It’s a new day to make a difference, and if you need some words of motivation to give you that push, grab a copy of ‘The Law of Exchange’ by our guest, Speaker, Human Resource Trainer, and Pastor; John Chidi.
The Writer who works as the Chief Actuation Officer at Oak Stumps International has also authored ‘Fools 101’ and ‘Dedare’s Pride’, a work of fiction.
His advice for aspiring writers? “Dream big, start where you are, fight hard!”
KA: Welcome to Konnect Africa! Asides from writing, what other pursuits occupy your time?
Public/motivational speaking, pastoring, work (I hold a job)and music.
KA: Let’s get up, close and personal; Give us a bit of history and ethnicity.
I am Igbo.Born first in a family of four a couple of decades ago. Primary school in the East, Secondary in the West. Tried to do tertiary in the North, when that failed, settled for the West.
KA: Education; Where and what did you study? Did you have to take any additional classes to hone your writing?
Industrial Relations & Personnel Management at the Lagos State University. I have not taken any formal writing classes, yet. I have read some materials though that have been helpful and I also try to glean from other writers when I read their work.
KA: Did you or your folks ever imagine you would become a writer?
Not at the onset. But by the time I began having short stories and articles printed, it became a possibility.
KA: What are your influences as a writer? What influences your writing?
My influences are chiefly books/good authors and the manner in which some folks are able to string words together to paint fantastic pictures.
Anything can spark me off…The things around me, something I read, saw or heard. A message on the inside calling for release.
KA: Kindly give a sneak peek/excerpt into your new book, ‘The Law of Exchange.’
“Everything in life is subject to some law: Planes to aerodynamics, Metals to friction, Moving Objects to motion, Ships to buoyancy. Without some manner of guiding principle–circumscribing sort, shape and scale–life would be unlimited bedlam. It is these codes that keep life defined and occurrences manageable if not understandable; that is why we find that when a thing departs from the norm, it is regarded as an aberration–and people inquire ‘why?’
To ensure that you are making progress in the areas that guarantee the attainment of your dreams, to move from just there to good then to top notch, one law is inviolable: Exchange!
Every possession, innovation and position is traceable to Exchange. At some point, something was given to acquire or facilitate another which made the prime object possible. Without exchange, life would be indescribably lacklustre. Your advancement in life is a direct result of calculated exchanges made at the right time with the right people. Your time [and skill or expertise] is what you give your employer in return for the salary he pays. You gave money in exchange for the piece of property you just bought. Even that certificate hanging on the wall is attesting to exchange.”
KA: Don’t you think the market is saturated with motivational/ self-help books? What new flavour will your book infuse that isn’t already accounted for?
The market may be saturated but there is always room for a magnificent book.
The difference lies in its pragmatic approach to motivation and the fact that it emphasizes win-win for all concerned.
KA: What were the challenges you encountered whilst writing and publishing the book?
While writing: The never-ending feeling that something should be improved on. Researching too!
In publishing: The lack of structures to leverage on and non-availability of publishing houses that will take on this genre–meaning you have to do everything yourself.
KA: Do you see yourself as a ‘genre specific’ author?
No I am not! My first book was a story book for teens and adolescents… I am currently working on a collection of stories alongside a novel.
KA: Who are your favourite authors and what books have made the most impact on you?
Favourite authors: Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie (wordsmiths); Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Max Lucado (compasses); Harold Robbins, John Grisham, Francine Rivers (storytellers).
Most impactful books: Blink,This Present Darkness, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Carpetbaggers, The Vicar of Christ, The Canterbury Tales.
KA: Have you ever received a negative review of your book? What did you do about it?
I have–with my first book. I looked at what the fellow said, picked the lessons and embraced them.
KA: How do you prod yourself to write on those awful days when it just seems so hard?
I play music to motivate me then I force me to write something… I could start with editing what I have already written then I move to expanding and who knows, fresh ideas even show up–along the line.
KA: You are at a Writers Workshop; what do you tell the eager listeners who seek to better their skills?
Read wide (and learn from the books), then write, write and write. And find someone who knows more than you who will point out the shortcomings, the missing links and the way.
KA: What’s the best perk of being a writer?
The ability to mould thoughts and shape paradigms plus the freedom of poetic license.
KA: Do you believe that writers can change the world?
I daresay I believe. Properly wielded, the pen can be mightier than the gun.
KA: Where can your books be purchased, online and offline?
Online: lulu.com. Offline: Call 07055055705 to direct you to a store near you that stocks the book. Sellers and distributors are welcome.
KA: Africa will rise when?
When we all begin to take responsibility for making her great and abandon the current way of seeing/doing things.
KA: Inspire an aspiring African writer in one sentence…
Dream big, start where you are, fight hard!