I'm happy to feature one of the writers in Africa I'm acquainted with. Welcome, Seye. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I enjoy reading the Bible and getting inspired by the words; I decided to start writing inspirational fiction as a way of conveying biblical principles and values in a manner that both entertains and inspires the reader. Growing up I read a lot of fiction books and I enjoyed the way they allowed me dream and experience times and places I may never have an opportunity to experience in real life. A blend of fiction and biblical principles allows me give my reader the same out of this world experience while leaving them with something that transforms their lives from within.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I can’t decide between the day I got married and the day I found out I was going to be a mom. Both days gave me joy beyond words and every day I thank God for the experiences. The happiest moment for me when I was getting married was the morning of the church ceremony when I woke up and realized I was going to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. It was a feeling of complete joy and anticipation of the adventures we were going to experience together - really thrilling.
How has being published changed your life?
There is the sense of responsibility which comes from knowing other people are counting on you to do the right thing not just by writing books that inspire and entertain but also by living a life that aligns to the values you profess. That has changed me completely and I hold myself accountable for everything I say and write.
What are you reading right now?
Interestingly I am not reading a book I am researching song lyrics. I recently realized that some of the most inspiring writings I have ever read are lyrics of songs I love. So I’m going through my music files for songs that have inspired me and reading their lyrics. So far the song that tops the chat is India Arie’s A beautiful day.
What is your current work in progress?
I am working on a book titled Trivial Pursuits. I have been working on this longer than I have worked on any book. The story about a high powered business executive who finds the concept of God repelling. He is forced to rethink his position when the force of nature threatens to destroy his ‘self-made’ multimillion dollar empire.
What would be your dream vacation?
My husband would be interested in this (laughs). We would love to take a week off work and enjoy the sunny days on the beach in
, maybe Marseille. France
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I am inspired by the key message of the book and I decide on the time and setting based on that. If I decide to talk about cultural diversity then a story set in the 60’s in
Africa might do the job for me.
And if it’s about a child experiencing freedom from his parent’s for the first
time, then a story set in university campus would be better suited. I let the
main theme decide the settings.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Hmmm that’s a tough one, a number of people have intrigued and inspired me and it’s hard to decide. I would say Oprah, that’s because I have seen a lot of her shows and her TV personality but it would be nice to know for real what her off camera life looks like and what inspires her to change the world like she does. That would be nice.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love spending time with my family – quiet evenings taking a walk or listening to music. I also love to travel; the idea of visiting new places always intrigues me and fuels my creativity. I guess what I enjoy doing the most is taking time away from my busy world to get in touch with myself.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
That would be work. My day job demands that I spend a considerable time thinking up creative ideas to solve a common problem. Sometimes I find myself trying to write and my mind slips back into some project I was working on at the office. I have trained myself to be mentally present on whatever I am working on and keep every other thought out. It’s been hard but I try.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I would tell any beginning author what an experienced writer told me many years ago – Write, write, write! Honestly from my experience writing is the hardest part and once you get that done you can use any form of publishing available this day to get your book out. You can explore traditional publishing, self-publishing, print on demand, eBook publishing, the options are out there to explore. So get your pen and paper or if you’d prefer your laptop and start writing; some works will get published, others you’d decide it was just an exercise – whichever it goes you will find fulfillment when you finish working on a writing project.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Time to Heal (2011) is an inspirational novel set in Historical Africa of the early 60’s. The story borders on the tale of two young lovers, Tori and Chidi, bond by the covenant of marriage but separated by the realities of ethnic differences. It is a bold story that sets out to show the healing power of forgiveness and love. Embracing the multi-cultural nature of the African society to appreciate its diversity and re-evaluate its glitches. A Time to Heal casts a floodlight on the debris that weakens the development of our societies starting with the smallest and most significant unit, the family. This creative work takes readers through a journey of uncertainties and excitement as it narrows in on the triumphs and failure experienced by Toriola and Chidi in the face of a civil war. In A Time to Heal, Chidi finds the very essence of his existence tested when he is called on to fulfill a family obligation that exists beyond his nuclear family. He finds himself on a journey of self-discovery as his close companions, Dozie, Azuka and Jude, lure him to fight for a course he has no faith in. Chidi’s decision excludes Tori from his plans and ultimately from his life. In search for consolation, companionship and support, Tori rekindles her soured relationship with her parents, and clutches to the warmth offered by a stranger. The individual paths chosen by this young couple widens as time pass by, as each struggle to understand and uphold their new found ‘self’. Chidi gives in to the clarion call of his kindred to join in the fight for their recognition and respect against superior forces, leaving Tori to re-discover the true meaning of family, loyalty and love. Consumed by the heart ache of loneliness, Tori question every value she had ever upheld as she finds herself torn between loving another and waiting for the one that betrayed her love. This book tells a compelling truth simplified to inspire the average reader in an enchanting yet revolutionary way.
Please give us the first page of the book.
As the parliamentary elections neared, there were a lot of political activities all around the country; propaganda, interviews, speeches, and campaigns. Citizens were skeptical about the outcome of the election as the census results released two years earlier showed that majority of the country’s population tilted heavily to one side of the country. Talk was cheap, a dime a dozen, as the radio stations aired the promises of a better tomorrow campaigned by the different parties. In the midst of it all, somewhere in the less-popular part of the country, in the small foyer of community hall, two people oblivious to the political tension were exchanging their vows, “With this ring I wed thee … Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” The bride and groom were misty eyed, and so were all those who witnessed as the minister pronounced them man and wife.
How can readers find you on the Internet?I try to keep a very engaging personality via my webpage www.seyeoke.com , my twitter account @seyeoke where I primarily give out inspirational tips and phrases and my fans page on Facebook www.facebook.com/splendourbooks. I absolutely love the engagement with my readers on Facebook. Readers have an opportunity to read the book reviews and media interviews I have had about my book A Time to Heal. They can also enter competitions and win a free book. I have periodic post on the page highlighting my events and photo stories; it’s quite an interesting interaction. Of course you can always leave a comment or send me a message and I’d respond.
Thank you, Seye, for this peek into your life and writing.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Time to Heal - paperback
A Time to Heal - Kindle
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