For somebody who has been rejected a number of times, today’s guest proves beyond reasonable doubt that rejection is never the end of the road for a writer. Would you believe us if we tell you that she has authored two best selling books and has another two in the works? This is Abimbola’s interview with us. Read and be inspired!
Hello Abimbola please introduce yourself.
Abimbola Dare is first a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, a writer and an author of four books (two are published and two are in the process of being released). I am also an anointed speaker, a playwright and screenwriter. I am also a mother, a wife to an amazing man and an IT professional. I wear many hats by God’s grace and grateful for them all.
You have been writing for about 11 years, can you tell us one profound lesson these years of experience has taught you:
That you need to always improve on your writing, and constantly churn out material. You cannot afford to be complacent or else you will soon become irrelevant, and that soon affects your skills as a writer. I have also learnt the importance of patience. A good book can take many years to be written and as someone who likes to be engaged with her readers, it is tough to balance the incubation period (when I am writing) with the period when the final product is ready to be published.
Two of your novels have become bestsellers at different points since their release, what do you think is the reason for this?
I am not sure to be honest. I’d like to think that-apart from God’s grace- the themes which I write about (marriage and relationships) resonates with a lot of people. I also try to write stories that are filled with suspense, which generally garners a lot of interest. I know that a lot of people have recommended my novels to others, so word of mouth advertising has been very beneficial (thank you to all my reader-friends, as I like to call them).
Since you started writing in 2006, how rewarding has the experience been?
It’s been a rewarding, humbling experience to be recognized for my work, to be nominated for awards and to even win a few! My greatest and most rewarding experience was when I got feedback from a reader that one of my books helped save her marriage. I have received several of such comments from readers, and each time I get such emails/ comments, I get a sense of satisfaction that words cannot fully explain.
You specialize in fiction writing. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be as original as I can be but at the same time, I have to understand that I write a genre that is not familiar to everyone, and so, I tend to keep my stories simple but filled with enough conflict to keep you wanting more- while still managing to deliver the true message of God’s love.
What’s the best way to market your books?
Word of mouth! It’s been my greatest marketing tool. I also use social media (Facebook, Instagram,and sometimes, paid advertising).
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Hard to say. Maybe my day job, but I love that too!
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies?
I love to cook, hang out with my family. I love to eat out (Thai food is my favorite), and just chill out with my friends whenever we can take time out of our busy lives to meet. I have a passion for stage and I am trying to get out more and watch stage plays. I read a lot of books (a mix of Christian fiction and secular fiction).
Have you ever been rejected as a writer, if yes please tell us about it:
Oh yes! I have been rejected many times. I have sent a number of query letters to agents and gotten a mix of standard rejection letters to more bespoke: ”We like your writing, but your work is not for us” type of letters.
What is your ultimate dream as a writer?
To see my novels on every book shelf in the country and in the world. To know that my novels have saved a life, a home, a destiny. To know that my books have changed lives and altered destinies for the better.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
How has your writing evolved over the years, did you do anything specific to make improvements? If yes, please share with us:
I attend creative writing courses and read a lot of books on the craft. I am currently on a creative writing programme that has taught me how to write short stories and now, I have written three short stories (which was an area I would never have touched in the past!)
What’s your advice to upcoming writers?
- Write. Just write. Don’t worry about if it will get published or not. Don’t be afraid of what people would say about your work. Just get up and go. Do it. Do it now. Start a fiction series on your blog, submit your work to platforms where you can get feedback. If you have been called to write Christian fiction, treat it as just that: a calling – answer it.
- Read a lot of books. Books are the greatest writing teachers. Utilize them.
- Engage on a writing course if you can, get feedback (through a critique circle, or through a writing workshop).
- Find a writing mentor and learn from them.