From Blog to Book 📕
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah writes "The Sex Lives of African Women"
I'm a few weeks into my memoir rewrite. My first week was solid, but my second week was nonexistent, so I forced myself to focus and prioritize writing this week. Now I’m in slow and steady mode, emphasis on consistently stacking modest daily word counts.
But enough about me, our latest guest comes all the way from Africa!
Ghanaian author Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah has such a cool story about how she used her blog as a launch pad for publishing her first book.
Nana is the author of The Sex Lives of African Women, and she shares the whole process, including conducting the interviews, writing a book proposal, landing her agent, her best tip for writers trying to get published, and more.
Here’s a preview of how the process of transcribing the interviews actually helped her craft each narrative:
“Sometimes, in transcribing, I would literally hear something that I hadn't quite heard when we had the conversation or hadn't quite sunk in — so I could go back and have a second conversation — and in transcribing, I would also hear what in a sense was the most interesting parts of the story. So that was when the crafting of the story would come to me.”
Where I write:
I'm asking each guest to give us a peek behind the scenes. Kudos to Nana on that comfortable chair. This little corner nook could totally put me in a writing trance.
🛒 Order Nana’s book, The Sex Lives of African Women: Self-Discovery, Freedom, and Healing.
🎧 And, of course, pop in those earbuds and listen to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah on Writing "The Sex Lives of African Women" from Blog to Book on your favorite podcast platform.
Online reading about writing:
How Writing About Reading Became a Literary Genre of Its Own - Lara Feigel writes that “Bibliomemoirs are an increasingly popular way for writers to celebrate reading and its power to shape lives.” While I was reading this article, I added some books to my list.
How I Published a #1 Amazon Bestseller (at 23!) Without a Literary Agent - Way to go, Phil Rosen! I gotta get him on the podcast to hear more about how he accomplished this tremendous publishing feat.
What I’m reading (besides our wonderful guests):
Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates - Holy shit, the Chappaquiddick incident through the eyes of the young woman who died! My god, how horrible. This is a brilliant take — it made me want to fictionalize a historical event through the underdog’s POV someday. Joyce Carol Oates just goes for it; a no holds barred account of the drowning and party beforehand. The short novel moves a mile a minute, but aptly braided, it still manages to be a thorough indictment.
Shopgirl by Steve Martin - Another quick read. I’m on a novella kick. This is a quirky jaunt inside the mind of a fifty-something Steve Martin. You want him to get over his bullshit and fall in love, but alas, he can’t. I watched the movie a few days later for comparison; it was interesting to see what got condensed or omitted.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - This is a fascinating 400+ page book, but here’s the TL;DR if don’t have the time or you refuse to read a tech bro favorite: Humans reign supreme in the animal kingdom because of our capacity for shared fictions. Everything is made up — money, religion, countries — which means that culture is constantly in flux and can change very rapidly if we collectively decide it should. Now I’ve gotta read Yuval Noah Harari’s follow-up Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.
Pitch call for fiction writers:
I’m trying this on my memoir-in-progress and I actually love it.
Congrats to Nana for landing this gorgeous celebrity bookstagram!
Until next time, HAPPY BLEEDING!
So… ROLL CALL! 🗣️
Do you have a blog? If so, drop the link below. Also, any novella recs I should read?