Historian Dwayne Omowale

Dwayne Akio Wong-Omowale is a law student as well as an African Diaspora historian. His passion for the rich, deep history of the African continent is palpable in his writings, and fans appreciate the depth of his research as well as the relevance he brings to the contemporary audience. Be sure to follow Dwayne on Instagram where you can follow his latest news or book him to speak at events.

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  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I realized that I wanted to be a writer in middle school. I did extremely well in the various writing assignments that we were given. That’s when I realized that writing was something that I was good at, and I also really enjoyed doing it.
  1. What do you love most about writing? There are a lot of things I love about writing, but I would say the thing that I love the most is the feeling of being able to put my ideas down on a page and then being able to expand on that idea–watching it grow on the page. So an idea which may start out as a sentence or a paragraph eventually turns into several paragraphs or perhaps even an entire chapter in a book.
  1. What genre(s) do you write and what drew you to that? Most of my writings cover African and African diaspora history, although I have written some fictional stories as well. I was drawn to write about African history because of the general lack of information on that topic. It wasn’t something that was taught to me when I was in school, so when I entered college and began studying this history for myself, I was very fascinated by it. It also felt very empowering for me to be able to understand my history as a person of African descent since society tends to devalue and disregard our history. That empowering feeling is a feeling I wanted to share with others, so that was a big reason as to why I began writing.
  1. How long does it take you to complete a book or writing project? It varies, but generally, I would say it ranges from a few weeks to perhaps three or four months at most. I’ve spent many years reading and research a lot of the topics that I have written about, so most of the books that I have published were already in my head, and it was simply a matter of transferring those ideas onto the page.
  1. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Can you describe a typical writing day? I was fortunate enough that during the period when I published all of my books, I wasn’t working or in school at the time, so sometimes I would have an entire day to work on my books. During that period, a typical writing day would be waking up in the morning and writing throughout the day, while taking occasional breaks in-between. Since 2018, I’ve been in law school, so I haven’t really had the time to write books, but I have published several articles. A typical writing day since I’ve been in law school consists of writing on either Fridays, since on Fridays I either don’t have a class or only have a short class, or Saturdays when I don’t have class at all.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Most of the time, when I am writing, I’ll always have a deck of cards with me because shuffling through the cards helps me to focus as I organize my thoughts before I start writing.
  1. Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? If so, what are they? My suggestion is that writing is like any other skill: practice and repetition help you strengthen and perfect that skill.
  1. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out? I would give the same advice that I gave in the previous answer because that’s the approach I had when I started writing. It took some time before I finally decided to start a blog and publish my writings for others to read.
  1. How do you handle writer’s block? One of the advantages of being a non-fiction writer is that I don’t have to create stories. The stories are there already, so, for me, the challenge is how to organize the stories in a meaningful and compelling way. One of the reasons why I have been able to publish so many books is because I have a lot of material to work with and a lot of topics to write about, so writer’s block has not been a challenge for me because my creative process is a bit different than fiction writers. The stories are already there, and it’s up to me to tell them in a way that is interesting to readers, but still faithful to the facts of the particular topic which I am writing about.
  1. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? To me, the most important element of good writing is the ability to clearly and effectively communicate with the reader. As a writer, we may know what we intend to convey in our writing, but if the writing is not clear enough then that message may be lost on the reader.
  1. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? How do you overcome it? The most difficult part of writing for me is typos and other errors. No matter how much you proofread and review your work, it is nearly impossible to catch everything. For that reason, I am constantly going back and making corrections, but that is all part of the process for me. I have never written a perfect book, but I am constantly in the process of perfecting what I have written. It’s the most challenging part of writing but also the most humbling as well.
  1. Do you watch anime, documentaries, sitcoms, and/or reality TV? If so, what’s your favorite right now and why? If not, tell us what you’re into! Do you like TV? I grew up watching anime. Some of my favorites were Dragonball, Outlaw Star, and Inuyasha. I don’t watch anime or TV shows very much now though. For me, watching TV is a social activity. I will do it with friends or family, but if I am by myself, I don’t have much of an interest in TV shows. I do enjoy documentaries, though, and documentaries have sometimes provided me with inspiration and ideas for my writings.

Fun, quick facts:

  1. Tea or coffee? Neither.
  1. Cake or pie? Pie, depending on what type of pie it is.
  1. Morning person or Night owl? Definitely a night owl.
  1. City or country? No preference. I enjoy the peaceful and laidback feeling of being in the country, but I equally enjoy the energy and liveliness of the city as well.
  1. Social media or meetups? Meetups.
  1. Paperback or ebook? Paperback.
  1. Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter? Summer.
  1. Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, or Pixar? Marvel. I was a bit of a comic book nerd growing up.
  1. Board, card, tabletop, mobile, or console games? Console games.
  1. Type or handwrite? Typing.

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