Book Title: Terra Cotta Beauty #TerraCottaBeauty
Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 12, 2014)
Author: Jola Naibi
About The Author
Jola Naibi was raised in Lagos, Nigeria and studied in the United Kingdom. She enjoys writing and blogging as a way to satisfy and extremely eager imagination.
About The Book
Follow the daily lives, loves, and hopes of an entire community in Jola Naibi’s moving debut, Terra Cotta Beauty.
A carefully crafted selection of short stories, this collection examines life in Lagos, Nigeria, during the era of military rule. It reveals the struggles, loves, and hopes of a disparate group of people whose lives always manage to intersect—sometimes in the most devastating of ways.
With each brief conversation and split-second decision containing consequences that reach further than anyone could ever imagine, each of the book’s seven tales is a delicate thread that helps form the social fabric of a nation divided.
From a woman whose journalist husband is jailed for criticizing the government to a young man’s reluctant descent into crime, Terra Cotta Beauty acts as a carefully crafted ode to the essence of Lagos itself: its people.
My Writing Journey
The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, common sense. –Thomas Edison
When I first started writing, I did not nurture any ambitions of publishing a book. I wrote because I liked to write. I liked to tell stories. I was passionate enough about it, to want to do it all the time. Over time, I started to gather quite a collection of my writing, especially the short stories that I had written. I took a gigantic stride in publishing some of my short stories on an online blog called La Racontrice (The Female Story Teller) and developed a small group of dedicated followers who would comment on my writing. An overwhelming majority told me that it would be a good idea to publish my stories in a book. Once that seed had been planted in my mind, I started to seriously think about it. My reality is that I work full time and that combined with a myriad of personal and family obligations made me take some time to fully evaluate what my publishing options were. I realized that I certainly could not go through the rigmarole of hiring an agent and pitching my manuscript. I knew that whatever I did as far as publishing went; I would have to do something that was at my own pace without having any deadlines looming over my head. This is how I stepped into the world of self-publishing. The fast-paced world of publishing offers a wide range of options when it comes to self-publishing and I was determined to select the option that was best suited to my needs. As I researched the available self-publishing options, I also began to select and fine-tune my short stories. By this time, I had written over twenty short stories and I wanted there to be some form of cohesion with the stories. In the process, I selected five of my stories that I was able to weave together and wrote two from scratch. My thorough research on self-publishing options always led me to the same group: CreateSpace. I read online author testimonials and also spoke with a couple of authors who had used their services and they seemed to offer the sort of in-house services I was looking for. The suite of services that I needed were editing and proofreading, as well as graphic design. I had thought about hiring a separate graphic designer to work with me to create the book cover, but then I realized that in terms of cost-savings and convenience, it would make sense for me to select the design options offered by Create Space. The entire process took about a year and a half. I have to admit that it was a process that had its fits and starts. My life is busy enough as it is, so not too few times, I did question my sanity in taking this on. But the more, I worked on it, the more I realized that this was what I wanted to do. I remember staying up until two in the morning working on the book knowing that my day would start in a few short hours at five that morning. Needless to say, I found myself nodding up behind the wheel of my car and that was when I realized that I needed to carve out some special time for this process and do it in a way that the rest of my life does not suffer and most importantly I was not endangering my life. One of the things that I got out of the publishing process is that now I look at books differently. All those months of research have made me have an appreciation for ISBN numbers and such like. Entering the world of publishing also made me have a newfound respect for authors. I imagine that the vast majority of authors are like me, writing because they have the passion for it, but now, knowing the backstory of the journey to publication, makes me realize that there is a lot more going on that just having an interesting and engaging story. I have learned so many lessons on this publishing journey, the most profound being patience. I think the worst thing one can do is rush a publishing process. Many times, after I had written, I would go away from the story for a week or two, allowing it to marinate. The best tasting chicken or meat is the one that has marinated the longest and such was the case with my book. When I look back and see where the journey has taken me, I am so grateful to have heard the clarion call to publish my stories because it means that more people can enjoy them and I have learned a lot about publishing and myself. © Jola Naibi
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