Monthly Archives: September 2012
A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World wide web and consisting of discrete entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order. Until recently, blogs were the exclusive preserve of individuals passionate about expressing their feelings to friends and fans.
Nowadays, organizations like Media outlets and even the Food and cosmetics industry now own blogs dedicated towards interacting with their teeming fans.
One of the major advantages of a blog compared to a website is the administrator’s ability to interact with his growing fans and followers. The blogger armed with WordPress software and widgets, is able to actively inform his fans scattered around the World wide web.
November 2011, Emotion Press launched the Book Republic blog aimed at promoting the essence of literature in Nigeria.
The response has been massive, with the controversial interview with Richard Ali and the touching poem, ‘Death Calls’ by Omolola Sanusi.
But it is most pathetic that most individuals and organizations, still don’t know how essential owning a blog is to their brand.
Blogging can open doors and it can also barricade you from getting you voice known out there.
We understand blogging is not easy, most especially for busy people like writers, Doctors, Publishers, Lawyers, Teachers, Technicians and Journalists.
Let’s make things easy for you.
– Editorial Assistance
– Online and Offline Publicity [Bulk Sms, Social Networking and Fliers]
This offer is for the first twenty people to query us at Emotionpress2011@gmail.com or call 2348093728869
This is due to our inability to manage as many blogs as we want to. Please make the title of your mail: Blog For Me.
Ikhide Ikheloa claims to be a fighter, but I see him as a passionate observer of the swinging pendulum of African literature. Ikhide who lives in the United States is a regular contributor to literary magazines and newspapers. He has reviewed several books written by African writers from Femi Osofisan to Helon Habila and of recent the popularly acclaimed Caine Prize 2011/2012 shortlisted entries.
In this interview with Folarin Olaniyi of Book Republic, Ikhide sheds more light into his childhood days filled with cupboard of books.
BookRep – How did this interest in reading books start?
Ikhide -I have always been a voracious reader. I remember a childhood filled with reading material; books and magazines. My favorite places were my father’s cupboard of books and my school library. I attended a boarding school run by Catholic priests who loved reading. Our school library was a haven for bookworms like me. Of course, in those days, if you wanted to be entertained, the primary source was the printed material. Television was a new and expensive experience.
BookRep – Most of us started following you during your days at Next234. How did Next234 get to know about your skill as an avid observer of literature?
Ikhide – You flatter me. I have actually been writing on the Internet for as long as I can remember. In those days I was part of Internet mailing lists or listservs run by African writers. These watering holes were incredibly useful if you wanted peer reviews of your works. A side benefit was the networking. I made friends fast. One of my friends was Molara Wood who invited me to join the team of writers in Next. She became my editor for three years. And as the cliché goes, the rest is history.
BookRep – Some writers can be very protective of their works. Were there instances where you were verbally or physically attacked for reviewing a writer’s work?
Ikhide – Well, I wouldn’t say I have been verbally or physically attacked for my views. I think there have been intense reactions to them and I understand. I have children and I don’t take kindly to criticism of my adorable kids. A work of art is like your child, there is an emotional bond there. I have been harshly criticized by many for my views by some who have been beneficiaries of my reviews. I do not look forward to meeting these people in person; some of them may have anger management issues. On the whole though, I have been treated very well by our writers, they have been very gracious and understanding. Some have even offered me drinks and food. I have declined those offers not because I fear being poisoned, but because each time, my stomach has been full. I mused about all of this in my blog post here in Ikhide the terrible (book critic).
BookRep – You have brought so many books of African descent to limelight through your published reviews. When should we be expecting a book from Ikhide?
Ikhide – The day will not come when I write a book. I fully expect to die without ever writing a book. They do say never say never. I have no need to be called an author.
BookRep – In Nigeria, we have very few critics of literature and arts. What do you have to say to those interested in delving into this area?
Ikhide – I don’t know what it means to be a “critic”; I bristle when that term is used to describe me. I think people should read a lot, and then share their thoughts about what they have read. What I do is different from what many would call academic discourse or engagement. I am primarily interested in engaging with the reading public. At best, what I do is offer reviews of books that I have read.
BookRep – Even though the reading culture is still very poor in Nigeria, with the advent of Nigerian book clubs like Pulp Faction book club and Rainbow Book club, do you think reading as a way of life is bent on returning to our dear country?
Ikhide – People are reading; they are simply not reading books. The book reading culture is dying everywhere in the world. Writers and publishers are slowly beginning to look at creative ways of meeting the audience digitally, which is where they are. Many people read their cellphones, iPads, laptops, etc. They just don’t read books as much. However writers insist on producing books that no one will read.
BookRep – Nowadays, some Nigerian writers are strongly bent on rushing to the press for the fame of it; do you have a word for them?
Ikhide – It is a problem. The Internet has democratized the publishing culture and now it just seems a lot easier to be a writer. Many people should not be writing; they should be reading. My simple advice: Read, read and read. And then read some more.
BookRep – It has been nice chatting with you, Ikhide.
Ikhide – Same here. Be well.
The true joy of writing a book is the daily routine of sitting down and writing. The process of creating something out of nothing is magical. For me, that’s been the most rewarding part of the journey.
The worst part has been trying to get my book published. This part of the journey has been a nightmare akin to Martin Sheen’s trip upriver in the movie Apocalypse Now.
I began by going to the reference work the Writer’s Market. You can find it in any library. It lists all of the publishers of books and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. It also lists a large number of literary agents. I went through The Writer’s Market and made a list of all of the publishers interested in historical fiction, and quickly learned my particular genre is not exactly highly in demand. Seems there are a lot more publishers out there looking for gay/lesbian…
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Do not ask me to produce a fake laughter that is spiced with mockery
my laughter is pregnant with sorrows
and my moon has a cobweb
with a dangling skeleton
death calls when the blood is congealed with uncertainty
why should the cold shadow of death
tug at the hearts of precious ones without permission?
death hugged friends and loved ones with violence
death is a thug and a thief!
Death is heartless and homeless;
it roams the world looking for whom to devour
a soul was slapped in the face
she only suffered in silence
but we,whose hearts were punched with the elbow of pain,
heard her outcry in that heartless grave
while some begged for your roses,
you slapped others heartlessly
with the roses of hopelessness
DEATH is a misery knocking at doors
leaving mysteries that craves to be unraveled