Phil shares her experience of receiving the news and how grateful she feels for the recognition. Writing has always been a part of Phil’s life, as she writes to express herself and capture her emotions. She published her first work at the age of seven in Readers Digest and has since published three books. Phil’s latest book, “A Heritage of Greatness: Stories of African Heroines,” is her current favorite, where she showcases legendary African women and their lessons for young girls. For Phil, the most satisfying feeling is the ability to connect with her audience through her writing. However, the lack of good publishers has been a significant challenge for her in the industry.

How does it feel to be recognised as one of the most inspiring Authors:
Phil: It was about 7.00am on April 1st and I had barely woken up when I got the news. Naturally, I assumed it was an April Fool’s joke being played on me.

When it dawned on me that it was for real, for real…my joy knew no bounds. Now that the news has settled within me, I believe my topmost emotion is gratitude.

I am grateful to Sabistation Media and RankBank Org for deeming me worthy of sitting side by side with the amazing authors on that inspiring list.

I feel gratitude towards everyone who supported and enabled my dream of becoming an author.

Finally, I feel humbled, encouraged, and inspired to pour out all the books within me that are clamouring for a shelf space in the world. I am truly happy.

What inspired you to become a writer, and how did you get started in the industry
Phil: I don’t remember a time when I was not writing, so you could say it started way back during my childhood.

The one thing I always recognised about myself and that I am certain of is the burning need to pour out my innermost being on paper or any medium. When I am happy, I always want to capture it. When I am sad and broken, I pour out my heart therapeutically through writing.

When something strikes me about the world I live in, I simply curl up and write. Writing is that part of me that I know well, it’s that part that I am very comfortable with.

In essence, I was not inspired to become a writer, I was born one.
I published my first work in the American General Interest Magazine, Readers Digest when I was 7years old.

That was the first piece of work that I ever got paid for; and I will never forget the joy that came with it.

After that I wrote articles and stories for several soft sell magazines and professional journals. My dream of becoming an author came a bit late; despite the long-standing desire within me to be one.

When my dream of authoring my book refused to stay dormant, a friend Paul Uduk who runs a writing clinic (BWC), took me under his tutelage, got a commitment out of me and assigned me an accountability partner.

I formally published my first book ‘The Exciting Adventures of a Boring Consultant in 2021 under the very professional stable of SW Advantage Resources.

How many books have you written and published?
Phil: Between then and now, I have written and published three books. My first book being, ‘The Exciting Adventures of a Boring Consultant’ which is the first of its kind in our marketplace. It is a masterfully written compilation of true stories that are intended to dispel the many wrong stereotypes about consultants whilst providing key learnings to business leaders, current and intending professionals, career coaches and anyone who enjoys a good read.

My second book ‘Shades of Red’ is a collection of soulful, narrative poetic expressions that address love and pain and the different ways we experience these emotions as well as how they unify us.

Finally, the latest book from my stable, also published by my go-to partners, SW Advantage Resources, is a book for young girls titled ‘A Heritage of Greatness’.

Which of these is your favourite and what is the book about?
Phil: All my books are an expression of art for me, they are chips off my soul, and it is difficult to list one as my utmost favourite. However, one that currently brings me great satisfaction, is my latest book, ‘A Heritage of Greatness: Stories of African Heroines’. This book is a gift I have been meaning to share with young African girls.

It is a book that showcases legendary African women who have come before us and then details the lessons that these legends have left behind for girls. My intention with this book is to ensure that every young girl who reads this book sees herself in these women..

I want them to believe that greatness is in their lineage, in their DNA, and know beyond all doubt that greatness, and fearlessness is not alien to them.

It is a reminder to every young girl of African descent that they come from a long line of erudite scholars, fierce mothers, brave warriors, and wise leaders.
What is the most heart-warming feedback you have received from readers of your book?
Phil: As a writer, heart-warming for me is my ability to elicit any reaction from my readers.

The deeper the reaction, the better for me because it means I have connected at some levels with my audience, and that is the most satisfying and fulfilling feeling imaginable. With ‘The Exciting Adventures of a Boring Consultant’, the common feedback was the fact that it was unputdownable, but deeper still was how people felt touched by the experiences of the characters in the stories, and they would call me at odd times of the day just to share how they felt, they still do.

With ‘Shades of Red’, the feedback I got was that the segment on pain was too painful to bear sometimes; in fact, I got an urgent intervention from family members who thought the poems were my true life experiences and they felt I needed to unburden myself.

There is no better reward for a writer like the reward of a reaction to their written expression.

What has been your biggest challenge as a writer, and how did you overcome it.
Phil: I have experienced two significant challenges since I broke into the industry. One of them is the dearth of good publishers to work with locally. Most of the publishers I have sampled do not understand what it means to support an author through their journey to creating a masterpiece; for most, it’s all about financial gains and others are just plain inexperienced.

Very rarely, do you meet a firm like SW Advantage who understands what it means to manage and work with an author.

However, the most challenging aspect of being an author is marketing your product once its ready. Good publishers help and support, but most of the work of getting visibility and channels of distribution for your product is all on you as an author.

To overcome this, I have built a system of working with available channels to engage and motivate them to push my products whilst I support in the background.

There is still a need to address our poor reading culture and encouraging a fresh embrace of reading but all this is work in progress, and I am certain that we will get there.

What sets your writing apart from others in your genre, and how do you stay true to your voice?
I like to describe my genre as ‘narrative experiential fiction’. What this means is that my literary expression is drawn from my life’s experiences, my observation of the world around me and a deep-rooted need to address gaps.

My works is sometimes combined with drama, but usually my dominant genre is narrative experiential fiction.

The style involves a lot of truth- saying that is coined in a manner that disallows finger pointing. It’s a unique style that speaks to my audience personally, even as it educates.

Staying true to myself is a way of life that I have been socialised to embrace, translating this into staying true to my voice, I would say, writing like every form of art leaves you sleepless if it is not conveyed in the exact manner your soul desires it…believe me I like my sleep. And because I like my sleep, it is important for me to work with a publisher, a team who have the superpower of mind-reading, a team that gets me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers who are looking to get their work published or recognised?
Phil: I would tell them to first focus on the gift and then follow through with monetising the gift.

We live in an environment where our young people are just beginning to discover books and even though I am totally excited by this new discovery of books that’s happening, it is still not a mature market. If as an author you are expecting some instant gratification, then, this is not the dream for you.

My advice would simply be, to follow your passion. Find a good editorial and publishing team to guide and support you and then have a plan for marketing your product.

For recognition, I believe that this will come naturally if you do the right things and churn out great pieces of art.

How has your writing evolved over the course of your career, and what have you learned from the process?
Phil: I have never paused to do this ‘before’ and ‘after’ analysis of my work, so this is indeed a helpful and an interesting question. Looking back now, I can say my writing style has matured significantly over the years and so has my intentions as a writer.

Whilst before now there was some confusion around what is intended for the audience, today, I can say my message has become even more clear to me as the years go by. I have also learned through this evolution that even though writing is my passion I need to prioritise the pieces of work that I put out, I need to be more strategic and deliberate with my releases. With my first book, I wanted to address my colleagues, my 9 – 5 community of Human Resources professionals because they form a huge portion of who I am.

With my second book, my target was mostly women, I wanted to gift them a book that could serve as an outlet for their pain and a companion for their joyful times.

My third and latest book is for teens, not just teens, but teen girls. As a mother I see first- hand the identity issues that our girls battle with day in, day out and with this book, I wanted to provide them with an anchor.

What are some of the key themes or messages that you hope readers take away from your work?
Phil: I want my work to be emotive as well as educative. My theme is experiential and experiential draws from life. Anyone who curls up in a corner with a book of mine in their hands is going to be in their feelings as they journey through the book.

They are going to recognise themselves in the pages of my book, either realistically or in an aspirational manner, and finally, they are definitely going to be educated as they disembark.

Can you tell us about your writing process, and any particular routines or habits that you have developed over time?
Phil: Back in the day, I use to walk around with materials fighting for air in my head. At a point I thought I was running crazy and sometimes if I did not pause to put something down, I would practically be unable to function.

This meant that I had lots of books all-round the house full of my writings and my scribbles. It still happens, but, I have learnt to control it, put it in a compartment, until I get to a comfortable place where I can then jot it down. Previously, I used to need total peace and quiet before I could pen down any serious materials; so, at weekends, you could easily find me from 6.00am in the morning at the beach with a hot flask of tea by my side just penning away.

Over time, I have learnt to shut everything out and transport myself to a place of peace where I can create my pieces. One weird habit that has stayed with me through the years is the habit of writing voraciously when I am sad, unhappy, or angry…when I am in these moods, writing becomes my outlet.

What do you see as the role of storytelling and literature in today’s society, and why do you think it is important.
Phil: Storytelling is integral to who we are as humans. It is how we pass on the essence of one generation to another generation. It is how we track how we are evolving and how we can ensure we do not repeat past mistakes. I grew up in a family of storytellers, my mother was an amazing storyteller, but my dad was even more amazing. I grew up in simple times when every evening we would all gather at his feet after dinner, and he would regale us with stories of the past and even stories from his day at work.

Those moments enabled him pass key information across to us and because we congregated to achieve it, it created a sense of community amongst us. Today, we may believe that we have lost the traditional forms of storytelling, but maybe what has happened is an evolution of the artform.

If you look around you, you will see different forms of educative and comedic skits on social media.

Tik Tok and Reels are full of short and crisp stories and poetic renditions that reach a far more wider audiences than we ever imagined.

Theatre is returning with unique and creative deliveries and our music has never failed to deliver in its experiential narrative form. It is my belief that literature has simply found different mediums of expression rather than just through books and audio.

The fact that we are not sitting round campfires does not mean storytelling isn’t happening.

What project are you currently working on and what can readers expect from you in the future?
Phil: I am working on several projects now, and I am very excited about all of them. Naturally, I always have a book in the works, but we will save that for the next interview. Right now, I am focussing all my energies on marketing my latest book ‘A Heritage of Greatness: Stories of African Heroines‘. The book takes young girls on a journey of self-discovery and aims to entrench within them the realization that no dream or vision is too great to be achieved.

It is a call for every girl to reclaim her superpower and embrace the heroine that she inherently is.

Our plan is to get 2,000 copies of this books into the hands of young girls in the low-income areas of the country starting from Lagos.

We are partnering with Project LEAD to drive this initiative and we are looking to attract donors who believe that the girls in these neighbourhoods need to be given hope and something to anchor their vision on…they need a copy of ‘ A Heritage of Greatness’

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