WWooohhhoooo, we are doing a Katch Up with Koffee KaraVan-I have always wanted to write a book. Like it has been in my destiny to be an author. I did not know how that would happen but I knew one day it would happen.
However, in my mind, I always thought that it would be fiction. Be telling the stories of creatives in Africa or maybe an African romance with a tall dark and handsome. I was always for fiction but who would have thought that my life would end up stranger than fiction so here I get to write non-fiction: a creative memoir of my journey of transformation in embracing my story- the good, the bad and the ugly- and yeah it got real ugly.
“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”W. Somerset Maugham
Writing this book was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Not physically but emotionally because I had to delve deep into who I was, into all the hurts and the trauma. I had to deal with all the pains that I had turned my back on because I did not want to deal with them.
Now I had no option. It started me on the page every day willing me to vomit it out, willing me to shine a light on all the darkness within. Writing this book may have been the hardest thing I have ever done but it is also the best thing I have ever done because it has set me free. I am no longer ashamed of the circumstances in my life. I no longer reject my own self. I no longer run away from accepting myself, knowing I am HIV+ and also one with sickle cell anaemia but I am also so much more. Now, I boldly proclaim This is Me!!
Yes, writing a book is hard but there are so many pieces that have to be shifted to get it done right. There is much more work after the writing….SO MUCH MORE!
However, the journey to get this book published was rough and could not be taken alone. It is in this journey that I truly understood the meaning of creative collaboration.
It took some thinking and research to land on the best editor and I am so thankful for her. It was truly a back and forth with her. You think you have written a book and realise that oh no, there is rewriting and rewriting…
I had to test three different designers and when I say test, I mean a real test and well one lady came on top. She is the best book cover designer ever. Book design is an intricate dance. If you do not get it right, you are in trouble.
Do not get me started on printing- I had to try out eight— yes you heard that right, eight different printers to get one with the quality I wanted. I almost gave up and went to Nairobi. Like for real but I was also blessed to land on a printing professional who made that part of the publishing journey easier.
- Marketing and Management
Then I get to work with the most amazing Publishing Consultant and Book Manager there ever is. He has managed the entire book process right from the beginning- He did the copy editing, proofreading and created an entire book campaign and continues to manage the book project. Can your book manager even?
Koffee KaraVan- A Brew of Publishing
Writing this book has opened my eyes to the challenges of the publishing industry in Uganda. The strengths and weaknesses so having personally gone through it, I wanted to understand the industry in-depth and what could be done to take it to the next level, to international standards.
Koffee KaraVan-A Brew of Publishing is supported by British Council #SouthernAfricaArts, a British Council Cultural Exchange programme, which supports cultural organisations, festivals, artists, and creatives between the countries of SSA and the UK to create art, build networks, collaborate and develop markets and share artists’ work with audiences.
This project, Koffee KaraVan- A Brew of Publishing will highlight the creatives – writers, publishers, editors, book cover designers and all in this industry who are using their creativity to change the stereotypical narrative that Africans do not read.
Just like a caravan of ancient times, Koffee KaraVan will tour the streets of Uganda online and offline scouring for creatives- both individuals and brands in the publishing industry to understand what measures can be put in place to develop the industry.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”Henry Ford
Thus it is my honour to welcome you to the virtual launch of This is Me: The metamorphosis of Ayo. I invite all aspiring authors and stakeholders in the publishing industry. I would really love to see you there. It is gonna be a Katch Up with Koffee KaraVan party. Cheers to embracing your story in 2022.
Have you published a book? What were the challenges? Please feel free to share your comments below