Meet Our Mum of The Month: Abimbola Dare
About Abimbola Dare
Abimbola grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She attended Vivian Fowler Memorial College for girls and moved the UK for her first degree and Masters. She is married to her best friend, a man she fondly calls “Chinese eyes” and is blessed with the a beautiful daughter. Although she’d always found it easier to communicate her feelings in writing, Abimbola didn’t start writing for the general public until she created her hugely popular blog “bimbyladsblog” which quickly became one of the most visited blogs in Nigeria at the time.
A few years later, she took a break off her blog to write The Small Print. The Small Print was a top 25 Amazon UK best selling novel in Christian Fiction category and has been featured in Genevieve Magazine, TW Magazine, Vanguard Nigeria, Bella Naija, Lagosmums and many other online platforms. She works in publishing, a job where she gets to breathe in the wonderful smell of books day in day out. Abimbola works in a leading publishing firm in the UK, a dream job because she can get to smell books all day long.
When she isn’t writing, or working, or being a wife and a mum, Abimbola is stares into the distance, thinking about a possible plot twist for an imaginary novel.
Abimbola defines Christian fiction
Christian fiction is a novel that is written primarily for the sole purpose of drawing readers to the Christian world view with a message of redemption and grace. It is fiction inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Why I wrote the Small Print
Many years ago I picked up my laptop and started a blog. Turns out the blog was a hit because insert shocked face… my mother, her friends, my pastor, our house help in naija, and anyone else you can think off, found out about it. The genius that I am, I had used a combo of my first name and maiden name as blog title. So, I couldn’t deny that it wasn’t me. Feeling undeniably unmotivated to continue to blog on a personal level, I decided to start a story. It was supposed to be a short story. Two chapters. End of story. But for some mad, crazy reason, people seemed to enjoy the story. And for an even madder, crazier reason, I couldn’t seem to be able to stop writing. Eventually I completed the badly written novel.
Then I got pregnant. Wide and huge and unable to write or blog…or eat… (Yeah right). I decided to take a break off blogging. I had a baby, and found myself in a deep abyss of intense boredom. So I picked up the book, and started to polish it. As I worked hard on the novel, day and night, thrilled at myself for having the guts to come back to the book, I gave my self a deadline to complete, and to find a publisher- yes- one of the big six. I wanted to win literary prizes. So I typed furiously, night and day, vowing to top the charts with my best seller.
About 50,000 words into The Small Print- (think it was called The contract or something then), I felt a stirring in my spirit to make the novel Christian fiction. In fact, it wasn’t a stirring; the instruction was as loud as a siren in a graveyard. The Holy Spirit did not want me writing any other type of books, apart from Christian fiction. Seriously? I had never even heard of Christian fiction. Never seen a book that talked about Christ, weaving the salvation message into the characters lives, so I ignored the voice, pushed it to the back of my mind.
The next day, I was in church, and a friend comes up to me and says: “Bimbo, I was staring at my bookshelf yesterday, and I saw this novel- something asked me to give it to you.” Yep- you guessed it. It was Christian fiction. A novel by Francine Rivers called “and the shofar blew”….. My very first Christian fiction! I read that book in one sitting and within two days, I had deleted 40,000 words and started to re-write The Small Print.
In the process, the Lord gradually stripped off the desire to be recognized, toned down the hunger for literary prizes and helped me to focus on the message of the novel, the message of redemption and forgiveness and hope. And it was with that strength and encouragement from The Holy spirit that I wrote the Small Print. I know now, that this is what I was called to do. And as God gives me strength, I will keep writing books that Glorify Him, and cause hope to stir in your hearts that regardless of what life throws at you, there is a God.
A year or so later, the finished manuscript was born, but like a newborn baby, it was covered with all sorts of gooey that needed serious cleaning up. I enrolled TSP in a contest (won an award there- yay!), I joined a creative writing school, hired a professional editor and several editions later… the novel was complete. I did not even bother looking for a publisher. Why? Because I had written a novel that didn’t seem to fit into any market. It wasn’t African American Christian fiction, It wasn’t literary fiction, wasn’t suspense, pure romance, or contemporary fiction. It had all the elements…..yet it seemed a bit out of place. So I did it myself. I loved writing the book, loved the moments I spent in prayer, asking God to direct my work and sharpen my characters. But best of all, I love the comments I have been receiving from people that have read the book. The entire process has been an amazing blessing.
Any other books in the works now?
Yes I am working on another novel, written to be the sequel to the small print, but I may change my mind and make it a stand alone novel. I am excited about it. I also plan to write a short story now and then, as my time permits, and with God’s grace.
Will you continue writing Christian fiction?
I was called by God to write Christian Fiction and will stay in it becasue it came as a direction from God. I have no choice on the matter 🙂
You can get a copy of the book from?Amazon From Nigerian Bookstores:- Patabah bookstores Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Laterna Bookstores,13 Oko Awo Close, VI, The Hub Bookstore, Shoprite Lekki. Debonair Yaba Visit Abimbola’s website
Abimbola has given a copy of her book, The Small Print, to one LagosMums member. The first LagosMums member to comment on this Mum of the Month post will win the book