How do you get inspiration for your books?

Abidemi Sanusi, author

Gee, I don’t know. I was flossing my teeth when I saw a fly and suddenly thought to myself: wouldn’t it be great to write a story about a boy whose best friend is a fly? Just kidding.

Looking for Bono

Looking for Bono, by Abidemi Sanusi

It was the first I’d ever written a book restraint. I wrote like no one was ever going to read it, and my editor edited it like someone was going to read it. Even better, she managed to retain the sense of chaos that reigned throughout the book, so kudos to her. The book is about Baba, an illiterate Nigerian who decides that he’s going to meet Bono and tell him to tell the Nigerian government to bring water to Palemo, where he lives.

A tall order. Find out what happens.

Eyo

Eyo, by Abidemi Sanusi

Eyo’s story has been well-documented here. But for those who do not know the story, it took me seven years from idea to publication, and was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. 

The story: Eyo was inspired by my work as a human rights worker in West Africa. I wanted to raise awareness of the trafficking and sexual slavery of African children within and outside of the continent and Eyo was the result.

What many people don’t know. I developed severe nausea after writing the book, which I stil battle with. Is it a form of PTSD? I don’t know.

Gloria! The Archbishop’s Wife

The biography of Gloria Kwashi, friend of widows and mother to 100s of children in Jos, the Middle Belt in Nigeria.

Her story is a great one. She was born on the side of the road in northern Nigeria, and today, apart from being a “mother”, she travels around the world as a speaker.

Read her inspiring story.

Kemi’s Journal

My first book. Written when I became a Christian.

The story: the book was my way of making sense of sexuality issues in my new ‘community’. I had no idea that it would resonate so much with church women.

It was nicknamed the Christian Bridget Jones by the Independent on Sunday newspaper when it was published.

It’s been out for a good few years now. If I were to write the same book now, there are more than a few things that I would approach differently. That’s the beauty of life experience, spiritual maturity and writing experience.

Zack’s Story

The follow-up to Kemi’s Journal. Didn’t really do well. His story was inspired in part by a friend and in part by my time in Liberia, when I was a human rights worker.

God Has Daughters Too

God has daughters too, by Levi Read

This is probably one of my favourite books. This was inspired by the Bible itself.

The story: I wrote it as a time when I was struggling with my faith and pondering on its relevance to my life as a woman living in the 21st century.

I’m drawn to the dramatic; it’s the natural consequence of being a writer. And as far as I could read, the Old Testament was filled with dramatic flair, especially the women’s lives. And the more I read, the more I wondered why I ever thought their stories, challenges and life experiences were so different from mine.

I didn’t want to write a book ‘about Old Testament women’. I wanted to write a book that told the Old Testament’s women’s stories in their own words. I also wanted to give voice to the women who haven’t really had a voice in the Church and the wider world. Or, if even they had, I wanted to bring something fresh to the table. So, I chose Eve, Gomer, Zipporah, Leah and seven other women.

If you want to know who they are, go buy the book ☺

God Has Daughters Too resonates with many women, because it’s opens up the Bible in a new way and gives them a rounded perspective on what it means to be a woman of faith in the 21st century.

So, those are the ‘stories’ behind my books!

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