Why I’m Called King Of Suspense, Durowaiye
Self-styled king of suspense, Mr. Segun Durowaiye, is a short story writer in the thriller category. In a recent conversation with The Guardian, Durowaiye narrated how rewarding his journey of 34 years, as a writer has been.
According to him, “At the beginning it was not so rewarding financially. I first published my stories in 1985 in The Guardian Express, and I was not paid for my effort. I received my first payment in 1986 when I wrote for Prime People magazine; I was paid N25 per short story. I wrote cartoon stories for Climax magazine then, and was paid N50 for my efforts. But from1998 to 2000 when I wrote cartoon stories for Vanguard, it became rewarding as I began getting substantial amounts. I joined Sunday Sun in 2003 and was given a full page. I was paid very well too compared to the past. At the moment I am not earning millions but there is hope that in the nearest future one’s works will attract millions. This very profession is what I do for a living”.
Durowaiye also spoke on the intensity of creative writing on a weekly basis, and said it is not so challenging, as writing has become a part of him. Besides studying creative writing, Durowaiye said he has an awesome gift from God to write. “Any time I put pen and paper together, something wonderful usually comes out of it,” he stated. “Apart from short stories, I also write novellas. I wrote a novel in 1985, titled The Heavens Will Fall.”
Durowaiye said he gets his materials from happenings around him, adding, “Life is quite interesting. I get most of my stories from happenings in life, and my watchword is touching the human angle aspect of writing. As I get older, it gets more fulfilling. My stories are not entirely fiction; they are true-life experiences. I weave my plots around daily happenings, sometimes I pick my plots from the western world even though I am not there”.
Durowaiye’s wish as a writer is to enchant his readers with his stories, noting, “I want to put a smile on my readers’ face. I want them to keep reading and asking for more. To put them in awesome suspense, that is why I am called the king of suspense.”
Even though life is not always rosy, Durowaiye said his stories always put smiles on people’s faces, as most of his stories pass messages that good always overcomes evil. “I have three thriller series,” he said, “the first one was published in 2011, and it is titled Poison of Love; the second is Great War of Love and the third is One Hell Of A Wife and Other Stories. I still have more fantastic stories to turn up in the nearest future. This year and beyond, I want to focus more on printing storybooks. Not all my stories are love stories, but if there is a love message, the plot is always surrounded with something gripping, a captivating plot with love as the central message.”
In responding to the view that Nigerians don’t read, Durowaiye noted, “Nigerians read a lot. When I was writing a column in Daily Independence, I had hundreds of thousands readers across Nigeria. And I kept getting responses from them on a daily basis. I got the same responses from my readers even when I was writing the king of suspense page for Sunday Punch. I have fans that are above 70 years, and they have followed me from Punch to The Guardian. They buy The Guardian on Saturday because of me.”
Durowaiye said he has more followership since he began writing for The Guardian and said, “If I had the opportunity of publishing some of the responses I get, then I could. And the response will be high. People love my work.”
The self-acclaimed king of suspense said much should be expected from him this year, as he turns his attention to the filmic genre in partnership with his stories. “I am expecting movie producers to use some of my stories for their films,” he noted. “I have a lot of stories that would make for good screenplays.”
Durowaiye said he couldn’t do the film adaptation of his stories, but promised to provide movie producers with good storylines. He approached Wale Adenuga some years ago for the production of some of his newspaper short stories but was turned down. But now he has written bigger stories that could go on the screen, he said. “I don’t have the time and patience to do the screen play myself, but I can assist in providing good story line.”
He is calling on agents to assist in the distribution of his books, saying, “At the moment I market my storybooks myself. I am still looking for agents; it is not easy for me to do the writing, editing and financing alone and at the same time distribute them. All my thriller series are in the market and I still have copies at home.”