Abena Eyeson takes us abroad in her novel Looking Up.
Tell me about your latest book.
My novel Looking Up is about thirteen-year-old Esi who is reluctantly on her way to London, England. After many happy years with her grandma in Ghana, she is joining Maggie, the mother she has not lived with since the age of six. The move to London not only brings challenges Esi has never faced before, but it brings up questions about her absent father Solomon and Maggie—the answers to which change her life.
In October 2019, Looking Up was reviewed in the US by Africa Access Reviews who highly recommended it and described it as “a breezy read that gives great insight into teenage life, immigrant viewpoints, and multicultural perspectives.” http://africaaccessreview.org/2019/10/lookin-up-a-family-drama/
Why did you decide to write it?
Educated up to PhD in the UK (I have a PhD in Development Studies), I have always had a love for books and writing. It took a while for me to decide to write my first novel, but when I did, Esi (the spunky but conflicted main character of Looking Up) came to me. Her character was so clear to me that I developed a story around her.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
Looking Up is an exploration of migration, family, friendship, absent parents, bullying and finding the wherewithal to deal with the problems life throws at you.
I am aware of anecdotal stories of children who have been left with relatives when their parents emigrated abroad to find work and settle before they called for them. I wanted to explore this through the eyes of a child. As the story developed, it also became one about family reconciliation and what is family as well as being about friendship and coping with new and sometimes challenging experiences.
If you could pick another profession, what would it be and why?
I would be an English teacher, sharing with children the joy of books and writing.
What’s the best part of being an author?
Creating stories and seeing readers connect with the story and get something from it.
What’s the worst part of being an author?
The most challenging is trying to get the book published and marketing the book.
What’s next for you?
I am working on my second novel now, which I hope will be out in the next couple of years.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
See https://www.abenaeyesonwrites.com/ for further information.
Use the Black Fiction Addiction affiliate link to purchase your copy of Looking Up.
To learn more about Abena Eyeson, PhD, visit her website or connect with her on social media.