May 26, 2010

11 Questions for Tolulope Popoola | Author Interview

In our dreams it’s much simpler getting our manuscripts published. In the real world however, it is less straightforward thus a growing crop of writers are turning to self-publishing to actualize their dreams of getting published. Tolulope Popoola, aka Favoured Girl , is the creator of the blog series “In My Dreams It Was Much Simpler” which she coauthors with seven other bloggers, all of them characters in the gradually evolving tale of six successful young women who juggle their careers, friendships and the ups and downs of life. That blog series is now a book and Tolulope discusses her journey and how it all began in this revealing interview with Incessant Scribble.

1. You quit Accounting and a paying job to become a full-time writer? A lot of people worry that writing alone cannot pay the bills. Parents nag and children discard their dreams and head into the sciences. Do you regret your decision? Has writing been financially rewarding for you?
I left my accounting job in 2008 because I realised that I would be miserable if I remained an accountant for the rest of my life. I started getting bored with my job, my long commute and the stress of the 9 to 5 routine in 2007, and I started thinking about what job I could do that will bring me fulfilment. Blogging had rekindled my love for writing and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I will always be happy when I am writing. From then on, it was only a matter of time before I left accounting. I don’t regret my decision at all; because I am now doing something I’m excited and passionate about. In terms of surviving as a fulltime writer, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to make some financial sacrifices and let go of a regular income. I’m very blessed to have the support of my husband and my family; otherwise it would have been a much bigger risk.

2. Why did you begin blogging?
I started blogging to express myself and document my thoughts. I used to keep diaries when I was younger, so my first blog became my online diary. I enjoy blogging because it allows me freedom of expression, a place to share my ideas and experiences, and a place to interact with people I might never meet in other circumstances.

3. Don’t you ever worry that the poetry, short stories and other intellectual properties you share with the public on your blog site will be plagiarized? What steps have you taken to forestall that?
No I don’t worry at all. The benefits of having people read my works online far outweigh any risks.

4. When and why did you decide to use different people to write for the different characters in the series instead of just spinning the tales yourself?
I decided to collaborate with other writers because the story has different characters and I wanted each of the characters to have a different voice. I thought it would be more interesting if each character had a very different point of view, but their stories still fitted together. Each writer brings something different to the table, so the end result is better than what I could have done on my own.

5. Your coauthors: Latifat, Icepick, Ayodele, WriteFreak, Flourishing Florida, Diamond Hawk and Jaycee have undoubtedly lent the story an originality and slant that one person’s writing could not have done. How do you all decide where the story is heading, ensure uniformity and smooth out tensions that arise from working with that number of people? How many different countries are you all operating from? Have all of you ever met?
We work together to create the storylines. Each writer comes up with ideas for their character and we have online meetings where we discuss them. Sometimes we disagree, for example, if a writer has an idea that clashes with what another person has planned for their character. But we always come to a compromise and it works well for us. Three of us are based in the States, two are in Nigeria, one is in Ireland and two are in the UK. We haven’t all met, but I had met two members of the team before the series began.

6. Do you have any plans in the future to get boys into this project?
We already have a boy involved in the project! Icepick, who writes for Wole, is a guy and he joined us last Season.

7. How did you get it from blog to book?
We compiled all the posts we had written, edited them and formatted them into a book that we published ourselves. That’s it really.

8. Could you give in detail the roles did Amazon, Lulu, Freado and Bookbuzzr play in the entire process?
Lulu is a website that offers publishing services to writers to get their book. They can also help with distribution of your book on Amazon and other online retail book stores. All the information is available from the Lulu website. Amazon, as most people know, is an online retail site. Bookbuzzr is software on Freado’s website that allows you to upload your manuscript on to their site and displays it in page form – just like a real book, so you can show excerpts to the public. It is a promotional tool that you can put on your blog, or share with readers.

9. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to take your route?
If you are passionate about writing stories and getting yourself heard, then I certainly wouldn’t discourage you. Most writers I know do it because they enjoy it – in other words, they feel compelled to write. Writing requires practice, so make sure you work on it everyday, and read a lot of good books to keep improving.

10. What’s your most ambitious dream?
I’ll have to keep that a secret. I can say though, that I hope to be a best-selling, award-winning author of many books.

11. What’s your favourite non-reading mode of relaxation?
Since you said non-reading, my answer would be watching movies, listening to music and hanging out with my loved ones.

Tolulope Popoola also blogs here, here and here


  1. I may be the only blogger who hasn't read that book.

    Should get it soon!

  2. I love the blog and the book. Nice interview.

  3. @NakedSha
    LOL! Yeah you should. Thanks a lot for commenting.

    @Myne Whitman
    Thank you very much for all your commentary support.

  4. Favoured Girl is really cool, and her blog is interesting.

    Great job, Osondu!

  5. @Tommeh
    Yeah I agree. Thanks for dropping by.