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On the web: www.nnedi.com

On Twitter: @Nnedi

At the end of Nnedi Okorafor’s latest novel, Lagoon, there is a deleted scene that references a room 217. Because I was in the middle of planning #CarrieAt40 when I read it, and my mind was filled with all things Stephen King, I wondered if there was a connection with King’s novel, The Shining. So, I asked:

The following exchange of Tweets was enough for me to ask Nnedi if she would like to take part in the project.

When I asked, Nnedi was preparing for a tour of Brazil and the United Arab Emirates to promote Lagoon, so her contribution is short and sweet, but is extremely relevant to what I’ve been aiming for throughout #CarrieAt40, and I am glad I asked that initial question about Room 217.

I read Stephen King’s novel It when I was 12 years old. I had no business reading that book but I saw it in the library and thought the cover was cool, so I picked it up. It turned out to be one of the most terrifying and influential experiences for me as a young reader and later a writer (I even have Stephen King shout outs and references all over my work). That book showed me just how much I could enjoy the art of storytelling (and be terrified by it). I went on to read every King book I could find that year. I soon became one of King’s Constant Readers. Stephen King remains one of my greatest writing teachers and favourite authors.

Nnedi Okorafor’s novels include Who Fears Death (winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel), Akata Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award). Her short story collection Kabu Kabu was released in October and her science fiction novel Lagoon was released on April 10, 2014. Her young adult novel Akata Witch 2: Breaking Kola is scheduled for release in 2015. Nnedi is a creative writing professor at the University of Buffalo.

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