Guest Author - Tosin Ogunkolade: Makaira - The Double-Edged Sword

Hi everyone, today, I'll be showcasing a new and aspiring author. Read my interview with Tosin, and you can add your own questions and comments too.

Olutosin Ogunkolade is an inspired and prolific writer of many parts, and diverse interests. He has written various articles on politics, warfare, business strategy, marriage, success motivation, religion and fictional works. He is from a family of five children, all boys and he is the second child. He was born on the 14th of November 1978, and has  been privileged to have schooled within Nigeria and outside the shores of Nigeria, he now resides in London His writings cut across different areas of living, they come about as a result of deep thought, keen observation and a very imaginative mind. With a career in innovation design and calligraphy, Tosin blogs and writes in his spare time.

His blog is titled The Dreamers Blog! and you can find it HERE with topics such as The Danger of Black Supremacy, What is real manhood, Understanding mordern day Parables, and What has Marriage got to do with it. Some of these are discussed in his first book, Makaira - The Double Edged Sword published via Authorhouse in April. Makaira is a telling story of imagination that encompasses leadership, the power of one, spirituality, Africa, politics, deliverance and ultimate triumph. It is a tale imbued with love, the power of light, and revelatory insights targeted for the reader. After finding out about the book, the author was kind enough to grant me an interview.

What inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration was drawn from the works of writers I like, writers like Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, C.S Lewis and Francine Rivers. I see the works of such writers and I think why can’t I do the same. I have been told i think up good stories due to an active imagination and I thought I should put it to use.

Please tell us why people should want to read your book.

It’s an interesting, fast paced story that I believe can inspire hope. There are insights within the book that can be gleaned while enjoying an interesting read. It’s a Christian fiction material that has Africa particularly Nigeria as it’s primary focus and I believe there is a niche for such a book.

Any other books in the works?

Yes, I have a second book that will be out soon. It’s titled ‘Great Words For Great Living’ it’s different from my first published work ‘Makaira: the double edged sword’. Great Words For Great Living is an inspirational compilation, it’s also a work book and instruction manual. It should be available to the public in about a month from now.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

A gentle man who read a borrowed copy of my book stopped me in public and was telling me how much he enjoyed the book and it has ignited his desire to write, he was telling me he was going to purchase his own copy online. He had always wanted to publish a book and after reading my work he was inspired not to give up on his own dream. For me that’s very fulfilling, just the thought of knowing that I am contributing something positive for people to read.

Have you gotten any, and how do you react to a bad review?

It’s interesting that I haven’t received any bad reviews so far, I don’t know why perhaps my readers are just being kind but I won’t be surprised or bothered when it comes. Criticism can be beneficial if it’s handled with the right kind of attitude. I will take a note of the bad reviews and devise ways of getting better in the areas where I fall short.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I ordered Pizza and drinks for family members who were with me that day.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

It will definitely be the Bible ! There are lots of fascinating scenarios and adventures in the Bible, it’s also because there are lots of great characters in the Bible worth meeting.

What was your favourite book when you were younger?

The books of the British writer Enid Blyton drew my interest as a kid. She wrote many stories I liked, subconsciously this is where my interests in books began. I was also into comic books, the Incredible Hulk was the first comic book I remember reading as a kid in Zurich Switzerland.

What is one book everyone should read?

This Life. It’s an autobiography by the legendary Sidney Poitier. It’s one of those fascinating rags to riches, nobody to somebody stories. I think there is a part of all of us that likes success stories, especially success stories that happened against all odds. Sidney Poitier’s life captures this and it’s a story we can all draw inspiration from.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?

I would appreciate a signed copy of Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. The hard work and depth of imagination that went into that book is amazing in my opinion.

Which authors have influenced you most and how?

Different authors from different fields of thought have influenced me through their books. C.S Lewis, Barack Obama, J.K Rowling and Ted Dekker are among them. President Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope and Dreams of My Father are captivating and inspiring books. I admire and have been influenced by the creativity in the works of C.S Lewis and J.K Rowling. I like Ted Dekker’s writing style.

Are you a full time writer? If not, what else do you do?

For now, writing is something I do part time. I am studying. And I am working on starting my own calligraphy and branding outfit. I am also looking into architecture and product design.

What's one piece of advice you would give other aspiring authors?

I will tell aspiring authors not to give up on their writing dreams. They should keep visualising their book and use their spare moments for personal development.

What is your favourite quote as a writer?

My favourite quote on writing is one by E. L Doctorow “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way”

What's the craziest writing idea you've had?

I have had many crazy writing ideas but perhaps the craziest one is with a book i was writing, where some celestial bodies look down to earth and wonder what it will be like to be human beings.

What's the best writing advice anyone has ever given you?

I was advised by a friend who read some of my works to keep pressing forward with my writing because they are such good works. She went ahead to tell me some of them are screen worthy.