Tope Olugbeje write stories for the heart and has recently published here debut novel, “Now and Forever”. She is an author, Student, Blogger and a great person. I am excited to interview a hardworking, goal-oriented inspiring novelist and friend, who has achieved a great stride on her career path.
She deserves this interview and I wish her all the very best in her activities now and dreams forever. Here goes the interview with Tope…
Is your writing a calling, a talent, or both?
It is an innate ability- a talent. I’ve been writing since I could read, from Primary school – wrote stories of people, made stick drawings, short stories and so on. My mum instilled the reading culture in me – my reading goes with writing.
Congratulations, your book is finally here! How long did it take to write the story?
Three years. Started writing in my first year in the University. Just had a passion, never really knew it will get published.
How did you come up with the story line on love and forgiveness?
Writing involves thinking. The inspiration for the book came from God. I lived in the story while writing. The story line is linked to whether love can conquer hatred, no matter how battered the individuals are by reason of their pasts. Forgiveness results into healing. The story line seeks to link all these and portray them through the various characters.
What daily philosophy do you apply to your life?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Your are an A-student, Leader, Blogger, Writer and everything in between:), how do you balance it all?
The most important balancing help comes from God, via His grace. Another balancing factor is via effective planning. I believe 24 hours is too much if you can plan. Finally, by acting based on the philosophy that heaven helps those who help themselves.
Which writers inspire you?
I love Chimamanda because of her creativity in her story line that is well-blended with African culture. I am certainly inspired by Karen Kingsbury; we share a similarity in writing style, with the use of Christian principles. Francine Rivers also inspires me. Also, Heartsong and Christian Romance authors in general.
First book now, we hear that it is a series, tell us about that?
Yes, you heard right. I am definitely not stopping at Now and Forever. I have the inspiration for the next story. Readers should anticipate the continuation of Now and forever:)
Publishing a book in Covenant University, what challenges have you faced in the market and what were the strategies to overcome them?
In Papas voice*challenges I don’t know when they came, but I never saw them.*#on a lighter note:). The basic challenge was trying to attain quality and speed for the book. The solution: Had the support of a special person who made it a point of duty to check the quality of the book; we set targets that were optimist, ensured quality at each stage, worked with competent editors. Other issues: pecuniary challenges, the solutions: God factor; investment strategy, angel investments. Eventually, we reached over 90 percent of quality standard. Others include cover choice *most hectic*, after various photo shoots, the graphic designer came up with the concept of two love birds*innovative*.
What advice do you have for upcoming young novelists?
Do not stop writing, do not stop at all. Do not get to a point of exhaustion, no matter the discouragement. People may laugh, but remember that your peak period might come when you think you need to stop. In a nutshell, have diligence, perseverance, discipline, patience. Your readers are out there waiting for you.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself as a huge success, making worldwide impact, reaching out to the world. I will be married to a great husband with kids. Have a very lucrative business, and will definitely specialize in my discipline of Economics*masters, PhD*, will be working in an established corporate organization and publishing more books.
What are the three things that must be in your handbag?
Bible *essential for personal development, evangelism*, my wallet *for emergency needs* and a pen *to jot down an inspiration, because thoughts come in flashes*.
Thanks to Tope for sharing her story:)
Be sure to check out the book, Now and Forever on her website astoldbytope.com
Get copies by Contacting Tope:
Email- firstname.lastname@example.org ; Facebook- Temitope Olugbeje ; Twitter- @Taymietopaz