Abimbola Dare grew up in Lagos, Nigeria where she attended Vivian Fowler memorial college for girls. She moved the UK for her first degree and Masters. She later met and married her best friend and greatest fan on earth who she calls chinese eyes, and they are blessed with the cutest daughter ever. When she's not writing, Abimbola keeps her brain busy by thinking about the next plot or twist to add to an imaginary novel.
Why did you write the book?
I once had a blog in which I used to write as Bimbylads (coined from a combination of my first name and maiden name; the genius that I am) and after a couple of years of blogging with unexpected success and exposure, I got to a point where I was feeling unmotivated to continue to blog on such a personal level and so decided to start a story to take the focus of my own day to day life. It was supposed to be a short story. Two chapters. End of.
But for some mad, crazy reason, people seemed to enjoy the story. And for an even madder, crazier reason, I couldn’t seem to be able to stop writing. Eventually I completed the badly written novel. Then I got pregnant. Wide and huge and unable to write or blog…or eat… (not really).
I decided to take a break off blogging. I had a baby, and found myself in a deep abyss of intense boredom. So I picked up the book, and started to polish it. As I worked hard on the novel, day and night, thrilled at myself for having the guts to come back to the book, I gave my self a deadline to complete, and to find a publisher. About 50,000 words into The Small Print- (think it was called The contract or something then), I felt a stirring in my spirit to make the novel Christian fiction. In fact, it wasn’t a stirring; the instruction was as loud as a siren in a graveyard. The Holy Spirit did not want me writing any other type of books, apart from Christian fiction. Seriously? I had never even heard of Christian fiction. But God was very stubborn with me. I was battered in my conscience until I deleted 40,000 words and started to re-write The Small Print.
Tell us about your publishing experience:
Once I completed the novel, I had big dreams. I was certain I would get a big name publisher in like one week. I also had aspirations. I wanted to win the Man booker prize, the Orange prize, the Commonwealth prize… you name the prize; it was on my radar. But when I got my first rejection letter from an agent, I realised it wasn’t going to be an easy journey. I got so many rejection letters that I almost got discouraged and then one day, I got an email from a publisher in the US saying the manuscript had been nominated as a finalist in their competition, and a few months later, another US Christian publishing company contacted me having read the first few chapters on Autonomy, with interest in publishing. They eventually refused to publish the work due to marketability.
That final rejection was the light bulb moment for me. I realised that I could either sit here and wait for years to get one of the big six to publish my work, or I could self publish my work myself and get people reading. According to Abimbola Dare, the ultimate goal of a writer should be for people to read your work. Anything else after that is extra. If you self publish and a million people read your work, or you publish with a top publisher and one hundred people read your work… who’s the successful author? :-) I have loved the self publishing experience because God has favoured me all the way. It is a frustrating yet exhilarating experience.
Marketing is hard work, and I now appreciate how much work Myne Whitman did with a AHTM (kudos). But I don’t regret one second of my decision. The Small Print hit top 40 on Amazon bestseller list for Christian Fiction last week… seeing my novel under big names like Francine Rivers told me one thing: That God can make something out of anything. I still want to win prizes though…but this time, I am eyeing a different prize: which is to see people being blessed, entertained, while at the same time turning to God because they read my work. As for the literary Prizes…. they will come one day. Until then, I will continue to write Christian fiction for the sole purpose of shining the light of God through real characters.
Where can we get the novel:
Online at: Amazon.co.uk or on Amazon.com
In Nigeria at: Shoprite Lekki, Debonair Bookstore Yaba, Laterna Bookstore, Patabah Surulere, and BOLDOZ RESOURCE CENTRE, 79 Udotung Ubo street, Uyo. State. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Coming soon to Abuja and Ibadan.
Fictional Interview with main character Wale Ademola:
Wale, tell us why you decided to marry a woman you don’t love in order to avoid deportation to Nigeria? Why didn’t you go back to Nigeria?
Thunder fire that question. Do you know that I suffered like an idiot in my father’s house in Nigeria? Do you know how sick my mother was and how badly my sister was relying on me for school fees? After years of suffering, I managed to get six months visa, struggled to buy ticket, managed to enter UK and for the first time in my life, I was able to get a job and send money home to my mother. Now, my Visa expired and Jennifer Lennox, (she is crazy o, but I can handle her madness), gave me option to marry her and collect Red pali (British passport) for just two thousand pounds , and you say I should reject it and go back to Nigeria?
Did you ever develop feelings for Eniola, your flatmate?
Me, have feelings for Eniola Rhodes. Let me ask you first, have you met her mother? To answer your question, Eniola is a sweetheart but she is not my type. She’s too spiritual for me abeg.
We understand you are in love with a married woman, Sade Williams. Why her? Have you no fear for her husband?
What has her husband got to do with the price of fish? He wasn’t there for his wife when she needed him, I was. Go tell married men that mess around with their wives that there is always a Wale Ademola waiting around to grab them at the nearest opportunity. Why the guy would allow a woman as stunning as Sade Williams to feel so insecure and unloved is beyond me. So to answer your question… I don’t send her husband.
That will be all, Mr Ademola, thanks for your time.
Before you go, follow the author on twitter; @bimbylads or on facebook: www.facebook.com/bimbyladsfor more information.