A lot of the veteran bloggers would know Bimbylads. She used to blog way way way back. I followed her blog religiously then as I like her writing style and her posts were so funny! She always had one humurous story to share with us. She went off blogsville for a (long) while and came back with two surprises- a baby girl and a debut Christian novel called The SMALL PRINT!
I am so excited about this novel and I look forward to reading it. I have read the first chapter and all I can say is WOW. Bimbylads is currently organising a blog tour and I thought it would be a honour to host her on my blog by having an interview about her and her book. Please read and enjoy.
Please tell us about yourself
My name is Abimbola Dare. I was born in Nigeria , and attended Vivian Fowler Memorial College for girls. I am in my very, very early thirties (please stress that very early, lol). I relocated to the UK in 2001 and now live with my wonderful husband and our three year old princess. Many of my friends call me ‘bimbo or bimby, I am a Nigerian to the core, a God love and a fun loving person.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing in blog, http://www.bimbylads.blogspot.com/ about 5 years ago ( not sure about the exact year), and until then, I never realised I could write. When people started reacting positively to my writing, I decided to take it further by enrolling in a creative writing course at the Queen Mary university, London . I think it was when my creative writing course lecturer asked to use a piece I had written as an example for future students… I think that was when it hit me. I thought, wow, so maybe I can write!
What books have most influenced your life most?
I’d have to say, “And the Shofar blew,” by Francine Rivers. It is Christian fiction, and the novel was an eye opener for me because I never knew it was possible to write a Christian novel without being preachy. It was the novel that gave me the confidence to write the Small Print as Christian fiction.
“The Small Print” (TSP) - how did you come up with the title?
The Small Print also called The Fine print, is often the smaller, sometimes hidden clause in a contract that are often disadvantageous to the person signing the contract. In the novel, two of the characters realise that they may have potentially entered a “contract” without carefully considering the implications. The title came after I had gone over like a million possibilities.
Is TSP your first book? If not, how many books have you written published and unpublished?
TSP is my first book. And boy, that took a while to finish! I am working on a possible sequel to TSP- trusting God to see me through that as well.
What is the inspiration behind TSP and what made you decide to publish it?
Seriously? Ok, without being too preachy, The Holy spirit inspired the Small Print. I also drew inspiration from everyday stories on marriages and immigration issues: I am an immigrant in a foreign land. We all are ( for those of us that live outside Nigeria ) at one point in time, we have directly or indirectly had immigration issues, or known someone who encountered one.
How long did it take you to finish writing TSP and what challenges did you face along the way?
I recall starting the Small Print on my blog as a series in 2007. For some reason, that story drew a lot of positive attention( as badly written as it was). So I took that away, rewrote it extensively (after attending a creative writing course or two and reading books on creative writing) and voila, TSP was born.
Did you learn anything from writing TSP, if so what was it?
That you cannot run from God. God literally forced me to make it Christian fiction. I wasn’t going to. I wanted it to be literary fiction/ pure romantic suspense. But He had better plans for me.
The design cover looks really attractive to the eye. Who designed it?
Thank you. :-) I hired a professional graphic designer from South Africa ( UK based) , called Wim Van Ryswk.
What genre of book will you classify TSP as?
That’s the thing. It’s really difficult cos TSP has a bit of romance, drama, suspense and of course, a message of salvation. I’ll call it African Christian fiction. How’s that?
I consider myself an avid reader but I haven’t really come across so many Nigerian Christian Writers. In your opinion do you think there is a market for Nigerian Christian Writers?
Well, the Bible is the best selling book of all time. God inspired the bible. And God inspired the Small Print. I trust that God is able to create a market for Christian writers out of nothing. That said, I know that there are a few of us Christian writers in the Nigerian market and the market is young and unexplored. But I hope my book is good enough to enable Christian fiction to be recognised as a genre in the Nigerian market. I hope. I pray.
Tell us a bit about the storyline- no spoilers please? :)
This is the bit I struggle at. I cant talk about the story line without waffling. lol. Ok, lemme try: The Smlal Print is the story of three individuals ( Wale, Sade and Jennifer ) who must battle insurmountable challenges- including adultery, deciet, lies and obsession- on a journey across two continents- to discover that it is in the midst of despair, confusion and desperation that God’s unconditional; all- consuming love shines the brightest.
Is the story based on real life event or is it pure fiction?
A mixture of both. Some of the challenges faced by Wale Ademola are based on real events.
Is there a message in your novel that you want to pass across to your readers?
That ultimate Trust in God will always lead to victory
Do you intend to take up writing as a career, or is this a one-time thing?
By God’s grace, ill keep writing as long as I can. I work full time in a major publishing house in the UK , and so, I am always surrounded by books. Writing is me.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read. Lol. I am a mother to a beautiful daughter and I am a wife to the cutest man on earth. I love being with friends as well.
For those who would like to buy your book, where can they get it from?
Its on Amazon (kindle edition) and Smashwords ( search for The Small Print on Smashword).
Amazon UK- Click here
Amazon US- Click here
Lastly, do you have any advice for upcoming authors?
Read. Read. Read. Hone your craft. Tighten your prose. Eliminate predictable scenes. Pray. Work hard. Don’t give up. If you want to self publish, please, don’t destroy your career by publishing work that has not been properly edited or checked. I know we can’t fully eliminate all typos, but do please, publish the best. And finally, not everyone will like or enjoy your writing. Take the best you can and learn from the criticism (constructive ones)
I am also giving out free copies to 10 lucky readers who join my fan page: www.facebook.com/bimbylads.
Thanks for having me!
I must say that I feel proud when I see fellow bloggers pursuing their passion. We are on earth to live Purpose fufilled lives. Bimbylad has just proven that to me again. So my dears, please let us support our fellow blogger by buying her book from the sites mentioned above. I think you can download kindle for free on your computer/laptops/ipad so there's no excuse for not buying the kindle version :) or you can wait for the paper edition.