Tichaona: I play a lot of word games. I read constantly.
Disilgold:Are there any hidden jewels or talents that you possess that many of your readers may not know?
Tichaona: I have a developing artistic side (graphic/website design).