I started writing at a very young age. I wrote poems and gave it to people, I believed poems could make the world a better place and humans can be more happier. I still do. 
Victoria B. Willie interviews Agwam Kessington, author of The Sons Of Hades, a crime thriller published by Poemify Publishers

Victoria: So can you tell us a little about Mr Kessington...

Kessington: Well, my full name is Agwam Kessington Tega, I'm a seasoned writer and photographer from Asaba, Delta State. I'm nineteen years old but I feel a hundred years older. I'm a student of Delta State University, Abraka. Studying Computer Science Education as a discipline. I'm a dreamy person, I see things differently and I think of a deeper vibration than the average person. I'm socially awkward and also a lover of many pleasures.

Victoria: 19 years old and already a published author? That's quite intriguing. I almost thought you were 31. I must admit, I felt you were really older.

Kessington: Believe me when I tell you that I get that a lot. Everyday. I don't exhibited childish characteristics because of the way I was brought up and stuff like that. Grew extremely fast I guess.

Victoria: That's interesting. You said you're a seasoned writer. So what prompted you into writing considering the fact that it's not even something related to your course of study? And when did you start writing?

Kessington: I would like to think that I was born with it. The same way I stroke pencil on paper and create realistic figures out of thin air and a rugged imagination; it was a gift from God and I never sat down one day to learn how to write. It just came naturally like the way living organisms were built out of tiny dusts, or the cognitive development of a little child—pre-programmed. I started writing at a very young age. I wrote poems and gave it to people, I believed poems could make the world a better place and humans can be more happier... I still do. And as for my discipline, I've always been intrigued by space, the universe, and existence itself. I was enthralled when I first saw how robots were programmed, the internet and all of it so I wanted to be in that line right from my secondary school days and I never held back on it. I like to think of myself as a string holding Art and Science.

Victoria: Wow... That's interesting. More than I envisaged. So Kessington is a computer scientist, a writer, a dreamer and then a photographer. Can we talk about your photography?

Kessington: Yes, Victoria, we most definitely can! You know the old saying, a picture says (or in some cases holds) a thousand words? Well, that's it for me. I got into photography two years ago when I realized how more conscious and alive my senses were to nature. Nature is alive, breathing, seeing, and keen to our every twitch and actions. Another gift that God had blessed me with: the seeing eye; capable of seeing beautiful in the midst of ugly. I took notice of this and harnessed it immediately, bringing to notice, nature full in all its glory to the eyes that were oblivious to the beauty of the universe. This is why I take pictures — to appreciate God's craft. He is the divine artist. With photography, I am able to preach the gospel and tell a story easily.
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Victoria: What inspired Sons of Hades?

Kessington: Before the thought of it being a book was ever nursed, I wanted to write on my kind of person because it eluded me sometimes, the kind of person really kind of confused me so I thought why not write about it and see yourself from an omniscient point of view. The character, Lex is gripping and flawed, confused and a lot of things that screams imperfection. He's my brainchild and I am so much in love with the character. He thinks he has a psychological problem because of his keen intelligence and heightened sense of self but in true reality he's just stockly gifted with concentrated senses and is quite a anxious being. I've always been intrigued by dark fantasies, crime drama, and mysteries, which is where the theme came from. I wanted to create a more deeper picture of Nigerians to nibble on. That there's more to the Nigerian Force that meets the eye. These things sandwiched together are what birthed Sons of Hades.

Victoria: So what was the writing experience like? were there writers block? Challenges? What really was it like when writing Son of Hades

Kessington: Saying there wasn't any challenge would be tantamount to confessing that you're god. There were plenty of setbacks. I started writing the book July last year and a lot happened. The writer's block came in the form of school workload and summer jobs that I use to garner funds for the next semester and the rest. I am self-sponsored. So, these factors sort of halted the writing process of the book. Then, I was without a platform. I remember scribbling an episode every day on my notepad and hiding it somewhere free from harm or danger. I guided it selfishly then one day I lost a very important scene of the book and that literally crushed me. I decided to stop the project. Sometimes I would think of the book and I'd feel a squeeze on my chest and I would fall under serious depression that lasted days. I was too scared to pick the pen because of the fear that accompanied losing another piece again. I ransacked my house for that lost piece but still couldn't find it. After a while, I went home for the holidays and a friend of mine came to me and asked what the situation of things were and how long was he going to wait before I release the next episode that actually got to me and my dead flame ignited again and I was determined to finish it. I started from where i stopped, the dusty pages, was a little rusty and scared but I pulled through. I bought a phone to aide my conversion process from written to text format and saved it on Google Drive, etc. So yes there were challenges.

Victoria: That's cool. Challenges are concomitant with success, you know. I'm glad you made it. That's what matters.

Kessington: Thank you, Victoria. 

Victoria: Sure! What does success mean to you? Let's put your book aside for a while. Can you define literary success? Is it winning nobel awards? Getting publishers? Readers? Sales? Or what?

Kessington: No, my dear. It's far from that. My own definition of literary success is far upturned from what you think. Literary success to me is knowing that years and years, decades and decades after the publication of your work, it still is fresh and relevant and it has inspired a great deal of souls to put more ground work on themselves, discover themselves, be better version of themselves. Years after all the book sales and what not, new meanings and messages are curled up from your pieces and are likened to you. Even in death, I'll still live, through these pages, that will define who I am when I was breathing living air. Literary success in short for me is immortality. Your flesh might not be here to help but you dropped something that can actually help the unborn ones live life in an upright and straight manner.

Victoria: Like Shakespeare, right? What do you think of Nigerian writing/ writers generally? Are they toeing the conventional lines or crossing borders? You know, your work SOH, is somewhat a crossing border thingy. It includes fantasies and mysteries that aren't really common in our Nigerian writings

Kessington: Exactly. Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Achibe. Nigerian writers, majority, are what I'd say, are conformists. They want to thread on the calm waters and not upset the sharks that swim underneath and that's why I think our literature will always be limited if they stick to the rules. But I think some of us are actually taking the bold step of actually stirring the waters and we really hope to create ripples. The topics we are so scared to dwell on: Death, what happens after death, the uncouth brutality of human beings, the liberals, and the multidimensionals. I personally believe we have what it takes to create awfully great masterpieces if we walk into the alleyway of how we actually feel and what we actually want to talk about and we'll succeed in it extremely well. Sons of Hades is my way of saying, I believe and I am pretty expectant.

Victoria: Wonderful. I'm becoming a fan. Which Nigerian writer interests or influences you? And what thrills you about him or her?

Kessington: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She's a flavour. An untouched and very rare breed of unrelenting talent. She's someone I admire so much for her ability to carve out imagery and dump emotions into the mind and hearts of her readers. Her being a feminists just makes it even more juicy! I'm also a feminist and I very much love the efforts she's making to liberate women, especially black women, all over the world. She's created a god-like image for Nigerian women to the rest of the world, and I'm proud of her. Really proud of her. If I'm pushing tables or shaking tables today it's because of Chimamanda, who believes in standing up for what she believes in even if you'll get sneered at or mocked by the society. I love her.

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Victoria: You got any role models?

Kessington: I do. Dan Brown

Victoria: What interests you about Dan Brown?

Kessington: Dan Brown is a controversial and witty writer. He shakes the foundation of the hoax called truth and does so with facts. I adore him.

Victoria: Yes. DaVinci code... Do you actually believe Jesus Christ had an affair with Mary Magdalene? 

Kessington: Hahahahah, I like to believe that Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ and I don't want to know anymore than what the Bible teaches. Call it selective liberation.

Victoria: Better. To avoid being carried by the tides of knowledge. There are many writers flooding the literary world now. We see them on social media, blogs, here, there. What do you think of this? I'm sure you've come across some of them, What do you think of them too?

Kessington: They are the reason I believe we as a country still have great minds and I think we are capable of being finally cleansed. Writing is one thing that brings spirits together. If we become more absorbent by leaves upon leaves of printed texts, wallowing in brimming enlightenment, our souls will experience a butterfly effect. Now, imagine a nation pumped with many people with similar mindsets... Isn't that eerie? I am proud of these writers. They're one of the reason I can beat my chest for the country and I hope for a better and brighter future for all of us.

Victoria: What do you think is the role of writers in society? Can you comment based on the recent happenings in Nigeria?

Kessington: Writers are one of the most influential people after the president and immediate government. In a way, writers are the government but I'd shrug that off what I'm about to say. They hold the press, they can either use their pen to create havoc or peace in the nation. I personally think the writers placed in these positions are not using their abilities for the right things. Instead of molding the statue, they're using a chisel of bland words to crumble it, bit by bit, chip by chip, and fragment by fragment, and very soon there will be nothing left but rubble. I don't want to picture such a thing. Writers should use their powers for good, for humanity, for their countrymen and they lack in that area.

Victoria: As a writer, do you let your personal views come into your writing or you try to remain as objective as possible? You know, in delicate issues such as religion, feminism, LGBTQ, etc

Kessington: It depends; sometimes I feel like the reader should see my opinions mirrored in my writing and other times I just play it safe, because I fear for people who want to really know what goes on in this twisted mind of mine, for confusion is their forte.

Victoria: If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Kessington: Nothing. I wouldn't tell a younger me anything because everything that I am right now, everybody in my life right now, the woman that I am in love with right now, the experience I have garnered through out the years are all because of the rocky strides I made, the potholes I walked into, and the constant bends and without these things, I'm not sure I'll be who I am right now. Even though I'm as fucked up about a lot of things — which most of us are — I really love the person that I am, flaws regardless, and I wouldn't want to be anyone else. I like who I am. I love the flaws and the goodness. I love the way I think. I love the way I am. I love the way I make mistakes. I love the way I learn from these mistakes. I love the pace it takes for me to learn from my mistakes. I love everything and I can't picture any other thing.

Victoria: Before you give us a parting word, as a photographer, do you sometimes design the cover of your books?

Kessington: I DESIGNED THE COVER OF MY BOOK. AND I SHALL DESIGN MANY OTHERS THAT WILL COME AFTER THIS. The idea of the colour combination was my lady's idea.

Victoria: Awn! This is just to corroborate the saying that behind every successful man is a lady.

Kessington: You're very correct. Not just a lady — a goddess. She's everything and I'd like to call her my better spirit.

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