Hi there, Last week I took a break due to a family emergency. All is well and we are back this week with another episode of Flashlight Moments in the Dark. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing another writer friend of mine, Totlulope Popoola. Enjoy
Unoma: Who is Tolulope Popoola?
Tolulope: Tolulope Popoola is an author, flash fiction writer, publisher, writing coach, course tutor and a mixture of all things that add up to a “literary entrepreneur”. She is a wife to a certain Mr. Popoola, and a mother to two wonderful people. She is a reader and lover of words. She is saved by grace and extremely blessed. She is passionate about helping people to fulfill their dreams.
Unoma: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your purpose journey?
Tolulope: Trust God, obey and let go of the steering wheel
Unoma: What is the driving force in your life?
Tolulope: God. A passion to fulfil my purpose and reach my potential, to impact people positively, to leave the world better than I met it.
Unoma: How do you balance family, faith and your passion/business?
Tolulope: In my head, these are not separate things, everything I do fits into my life and my purpose. I’m blessed to have the ability to work from home and control my schedule. So if I want to take a couple of hours to pray, praise and enjoy God’s presence, I can. If I need to do motherhood things, I can, and if I need to work around my other commitments, I can too. On a practical level, I have a work calendar and a very detailed spreadsheet, plus a to-do list that keeps me organized. These help me not to get overwhelmed when I think of all the tasks that await me.
Unoma: What was the single most devastating experience/challenge in your life and how did you overcome it?
Tolulope: It was back in 2008 when I started writing my first novel. I had gone quite far, and was nearly done with the novel, when something happened. I came across a review of “In Dependence” by Sarah Ladipo Manyika and the story described sounded eerily similar to my work-in-progress. I immediately had to go and buy a copy of the book to find out. And when I read it, my heart sank. It was as if I was reading my own story, published with somebody else’s name on it. How did this happen? Did someone hack into my computer to steal my manuscript? I mentioned it to my writing mentor and she told me that it’s actually quite common for two writers to have similar ideas and similar storylines, it’s just a matter of who got to the finish line and published first. I researched it and found that it was true, and there have been cases where an author is sued for stealing a story that somebody else had published before. Since I didn’t want any trouble, I finished writing the novel, and filed it away. I was very sad and depressed for a while and even stopped writing for a while, but my mentor encouraged me to get over my disappointment and start working on a new idea.
Unoma: How do you build confident expectations in your dark moments?
Tolulope: I remember who created me and called me to walk on this path. God has proven Himself faithful over and over again, both in the little things and the big things. When I’m in a dark period, I encourage myself by thinking back to the times when I had a breakthrough, or when God showed up for me at the last minute, or when He spoke to me through the darkness and the fog cleared up. I know (even when my emotions are all over the place) that somehow God still listens to me, and He is working things out for my own good.
Unoma: How does your understanding of the future give you hope for the present?
Tolulope: I have big dreams and goals that I want to accomplish, and I know that these dreams were given to me through divine inspiration. As long as I stick with God’s plan for my life, everything will work out well. I’m learning to let God handle the “how” and just let Him lead me.
Unoma: What does it look like practically for you to “turn to the cross” in your business/ministry.
Tolulope: I carry on a constant conversation with God in my head, I’m always asking for help, advice, wisdom, strength, etc. When things get really overwhelming, I stay in bed and listen to worship songs and pray.
Unoma: What advice would you give your younger self?
Tolulope: Start sooner. Don’t worry about self-doubt, most people battle with it. Go ahead and do your thing anyway.
Unoma: What can we look forward to from you this year? OR What are you working on?
Tolulope: I’m working on a novel and a collection of flash fiction. I’m also going to be doing quite a lot of teaching, coaching and publishing work for other aspiring authors @ Accomplish Press.
I hope you enjoyed Tolulope’s enlightening interview. Find out how to get in contact with her below. Before we do that however I wanted to remind you of a couple of things.
Anchor Talk is my new Podcast: A quick burst of inspiration to take you through the week. Tomorrow I start a confidence series you do not want to miss.Also remember you have a special pre order offer with In the Dark paperback…a free Confident Expectation Prayer Journal(Light Pearls in the Dark)
OK, here is more about Tolulope
Tolulope Popoola is an award winning Author, Writing Coach and Publisher. She is the author of “Nothing Comes Close”, a contemporary romance story set in London, Milton Keynes and Lagos, and also the author of two collections of flash fiction stories, “Fertile Imagination” and “Looking For Something”. She has written extensively for many magazines and publications, including Brittle Paper, The Creative Penn, Flash Fiction Ghana, The Mantle, Magunga, The Travelling Yeti, etc.
Tolulope is the founder of Accomplish Press, a coaching, consulting and publishing company that specializes in providing services to support aspiring authors. She was given a special Award of Excellence at the 2016 Nigerian Writers’ Awards, and has recently been shortlisted for Diaspora Writer of the Year for the 2017 awards.
Tolulope was second runner up at the Women In Publishing (UK) Awards 2012, for the New Venture Award for pioneering work on behalf of under-represented groups in society. Tolulope’s first novel Nothing Comes Close was named “one of the best books of 2012” by Africa Book Club. She has also earned the nickname of “Africa’s flash fiction queen” for her unique ways with writing dramatic short stories.