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‘We need books for education, chronicling of history, society’

By Omiko Awa
03 October 2021   |   4:02 am
When an international publishing firm that promised to publish The Church Girl scammed her, Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon did not give up on writing. She never allowed this to dampen her zeal.

When an international publishing firm that promised to publish The Church Girl scammed her, Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon did not give up on writing. She never allowed this to dampen her zeal.

It, in fact, stirred the giant in her, opened her eyes to new possibilities and to come up with more interesting manuscripts that have turned her to a self-publisher.

“I had great a message and wrote a great book. I wanted the world to know about it, but since I did not know how to get published traditionally, I was scammed by an international publishing company that promised to help me,” she said, adding, “the situation, however, made me to learn about self-publishing; since then, I have never looked back. I still hope to be traditionally published because self-publishing has its limitations.”

Popularly known as Ufumaee, she began her penmanship from childhood, when she used to thrill herself and close friends with her fictitious works.

“It is not true that people no longer read. It is not even true that people no longer buy books. I do not write because people read anyway. I write for myself and I will always do. However, I enjoy seeing people read my works and resonate with them: that is the cherry on top of the cake for me,” she said.

According to her, writing, as a child was fun, entertaining and relaxing, much like it is now. Even now with her various engagements the ease at which she comes up with impactful stories, the type that makes her readers to see themselves in the narrative remains a wonder to her readers and admirers.

Highlighting how a self-publisher could sustain his/her works, the penman enjoined such writers to promote themselves, improve their act, be consistent with their content and stay optimistic.

Speaking on ease at which she produced her over 28 publications, Ufuomaee said: “I do not know how I discovered my ease and gift. It is like anything you try, the ones you enjoy, you tend to do more of it. That is how my interest in writing developed. For a long while, life got too busy to indulge my imagination, as I had to study for exams among other things, but getting in and out of relationships always stimulate the writer in me. It is an outlet for my emotions.”

Although, circumstances made her a publisher, she is seriously leveraging on it to bring out new books and to reach different class of readers. To this also, she is engaging her blog, Ufuomaee Series, set up in 2012 to inform, educate and express her faith. Her works cover romance, relationships, marriage and faith; appear in different formats — hard copies, e-Books and audio format.

The author said: “I write to fulfil a purpose; for self-expression, therapy, to share my faith, counsel people, and to glorify God. It is one of the ways I speak to God and He teaches me; so, writing is for me is an act of ultimate worship.”

Commending the Christian holy book for having doses of stories that motivate, the author noted that Jesus was a master storyteller. According to her, Jesus preached to the people by telling them short stories known as parables.

With 28 titles, 10 of which are collections of articles, poetry, novellas, novels and a devotional — Enjoying the Grace of God, Ufuomaee revealed that her books have got very good reviews from readers, noting that the world has grown through books and will always need books to survive. She informed that writing and reading will always exist, as they help to chronicle history for the next generation and educate people, which are for the general good of the society.

With this, the alumna of Westfield and Manchester Metropolitan universities both in the United Kingdom stated that the world cannot go without books.

According to her, besides being relevant and impactful, it is good to have people who believe and support a self-publisher, so that, he/she can give time to writing.

“It is also good to have alternative source of income, while waiting for the big break. But whatever you do, keep writing, and soon, your readers will be the ones to promote you.

“Although, marketing is hard, discouraging and costly, it is inevitable. The trick is getting your supporters to see and accept your burden as theirs. For that, your message really has to resonate with others. Getting read and appreciated is the biggest hurdle,” she said.

Ufuomaee, who seriously believes she is learning new things everyday on how to be human and to accept life with all its complexities, aside writing and editing is also into charity. Explaining how she manages writing, publishing and charity she said: “My writing and publishing does not restrict my charity neither does my charity restrict my writing. Although, they all demand for time; I try to make out time for each because sometime my charity inspires my writing and other times, my writings tell the stories of my charity.”