Octavia Rising is a series of blog posts, announcements, and random bits about my life at the intersection of storytelling and emerging technology. I am obsessed with stories and how we tell them.
Storytelling is hard to escape when you grow up with one Irish parent and the other Nigerian, two cultures driven by epic storytelling pride. Professionally, it’s not surprise I ended up telling stories on television, radio and digital natives; although the road I took to get there wasn’t an obvious one.
My voracious love and full immersion into global stories spanned the delicious realm of fiction of legends and folklore, which was tempered by very real conflicts affecting our family in the 1960s-80s from the Nigerian Biafra War to The Lebanese Civil War to conflict in Northern Ireland. I’ve learned that every story has the potential power to change what we think and how we act.
As a young reader, there wasn’t a science fiction, alternative world, urban fantasy tale that didn’t pass my hands. After “living” in worlds created by the late, great Octavia Butler or J.R. R. Tolkien (I’ve read his “Lord of the Rings” a dozen times). Nor, could I ever forget the indelible power of Anne Frank who as a teen hiding from the Nazi’s wrote, The Diary of Anne Frank.” I was so immersed; my mother took me to Amsterdam when I was 15 years old to see Anne Frank’s temporary home for myself.
Stories are everything and technology is taking us to new places.
When you put it all together, a bi-racial, tri-continental kid, reading science fiction, I was told many times by both kids and adults, I was “weird” or “odd.” Yet, I always felt normal in the pages of my most favorite authors.
I dedicate this to my family who have gifted me so much, and to Octavia and Anne’s courage in writing their truths, which has helped me find mine.