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With Taken For Granted, Raheemat takes a peep into life of a Muslimah

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
20 December 2020   |   2:58 am
Raheemat Odusote is an optimist whose love for writing and reading allows her to guide people to write their life-changing books. Apart from being a writer and a bibliophile

Raheemat Odusote is an optimist whose love for writing and reading allows her to guide people to write their life-changing books. Apart from being a writer and a bibliophile, she enjoys painting and taking on challenges with a full determination to win, of course. She spoke to GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR about her forthcoming book.

When did you start writing?
I STARTED writing in my Junior secondary school 2 (JSS2), which was the result of devouring lots of books such as, the Famous Five, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Secret Seven, Pacesetters category and so many other titles. I’ve been writing through my teenage years and as a full writer since 2016.

What informed your creative heritage?
I believe my love for reading combined with a vivid imagination allows me to become creative. It is also a gift I discovered through exploration.

How many works have you done till this moment?
They’re uncountable. I’ve written a lot of articles, blog posts, and stories for competitions. The published ones were for an online magazine, Sisters Magazine, and two short stories for Short Fiction Break – sfb as part of writing competitions. My first published ebook is Out of Place and other Short Stories, which was released in May 2020. This is to be accompanied by Taken for Granted, my debut novel, which will be released on December 31, 2020.

What inspired your new work?
The inspiration for my new work is my personal experiences and the real stories I read and hear from others’ experiences.

What was the challenge?
When I completed the first draft of Taken for Granted, I felt there was something missing but couldn’t lay my fingers on what it was. Until my coach pointed it out and I had an epiphany. The result was rewriting the whole draft again. I almost gave up on the entire project. The initial draft took me almost a year and couldn’t imagine taking that long to write another one with my full-time job. Of course, I got back to writing the new draft within six months.

Can you take us into the new work, what is it all about?
My new book is a redemption type of story where the protagonist, Ameenah Adegoke, a socialite wife and mother has everything a muslimah could ever wish for beauty, brains, and a loving family. Everything is going well until she places her trust in the wrong person, and a catastrophic event threatens all that she holds dear. The only way to regain a fraction of what she’s lost is to tow a path she’s shunned her entire life. Taken for Granted takes you on the journey Ameenah took to get back her peace of mind.

What are the fears when you’re writing?
There were fears of doubt and fear of not being good enough to write the book.

The question of “who are you to write this book?” pops up continuously, however, I was able to push the thoughts back with, “who am I not to write this book?” I know that I’ve got a story, which can change lives. For me, this book is a success if it changes only one life.

How much of your professional career do you put into writing?
Not much. I used to practice as an Engineer and an Accountant before going full-on as a writer and a book coach. I infuse my knowledge as a chartered accountant into a protagonist if she’s supposed to be an accountant in a story. Apart from that, my professional career has nothing to do with my writing.

If you don’t make money, will you stop writing?
This question makes me smile. One of my “whys” for writing is mainly to impact people’s lives positively and assuming I don’t make money from it, I’ll still not stop writing. However, I’m certain that I can make millions from writing because of the different avenues to make money as a writer in the 21st century.

What has been the up and low moments of your writing career?
The up moments of my writing career are when my readers give feedback on how their lives are impacted positively by finding inspiration and motivation in what I write. I struggled with accountability when I started writing my manuscript. At the time, I felt I didn’t need a coach to hold me accountable. I think that was one mistake I made back then. I’ve also struggled with underestimating the time it would take to edit and revise my manuscripts. I continuously look for ways to make writing interesting and enjoyable for me because enjoying the journey is of utmost importance to me.

If you had a second, even third chance, will you still continue to write?
Definitely yes!

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