An Interview with Chukwuebuka Aninze, PROFWIC 2021 Author of the Year.



PROFWIC Author of the Year— Interview

Fiery Scribe Review presents an interview with Chukwuebuka Aninze, winner of the PROLIFIC FICTION WRITERS COMMUNITY 2021 Author of the Year Award—an award presented yearly to the overall winner of the community's weekly Genre Fiction Challenge.

CHUKWUEBUKA HARRISON ANINZE is a Medical Laboratory Scientist who likes to think himself a writing freak. He writes from Enugu, Nigeria. He has written a whole lot of well meaning short stories and flash fictions. He is the first winner of the Writer's Academy fiction contest and also won the 2021 Author of the Year Award at PROFWIC, a noble writing community on facebook. 

Romance and Thriller are the two genres he readily finds home with. He counts it an honor helping young writers carve a niche for themselves.


Interviewer: Elisha Oluyemi (EIC, Fiery Scribe Review; Host, PROFWIC Genre Fiction Challenge)


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Chukwuebuka: Until I find a suitable pen name, I remain my humble self, Chukwuebuka Harrison Aninze. Professionally, I am a medical laboratory scientist, but I’m also a writer. I began to write not too long ago, about three years ago. I started with writing journals, making entries of how each day went. At a point, I thought I could be sharing some of them with my friends on Facebook. So, that was how I started making posts on Facebook. Some of my friends who never perceived me as a writer began to react and comment, making remarks about how I could hone my writing skills and how I could earn from it. That alone opened up a new world for me. So I began to connect with other writers on facebook. The goal was to learn from them. Writers like Phylix Chika, Chioma Ngaikedi, Ola. W. Halim, Olayinka Yaqub, and Ayodele Abduwasiu came by and were ready to work with me.  So, there you have it. (Laughs.)

Great stuff. So, what inspired you to become a writer?

Chukwuebuka: One thing about me that I think draws most people closer to me is my honesty. So, I’m going to be honest in providing my answer to this question. I have never been an avid reader. Before I began to write, I have never started a book and finished it. The ones I could brag that I have read were mostly for academic purpose. But with writers like Phylix Chika, Chioma Nagaikedi, Ola. W. Halim, Olayinka Yaqub, Ayodele Abduwalsiu, I had a mental shift in my perception of literature. In other words, the aforementioned writers inspired, spurred, and showed me how effective stories could be. They were the ones who ignited in me the passion for writing, the passion to become a god—to create, nurture, and kill for the fun. (Laughs.)

Uhm… What is your most preferred genre, then?

Chukwuebuka: Romance. Yes, I guess that is because I’m particularly the meek one among the four children of my parents. I don’t usually like troubles. I like it when it is going soft, smooth and gentle. I’m too emotional. I’m sure that doesn’t give you weird ideas about me. Lol. Because I can bite too, and I don’t hold back when my teeth sink into your flesh. Lol.

(Laughs.) You're one interesting writer, Mr Chukwuebuka. I wonder… do you ever experience that thing called writer's block? What do you think of it?

Chukwuebuka: Writer’s block?... Yes. I’ve experienced it many times. Honestly, it is not something a writer would wish for their enemy. Writer’s block is a bitch. Pardon my obscenity. Imagine the horror: the horror of sitting for long minutes, sometimes hours, just staring at your blank screen or paper while you battle for a story idea and the words to have them on paper. The good news is, it can be dealt with. I learnt those from other writers and it has been helpful. You need to give yourself a breathing space. Take a walk, watch movies, read from other authors, play video game, do anything that can refill your creativity juice. 

Those points are precise. But say, do you have writing fears?

Chukwuebuka: Yes. I’ve my writing fears.  Like you know, I’m not yet a novelist. One thing I think is keeping me from writing a book is the fear of beginning to write a novel and eventually not getting it done after I must have invested so much time and energy. The fear that I might get into a time crunch or I might run out of the story idea, all sorts of that. Although... I think I’m letting go of the fear this year. Hopefully, I might get something cooking in my closet sooner. (Laughs.)

Have you ever cried while reading a book?

Chukwuebuka: Yes, I have.

What book was that? And… do you intend to trigger such emotions in your writings?

Chukwuebuka: The title of the book is The Boy Who Killed Demon, written by Dave Zeltserman. The interesting thing about it is that it isn’t a romance novel. Yet I cried. I cried for the fifteen year old boy, Henrey Dudlow. The boy really suffered in his bid to restore balance in the world just like the boy character, Merlin, in the Merlin series. It was such a pain to watch the young boy walk into danger and setting his life in the middle of everything. I couldn’t watch him bleed, moan, cry, all by himself. No one was there to offer him a shoulder to lean onto. I loved Henry so much that I dreaded the day he would fall asleep and never wake up.  

How long does it take you to write a flash fiction?

Chukwuebuka: Well, I guess my muse gets to decide that. (Laughs.) If the pot of my creativity juice is filled to the brim, I can use 30mins or 1 hour to craft a very interesting flash fiction. 

Uhm… How do you get inspiration?

Chukwuebuka: Personally I get inspired by a whole lot of things—big things, little things—alike. I’ve been inspired by a movie, a book. Inspirations can also stem from my conversation with people or from eavesdropping on people's conversations. 

For you, what makes a good story?

Chukwuebuka: For me, good stories have to have in them believable characters with clear goals. I love to watch your characters go after their goals, even when it might seem impossible to achieve. There is this glee in watching them try their best. (Laughs.)

Now, let's talk about this. Have you ever got a negative review, and how did you respond to it?

Chukwuebuka: The first mistake I made as soon as I began to write was joining a writing contest in a Facebook group populated with the native users of the English language. My story in that contest earned so many negative feedbacks of which I am going to share a few with you. The first one says: “Hmm…shit! I’m sorry, but I could not read past the first sentence.” The second one says: “Story 1 screams amateurish. The writer should know to try other things but story writing.”  The negative feedbacks really broke me but I refused to let them get to me. Instead I chose to listen to one of the feedbacks in the comment box which urged me to continue pushing it. And I did. I was consistent and determined ever since then.

Those were scathing remarks, Mr Chukwuebuka. I'm glad you never gave 'em a chance. Look you're good now. (Laughs.) Now, with regards to the plot of a story, there are two categories of writers—pantser and plotter. Which one are you? Tell us why your choice interests you and whether it affects your story in any way.

Chukwuebuka: I’m a Pantser. I sit and begin to join alphabets to form words then sentences  which ultimately turns out to become a story. I have never for once plotted a story, and I have never tried, let alone succeed with it. I think, not knowing how to plot a story is greatly a factor that is keeping me from writing a novel. One can easily craft a flash fiction or a short story without setting up any plot but that is not the case with novel writing. Most novels as we know it need to have subplots in them. So, for a writer to handle that effectively, they have to work with a plot. In all honesty, I look forward to learning how to become a plotter. 

Okay. Please say, what's your view of the PROFWIC Genre Fiction Challenge? Would you ever recommend it to any writer?

Chukwuebuka: PROFWIC Genre Fiction Challenge is a very nice writing exercise. Personally, it is more like a training ground where I have to try or experiment with my writing. Even with my busy schedules, I don’t joke with it. I mean, why should I? I don’t think I would have gotten to this level of writing proficiency I am currently if there was nothing like PROWIC Genre Fiction Challenge. Remember, you write and you are rated with some constructive critiques. What else gladdens a writer’s heart if not to be read and to earn people's critiques? And yes, I would recommend it to every writer who wishes to make progress in their writing journey. 

Great. Six of your works came out the best in 2021 for the Genre Fiction Challenge; how do you feel? Do you think it does anything to your makeup as a writer? (If yes, do tell us about it.)

Chukwuebuka: It is so exciting. I honestly didn’t see the winning coming because I never intentionally went after it. You can imagine how that feels? Well, the bragging alone is enough for me. (Laughs.) And of course, it has a way of beautifying one’s C.V. as a writer. 

Of all your winning entries last year, which was your best? And why do you think so?

Chukwuebuka: I think I would say “The Game They Play”. I had fun writing that story. It almost came natural to me. It was about a medical experiment that went south. I always love the idea of creating things, especially when they are done in a science laboratory.  It flowed like water and it was the kind of story I would love to read from other writers.

Do you feel someone needs to have scored a number of writing goals before they can be called a writer? 

Chukwuebuka: No, I don’t think so. 

With that regards, can you tell us what you think of the popular terms, 'upcoming writer', 'budding writer', 'aspiring writer', and so on? Do you feel they affect a writer's confidence in any way?

Chukwuebuka: Thank you for this question. I would frown every time I see such descriptions on a writer's Facebook profile. Of a truth, when I see that, I almost would not want to work with you as a writer… . I get it. They are trying to be modest. They don’t want to claim what they think they are not at that moment. If you think you are not a writer, then you are not. There is no middle ground for it. So yes, it does affect their confidence as a writer. 

You talked already about your fears on writing a book, but we'd like to know for sure: are you working on a WIP? 

Chukwuebuka: No. I’m not working on any extensive writing project. Until I have a hang of how to plot a story, I will not delve into writing a novel yet.

Who is your best novelist?

Chukwuebuka: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (CNA).

Do you have a role model in the writing world? Can you name them?

Chukwuebuka: Honestly, I do not have a role model in the writing world. Lol.

Is there anything unique about you that affects (or lends more vibes to) your writing? (Maybe occupation, experience, hobby—anything?)

Chukwuebuka: Yes. I can stay in-doors reading and writing a whole day without getting bored. I think that ability alone lends enough helping hand to me as a writer. 

Do you have anything to say to the organisers of the PROFWIC Genre Fiction Challenge and the entire PROFWIC administration?

Chukwuebuka: These guys are really doing a great job. I have never seen a people so determined and ready to sacrifice a lot for others. PROFWIC admins rock any time. They are the best. I will like to urge them to continue being who they are. They shouldn’t relent. The almighty God will surely reward them for making such a great impact in the lives of the writers in PROFWIC Community.

I said this before, but you really are one interesting and passionate writer, Mr Chukwuebuka, and I'm cheering you on to beat the best. Say, what would you say to other billions of writers out there?

Chukwuebuka: I want you to thrive to be the best. Don’t hold back. Let nothing distract you. Keep reading. Keep writing. 

Thank you for your time here and for sharing a good deal about your writership. We hope, one day, to host you again. 


The PROFWIC Genre Fiction Challenge is hosted weekly by the PROLIFIC FICTION WRITERS COMMUNITY, in a Facebook group of about 10,000 writers. Entrants are required to write (a 300-word story) on a weekly- specified genre; the winner gets a Certificate of Excellence and their entry is published here on Fiery Scribe Review. The entrant with the highest win record bags the PROFWIC Author of the Year Award and gets interviewed here as we have just done with the 2021 winner, Chukwuebuka Aninze. We will be here next year for the second edition of the PROFWIC AUTHOR OF THE YEAR INTERVIEW SESSION.


Biographical Information

CHUKWUEBUKA HARRISON ANINZE is a Medical Laboratory Scientist who likes to think himself a writing freak. He writes from Enugu, Nigeria. He has written a whole lot of well meaning short stories and flash fictions. He is the first winner of the Writer's Academy fiction contest and also won the 2021 Author of the Year Award at PROFWIC, a noble writing community on facebook. Romance and Thriller are the two genres he readily finds home with. 

He counts it an honor helping young writers carve a niche for themselves.

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