Write On! interviews author Ranti Beyioku
Ranti is the author of the children’s book Gboyega Never Gives Up. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?
RB: I would describe my current book as fun and engaging but, most importantly, it’s a work aimed at inspiring a younger generation, offering readers an opportunity to learn something new.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about Gboyega Never Gives Up?
RB: The story follows a young boy called Gboyega who wants to make something out of this world. However, he encounters various challenges during the process, with valuable lessons learned along the way.
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
RB: Having a story all children can relate to was a big part of why I wanted to write this one in particular. I wanted to create something that would encourage children to keep persevering, no matter the tasks or challenges they face. I also wanted a character readers could relate to, so having a main character who is of black ethnicity was imperative.
My main character’s name was intentional, as I wanted to introduce my intended audience to a name they might not have been familiar with. It’s so important for children to learn about and appreciate other cultures outside of their own!
The story also reminds adults of the significant role they play in a child’s life.
WO: The last issue of Write On! explored the theme of ‘Hearing Voices’. With that in mind, is there an inner voice that drives you forwards or maybe plants those seeds of doubt when it comes to being creative? Or perhaps it’s an external voice you have to ignore. How do you overcome that? Finally, are there any connected voices in your creative space that inspire you?
RB: I think the title of my story speaks for itself, reminding us to keep going in life. Of course, you’ll have days where you feel overwhelmed and discouraged but it’s important to never give up, no matter what life throws at you.
I’d never written my own book until now and it wasn’t easy, but knowing children who read the book could potentially draw inspiration from the story was enough for me to complete the process and I’m very happy I did.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
RB: Know your target audience.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
RB: I may look to write another children’s book in the future but, for now, I’m getting Gboyega’s story out to as many children as possible. I’ve had the honour of talking in schools and libraries and would love to do more of that if the opportunities are there.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
RB: Good question. I think I’d have to go with Scrappy Doo. He’ll always have my back, no matter what!
You can find out more about Ranti Beyioku here: booksbyranti.com and connect with them on Instagram: @booksbyranti and Twitter: @BooksbyRanti.
Gboyega Never Gives Up is available to buy from his website and Amazon: amzn.eu/d/38FnOf1
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It's so important for children to learn about and appreciate other cultures outside of their own.