What I Am Reading

My thoughts on books, comics, literary magazines, anthologies, genres that I am currently reading and adding to the Amethyst Saw Library.

Spotlight Read: A Guide to Self Publishing by Lara Tommy Kareem

Ebook and Paperback Available

About Book

For months you’ve worked diligently, dedicated time, stayed up late, overcame writer’s block and finally, you typed the last word and finished writing your book.

Now that you’ve finished writing your book, you’re anxious to know what comes next? You look up publishing firms accepting the genre of your manuscript and query them, hoping they’ll publish your book and you’re on your merry way to the life of authordom.

But, there’s no response from these publishing firms or many apologise but aren’t sure you’re the right fit for the firm and now you’re stumped. Don’t fret too much because there is another way, which is where this book comes in.

Do you really want to publish your book? Self-Publishing is the path to take and this book is filled with all the necessary information needed to get your book ready before hitting the publish button.

My Review

A Guide to Self Publishing is informative, helpful and encompassing. Its divided into 5 parts;

  • The Ways of Publishing
  • Methods of Self Publishing
  • The Publishing Process
  • Before You Self Publish
  • Worksheet

It introduces the reader to basics about publishing. Going further it details everything you need to know about self publishing. Learn how to use beta readers, edit, create author profiles, book marketing, write your manuscript, distribution, find retailers, everything and more!

This book helped me write my Synopsis and Create my Author Bio for Stab Love with Flower Stalks. I was privileged to have Lara host my Stab Love with Flower Stalks book tour. She taught me a lot about marketing self published books. And Gem, did I learn a lot!


I’ll recommend you buy this book with 4 stars. Or gift your writer friend a copy.

Meet the Author

Lara Tommy Kareem is a huge literary enthusiast, editor, book blogger at naijabookbae.com. She is the founder of Bookish Species, a useful society for readers. Lara is a notable presence in the Nigerian book blogging & publishing industry.


It’s available on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Okadabooks, in Paperback within Nigeria. Visit the website for more info Gem.

Thanks for reading.

Quotes from When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola

Find out more about my Current Read.


Book Synopsis

Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. Its 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different. When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home. The narratorial spirit of this multi-layered novel is Èsù, the Yoruba trickster figure, who haunts the crossroads of communication and understanding.

Publisher- Cassava Republic.


“When we speak of nothing we don’t end the silence.”

“You couldn’t always pick up words to flourish the unsayable. It would be a waste. Too much. Sometimes moments had to be allowed to be themselves. To breathe or not, to be bearable or not. You couldn’t always change it.”

“Missing is still a presence”.

“..things have a way of unfolding at the worst moment.”

Reading Update: Page 57/296.

Èṣù is the narrator of the novel. This made me curious about reading this book. Especially after meeting she/he/them (Esú) in Lakiriboto Chronicles.

About Èsù

Èsù (They/She/He) are an important Òrìṣà in Yorùbá ancient religion known as Àṣẹ̀ṣe / Ìṣẹ̀ṣe. An excellent Administrator of justice, Police Officer in the pantheon of Deities and was gender queer. Èsù is the keeper of Ase. When other deities want to use supernatural powers, they have to borrow it from Esu, she/he is the keeper of supernatural powers. She/he is the universal police, so therefore she/he can’t be anyone’s permanent ally. Èsù is not the Christian devil as wrongly portrayed.

Find out more about this deity here

Two bookies on my Twitter timeline say they enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I’ve googled Mark Duggan. Books that’s shape their plots around significant socio-political events tend to take as reader through indepth exporations of human nature. I look forward to this. So far, the novel’s beginning has dragged on for me. But I’m optimistic.

What are you reading currently? Have you read about any Nigerian or Africa deities from any contemporary African literature? Comment below Gem.

Meet these Incredible Nigerian Writers: Ifeoma Nnewuihe and Mòje Ikpeme

Spotlight Reads of 2 pieces by these incredible writers I recently discovered on Twitter.

Ifeoma Nnewuihe

Spotlight Reads

“Money goads my father,/
As she sits coyly in the palms of other men/
My father thinks they are undeserving of her”
Money Is The Long Lost Love Of My Father

‘You are a body of stories waiting to be told/
You are the laughter in your mother’s eyes/
You are an unrepeatable miracle’


These poems are truly fantastic and uplifting. They are familiar yet new. Its delightful reading these and the other two poems published also by Kalahari Review.

Know Ifeoma

Ifeoma is a Nigerian writer living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. I met her at the Ouida Open mic last Thursday of September, Ifeoma is unforgettable. She has a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of Lagos. In her spare time, Ifeoma draws and engages in sports. She will eat 200 mangoes if you let her. Follow her on Twitter @thouartifeoma

Mòje Ikpeme

Spotlight Reads

‘Time passes and Sam is right after all. The nakedness of souls gets deeper after the nakedness of clothes.’

Nakedness. Or a Woman is (Not) her Vagina.

“You will also tell him about feet, how you believed a person was their feet. Wasn’t it the foot that traveled the world with us? It must some how carry the sum of a person’s journey.”

Butt Feet.

I love how his writing style tells a story with a patient, compassionate and humorous tone. This made me get to through surprising twists and reveals with a range of emotions. Nakedess. Or a Woman is (Not) her Vagina is a masterpiece on intimacy and how we can use it to know, heal or deny trauma. In Butt Feet, which is his first story I read, I couldn’t help but emphasize with our grieving heroine ‘curvy visa’ and laugh at the comical events.

Know Mòje

I met Mòje at #KabaFest19. He had a diverse, eccentric playlist, colorful anklets and wealth of knowledge of books. His stories are published on his Medium. Mòje is a writer, photographer, graphic artist, painter, also literary polygamist and reluctant male. He lives and works in Lagos. Follow him on Twitter @mojeikpeme

Thanks for meeting them and their incredible works Gem!

Spotlight Read: The Myth of the Lazy Mothers

But I suppose there is something about old pain that forces you to distance yourself from what you love, from those you love.

I like gazing at the bold marks below my abdomen, the droops of my breasts, the folds of my waist. I have learned to cherish every change each childbirth wreaked on my body—my retroverted uterus, the repositioning of my cervix, these rearrangements and their subsequent complications, every mutilation. The reason I felt so dispossessed all those years was because I had internalized the myth that segregates women who suffer postpartum complications and dismisses them as weak

One word–Wow. This piece just answered many questions no one ever aptly answered about what happens from birthing the baby to fully healing. One of the most intimate esssays on postpartum complicatios I’ve read.

Please read here!

Are there any myths and traditions about child birth, or the healing process that exclude new mothers from expressing pain, enjoying mental comfort and body autonomy that you know of?