About the Book
VOODOOVILLE Part 1: Hell No To The Unknown!
Welcome to the weirdest morning ever! Follow Spex, a seventeen-year-old boy with severe amnesia who wakes up in a strange new world filled with talking cats, witchdoctors, highly addictive slushies, and its very own criminal underworld. Throughout his journey, Spex desperately seeks the answer to his identity and a way of returning to his old life. In the course of this quest, he finds friendship, tangles with his personal demons, falls in love, gets involved in a gang war, and confronts his own mortality.
About the Author
Hi there, I’m Nova. Yup, that’s right, that’s actually my real name. I’m twenty-four years old and I’m from Blantyre, Malawi but I moved to the UK when I was three. Ever since I came here, I’ve moved around a lot, from places like Tamworth and Birmingham. When I was eleven I moved to Milton Keynes and I’ve just recently moved to London. I’ve always loved writing and drawing, with most of my early influences coming from cartoons and anime. I was always more of a TV and Movie guy, in fact, my goal is to one day write my own animated TV show. The goal is an Emmy one day, fingers crossed. I started reading books seriously in my third year of university and when I truly fell in love with the craft. After many rejections and failed talks with publishers, I’ve decided to self publish to try and prove that I can make this book a success independently, and hopefully inspire others to try and do the same. I’ve decided to use rejection as a source of inspiration. I have no industry connections, no professional writing experience or a writing degree, I’m just a kid with a dream who will do everything in his power to make his dreams come true.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book, VOODOOVILLE Part 1: Hell No To The Unknown ! What is it about?
Ah yes, time to dig into my inner salesman. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment. Well, the book is basically…well not basically, about a seventeen-year-old boy with severe amnesia, who wakes up in a strange new world, filled with talking cats, witchdoctors, highly addictive slushies, and criminals underworlds. As he tries to find answers about his identity and how he can return to the real world he also finds friendship, tangles with his personal demons, falls in love and casually gets involved in a gang war. Sold yet? No. Well, along with the books fantasy setting, the story also contains underlying themes such as feeling lost, self-loathing, self-worth, depression, greed, and finding your own path in life. These are sprinkled throughout the book and are contained within many of the characters, which I feel adds a more grounded and relatable aspect to such an abstract world. I based these heavy subject matters on my own personal experiences, which is why there is a lot of me in my main character “Spex” Plus he wears glasses like me too. Hope you’re sold…please I need money for crypto.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, VOODOOVILLE Part 1: Hell No To The Unknown ! is it directed at any particular market?
THE BOOK IS FOR EVERYBODY. BUY MY BOOK NOW. Joking, joking. When I was writing this book I was honestly thinking to myself “What book would make a 17/18-year-old Nova, want to read books?” Because to be honest, I didn’t read much in my teen years, I was more focused on Fifa Ultimate Team, binging anime, and getting rejected by girls I like. I think the reason I never read books was that I didn’t think there were books that related to me and what I was going through, which was obviously false. Plus I have the attention span of a baby squirrel. I could see myself in characters in anime’s, mangas or Tv shows. For whatever reason, I didn’t think I could get that feeling of reliability through books. So when writing this book, I thought about what elements would a younger me be looking for in a book. A teen who felt like they didn’t know where they were going in life, what path to take, which moves were the right ones, who do I listen to, how do I not fall behind, how do I avoid being a failure? Is university the right move? Will girls ever like me? Will I ever be good enough? Who has the answers? What will make me happy? This book is for anyone, not just teens, who ask themselves questions like this. My book doesn’t have the answers to all these questions, but rather the book is meant to make you feel that someone out there relates and you’re not the only one thinking these things, because I ask myself these questions all the time.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
Oof, you came with the tough one. My all-time favourite books would have to be The Fountainhead for sure, controversial for sure but never has a book immersed me as much as that book, and the funny thing is I don’t even think that was Ayn Rand’s main focus, I just found myself so captivated by the story and the characters that I couldn’t put it down. Say what you want about her philosophies and stuff, that’s a different convo, but as far as storytelling goes, this book did me good. I also love Kafka on the shore, I do not hide my influences, Murakami is my long lost uncle and I won’t give him a hug, this book is another one that just sucked me into its world and never let go, I think about this book at least once a week, it’s so masterful, I can only aspire to be this creation of a storyteller. I’m also a big Dune fan, once again super immersive, great story, really really fascinating lore, I can’t wait until I write a space epic and have to re-read all the Dune books for inspiration, which will happen, I’m saying it here now! Also shout out to “The Stand” by Stephen King, probably my favourite book by him, the way he writes a post-apocalyptic is incredible, the book takes so many interesting turns and the characters are all incredibly fascinating in their own ways, and the setting is just…greatness. Thank you, Mr King.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
WRITE.WRITE. WRITE. Write as much as you can every day. Read books. Read scripts. Listen to interviews from writers you admire. Always seek inspiration. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so once you find it, make a note of it, even it’s something random, eventually, you might have enough notes to piece together a masterpiece. If you love writing keep doing it, do it for fun, and do it for yourself. If you wanna tell stories, do it! You only need a laptop. If you don’t have a laptop get a pen and paper, that’s what I did as a kid. I write stories for myself, not to be famous or be called the best writer, I just did because it’s fun and I wanted to create my own world. Never lose the fun and always seek inspiration.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
No website yet because I’m broke. Got an instagram account though @novachimera. Follow me and tell me I’m pretty. That’s also my Twitter handle too but my tweets are private, because of my bougie. Request a follow, or not…I respect your decision.
Qn 6: Tell us more about Spex, the 17-year-old protagonist, how can readers connect with him.
Spex is a nervous, quirky, kind-hearted, shy young man with clear potential but his lack of self-belief and self-worth stops him from seeing this potential within himself. I think a lot of people can relate to this because. sometimes it can be hard to give yourself credit and see yourself as someone of value, especially if experienced in your past have crippled your confidence over time. Like many other characters in the novel, Spex is supposed to feel and read like a real person, a person someone can put their shoes in and empathize with.
Qn 7: Tell us more about the world Spex find himself in, what is it like and how is it different from our world.
The city that Spex finds himself woken up in is called Vurduville. a place you’d probably like to visit on holiday but might have second thoughts about buying a property in. I don’t want to give too much about the city, but let’s just say planes don’t exist, skeletons can dance, soap is worth more than gold, and faceless suit ninjas. Intrigued? Come pay a visit!
Qn 8: Voofooville is a tale of self-discovery, can you give our readers some thoughts to consider if they are on their own journeys of self discovery?
Keep asking questions. Keep trying new things. Try to step out of your comfort zone as much as possible. Talk to new people. Read books you originally thought wouldn’t be for you. Try doing things alone. Try to surprise yourself. And most importantly, be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, have patience with yourself, try to become your own best friend. Easier said than done of course, but that’s what tomorrow is for, you fail today, you try again the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day…and the next day…
Qn 9: Do you plan a sequel to Voodooville?
Yezzzirrr. I sure do hope enough people like this book that there is a demand for the second one. Which is already written, edited and done by the way.
Qn 10: What is next for you do you have any plans?
Gonna push this book to success if it kills me. I’m trying to sell 10k independently. As Yeezus once said, “They say I’m crazy but that’s the best thing going for me.”
VOODOOVILLE Part 1: Hell No To The Unknown