Beauty for Ashes is an outstanding book published by Parousia in 2021. We had an interesting conversation with Oluwatoyin A Olojo about her debut book. This interview gave insight about her and her book.
Why did you decide to write Beauty for Ashes? Is there something specifically that spurred you to write this book?
Writing Beauty for Ashes was strictly by the instruction of the Holy Spirit. First, I received the title, then the launch date which was just six months away, then the chapter by chapter title as well as their subtitle. It was indeed divinely orchestrated.
Have you always had it in mind that you’d write a book, be an author?
I have always loved to write. I have always had a private journal, I even had a slum book back in secondary school and I always found a way to express my thoughts in writing. However, I never intended being an author; a poet maybe, but not an author.
Your book is a book that holds a deep message. Tell us about the message you are trying to pass across with Beauty for Ashes.
You know, when the Holy Spirit first told me about Beauty for Ashes, he said it was going to be an expression of my life’s story. I kept asking what story my life was telling and he said, everyone has a story to tell. That period, I was going through a lot to redefining moments in my life, which involved getting hurt and recovering. I also realised that I’ve always had a deep compassion for young ladies who somehow ended up becoming slaves to sex either intentionally or not.
The main focus of Beauty for Ashes is salvation and healing. This is why the book comes with a workbook to help readers answer salient questions about themselves and a devotional to help guide them through.
After this book, do you still have it in mind to publish a new book? And when should we be expecting it?
Yes, yes, yes! The deep treatment each chapter in Beauty for Ashes gives started with me. Beauty for Ashes was an opening to my calling as a Scribe according to Matthew 13:52. It’s a deep calling as several other book titles have been received and are awaiting the divine instruction to GO.
I’m sure some of our aspiring authors will love to know this. What was your greatest motivation in publishing this book, what was the process like?
Hmmm! considering the genre I’m called to write which is spiritual and can be sometimes satirical, I would say it takes having a burden to give a big release. The depth of your burden will fuel your sense of urgency and give you all the push or motivation you need. There were times I broke down in tears while writing Beauty for Ashes, especially in Cactus and Sunflower. It was indeed a process! The whole message started with me! Letting out all that information about myself left me with zero shame and that in turn birthed “The Shame-free Tribe”. My biggest motivation was my burden to see freedom, healing and salvation.
Apart from the publication by the publisher, what step do you take to make sure your book get out there? Tell us about the book launch.
Honestly, publicising the book has not been quite easy but I have made sure to have an author’s website in my name where articles relating to the book and other interests are often posted. The homepage carries the book image and everyone who visits the site gets to see the book first.
The book launch was more of a small, private event. I believe in starting small and as such was glad to have a controllable crowd of about 35 persons in attendance. It was tagged “the release of a book, of pain and of sounds of worship”. All we did, majorly, was worship God. We also watched video clips of people’s stories of sexual abuse and how they overcame the pain. Some guests also shared their stories of how they were raped, nearly raped and victimized. It was indeed a release of pain.
Tell us about your experience with your Publisher, Parousia Reads.
Parousia Reads has one endearing factor which is accuracy. The team knows how well to get in your head and replicate the exact ideas you have. When I saw my book cover design, I began to ask if there was someone else present when the Spirit of the Lord showed me the image. They were also considerate of a first time author that I was and made every step less burdensome. Thank you Parousia Reads! Thank you Samuel Tola Ijalusi!
So far, how has the experience been and what do you intend to do after now?
The experience has been transforming! Beauty for Ashes has called forth other assignments and I’m super grateful to God for trusting me with this vision. After now, asides sending thousands of sponsored copies to teenagers and commercial sex workers across nations, I also hope to flesh up the skeletal framework of The Shame-free Tribe.
I still write copies, proposals and contents for businesses, I still write poems, articles and blog posts and I still sell insurance and give investment advice. All these and more I’ll continue to do even while I focus on my education. Ultimately, I intend to live on God!
Photo: Oluwatoyin A. Olojo, author, Beauty For Ashes.
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