I was invited by the African Book Review to write a piece based on the themes depicted in A Rainy Season. Enjoy this look back, even if the times themselves were dark…
So far so good!
I think that’s the best way to define the last month, which has certainly had its ups and downs as far as the release of A Rainy Season. If anyone had told me this much work was involved post-writing, I may never have submitted my manuscript, but I’m glad that I did. Receiving those freshly printed complimentary copies of a work that took two years and countless hours of editing and reformatting to put together was euphoric. Of course, there was the pre-release by Lois Publishing last fall but this time – maybe because of the wider release – it felt all the more real. Of course, the book hasn’t become a bestseller yet, so that is a disappointment (LOL) but the positive vibes I’ve received from many friends has been a rewarding experience. Hopefully, it becomes a bestseller soon with your help.
What would make my experience even better would be the receipt of reviews. There’s no bigger reward for a author or writer than to receive feedback from readers. I will not get upset if you dislike the book, I promise. Hopefully, though, that has not been your experience and I’d love to hear what worked for you, what didn’t and where perhaps you would have liked to see the story go in terms of character development or the ending. So far, two reviews have been posted to the website – http://www.arainyseason.com – and I’m pleased with what the commenters had to say. Almost as importantly, please share the word with your friends and family, especially those of African descent or those who are interested in African literature.
To those who have purchased a copy, thanks. To those who haven’t, what are you waiting for?
As those who follow me on twitter (@nnaziri) and Facebook know, A Rainy Season was released in limited quantities by an independent publishing house – Lois Publishing – last Christmas. Based on feedback from readers and strong sales (sold out all limited release copies), I was sufficiently encouraged to pursue a publishing agreement with a larger assisted-publishing company, FriesenPress. Publishing through FriesenPress ensures that the book will be available through all major online book retailers (for paperback and hardcover) as well as through all major e-book avenues like Kobo, iTunes, Kindle and Nook.
I’m excited by the range of options provided through this larger publishing house but the change required some delays as we went through their internal processes, which is why the book has not been available up till now. That process is now – mostly – complete and we are awaiting a go live date which is expected to be sometime in mid- to late August depending on their publishing schedule.
I’m excited to see the book – which has gone through a couple of key changes, all for the better I assure you – hit the stores soon and I hope you help make it a bestseller. More importantly, I hope you post a review on this site or on places like Amazon as feedback from readers is the most important gift an author can receive.
People often ask me why I decided to write this book. In fact, it was the most common question asked during the Toronto launch event.
And that makes sense.
What would cause an engineer living and working in oilsands-rich Alberta to pick up a pen and start making the notes that would lead to this book?
For one thing, I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve been reading for as far as I can remember (my Mom says I started reading at three) and writing came naturally from that. Right from the time I was a young boy, I remember penning short stories and using masking tape to ‘bind’ them in book form! More importantly, my stories were largely drawn from the environment around me. Naturally, I embellished and caricatured as I saw fit.
Secondly, I have an avid interest in politics and history. This interest is global, but I have a particular interest in Africa, a large part of which involves Nigeria. Having lived there for over 15 of the first 16 years of my life, this is to be expected.
Third, my interactions with Nigerians both within and outside the country have convinced me that our differences, significant though they may be, are not as important as being able to survive from day to day.
When the three were combined with a need to write and the paucity of fictional works from that period (late 20th century leading up to the millennium) in Nigeria’s history, A Rainy Season was born.
On Friday (November 22nd), my publisher – Lois Publishing Group – held a pre-release launch party. The event was at The Fifth Cafe on Richmond West in downtown Toronto. It was a great success! The original plan had been for us to have 20-30 people in attendance, but we ended up with close to 40 before the night was done. Practically everyone bought a book (outside of a few lucky souls who got to see it while it was in production). All told, only 8 books were left unsold out of 50 printed for the event, which is great news.
Thanks to all who made it out – on pretty short notice, I might add – and thanks for supporting my work. I hope everyone gets a chance to read it, provide a review and encourage their friends to get one!
If you were not able to attend, stay tuned for more details on how to purchase the book online.
Stay tuned for the release of the break-out novel by Nnaziri Ihejirika, A Rainy Season. Coming Soon!