My Journey to Publication

On Dec 15th my first book was published. The dream I have had since I was about four years old came to pass.

I grew up reading those quaint Peter and Jane Ladybird books – where I looked for a child who looked like me in vain.

I hold up this book and I thank God for bringing me this far, for friends and family, for love and for those who believed in me when it was just a dream.

I present Love’s Persuasion. Elements of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ remind me of the characters here – of love lost and second chances. It is never too late to love, to love again, to take a chance, to write a book, go back to school or chase after that dream. Friends please don’t wait till its too late to go after your dream, your passion and that thing you know you were called to do.

I created Tony Okoli because he reminded me of the kind of guy that we fall in love with. We want the world and he is just a normal regular guy with his faults.

I created Ada because she reminded me of the kind of woman that we need to be. Strong, determined but not so tough that she has forgotten what it is like to be a woman – to love, to forgive and to learn to live again.

Thanks everyone who has supported me on this page and for your patience in this journey of discovery and manifestation. Love’Love's persuasions Persuasion by Ola Awonubi on www.ankarapress.com. Please get your copy.

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The Homecoming – excerpt of novel in progress

He didn’t want people to think he was anything like his father.

He sighed again. The sound swallowed up by his inner emptiness.

He must be getting introspective in his old age. Thinking about Tanisha and what an idiot he had been. Thinking about his relationship with the old man.

He thought of Tanisha again. He kept seeing her face and her tears the last time he had been with her.

He had gone to see her and was hoping her parents would be in. That way he could keep to his earlier script i.e. – a nice clean parting. No tears. No recrimations and the temptation being kept to a bare minimum but nothing in life is ever that easy.

It was a hot day and she was wearing shorts and a strappy top and he felt his good intentions melting away faster than the fizzy pop she had offered him at his arrival.

“You still going then?” It was a statement.

He nodded and saw her eyes fill up with unshed tears.

“I don’t want you to go.”

He kept silent and tried to keep his eyes on her face and not anywhere under her neck. The top she was wearing wasn’t particularly helping him, urging his imagination into forbidden places.

“When are you coming back?”

He shrugged. “I can’t say. Maybe Christmas. Depends what happens at college.”

“You’re going to go away to college and meet other girls and forget all about me.”

He smiled. “I couldn’t forget about you. I care about you.”

She put out a hand and touched his face. “I care about you. I just want to be with you. “Her big eyes promised the world as she let her body rest against his.” They are out for a few hours.”

Heat flowed through him and despite his good intentions he drew her into his arms. She shook her head and took him by the hand and without saying a word, they went upstairs.

He had never been in her room. There was pink and white everywhere. Flowers as well. He felt out of place amongst the checked gingham curtains and flowery wallpaper. A picture of Tanisha aged about 8 stared up at him from the photograph. Sweetness. Beauty. Innocence- and he felt out of place.

His body urged him on but his head and his heart were rebelling. It was a battle, one that he was losing by the second the more she kept looking at him with her big eyes.
He muttered under his breath and they collapsed on the bed, kissing as if it was their last few minutes on earth. He held her in his arms and his heart raced. This was it, the moment he had been anticipating all summer.

Then she said it and his heart was turned to stone.

“I love you Kevin.”

“You what?”

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Excerpt from Love’s Persuasion – OUT TODAY on www.ankarapress.com

It all started with a kiss….

Tony arrived to pick her up at 8pm. She came out wearing a simple sleeveless knee-length dress made of brown African print material patterned with green leaves. A green belt and matching heels gave her some added height. Her braids were plaited high on her forehead which gave her eyes a slanted mysterious look and large gold hoop earrings drooped from her ears.

I like. Very much, he thought to himself. Maybe too much.

“Good evening, Ada,” he said as she got into the car. “You look nice. “That wasn’t what he wanted to say, though.

Ada, you look drop dead gorgeous. Actually quite, alluring.

His eyes lingered on her for a minute more. Was her waist really that tiny? He couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to see if he could put his hands around her to find out.

Then he looked up. She was looking at him curiously.

“How was your day?”

His face assumed its usual easy friendly tone. “Brilliant.” He put the key in the ignition and they were off.

When they arrived, the exhibition hall was packed with people; some standing alone, others in groups discussing the paintings. As it was a corporate affair, most of them were smartly dressed in suits and dresses and the rest were artist types – jeans, T-shirts and dreadlocks. Some stewards in white shirts and black trousers served soft drinks and canapés.

There were charcoal drawings, pencil drawings and oil paintings on display. Some were abstract and others brought to life everyday scenes; a busy market, a snapshot of Lagos during rush hour, two kids playing in a stream, some women dressed in white garments having a church service on a busy beach.

They strolled through the exhibition halls, discussing the merits of different works. They stopped for a while to listen to a lecturer who spoke in knowledgeable tones telling the visitors about the artists and their works.

“I would like to buy a piece for my sitting room. It looks so bare,” Tony said as they walked. “But I know nothing about African art, you see. I have some ideas, but I’m not sure, so I need someone with taste to guide me.”

“What about that one?” Ada asked nodding towards an oil painting of a bustling market scene.

“It’s nice,” Tony said, shrugging. “I can see it in my study.”

“I like the way the light is falling on the people’s faces.” She pointed at one of the people in the scene, a little girl selling oranges under the shade of a tree. Her face seemed bathed in joy as she sat eating one. “It’s got character,” Ada said, “But it’s also got a Hundred thousand naira price tag.”

That settled it for him. “I’ll get it.”

“It’s a good choice.” Ada murmured. Her mind was doing some quick calculations. She couldn’t help it. 100K was several months’ salary for her. It was the down payment on a nice car, or several months’ rent. All for one picture! Whoever said having money didn’t make life easier…

“Are you hungry? Tony asked after he had finished negotiating with the gallery owner and the picture had been wrapped up and handed over. “I know I am.”

“Yes…” she wasn’t sure how to respond.

“We can go for dinner at mine.”

She stared at him.

“Dinner…”

“Yes, dinner. Then you can have a look at my collection as well.”

“Collection?”

“Of diamonds and rare stones.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“My books,” he said laughing. “They are more precious to me than gold or jewels. I have a whole study of them – wall to wall. I don’t mind lending you a few, if you like.”

She nodded and pushed aside the voice of experience and common sense.

Go to http://www.ankarapress.com to get your copy and find out what happens next

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The Girl who loved too much – continued

Chris

Chris was a funny guy. We had gone to University together and dated briefly. It hadn’t worked out but I had introduced him to Sandra – the love of his life with whom he had 2 beautiful children. Sadly he lost Sandra to cancer and was widowed 7 years into the marriage.
It was a funny thing. Chris fancied Betty and Betty liked and respected Chris. They worked in the same office. Now where things could go after that I wasn’t too sure but it was worth a try. Anything was worth a try. Betty was a sweet sensitive girl who loved kids and Chris was a now a middle – aged workaholic with two confused hurting children below the age of 7. His heart was in the right place and for a man who had been through quite a few things in life, he had still remained his sense of humour, optimism and sense of fun. I liked that. I felt that Betty needed someone who did not take life too seriously, loved children and wanted more.
What I wasn’t too sure of was whether Chris fit into the ideal man image that her parents had embedded into her subsconscious.
They wanted a young professional who spoke Twi and knew the culture – I didn’t know how they would cope with a tall, fair English gentleman with two children who didn’t speak any other language but English and whose only contact with Africa had been a package holiday to Egypt in his teens.
How would it all turn out. I guess we would find out after my get together.