I met Dala Dala on Instragram when I came across her badass epic-looking book covers/concept art for her book Blue Moon of Ake. When I found out she produced Blue Moon as an audiobook too, and performed it herself, I was blown away. Check it out! Thanks for interviewing with us!
Can you talk about your inspiration and research for the world of Ake?
Ake is the ancient world of Africa I created. Most are not aware that I came up with the name Ake from the ancient name of Africa; Alkebulan. I just shorten it. Of course Ake/Africa has a rich history, and most think of Africa and tie it to Egypt and the historical Pyramid’s. I created a different time in space before that, that involved kingdoms, god’s and magic. I wanted to tell a story in a way that empowers women in a creative way. Many women including myself have experienced heartbreak or other setbacks in life, however we forget how powerful we are once we detach ourselves from the past or whatever has a negative hold on us. As the story unfolds in the next parts the audience will see a goddess who has to face other setbacks but with any uncomfortable or unwanted situations it makes us stronger. In the case of the villain Jinabadi it makes her more powerful.
In your paranormal fantasy piece, Blue Moon of Ake, we meet Queen-Jinabadi headed on a "wicked journey" to build her kingdom. We also encounter Eanulu with his own intentions along the way. How do you create a character's motivation?
When I put together a story I’m usually creating main characters with deep roots (history) that engage the audience. The characters are moved or enticed in a way to achieve an objective, because of their past. Eanulu is one of those characters with a long history.
What do you find to be the most fascinating part of Ake?
What makes Ake fascinating, is it is the perfect place for her to show off with her magic and start building her new platform to rule. Ake is just a part of Jinabadi’s history; it’s a chapter of her life that helps awaken a darker time for her to pursue a new mission.
Are there any new fantasy books that have you excited? What are you reading right now?
I’m currently not reading anything at this moment because I’m swamped with many things to do, but I’m looking forward to listening to the fantasy story “Children of Blood and Bone”.
What's the most important aspect of writing about fantasy to you?
I want my art to spark imaginations with fantasy that is dangerous, but safe at the same time.
It’s important for me to be able to tell my stories in a way that is magical and entertaining. But with my flavor, which includes rhythm, music, and deep ethical roots.
Do you face any challenges of performing your work for audio? What's your process like from start to finish?
Some challenges I face, which aren’t really big ones, are that I lose my voice quick. Sometimes I get a little tongue tied too. Other times I seem to start off good but my voice might drop and I have to start over, so that my levels are balanced. Overall I love recording and I have fun doing it. It’s just the editing that takes the longest because I’m adding backgrounds and sfx.
How do you prep for a performance? Anything you do to get into character?
I’m a big tea drinker, so tea helps me to prepare along with listening to music. I also rehearse my role playing.
Do you have any techniques/tricks you find useful when recording or performing?
For me I learned it works better to record in the earlier part of the day, instead of at night. I also like to keep recording even if I mess up. It helps to know your story a little by heart, and since my stories are shorter and older I pretty much know them. Other tricks that helps is to have the right set-up, like the lighting, the view and temperature.
Has writing and producing Blue Moon of Ake changed any part of the writing process for you? Has it changed how you read?
I believe after doing this audiobook, I will focus on delivering a style that flows better since I planned to have other narrators next time. I now know my writing style fits more for audiobooks so I plan to continue writing which is more about performing than for written work.
What's next for you?
Definitely new audiobooks which include, part two of Blue Moon of Ake and a new story I’m working on.
Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?
Blue Moon of Ake is part of an amazing journey where you will witness a unique super villain. Stay tuned!
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Photo credits Dala Dala