#WriterSpotlight – “Share the message. If you err, try again.” Tomilade Olugbemi

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Today on Writer Spotlight, we have the prolific poet, Tomilade Olugbemi. In our interview with him, he talks to us about how he developed the passion for writing and where he gets his inspiration from.

Enjoy.

Hello Tomilade. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Writer. Rewriter. Poet. Shy.

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I was twelve or thirteen. I fell in love with poetry somewhere between rap music and writing a poem for an English Language assignment. Why follow it? I’m really not sure. I guess I followed my instincts.

Can you tell us what you love most about being a writer?

It can be exhilarating when it is not frustrating. The potential of creating stuff with words gets my blood flowing. It is the only uncertainty that doesn’t constantly torment me: a place for my other uncertainties. I also like that the work inspires, tickles, heals and sometimes, terrifies people.

Why did you decide to put your poems together into ‘Love is not a tempest?’

It wasn’t exactly a putting-together of poems. Most of the poems were written specifically for the chapbook. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my mind, battling doubt, anxiety and all their friends. I was in a place where I needed to transfer all that angst into something. A chapbook seemed like a good idea so I started writing the poems on a whim.

Since you released the book what has the reaction been like?

I have a limited sample size but it’s been well received. A handful of people relate to many of the poems and that makes me happy. We write for ourselves, and I certainly did that, but we also write for others. It’s always such a joy when anyone reads my work. I don’t take it for granted.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by a great number of things: a nagging need to write, people and their lives, music, other people’s work, etc. There is, however, no greater inspiration than one’s own worldview and experiences.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you? 

Nothing consequential comes to mind. It has probably made me more curious and taught me a lesson or two in patience.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Only one? Sylvia Plath

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

I think writing, at least my writing, is mostly trial and error. It’s a cliché but I’ll advise them to just do it. Share the message. Try. If you err, try again. I dislike some of my work in retrospect. But without them, I’d have no barometer for progress or lack thereof.

 

 

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#WriterSpotlight – “The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art.” Femi Peters

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Hello Femi Peters, please introduce yourself

I’m a man of many parts but a single core, Jesus. I’m a writer, blogger, author, and an entrepreneur. I value relationships. I am married and a serial father.

When and why did you start writing?

I started writing way back in secondary school. I remember helping classmates and friends draft love letters to their crushes and girlfriends. Then I wrote a couple of short stories in the university. I took a shine to it when I started blogging in 2007. I write because I believe a have a message to communicate.

Permit us if we are wrong but you recently entered the writing scene with the introduction of your book ‘Notes to My God’. How has the reaction been?

The reactions started with my first blog that has the same name as my debut book. It pointed that I was solving problems, that my poems were needed. The reactions from the book has been astounding, humbling and has spurred me to write more.

We hear it took 10 years to put this book together. Why did it take you so long?

Well most of the poems came between 2006-2009 but other factors came into play. I had to overcome self doubt and other people’s opinions. I had to journey from getting a publisher to self publish amongst other factors.

We know you are a blogger, when did you start blogging and what’s the biggest lesson blogging has taught you?

I started blogging in 2007. I learnt a lot of lessons, the biggest of them is that I am a solution to someone’s need. Consistent writing betters your gift. Blogging opens you up to a wider audience for a myriad of purposes of which critiquing is one.

Poetry can be therapeutic. Has it been that to you?

Poetry is beautiful in many ways. It is therapeutic for me in the sense that birthing a poem sometimes stems from a prevailing thought and I could start as a quest and end with result.

What’s your take on writing poetry that is becoming relatable as opposed to what poetry used to be? Words many people couldn’t understand because it was too ‘deep’

There are different types of poetry, different kinds of expression. The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art, art that convey a message.

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What do you think in your own words make a good poem?

For me what makes a good poem is one that is fluid, rhythmic, memorable and stoking.

What has putting together Notes to My God book taught you?

It has taught me go after my dreams, that my gift was given to be shared and that God is waiting at the point of our use.

Are there plans to release another book soon?

Yes, I’m working on a couple of books actually and one of them should be ready for early 2018

What challenges did you think you were not prepared for in the process of putting this book together?

For one I was hoping I would remain behind the scene and churn out the work but I find that I have to be out there speaking for the book as we are Siamese twins of some sort.

Where can readers get your book?

It’s available at Glendora, Ikeja City Mall, Patabah bookstores, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall,  Jumia.com.ng and the Kindle edition is available on Amazon.com

What’s your advice to writers who have been working on a project for long and are getting tired?

It’s never too late to put it out there, stop procrastinating. The world needs to hear your voice. Your book is the solution someone is waiting for.

 

#WriterSpotlight – “I love the impact I get to make on so many lives. ” Kikelomo Woleosho

kikelomo-woleosho-6.jpgIf you know Kikelomo Woleosho from social media the way we do, then you must know two things about her- she’s a simple and beautiful woman. But that’s not all about her. She’s the Founder of the brand that takes the most breathtaking pictures of babies, Red 19. Today she talks to us about her book, “Kikelomo” and why she wrote so freely and opened herself up to readers. Enjoy. 

Hello Kikelomo, please introduce yourself.

Kikelomo is a passionate photographer who specilises in Children, Maternity and Family photography and currently runs RED19photography.

She has taught photography to over 300 adults and teenagers. She is a graduate of Chemistry Education from Lagos State University and a recipient of the World Bank scholarship for women in business.

She strongly advocates for the protection of children. She recently released her experience with sexual abuse in her free book KIKELOMO to educate people. She is the convener of Sexducate, a sexual education event.

You shared a very sensitive matter in your book, Kikelomo, what inspired you to do this?

KIKELOMO is a memoir of my experience with child sexual abuse and the struggles that followed suit. I realised that abuse usually does not stay in the past. It has a way of crawling in the future of the victim and if not properly dealt with, can destroy them.

I knew that sharing my own story will further open the eyes of parents to the effects of sexual abuse on the children so they can put more effort in protecting their children. It will help abused persons understand the effects abuse is presently having on them and the steps they can take to ensure they have the victory.

What was the writing process like for you and was there a point when you said ‘Oh No! I really can’t do this anymore’ and closed the manuscript?

The writing process was smooth initially. I was surprised about the amount of information I remembered. Then I started having relapse into masturbation and I couldn’t control my thoughts as they were running too wild. From seeking therapy, I found out that the writing was triggering old wounds and awakening me sexually. I put a stop to the writing for a while. I was not sure I would go back to it sooner than I did because I didn’t want to go back to the issues I had overcome.

Some months after I stopped, the Holy Spirit instructed me to go back to the book. He said children are being abused daily and I should not hold back from writing.

It was then I knew that the book was not my idea but GOD’s idea and I needed to see it to the end even if it means I will relapse till I finish. Interestingly, I was able to manage my body better during the completion of the book.

 

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What has the reaction been like since you released the book?

I have been getting great feedback. Testimonies from abused persons. It just suddenly seemed like everyone had been abused as a child. Parents say they now understand the need to protect their children better.

One of the first things we loved about the book was the cover design. There’s something pure about it, why did you decide to use your face for the book cover?

The cover design was shown to me by the Spirit of God. I asked Him to show me what He had in mind since the book was His idea and He did. I worked with the designer through the design prayerfully and with description till he was able to produce what I was shown. I also asked my online community what they thought about different designs similar to the final cover and they made suggestions. As soon as I posted the last cover, everyone went for it.

The cover is DIVINE. What advice would you give to writers who are having issues deciding what kind of design to go with for their book cover?

My only advice is to pray. That’s the only place I get inspiration from.

There is a common belief that getting a book published is expensive because of the different elements it involves. Is this really the reality?

KIKELOMO is my first book. I paid for different stages when I got there. The stages I could do myself, I did. I am still learning the realities there in publishing.

What advice do you have for a writer who really wants to get published but is low on funds?

Do as many things as you can by yourself. Maximize relationships around you. This is a reason why you must read Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” and Herb Cohen’s “You can negotiate anything.” You can take the option of printing only on demand.

What do you love most about being an author?

The impact I get to make into so many lives.

Your book is free of charge! Something a number of people can’t wrap their head around, why did you make that decision?

The book KIKELOMO is not my book. It is for God. He wrote the script years before I was born and placed me into the story to take the lead role. I know the book is a solution and not a profit making scheme and He confirms it to me daily from the responses I receive every time.

How can readers get a copy of your book?

The book KIKELOMO is free on www.okadabooks.com. Signup on the site. Search for the book. Download, read and kindly send me feedback. 

 

 

 

#WriterSpotlight – “When you have a story that is so compelling you owe it to the world to share with the world.” Osayi Lasisi

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Hello Sparkle Writers, its Thursday and time to meet another amazing writer. Today’s guest is a writer, marketing strategist and author. We can’t wait to reveal all we learnt from her interview. 

Hello Osayi. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Hello. I am a passionate Marketing Strategist who is particularly excited about what we can accomplish with digital marketing. You can find out more about me and connect with me – OsayiLasisi.com or youngishpro.com

At what point did you decide you wanted to become an author and why?

Being a writer is about getting your message out, and sharing your passions with the world. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, even before I was writing I spent my free time amusing my family members with stories and tall tales. By the way, writing and publishing a book is an excellent marketing strategy for anyone who wants to be seen as an expert.

Your book ‘Your First Virtual Summit’ became an Amazon bestseller. How were you able to achieve this?

Well the first book I published on Amazon was “Impossible is Stupid.” I learned everything I needed to do with that process, and so every book I have written since then has been pretty simple. The main thing is coming up with the idea and then sharing your passion with others.

Let’s talk about getting published. What difficulties did you face and how were you able to overcome them?

Getting published is getting easier and easier now.

Whenever people ask me about how to get published I just ask them if they have anything that they are passionate about, and if they are willing to do the work to share that message with others.

If you’re willing to do the work – writing, editing, publicizing – then it won’t be as difficult as it seems.

The hardest part is coming up with the idea that you are willing to do all the work that you need to do to create a successful book.

There is a common belief that getting a book published is expensive because of the different elements it involves. Is this really the reality?

Publishing a book can be expensive.

It depends on who the audience (potential reader) is, and how you plan to get it to them.

If you will be going digital, then there are so many options that don’t need you to invest too much. But if you need hard copies of the book then you have the option of getting a publisher or self-publishing – and that’s where someone has to pay for printing the hardcopy of the book (you or your publisher).

What advice do you have for a writer who really wants to get published but is low on funds?

When there’s a will, there’s a way.

Write something compelling.

Write a story that resonates with people.

And you will find a way to get it published.

Can you tell us what you love most about being an author?

The main thing I love about being an author is the opportunity to share my ideas and the thoughts in my head with the world. My second favourite thing is having the opportunity to establish myself and my clients as experts.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

I’ve learned to appreciate reading – because I know it was someone, just like me, who chose to sacrifice their time so that they can leave a little bit of themselves behind, by sharing their thoughts with the rest of the world.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Hmmm that’s a great question. I would probably want to spend some time with Seth Godin because his books about marketing, and life are quite insightful. But I probably wouldn’t want to spend too much time with any of the authors I admire because sometimes it’s easy to build people up in your mind and then get disappointed when you find out that they are just normal human beings.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

Well first thing is that I believe everyone, every single person has a message to share. With that said I would recommend that you read the book the War of Art, because it will help you to realize that every single book you’ve read came from someone who was equally afraid. And my final recommendation would be that when you have a story that is so compelling that you can’t sleep without thinking about it, and you just keep thinking and thinking about it, then you owe it to the world to share with the world, because it means that we need it, we need you.

#WriterSpotlight – “With words you can build, you can give hope, you can ignite and you can destroy too.” Aderonke Moyinlorun

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She may be young but what she has achieved is incredible. Author of eight books, publisher and speaker, Aderonke  Moyinlorun is our guest on today’s #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy. 

Hello Aderonke. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

My name is Aderonke Moyinlorun. I’m a writer, a publisher and a motivational speaker. I’m also the CEO of Starling Empire which birthed Starling Books and Starling Films.

At what point did you decide you wanted to become an author and why?

I knew I wanted to become an author since I was a child. I started writing short stories and poems when I was eight years old. I would write stories in all my school notebooks and I’d get in trouble with my teachers but it never stopped me. I’ve always known I wanted to write. I was born to do this.

You are a one-time best seller on Amazon. What book achieved this feat and how were you able to achieve this?

Yea, my book ‘When Love Hurts’ was an amazon eBook bestseller. I wish I could tell you exactly how I achieved this, but honestly, it was a bunch of different things that I did. The most important is that the story sold itself. It was my first attempt at romance story and if there’s anything reviewers say about my romance stories, it’s that they are emotionally intense, and heart wrenching. So I think the story sold itself as did every book I wrote after it.

Besides that, I did a lot of marketing. I gave out a lot of free copies. I approached well known book bloggers and asked them to read and review my book. And I did some few paid adverts. I also have the best and most supportive readers. I had a Ronke team on social media which consist of ten of my loyal readers  and their goal was to repost and share everything about the book. In exchange for their support, they are always the first to read my next book.

You have authored eight books! This is no mean feat. How were you able to achieve this?

By being disciplined, dedicated, persistence and patient. And also thanks to the fact that I never run out of stories to write. There’s always a story in my head all the time. But I do a lot of things and run a lot of businesses, I only have little time to write. If not, I would have more books than that.

Let’s talk about getting published. Why did you decide to float your independent publishing company Starling Book?

Honestly, there are more than one reasons why I chose to start Starling Books. First is I believe that my destiny is in my hands. That I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. That I can be whoever I want to be if I work hard at it. That I can touch the skies if I’m willing to take the leap. More than anything else, this is why I like making things happen for me instead of relying on anybody else or any organisation. 

Second was that I had approached one or two publishing company and they rejected my manuscript because they thought I was too young and I didn’t have a lot of readers yet. They didn’t give me an opportunity, so I created the opportunity for myself. That was how I started Starling Books. I was barely 20 years old when I started.

What difficulties did you face in getting this company to start off and how were you able to overcome them?

I had a lot of difficulties. I was entering an unknown territory. I knew how to write but publishing was a whole different ball game entirely. I made a lot of mistakes. I did a lot of research and I had to learn on the job. One major difficulty that I faced was marketing. I was able to overcome this by always coming up with a new idea to market. And I realized that marketing is a continuous process. You are never done. But really, I’m glad I was able to get better at this publishing thing. 

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There is a common belief that getting a book published is expensive because of the different elements it involves. Is this really the reality?

I would say Yes and No. Maybe in the past, it was expensive. But presently, things keep getting better and I know they will continue to get better. We can publish a book as an e-book and people can read on phones and laptops. Last time I checked it cost zero Naira to publish an e-book, both on Amazon and Okadabooks. And e-book sales are really encouraging.

Getting a book in print used to be very expensive because you are required to have hundreds of thousands of Naira to print one thousand copies. But these days, there are print-on-demand printing companies everywhere. If you need to distribute fifty copies and fifty copies is all you have money to print, you can order the fifty copies. If you have money for another ten copies, you can order again at another time.

So, really, in my opinion, things are getting better. You just have to know where to look and have access to the right information.

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What advice do you have for a writer who really wants to get published but is low on funds?

Start with eBooks. It is completely free to publish an eBook. Don’t stop trying to get your books in print either. Work hard. Save. Approach people for sponsorship if you have to. Contact publishers. Good publishers don’t ask you for money to publish your books. They pay you to publish your books. Just keep trying. It will happen for you.

Can you tell us what you love most about being an author?

What I love most most about being an author is the opportunity to touch people’s lives and make a difference. I’m amazed by the number of people that send me messages everyday about how my books touch them. I find a sense of fulfillment in that.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me that words are powerful. With words you can build, you can give hope, you can ignite and you can destroy too. So I’m extra careful how I use words.

What do you love about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub?

What I love most about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub is the blog posts, especially posts that revolves around creativity and getting inspiration to keep writing.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Aderonke Moyinlorun. Yea, I’m full of myself like that. LOL

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of what you need to do. Do it now.

Your book will first be judged by its cover, make it awesome!

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No matter how you want to rationalize it, potential readers and the audience at large will judge your book first by its cover before they open it and read the pages.

The cover is what everyone sees first. If we don’t like what we see, there’s no point opening it. We just move on. If you do not take out time to create a striking design alongside your publisher or graphic designer, your book will automatically lose a large percent of its potential readers. 

Our brains are wired to process images faster than words. When we see an image, it makes us feel something. A great cover can help your reader instantly recognize that your book is for them.

Bookshops display books with their covers facing the reader. It’s the first thing a reader sees. It is the reason a customer picks up the book, particularly in a supermarket setting where every book is front facing.

When a reader sees an amateur cover on a book, they will expect the content itself to be amateur. If it looks cheaply produced, then they will expect the inside quality to be cheap also or that there has been little or no editing, proofreading or it contains bad prose. If a reader sees a cover and has that expectation, why should they buy the book? And it’s not just about someone buying a book, but about them investing their time to read it. 

Poor designs on the other hand can be a huge turn off. With millions of books for readers to choose from, the first “sales pitch” is the cover. If it is not striking enough to draw attention, it will be passed over for something more interesting on either side.

Don’t ruin your book’s chances of success. 

#WriterSpotlight – “Start where you are, a small focus group, your social media pages, blog etc. Do not let fear hinder you.” Morenike Vincent

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We are extremely honoured to feature the amazing Morenike Vincent on today’s edition of #WriterSpotlight. She’s an accountant, writer and first time author! If you are thinking of publishing your book soon, here’s yet another writer you can learn from. Her tips are so practical. Enjoy! 

Who is Morenike Vincent?

My name is Morenike, I am a lover of God and people, a wife,a sister, daughter, friend. I love to help people to be  awake to the lives they have been called of God to live. I am a Chartered Accountant currently working as an Auditor.

I am the founder of She’s Connected Family Life network, a platform for ladies who desire to establish God’s design for family here on earth, growing together to mirror the phenomenal woman in Proverbs 31.

I have a heart to prepare the next generation for life and living, an evangelist of academic and life excellence, hence the book and platform Academic Excellence.

Since you have a 9-5 and run a ministry, how do you find time to write?

Well for me, writing is not a hobby, it more like I must give expression to what God has put in my heart via writing. Some days words come to my heart and so I just write on my notepad or on my phone. But really and truly, you will create time for what is important to you.

Congratulations on the release of Academic Excellence. Take us through the journey of writing and publishing it.

Thank you. For me it is a huge honor God chose me to bring forth this book through, I was just the vessel. In 2016 May I felt in my heart that I should organise an online seminar for teenagers and young adults so I told my friend Raquel, we designed a flier and shared on social media for 5 days before the event and to my outermost surprise, over 170 teenagers and young adults, Edu consultants participated in the 3 hour WhatsApp seminar on Academic Excellence.  When we were almost done, I told them if they stayed on the group I will share for the next 30days (throughout the month of June) on Academic Excellence. It was a very demanding move for me because I really don’t remember ever doing anything consistently for 2weeks let alone 30days! But by God’s grace I did it. Some days I would be so tired from work and on one day, I didn’t post till a few minutes to midnight. It was truly a stretching experience for me and very fulfilling because the teenagers learnt a lot and were inspired. The daily posting on the WhatsApp group throughout June 2016 formed the core content for the Book.

So from June 2016 to the eventual release of the book May 28 (the anniversary of their first seminar) I updated the content of the days, I reached out to people to share their story, one of which was Bimbo Oyeyi, a lady who I had told in 2010 that I would write a book on academic excellence and share her story.

From editing, to book design, to deciding to self-publish, to printing runs, publicity, for a first time author it was truly an experience, but one I am grateful for and thank God I have a very supportive husband who is my major driver, he kept me on my toes especially with deadlines and milestones.

Since the book was released, what has been the reaction so far?

I am truly thankful as all the teenagers who came for my book launch got the book for free courtesy some generous people. The feedback from people who have read it have been heart-warming and fulfilling. You see my dream is to put the book in the hands of every teenager and young adult in Nigeria because I believe it will help, not just to improve academic performance, but also self-leadership and life in general.

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It took you about eight years to write, what kept the dream going?

GOD! See it was not by my might.  I was a 300 level student in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and I was in the academic committee for my department fellowship. I used to write articles and counsel my class mates on academic excellence and mindsets toward academics generally. Then one day, as I was writing yet another article, I heard in my heart, “This will form pages of a devotional”. I got two notebooks to get started, but it just did not happen, till today, those two notebooks are still with me, they attest to the faithfulness of God. At every phase in my life, from graduation, to NYSC, to workplace, to marriage, I knew that one day I will write a book on Academic Excellence. Initially the title I had was “Ruling and reigning in the Academic domain”. There were many days I cried, because I felt I had let God down by not writing. But “in the fullness of time” the avenue was open to write and today we have the book. When I think about it all, I still am teary-eyed. It’s more than a book for me, it is a testament of the faithfulness of God. And yes! Your dreams are valid.

What lessons has writing this book taught you?

This experience taught me a number of things, one of which is to lean on God through every twist or turn, so make Him your source. Another is if you demand excellence, you will get it, so do not compromise. Then, deadlines and follow up, this is not a strong area for me, so my husband was so helpful here, helping me realize that once one deadline is not met, it affects other things. I learnt that many people are on the other side of my obedience and so I must be quick to obey God and do so completely. I picked many other life lessons on this journey.

Is there any chance of you leaving accounting to do writing full time?

Well I cannot say for now, as God leads, I follow. For now He’s given me the grace to do both, so why don’t I enjoy it and maximize it.

What do you love most about being a writer?

I usually tell people that I do not consider myself a writer, because it’s not for pleasure. I believe I must write, because God wants to reach people and my writing and speaking give Him expression.

There is this one time I can vividly remember, I wanted to do something, but then felt a block, I tried to fight it, but then I just picked my phone and words began to flow. It was like I felt the words form in my heart and I needed to give expression. So I obeyed, and I sent it out to my contacts on Blackberry Messenger. Immediately I received a message saying, “Oh God, Reni thank you, thank you so much. I so needed that.” For me this is fulfilling.

The book is loaded with special content: study plan, Q/A with a lecturer, academic excellence nuggets, devotional content, academic excellence stories. Why N1, 000? Don’t you plan to profit from its sales?

Yes it’s a loaded book, it’s 150 pages. I see the book as gift to the next generation. I decided to focus on value and not profit. My heart prays that it reaches the hands of the intended users (every teenager and young adult). I also needed to look at my target audience. Why will I write a book that my audience cannot afford to buy? It’s not to make a name as an author, but to impact lives. I believe the book will do that.

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What do you say to parents wondering why they should buy your book for their teenager?

“The greatest impact we can make is to invest in the lives of they to whom we will pass the life baton to. Think posterity.” You will have no regrets getting this book for your teenager. In fact, do not just stop there. Look for more teenagers around you, schools around you and even your Alma Mater, and put this book in the hands of every teenager in your sphere of influence. The book was written from my heart, and will transform your teenager, that I am sure.

What advice do you have for someone who has a story to tell but is afraid to write it in a book?

Well, you really do not need to write a book honestly, if you do not feel in your heart to do so. But by all means, just start. You really do not know how many lives are hinged to yours. One thing I know is God doesn’t waste pain, especially when you commit it all to Him. Start where you are, a small focus group, your social media pages, blog etc. Do not let fear hinder you.

How can readers get copies of this book?

The primary sales point is over my website.

And we deliver nationwide. The book is also available at

We are working to activate other bookstores and contact persons.

The book is also available in E-book version on

We are working on other online platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your book cover design will be splendid if you read this!

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Many more writers are considering the idea of documenting their ideas in form of books which is great. The problem, however, is the rise in substandard book cover designs. You do not have to dig a hole in your pocket before you get a design that will make you stand out. 

A poorly-designed cover tells the book reading public that you didn’t care enough about your work to make a good first impression. That’s not the kind of impression you want to give.

Here are a few things to take note of;

Use Eye-Catching Original Design

The last thing you should do is go to the internet and pick get the first picture that looks like what your book talks about. Apart from you running the risk of being sued for piracy you will come off to your readers as lazy and make the cover page look like an afterthought. 

First impression matters. 

Hire the best book designer you can afford. Talk to people who have experience in designing book covers. A general graphic designer won’t know how to place text and photos or illustrations for maximum impact. Make sure the image used conveys the message in the book and while you are at it make sure it is appealing.

Find the right typography

You may not know this but the text used for your book cover also affects the general look and feel. Don’t be quick to use Times New Roman or Arial as your book cover text. 

A designer will experiment with fonts sizes to see what looks right to the wandering eye; more specifically, your target market. You don’t want to use a font and colour that won’t blend in with the background visuals, rendering the title illegible.

The font style you use should be a mix of sharp, professional, and eye-catching styles.

 

 

#Writing Quote – “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper”

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“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper” – E.B White, Author of Stuart Little

The harsh truth is that there will never be “ideal conditions” to write the way you have fantasized about writing. There will always be challenges you have to face. These challenges are what makes your story as a writer interesting.

There will never be perfect conditions for writing that book you have always wanted to write. Ask writers who have successfully published a book. Yeah, we know you want to develop yourself and hone your writing skills so you can put words together perfectly, we know you want to wait till you get that brand new laptop you have been waiting for, we know you want to wait till you own a website before writing. And all of these things are good. However, do not make them your excuses for not writing.

Seriously dear writer, time is ticking. And even if you get all of these things you so crave for, something else will come up and it will be an endless cycle of waiting until you realize that you and time are no longer buddies.

Today’s quote is spot on. Stop waiting for ideal conditions. That is a mirage. Start with what you have right now (yes, even if it is just a pen and a paper); start where you are, and let the words flow out of your heart.

#WriterSpotlight – Unoma Nwankwor was lured into writing, now she has authored eight books

 

Unoma Nwankwor’s interview is all shades of inspiring we can’t help but share. Despite having a career, running a business and caring for her family, she has been able to write 8 books so far. We don’t know about you but we were definitely eager to know her secret.

Hello Unoma. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

I pondered this question a few years ago, and I simply describe myself as an imperfect woman after the heart of a perfect God. A daughter, sister, wife, mom, story teller and hope ambassador.

Would you say that you were born to be a writer?

I like to say lured. Let me explain/ I’ve always been a loner, partly because I have only brothers, so I was always to myself and partly because I’m an introvert. So, writing became my thing. I could do whatever I wanted with my pen. However, I dared not let anyone read my writing.  My husband, however, is the one that encouraged me to push past my fear.

So, yeah, maybe it took someone else to see that I was born to do this.

You’ve written a total of 8 books. That’s amazing. How were you able to achieve this?

I guess it’s just one book after the other. But I know that it really is by the grace of God.

I have a very busy life, in addition to writing, I have a family, career and I run a business. Balance for me, therefore, is crucial, practically I do that by planning as much as I can. I have accepted the fact that I can’t be everything at the same time. So, I try to be fully present in whatever I place my focus on at any given time. I also steal pockets of time and I am not afraid to ask for help. Lastly and most importantly, I stay connected in faith because that is the Source of everything. Like Paul said, but by the grace of God, I am what I am.

Which of your books is your best and why?

Ha! That’s like asking which kid I like best. I don’t have a favourite book. I love all my characters/books equally. During the creative process, I immerse myself into them that they become a favourite in the moment. I just can’t choose. If I had to though, I think it would be Ayanti and Mensah from He Changed My Name. But I’m beginning to think Ebele and Kamal will take their place soon.

You share a lot about your faith through your books. Can you tell us why you chose to do this?

I love talking about my faith, it is the pillar of my existence. Empowering and motivating others in hope is my passion. It comes from a personal place for me.

I’m also a sucker for romance. I love the cliché misunderstanding. My favourite channel is Hallmark and I grew up reading Mills & Boons in Nigeria. LOL. Lastly, as you know, I’m Nigerian. Although I was born in the United States of America, I grew up in Nigeria…shout out to Uniport. I love sharing about my homeland and changing the mindset in the diaspora. Therefore, when I got ready to write, I couldn’t write anything that wasn’t me.  Naija. Romance. Faith.

As an author, can you share some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame them?

My greatest challenge was fear. Sometimes it still is to some degree. Right before I release anything, fiction, nonfiction or my podcast, I feel anxiety. I overcome it with this verse my mentor gave me “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” Mathew 10:14

Not everyone will like what I put out but those who it’s meant for will love it.

Many writers find it challenging to finish writing a book and get published. What tips do you have for such writers?

I’ve had quite a few people ask me this question and my answer is always the same. One, set achievable goals. The saying is true, habit and discipline does beat talent any day of the week. When I’m in the throes of writing, I set a daily word count. Two, when you start to write a story, do not, I repeat, do not stop and edit. Throw everything in your head unto the page, don’t stop until you get to THE END. Once you get there, you can go back and edit. Stopping to edit will keep you from finishing,

You are in the process of writing your 9th book. What should your readers expect from this book?

Yes, and I’m loving my present couple, especially the hero. My ninth book is Mended with Love and is the final book in the Sons of Ishmael series The Danjuma brothers; Rasheed, Jabir and Kamal came onto the scene in 2015.  They are three brothers abandoned by their father and raised by their mom to become very successful men. You get to meet the women who changed their perception of love. Kamal and Ebele are the stars of this book that will release in October. Each book can be read alone but for the full effect, you’ll want to start from the beginning.

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What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

Writing and talking about my books has given me an inner strength I never thought I had. Fear kept me locked in place for a long time, once I stepped out in faith, God met me at my point of need and it’s been a liberating experience. I learn more about my abilities and embrace my weaknesses fearlessly each day.

This quote by Laurel Bleadon-Maffei describes the feeling perfectly. It is my go to quote, I have it everywhere, office, notebook, laptop (smile). It says, “I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go.” Gosh, I love that quote. It is so me. So, me.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

Fear is a mindset. I can rattle off “5 tips to overcome fear” however none of them would work if you don’t change the way you think. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?

The fear of not being good enough is what holds most creatives back. Always remember that the “professionals” you see today were once amateurs themselves. Allow them to inspire you but don’t try to be them. God created you uniquely, it is your responsibility to walk into what He created you to be.

Now with that mindset, practice makes perfect. The more you exercise your writing muscle the better you become and greater your confidence. My tip will be to remain true to you and your voice. Trust; there is an audience out there. Your authenticity makes them notice.