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Aphroden Spotlight: Yejide Kilanko

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Yejide

 

Born October 1975 in Ibadan, Oyo State (Nigeria), as the first of five children to a University professor (father), Yejide was introduced to literature as a result of her love for travelling the world, after her father showed her slides (from his projector) from his travels across Australia and New Zealand. She fed her imagination by immersing herself in pages of books; and this love for reading translated into writing poetry when she was 12. Then the teenage years arrived and the passion died. Year 2000, after her wedding, she joined her husband in Maryland, USA. The next 8 – 9 years consisted of Yejide being a stay-at-home mother, raising the children; till the family moved to Ontario, Canada and she went back to university and obtained a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria and a Masters from the University of Windsor, (as she graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1998 with a BSc in Political Science) to become a Social Worker. June 2009, Yejide had just started work as a Social Worker in child protection services and crisis counsellor; a role which guaranteed a constant exposure to heart-wrenching stories of child sexual abuse. Yejide struggled to adjust to her new career, which led to a lot of sleepless nights; and this experience resurrected her literary passion, which inspired her debut novel – Daughters Who Walk This Path. The book originated from a poem she wrote in June 2009, titled Silence Speaks. After sharing the poem with friends, she spent the next eight months writing the first manuscript for the novel. August 16, 2010, Yejide sent out queries to literary agents in the United States; on that same day, she received a request for a full manuscript. Exactly a week later, she had an offer of representation from an agent. In May 2011, after polishing the manuscript, she made submissions to Canadian publishing houses; and she heard back from an editor at Penguin Canada, about three days later. A few weeks later, Yejide received a publishing offer. Daughters Who Walk This Path was published in Canada on April 10, 2012, and on May 5, 2012, the novel debuted on the Globe and Mail bestseller’s list, where it remained for six consecutive weeks. The novel has now been published The United States, Germany and Thailand. Today, Yejide (besides being a Social Worker and Counsellor) is a long-term therapist in children's mental health. She’s working on her next novel, a contemporary women’s fiction, which is scheduled for publish by Penguin Canada in 2014. Her next project is a children’s middle grade book set in Canada and Nigeria; and she’s expressed interest in writing a psychological thriller set in Africa as well. For more: Website Twitter Facebook   By Olusola Agbaje 

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