Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu, a law graduate of Igbinedion University called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008 and has postgraduate degrees from the University of Cardiff Institute and Humboldt University Berlin, is a lady of many parts- she is a lawyer, a trained arbitrator, negotiator and mediator. The Erinjiyan Ekiti born writer
is a woman and children advocate, a writer, author, Identity Coach and the CEO and Creative Director of Hadar Creations a publishing company. In this interview with the PDC Crew, she bears her mind on the travails of new authors and what her organization is doing differently in the literary space. Excerpts.
What types of publications is Hadar Creations into?
Hadar Creations is a publishing company created to make publishing easier for writers who want to become a published author and they have no means or wherewithal to achieve this. We are also a Publishing therapist created to help people break out of every form of limitations that the culture of silence has boxed them in. We are created to make the journey devoid of frustration. Many people have so much of ideas, experiences and wisdom to share with the world but the culture of silence keeps them in a perpetual state of fear and doubt. They are full and they carry their fullness all-round for fear of judgment and condemnation.
We are equally into identity coach, we help people discover who they are, accept who they are, unlock their potentials and unearth their treasures. We have an inner team for women on through social media and my blog. In Hebrew language Hadar means Glory.
How did you find yourself in literary world?
I was inspired to start writing as a result of joblessness. I had searched for jobs for years and finally this particular job looked like it was coming through. However I was also turned down by an organization and this really hit me hard. I passed the interview and I had began to mentally plan my resumption to work, only for me to get an email that I was not the right fit for the job. I sobbed for two days, thereafter I start blogging, despite many doubts. That was how my journey of writing, advocacy, blogging and eventually becoming a published author and a full-fledged publisher began.
How many books have you authored so far and which of these books do you think you like most?
I have authored and self-published three books in print, and four eBooks. My first book was published on amazon on the 25th of March 2017, the second and third books were published on the 9th of December 2017. The books in print are available on Amazon and on our own online publishing platform.
I could write about all the books here being that they are all impactful, but I would love to share about one of the books, it’s titled From the Perspective of the Child.
This book is my personal experience as a child from a dysfunctional family. My parents separated while I was just two and as a result of that growing up was traumatic and full of a lot of emotional pains. It was mostly a life of war, negativity and so much toxicity. That book was an outlet for me to break the bondage the culture of silence has kept me for long.
Let us talk about your style of writing which is different from the usual writing styles around, how will you categorize your writing style?
I write from the bottom of my soul with the intention of being the voice for the voiceless. I don’t just write to gain fans or audience. I write to put a voice to the unspoken thoughts of many people. I dislike every form of discrimination, segregation, and inequality. As an introvert, I understand the pains many people carry in their hearts without finding an outlet to let it out. In Hadar Creations, we created our own genre; it is called the Hadar genre. This means that writing in order to liberate people and make them discover and walk in their own glory.
Will you say your book is for everyone or is there a specific reading demographics your creative literary works targeted at?
My creative works are targeted mostly for Africans at home and in Diaspora. However I believe my books will touch and spark up something in everyone who reads all over the world no matter their race or color. My aim is to speak to the heart and soul of every one who reads my books.
Can you share your experience with us when you were writing your first book?
It’s been really tough I must confess. I started writing my first book Motherhood and the Society when my second child was just a week old. I got the inclination to be an author after I had her so I knew it was going to be a new year of writing a book. I didn’t even know I was going to write three powerful books in one year. While writing my first book it was really tough. I had a toddler and a baby to deal with. However I had made up my mind that I was going to write that book, and rather than suffer another post-natal depression like I did when I had my first child, I diverted all that energy into writing my first book titled Motherhood and the Society.
I was supposed to write just that and publish it by March 31st then write the second one From the Perspective of the child and publish by November. However after publishing the first book, I had no urge to write the second book. I became so worried and I made a decision that I was going to write a third book. It was a goal after a goal for me. The third book was a work of fiction titled life on the Street of Readlooks. It was about life on Facebook and cyber bullying. It was a book that was very passionate to me. That was how I was able to write three books in one year. I paid with my sleep, I was stressed out but I felt fulfilled achieving this feat in a year. It could only be God, self-discipline and determination.
Will you say book publishing is more affordable now than in the past?
Book publishing today is very affordable and within reach. Unlike before when authors have to pay through their nose or face a long wait before eventually getting selected for publishing. Now there are a lot of platforms where authors can just upload their books once they have done their due diligence and they would get published and be paid royalty on each book being sold. This is also what Hadar Creations does in order to make life easier for authors.
As an author, publisher and graphic designer, all in one person, how do you combine those functions and what formal trainings do you have in those areas?
I had no formal training at all. The funniest part is that all these three things I do now were stuffs that used to scare me. My first book didn’t have a great design, I was so afraid of using so many functions in Microsoft word for fear of destroying the whole work. I am self-taught and I keep improving on myself daily. The applications I use all have tutorials, so I watch some while I learn some on the go. If there is any app that can help me, I find a way to learn its usage, and if affordable I buy them to further boost the quality of our work in Hadar Creations.
As we all know, there are challenges in every industry or endeavor, what are the challenges in your industry and how have you been able to pull through them?
One of the challenges faced is finding an editor for an upcoming author We have an in-house editor in Hadar Creations to fast track our publication process at a pocket friendly rate. I usually tell my authors that it is good to give your work to an editor. It gives the whole book a face-lift and gives it a new lease of life altogether. The flow of words change totally and anyone who reads from anywhere in the world would understand it perfectly.
What will be your words to upcoming authors and publishers especially in Nigeria?
My words to upcoming authors is to discover themselves and not hold anything back while writing. You need to write from your soul and also dare to be different. Don’t make money your priority at first, money would definitely come once your work is unique and speaks to the heart of those you hope to attract with it. Don’t be discouraged if people don’t accept your work at first. As a matter of fact that should even encourage you to write more impacting books. Connect to your instinct and unleash it in your writings. Don’t write to attract pity if you are writing your story. Write your story with grit and guts. At Hadar, we don’t let anyone discourage you, a lot of people will try to shut you up sometimes when writings hit them in a raw spot and the writer might face a lot of harsh criticisms as a result of this. Press on anyway and turn those criticisms to your advantage.
My words to publishers all over the world is to Handle every book like theirs and give it their best. They should also treat authors with dignity, most especially those upcoming authors who are afraid and unsure of what the future holds. Be an encouragement to them, give them a listening ear rather than shut them down or act like you are doing them a favor. This is one area I work really hard on despite the workload and I am glad at the testimonies I have received so far.