I hit several stumbling blocks on the way, and for a while I lay defeated. Then I picked myself up and dusted myself down. Why should a few negative words bring me down after spending nearly two years to tell a story I’ve kept hidden for years? My audience pulled me through with their kind words and encouragement, and they’re the reason I do what I do. Bitter Perceptions is back, this time on my blog.
New chapters from part two will be posted every week, but I’ve chosen to give my readers two chapters for starters to thank them for their patience and support. For those unable to download the first part, the story can be read from the beginning on this blog.
Thanks a million to anyone who has read and loved my stories, and hugs all round to every single person who contacted me with their lovely emails and comments when I nearly gave up. This is the life of a writer, it’s not always smooth, but with God’s grace and your love I can, in the words of the Backstreet Boys, Roll With It.
Writing is never easy, no matter how well-prepared or well-organised you think you are—even after you’re finished, you find your work is only 70% ready. This has been an interesting journey though, and I’d be nothing without the support I received along the way.
Mum and Dad, I never became the lawyer, doctor, teacher, or accountant you envisioned. I did a Frank Sinatra—I did it my way. You believed education was the gateway to success in life, and did your best to ensure your four children went all the way, even during those tough times we faced as a family. And to my siblings, thanks for the laughs, the tears, the life lessons, and for getting on my nerves every flaming minute. Would I have it any other way? Heck, no.
My old primary teachers at St. Leonards Primary who encouraged us to use our creativity, especially the lovely Susan Keegan, and Tina Woolhouse who taught me for two years. You all made it happen the morning you allowed a nervous six-year-old to read her original story to the whole school. My Creative Writing lecturers at Roe U (I knew I shouldn’t have quit those modules after my first year!), thank you for teaching me the basics, and a shout out to my Drama lecturers for all their support, especially Dr. Susan Painter, and thank you Ernst Fischer for enduring my crazy wackiness. My IT lecturer Ben at Croydon College, thanks for showing me around a PC when I was still afraid to type. A big thank you to my early critics who saw my potential, your support made all the difference. To those critics in boarding school who merely criticised, I have two words: Bite. Me.
My former work colleagues Anne and Lauren for putting up with that endless talk of writing a full-length novel (I finally did it, girls!), and Jane Dazeley for encouraging me to go for it, and for the emoji cushion! Thanks to Nardi Bhai for designing the original cover when the project went under a slightly different title—I appreciate the time and effort. Jae, right from the time I wrote Nigerian Hairways you always believed in me when others didn’t, and I’ll forever be in your debt. The staff at Merton Libraries, you were there for me when I typed the manuscript in those rowdy IT rooms (How did I ever survive that racket?). My fellow Wikipedian Handsomeboy, you have no idea how much I appreciate the review you gave when others ignored me for months; may your Indomie cupboard always be full. My friends who helped me with the Igbo words, thanks, and Dorcas Andrew who translated the French phrases, how can I forget you?
Thanks a million to Lynda Stevens(?), wherever you are—your appearance on Minaj TV’s Movies En Vogue inspired me to write the original screenplay for this story, and since then I’ve never looked back, even if my storytelling has taken on a slightly different form. And thanks a zillion to Julie Lewis of Dreamer’s Sanctuary—your fanfiction tales inspired me to turn my screenplay into a novel, you’re the best. Huge shout-outs to the other writers who shaped me including Enid Blyton,Toni Kan, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Carole Matthews, Diablo Cody, Mara Wilson… JK Rowling, I admire your courage, thanks for teaching me to never give up. Thanks ever so much to Emeka Ossai for the tutorials (The writer, not the actor). Special recognition to John Pitt—I’ll never forget that article you wrote for Time, you helped me discover my writing style. I’ll rather be cute, funny, and real like you than pose as a ravishing dumb blonde. To this day I still try. The struggle is real.
And last, but by no means least, thanks to God who has blessed and stuck with me in every circumstance, guiding me whenever I weather those hurricanes passing as mere storms, and there have been several. There’s no me without You, and I praise You.
Rock ‘n’ roll, baby.