An Interview with Tomi Oyemakinde, Author of The Changing ManBy Team Fierce Reads
If your favorite kind of fall read is a scary one, we have THE book rec for you. The Changing Man is a debut speculative thriller about a teenage girl who is pulled into investigating the truth behind her new boarding school’s decades-old legend. Of course, if you need some extra incentive to pick this one up, be sure to check out this interview with the author! What makes Ife fierce? The deep care she has for others! Even if she fights against this instinct to begin with. If you could give Ife one piece of advice, what would it be? I would tell Ife to never stop finding the significance in others. Doing so helps us understand one another better whilst honoring what makes us different and similar. What's the most interesting thing you learned while researching The Changing Man? So, I might be one of a few who find this interesting, but while researching The Changing Man, I learned the difference between a legend and a myth. Simply put, a legend is based on facts and real events, but the details have been exaggerated. In contrast, a myth is more symbolic and never based on facts. What's most interesting is how often beliefs can mark the difference between legend and myth. If you'd met Ife as a teen, would you have been friends with her? As much as I want to say yes, I just don't think so. I think we would have been a bit too similar to have been friends. Both introverts who enjoy our own company. Our conversations I imagine would have been a bit stilted. However, I know I would have admired her from her afar—her quiet confidence and ability to produce great art. What's one fun fact most people don't know about you? Ooh, so here's a fun fact. I'm pretty good at balancing spoons on my face. My record is 6! What's your favorite part of being an author? The opportunity to talk about books with avid readers is such a joy. They have thoughts and opinions and I love hearing them. It's great when others enjoy The Changing Man, but even better when they tell me why or ask me questions about the choices I made. It gives me a boost of energy. What's the most challenging part of being an author? I think the most challenging part in my opinion is letting go of your work once it's finished and ready to be released into the wild. Knowing there is no control over how others receive it can be quite daunting. But then I remember that my confidence in my writing does not come from the opinion of others but my passion for the craft. What 3 words would you use to describe The Changing Man? Atmospheric, evocative, and strange! ABOUT THE BOOK Face front. Watch your back. BE BRAVE. If it was left to her, Ife Adebola wouldn’t be starting at Nithercott School. Because despite being in the Urban Achievers scholarship program, her parents can barely afford the tuition. No matter who, like her classmate Bijal, is trying to be friends with her or how much the prestigious boarding school tries to pull her in, Ife is determined not to get caught up in any of it. But when another student, Malika, begins acting strange, Ife can’t help but wonder if there’s more going on at Nithercott than she realizes. Could there be any truth to the school’s decades-old legend of the Changing Man? Is there any connection to the missing older brother of her classmate, Ben? As more questions arise, Ife has no choice but to team up with Ben and Bijal to investigate. But can the trio act quickly enough to uncover who is behind everything, before one—or all—of them is the Changing Man’s next victim?