Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Life in the Abrodi by Olivia Olajide Aluko


Olivia Olajide Aluko

Life in the Abrodi

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was Born in the United Kingdom, but later on was taken to Nigeria by my parents while I was a toddler. In that sense, I grew up in Nigeria, Africa and I had my primary, secondary and university education in Nigeria. I studied law and qualified as a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme court of Nigeria.

I returned back to the UK, in her 30's and have lived in the UK till date. I obtained my Masters in Migration and Law at the Queen Mary's University of London. I regularly give presentations around the study of migration in academic circles.
I developed the power of storytelling in my early teens, having been largely influenced by my parents, who instilled in me the love for reading and writing.

I would describe myself as a writer by night, I am the author of two academic books: Africans in the UK: Migration, Integration and Significance and Globalisation, Human Security and Social Inclusion.

I enjoy reading, travelling, and old school music, smooth jazz and live concerts.



What inspired you to author this book?


As far back, as I can remember, I have wanted an opportunity to develop my creative mind and writing a book was one of the ways I could do this . I have written two non fiction books and the goals of these books were to address a few of the world's social issues that are of paramount importance to me. I am also an international speaker and have spoken on issues around migration, ethnicity, and inequality. I felt the need to address these issues in a fictional format and writing a novel seemed more appropriate, as readers are able to identify and engage with the characters that way.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?


Nearly everyone judges a book by their cover, even some say don't ! After doing some research about the cover design, I thought it would be a good idea to show what is in the book, through the book covers. The cover book depicts the two main characters in the book in their earlier years in the UK, looking at the barriers against them, the red tape, the glass ceiling and hoping they would scale through.



Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?


In my case, this is not as straightforward because different people have played their roles in helping me to become who I am. However with regards to relentless pursuit of goals, I would say Les Brown. I have listened to a lot of his speeches and an overriding theme in his motivational sessions are 'You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream'.

With regards to writing, I would say I have over the years stood on the shoulders of certain African writers, most of whom I have never met personally. Authors such as Flora Nwakpa Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka influenced me in the area of English literature, while recently novelists like Toni Morrison and Chhimamanda Ngozi Adichie have been an encouragement to keep writing.


What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?


I would say writer's block, as almost every writer may have experienced this at some point , it is not every time that I felt creative in my writing I must confess and so I have deleted plots and rewritten them a couple of times before the work was finally completed. I also had the challenges of getting a suitable editor who would understand the choice of the languages in which some parts of the novel was written. For example, there are characters that spoke in diverse language to English and I have had editors who had a problem with this. It was a challenge getting the right editor but got there in the end.


Tell your readers about your book.

Akon and Lara had worked hard to build their careers and raise a young family in their native Nigeria. An accomplished manager and lawyer respectively, both on the cusp of success, they decided to escape the problem of insecurity and pursue greater opportunities abroad. Confident that their love would sustain them, Akon left his wife and young son to set up their new home in the UK.

Despite our best intentions, life seldom gives us what we want. The struggle to thrive in a foreign country amidst different cultures can either make or break you. This migrating couple would need all the love, faith, and hope they can muster to face life’s often unkind, painful, and unexpected challenges. Add to this gnawing secrets that had the power to tear them apart, the strain of surviving as immigrants in a new land would become nearly unbearable.
Follow Akon and Lara’s journey across the globe as they inch towards a desired future.

This novel contains a smattering of local languages, reflecting the cultural diversity of the characters in the story.


Who is your target audience, and why?


My target readers are first of all novelists who are concerned about social issues and are interested in learning about other cultures . For instance, there is a negative portrayal of migrants and other minority ethnic groups by the media, therefore educating these groups of people by stating the facts may help people's unconscious bias.

The other group of readers who this novel is targeted at are 'prospective migrants ' the novel creates an opportunity for people to weigh their options before they moved out of their homelands to other foreign lands.

Finally the novel is aimed at readers over the age of 18 including both men and women. I would encourage Black men specifically to read the book because the book answers some of the challenges they face living abroad not only in their careers, but their family life.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?


This is also a very complex question in that I define my personal success based on the goals that I have personally set for myself and not what the society desires of me. I would say my greatest success in life is to be given a second chance to develop my writing abilities after being through a traumatic experience. In the last five years, I have published three books and also written 4 peer reviewed academic journals, although I have not earned much profits from my writing career, I am not discouraged as I believe I have only just begun, and it is not over until I win.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?


Again, this is not a straightforward question for me, as my goal is not to be competitive as I believe that writers in my genre have carved a niche for themselves. This is my debut novel and a new release, so it is too early to say what sets me apart from others. I would conclude that the reviews from readers have been mostly encouraging, and I have been told that the novel is fit for purpose with twists and plots that make this adaptable for a drama/movie.



Website : https://reinvent3r.org
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/public/Hon-Bolah-Olivia