I wasn’t trying to write crime fiction. As a reader, my tastes were Chandler, Spillane, Ellroy, Corben, Don Winslow, Gillian Flynn, Rosamund Smith.I was trying to write a memoir about my childhood, mornings spent fitting my father’s bullet proof vest, changing the number plate of his car, some family friends burnt alive in political violence. Not exciting; terrifying.
Some things you can’t write down, so I fictionalised, and as the document grew, it occurred to me it was a crime story. I stopped, changed tack. I transformed people and places beyond recognition. My speculative fiction background kicked in and I created an alternative history in which the Nigerian civil war had a different outcome. I was writing about a Nigeria that no longer exists, so I created a country.
I had my flawed detective, my femme fatale, my conspiracy theories, and my baffling and surreal locale. I needed an antagonist, and I settled on Church. He is the conflation of many malignant people I encountered in Nigeria and I’m willing to bet no reader will forget him.
Nobody associates crime noir with Africa, but the location shouldn’t matter. Crime fiction is about humans violating the social contract, and other humans trying to restore it.
That’s what Making Wolf is.
‘Making Wolf’ is available from Rosarium Books and Amazon from 21st September, 2015.