When I walked into the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston on a chilly Saturday afternoon, I was welcomed into the nice, warm, intimate venue that would hold the launch of Nothing Comes Close. In here, were friends, family, book lovers, and authors
When I met Tolulope Popoola for the first time, she gave me the warmest hug, which instantly made me feel even more welcome. The launch itself was a lot of fun - there was a short video clip on the book, followed by a book reading from the author, and then a Q&A with questions being asked by Abidemi Sanusi, followed by questions from the audience, a book signing, food (puff puff, spring rolls, yummy cupcakes), and a raffle draw (I didn't win anything).
There were many high points (yes, the cupcakes were one) but also the Q&A session with Abidemi Sanusi. Here Tolulope Popoola spoke about her life as an accountant prior to writing full time, the inspiration behind Nothing Comes Close (it started off as a series of short stories with her and a few other bloggers before she eventually took Lola and Wole, the two main characters, out of the series and created a story around them). She also spoke about her online presence and its impact on her writing, her own publishing company Accompany Press and the difference between her thinking as a writer and a publisher.
Questions from the audience ranged from if she wanted her book to evolve to screen, to how she would counteract the notions that Nigerians/Africans do not read (unless it's religious or motivational books) and how she hoped to bridge that gap. Her response, her use of accessible language in her book and her straight forward writing style. Questions were also asked on when her next book would be published, if it would be a sequel to Nothing Comes Close, and if as a publisher she had plans to add new writers to Accomplish Press.
I love nothing more than getting to know an author, especially after I've read their books, and what was conveyed throughout was Tolulope Popoola's passion for writing and also her taking a leap of faith leaving her city job to pursue her dream. It was also nice to be in a room filled with people that were interested in books and reading, who were also there to support Tolulope Popoola and the African literary scene.
My review of Nothing Comes Close will be up soon, but til then, here are a few pictures of the day, which Tolulope Popoola kindly shared with me, courtesy of Omo Photos.
|The author, Tolulope Popoola, reading an excerpt from Nothing Comes Close|
|Let the book signing begin|
|Even more yummy cupcakes|