Author Spotlight: Jola Naibi


Terra banner

I’m so happy to welcome author Jola Naibi to our fabulous community! Y’all we’ve officically gone international up in this piece. Jola grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and she’s here to tell us all about her her collection of short stories entitled Terra Cotta Beauty. Read on to learn more about this book full of intrigue and national division. 

What are your genres?

Mostly fiction but a little bit of non-fiction here and there.

What have you written?

I have been writing on my blog – since 2006 and recently published a book of short stories called Terra Cotta Beauty.

When did you begin your writing career?


Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?

I consider myself a full-time writer, even though I write fiction as a hobby

What’s your writing process?

I write whenever I am free. I usually have a journal so I jot down ideas in that. I also love having music on when I am writing. I have very eclectic taste in music but there are certain artistes that inspire me when I am writing: Sting, Asa, Seal, Adele, Ryan Cabrera, Najee and Corneille. I am fortunate in that, writing comes naturally to me so I do not feel I have to be in a zone or go through any special processes to start writing.

Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?

Yes, I have always kept journal.  It is something that I have done for years.  I use the journal for a number of things as part of the writing process – to develop a story a plot line or to jot down idea to piece a story together. I find that the journal is most useful for me when I am contemplating a story or a character. I find starting out the writing process in a journal makes it more real for me. It is just something about seeing my own writing that makes me realize that this is actually my creation and it inspires me to build on it some more.

What’s your inspiration?

Life stories inspire me. I have always been curious about people and their backgrounds and the stories that shape them. I am largely inspired by stories from growing up in Lagos and the resilience of spirit of the people who surrounded me – their ability to make things happen in the face of the greatest adversity imaginable continues to inspire me and make me want to write about it

What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?

Muriel Rukeyser said “The universe is made up of stories and not atoms”. I would like to leave behind a legacy of having been one of the many storytellers who gave voice to the people who ordinarily would not be able to tell their own stories

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never lose your sense of wonder.

What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?

Here are some of the books that I have on my Kindle:

  • The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
  • Dust – Yvonne AdhiamboOwuor
  • Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selassie
  • On Black Sister’s Street – Chika Unigwe
  • The ShoeMaker’s Wife – Adriana Trigiani
  • The Hired Man – AminattaForna
  • The Hairdresser of Harare – TendaiHucbu
  • The Fever Tree – Jennifer McVeigh
  • The Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan
  • Daughters Who Walk This Path – YejideKilanko
  • The Spider King’s Daughter – ChibundoOnuzo
  • The Blood-Stained Pavement – Agatha Christie
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  • A Quiver Full of Arrows –Jeffrey Archer

What are you currently working on?

I am working on my next book, my first full length novel which will be a coming of age story that I plan to publish in 2016. Then, there is the promotion of my current book – Terra Cotta Beauty which as a first time published author, I am discovering takes as much creative energy as actually writing the book. But I am having oodles of fun so I can’t complain.

Terra coverLatest release and book blurb?

Terra Cotta Beauty is a collection of short stories which examines life in Lagos, Nigeria during the era of military rule. It reveals the struggles, loves, and hopes of a disparate group of people whose lives always manage to intersect – sometimes in the most devastating ways. With each brief conversation and split second decision containing consequences that reach further than anyone could ever imagine, each of the book’s seven tales is a delicate thread that helps form the social fabric of a nation divided. From a woman whose journalist husband is jailed for criticizing the government to a young man’s reluctant descent into crime, Terra Cotta Beauty acts as a carefully crafted ode to the essence of Lagos itself: its people.

Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?

The main character of the title story is Mabel Erhabor. She is a matriarch with a large heart and an ability to bind people together. She has had to endure a number of challenges including enduring betrayal of her husband but in all she does not lose her calmness of spirit and her dignity. If the story was made into a movie, I would like Onyeka Onwenu who is a Nigerian singer/actress and recently appeared in the cinematic adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun to play Mabel Erhabor.

How can we purchase your work?

If you are in the United States and would like a signed copy of the book it available from my website:

The book is also available on Amazon:

How can we stay in touch with you?

My blog/website is

You can join the Terra Cotta Beauty community on Facebook:

On Twitter: @jolanaibi

On Instagram: @jolanaibi

On Pinterest:

Email: or

Author Bio

jola_naibiJola Naibi was raised in Lagos, Nigeria and studied in the United Kingdom. She enjoys writing and blogging as a way to satisfy an extremely eager imagination.



Faith Simone says:  I love any author who’s as eclectic a reader as me, and I can’t help but to be inspired when I listen to Adele’s passionate lyrics as well. The answer for the writing legacy question was beautiful. Jola girl, you’re alright with me!

Check out the rest of Jola’s tour stops (hosted by Write Now Literary Tour) by clicking here!


12 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: Jola Naibi

  1. Faith, thank you for this terrific interview of Jola, such a fascinating and interesting young authoress. I wish her the very best success in her writing career. I bet she’s doing awesome!!!


  2. What an interesting interview. I’m very interested in reading Ms. Naibi’s book of short stories. I was particularly interested in her remarks about keeping a journal.

    Thanks, Faith, for making us aware of Ms. Naibi’s work.


I want to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s