|   YW USA   |  
[email protected]  |  01733 890066   |   Log In

Blog Writing For My Younger Self

Writing For My Younger Self

By Tọlá Okogwu | Guest Blog

Writing For My Younger Self

A question I often get asked is, ‘what inspires you to write?’ My answer is always this…

I write for my younger self. By that, I mean that I write the books I wish I’d had when I was younger.

I love books and I love reading. So much so, that both my daughters had library cards by the time they were six months old. I still remember my favourite books when I was a child and the one that had the greatest impact on me was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I was introduced to this book during a particularly difficult time in my life. My family had just moved to the UK from Nigeria and I was feeling very lost and helpless. Then I met the Pevensies. Four siblings yanked from their familiar world through no fault of their own and thrust into an adventure that would change the course of their lives forever. It was the first time I felt seen in a book and I fell head-over-heels in love with Narnia and the many characters that inhabited it. In fact, I still cannot see a wooden wardrobe without wanting to check to see if there is a secret doorway in the back.

But as much as I loved this book, there was still something missing in my reading experiences and I devoured many, many books looking for this elusive thing. It wasn’t until much later that I realised just what it was. In all the books I read growing up, I never once saw a character that looked like me feature as the hero.

So now, a big part of writing for my younger self involves putting Black characters front and centre. They are fighting the bad guys, having epic adventures, living joyfully and learning valuable life lessons along the way. The main character in my Onyeka series is a fantastic example of this. Onyeka is a young girl who discovers that the thing she considers a weakness is actually the source of her greatest strength. Her story is about finding your tribe. It’s also about accepting what makes you different and owning the power that gives you. A truth I believe is universal no matter who you are or where you come from.

Onyeka and the Heroes of the Dawn by Tolá Okogwu is now available from all good bookshops.

Published: Thu 2nd May 2024

Leave a comment


Books have a way of transporting you to lands and making you meet people you never would have gone or met in the physical space.
by Susan Akande - 12-05-2024 19:23
Well done. I am going to buy the book for my children and we will read them together
by Jeanne Musabimana - 09-05-2024 12:40
Everyone is here for a reason, keep living the life you are meant to be living.....
by Sadie Drury - 03-05-2024 19:48
🍪 Important information about cookies
We use cookies to help us improve your experience with us. By continuing to use our site, you are accepting such use.