Timi Odueso

Timi Odueso is an undergraduate student who will read anything, anything other than his law books. He is the winner of the 2019 Sevhage Nonfiction Prize and a Literary Critic Fellow at Wawa Book Review. His fiction has been published, or is upcoming in, On The Premises, The Single Story Foundation, The US Embassy Missions and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, amongst others.
THE MANY DIFFERENT LIVES OF DENOLA explores how stories evolve over generations, embodying morals of each time as a means of censoring children’s behaviour.
To find out a little more about his work, we asked Timi the following questions…
What inspires your work?

My work is inspired by my environment. There’s so much I see, hear, smell and taste that I want to write about.

I’m inspired by the difference in mine and my sister’s cooking when we use the same ingredients, by my mother’s smile; I’m inspired by the way my lecturers walk, the historicity embedded in their lecturers. I’m inspired by other writers of course, young and achieving different things.

I’m inspired by my people, by their perseverance, their constant will in countries that try to break them every day.

I’m inspired by their stories, by their histories, by their lives, and I can only hope I tell it well in my pieces.


Tell us a bit about your writing process…

I do not write as much as I want to. As a law student and a freelancer, it’s quite difficult to find time to read literature and to write. I’d say my process takes time, months and perhaps, even years. Like all writers, I have a stash of ideas scribbled down in times of clarity.

I always try to start with a captivating opening, a short sentence I think that most people anywhere would find interesting. Usually, it takes time to decide where or what a character should be. It takes reading, thinking and researching to envision a setting and this largely influences the direction of the story.

I’d say the most difficult part of my story would be tying it up, the ending. How do I know when a story has been told contently? How do I tell if readers can curiously and comfortably build the rest of the story from the little I’ve told? How am I sure I’m not leaving everyone, including myself, with too little? This is still something I’m figuring out.