Booksellers across the country have chosen My Sister, the Serial Killer, the debut novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday), as their number-one pick for the December 2018 Indie Next List.
Humble, plain nurse Korede worries about her beautiful, sociopathic sister, Ayoola, who has already killed three of her boyfriends so far. But despite her misgivings and because she loves her, Korede helps Ayoola clean up her messes and cover up her crimes. However, when Korede's crush at work, a kind, handsome doctor, asks her for Ayoola's phone number, she must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her destructive sister.
Braithwaite is a graduate of creative writing and law from Kingston University in London and has worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and as a production manager at Ajapaworld, a children's educational and entertainment company. Now living in Lagos, Nigeria, Braithwaite works as a freelance writer and editor. In 2014, she was shortlisted in the Eko Poetry Slam, and was chosen as a finalist in 2016 for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Here, Braithwaite discusses the inspiration for her debut novel and what it was like writing a book set in her home country of Nigeria.
How did you feel when you learned that My Sister, the Serial Killer was booksellers' number-one pick on the December Indie Next List?
It was an honor to be the number-one pick for the Indie Next List! I was really, really moved by that. The whole thing has been very surprising. I mean, I do have faith in my writing, but there were so many things that I didn't even pray for--I just wanted to be published. I wasn't asking for very much, so I'm honored and pleased at the way the booksellers have received the book. So far, I feel like they've been my greatest champions. I'm really, really grateful.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I think it was about 2007 or around that time when I first came across the idea of the black widow spider, and I was just so fascinated with it. When they mate with the male, if they happen to be hungry afterward, they might eat them. I thought that was hilarious. I think that's kind of when the idea started to take root in my mind....