(Ọgọ (pronounced ‘or-gore?’) is a multi-talented writer, speaker and creative consultant. To find out more about her new novel, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman, read juicy chapter excerpts and listen to her BBC Radio interview, please go to: http://www.elpwoman.com
Her blog is at: http://www.ogoogbata.com/blog)
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, (Ogo). Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
A: All my life, it seems. I was scribbling sketchy poems and stories as early as age 4.
Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
A: In commemoration of Black History Month and Nigeria's 50th anniversary from British colonial rule, my debut novel, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman, chronicles the history of Nigeria from colonial 1950s up till the end of military dictatorship in 1999. However, not many people want to read a history textbook so what I've done is juxtaposed the evolution of the country with the story of a privileged young girl who metamorphosises into a woman of courage as mysterious circumstances befall her family.
This is a story of love, courage and honour set in Africa and London, England. The protagonist is a very strong, fully fleshed out, character who defies great odds in her life. As these are challenging times, not just for Nigeria but, for America, Britain and pretty much the rest of the world, I have written a novel that will hopefully inspire people to keep on walking no matter the odds.
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
A: Honestly, I had an exciting time writing this book - nothing was too much trouble for me to do and I finished the final draft in less than 6 months. The real major challenge was figuring out what to do with myself after the writing had come to an end! I miss inhabiting a world of such suspense and rich, intriguing, characters. However, the book marketing is keeping me quite busy these days.
Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?
A: I encourage members of the press to visit my website at: http://www.ogoogbata.com and subsribe via email for my press kit. It includes quality photographs, my biography, sample interview questions and other good stuff that makes life easier for all concerned.
Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?
A: I've read from my new novel, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman, at the prestigious Southbank Centre in London as well as various public libraries and community centres in the UK. In November 2009 I spoke about the book and autographed copies at an event commemorating Chinua Achebe's iconic novel 'Things Fall Apart'. Several exciting launch events and interactive seminars will occur in 2010 especially as Nigeria (where some of the story is set) marks 50 years of Independence from British colonial rule on October 1st 2010.
The press has been kind to me as well. I've featured on a SKY TV channel and been interviewed several times by BBC Radio Northampton as well as the BBC World Service in London. I have also been asked to feature in a documentary of Nigeria after 50 years of Independence.
Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
A: I have had an agent however, while it's good to have a capable agent, some successful authors have also managed quite well without one. I guess it all depends on the author's goals, capabilities and confidence.
Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?
A: I'm hands on and proactive when it comes to projects I'm passionate about, so I did write and send out a press release before the book was released. I was interviewed by the BBC shortly afterwards too and chose to get out there and network with other publishing professionals at various literary events.
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?
A: Definitely. The best is yet to come, God willing.
Q: Thank you for your interview, (Ogo). Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
A: Autographed copies of Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman are available at: http://www.elpwoman.com
Unautographed copies are also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other good bookstores.