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Monday, July 30, 2012


The Empire by Elizabeth Lang, the first novel is a very  brilliant piece. I would like to thank her for giving heart stopping moments. She wove a story of love, naked abuse of power, real evil and outright hypocrites. I would like to thank her for using the novel “The Empire to lay bare our pretensions to civilization and ‘empire building.’ I have never felt so involved in a supposed fantasy as Elizabeth made me feel with the brilliant characterization of Adrian Stannis, Kali MIrren and the very awful Sester. Humanity has great potential for infinite good and absolute evil and in the portrayal of Adrian Stannis. Now if you remember this you will be pleased to know that the follow up or sequel to this exciting novel is now out. So I felt we should be part of this sequel . 

Elizabeth Lang..Author
I have thus the pleasure to bring back to Center Stage Elizabeth Lang author of The Rebels now out courtesy IFWG publishing.

“Perhaps it was a flaw of being human, that irrational hope that made them all believe that the impossible was possible simply because it hadn’t happened yet.”
These words within the very first chapter of THE REBELS underlined for me the whole essence of this novel. I had planned on just flipping through the pages and as usual Elizabeth grabbed me from the very first words and the adrenalin shot through my being. Not very used to reading such powerful novels from a fellow female. I guess she redefined chick-lit and took it to a different level.

1.First things first, would like to congratulate you on the sequel to your book. The Rebels is out and I trust making the right impact. You became a finalist with the first even though you had not planned it as a romantic novel, what is your expectation with this?

Thank you, Biola. I'm very excited about this book. The Empire series has always been a labour of love for me and I'm very invested in these characters, even Sester. I'm sure some people will want to call this a romance, but it isn't really and was never intended to be. It's a science fiction adventure with some elements of romance.

2.Sequels are sometimes viewed with trepidation by publishers, how was this received by IFWG?
The Rebels

I'm very grateful to IFWG. They've always been very supportive and from the beginning they seemed to be committed to the whole series.

3.The cover and blurb of this story indicates it is a real adventure for our human scientist Stannis and Kali, what themes are you exploring this time?

The Rebels is more of an action-adventure than the last book. It was always my intention to explore how people react to dire situations, the decisions they make and the compromises they're willing to accept or not accept. The Empire explored that theme from the perspective of the people who rule the Empire. The Rebels explores the same theme from the view of people who are rebelling against it.

4.Is the book the concluding part or we are to expect more?
coming soon

There is a final book of the series, making this a trilogy, called The Andromedans, which I am currently writing.

5. Your earlier book also explored an interesting aspect..(telepathy) or mind games as others would like to call it. Would you subscribe to using mind games to change or influence people and events?

It's hard to say whether I subscribe to it or not. I think mind games are a part of our society, even if we don't have telepathy or psychostrategists. Advertising manipulates people by appealing to our primitive and baser instincts. Politicians, actors and leaders can be masters of manipulating people with mind games. It appears to be a fad on television now to have people who are able to 'read' others and manipulate them using that information, though I created the character of Sester long before it became popular in the media

6. Share your thoughts about why you wrote the sequel
There are so many platforms to publish these days. What would you choose for your next novel?
For me, The Empire, The Rebels and The Andromedans, are really one story published in different parts and from the start, I had all three in mind.
I still believe there is a place for traditional publishing and that there is value in it, though perhaps not in the form it is currently. For myself, I have no problems self-publishing and have done so for a set of short stories, but I prefer going with a publisher for my longer novels. I like the support of having people behind me who are willing to work on my behalf because they believe in me as an author.

7 There is a fashion to change publishers at random or sometimes for reasons of commerce, I see that The Rebels is still published by IFWG, will that mean that barring a few human hiccups, they are satisfying you?

These days, especially with the rash of newer authors entering the market, there is a tendency to change publishers the same way they change clothes. There is no loyalty. I think that for me, because I have been exposed to people who have been in the industry a long time, I believe in the relationship between an author and a publisher, that's why I will continue to be with IFWG. IFWG is a small publisher with limited resources, especially in terms of sales and marketing, like most indie publishers. But they are enthusiastic, they try hard and they are committed to growing. I knew what I was signing up for when I went with IFWG for The Empire. There are many things I don't expect from them because they just don't have the resources, but I do have the expectation that as they grow, they will improve and add to their services and they haven't disappointed me yet.
I guess, as with all things, as long as we don't have unrealistic expectations of each other, and we meet the expectations we do have, then I will continue to give them first refusal for my books. Of course, if one of the big 6 come knocking on my door, I won't say no... :)

8. Your first book, earned a finalist place as a romance even though you had not planned it as a romance, what shall we expect of the relationship between Kali and Stannis?
It's hard to reveal too much without giving spoilers, but I can guarantee that their relationship will grow and deepen, though not quite in the way people expect. Kali has more of an active role and we learn a lot more about her background and motivations.

9. The Rebels has the look and feel of a movie, do you see it one day on the silverscreen?
I would be thrilled if it did make it to the screen one day.

10. You have made fantasy, science and adventure into one heady mix of excitement, what next is in store for your growing readers?
Depending on how well the Empire series does once the entire trilogy is released, there is a possibility of a second trilogy which explores the backstory of three of the main characters. There is a deep mystery that weaves three of them together which I have only hinted at in the Empire series.

11. Who will you recommend this book to? Is it age specific?
While this is meant as an adult book, there isn't anything ratings-wise which restricts it to adult reading.

12. Please give links from where we can buy your books?

 Thanks for coming on Center Stage
 Thanks for the interview.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Devil laughed

Sometimes you try to laugh in an effort to push the despair eating at you a long way from you. My mother used to say what can’t talk should not be able to defeat you. I sit for hours staring at the blank screen. Not because I don’t have anything to say but simply swamped by what I need to say and ask myself why bother saying it? It is just another twenty four hours anyway. Another day to live through . The vendor calls and you shrug, not because the news is nothing but because you are scared to learn you have ceased to exist as Nigerian, never mind the fact that you are not even sure of your chances to live as a human being. I am like every person I know, we want an identity, a country, a home and a love.

 It is not too much to ask you ask yourself angrily and then sigh as depression like some stone settles at the pit of your stomach. You are reviled from without from countries that wonder what you think you are being who you are and from that place of the earth that has been damned and condemned. Anger slowly boils like a cauldron and you feebly attempt to pour ice into it. You count ten before you speak so that the pain should not spill out from your guts. You are done being angry. It has fed you for so long only you find you are still very hungry so you reluctantly accept that the anger has not done much and then you listen… the painful thud of your heart as it hides itself away from you.

Three hundred and sixty five days of watching for an opportunity to make good. You are desperate as first anger from the children and then you shrivel as you see the anger slowly turn to contempt. It is the worst indictment you could possibly endure. Love like some measly cancer has settled on your soul and wouldn’t let go even as you feel the rejection from hungry puzzled faces and their question.

 “You lost as a parent’ the voice cackles at you and you feel the lash as you grit your teeth and plod the streets looking for that opportunity to earn bread for another wasted twenty four hours. The door opens and the children look up , your wife turns over and faces the door. The expectant faces drop to boredom and your heart sinks. “Oh it’s you” they say with the least interest in what you have to offer.
The other day you had stared for long hours at the ocean wondering if the fishes in it might find your body acceptable as meal.” It will be too bony and not rich enough” the infernal taunting voice says close to your ears and you feel your heart crying. A sob escapes you and you are alarmed, checking if anyone heard the miserly sob. Someone is playing ‘I am black and proud” and you snort.

 It is the first hint of healthy anger you have heard or felt in a long while. The landlord has a letter for you.. “Sir, my nephew will be returning from his studies abroad and we would need your room for him to stay while he starts on his job with the Apex bank” hmmm, the shark is even willing to forgo his eighteen months rent arrears…hmmmm.. but where are you going? No place, not even hell since the voice said you do not even have a vacant room there. Not even standing space. “You see we have so many applicants , those egg heads who have stolen the country blind, oil subsidy thieves, the one who collected thousands of dollars to catch another thief and said he only collected money and not bribes. Honestly the Devil holds you guys in deep admiration. There are some escapades he never could have dreamed of . We are planning a royal reception for them”.

“ Then there is the new fashion of religion by death , you know a few bombs here and there and our colleague is laughing. He has so much frightened you all into a stupor. When I told the Boss about your request about jumping into the ocean he snorted and said you ought to have your head examined. I did that and found nothing there”.

 He sighed and collapsed on the torn mattress. A rat scurried away from his feet and he made an attempt to kill it as a fierce meat hunger grabbed him. He was so weak from all the walking and hunger that he fell and the rat escaped snorting. A man should not be this hopeless and helpless. Even he was beginning to hold himself in contempt. The door opened and his wife came in and stood arms akimbo watching him. He stared back helpless and suddenly he broke down and wept. Helplessly and hopelessly asking her to please take the children and leave. She said nothing and left.

He closed his eyes, and he dreamt of food. He even smelt the aroma. Someone was shaking him trying to make him open his eyes and he struggled to open them. She looked at him and smiled. He blinked. Okay he must have died, he thought to himself. Devil changed his mind and gave him a room. Then the children came in and lined themselves against the wall.
“What?” You died too he asked pointing his fingers at them and he started trembling.
“Oh Lord, not them too. I am sorry”
“Yes please, just me should be enough”
“They are coming along with us and stop sniveling” a sharp voice retorted
He became conscious of his real state and the packed bags.
“We are leaving for the village, I got you a job as the headmaster of your old school. You will resume next week. You can still teach can’t you?. Remember all those fiery speeches, the applause as the students came back to thank you for showing them how to be a man. Well one of your students met me in the street and we talked about you. He did not think it was right for you to stop teaching. He said it was destiny, that is what Paul said. Remember him, the skinny one who always never had enough to eat and he would come to our living room and you will sneak him money, paid his final exam fees? Well he is a minister now , his convoy almost knocked me down . He recognized me and asked after you. You are going back to teaching and giving back dreams to young minds like him. You are not going to say no are you?”

As he packed the papers on his table, the memories came and he slowly sat back. The cackling voice had stopped and he still had hunger in his soul. The door opened and his driver asked him if it was time to go home.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ephesus: Ife

Ephesus: Ife


Hello friends. I have been away for a while..too long maybe but I have been busy. I also want to share something of what I have been doing. I would like to invite each and everyone of my followers to my new home, or should I say my second home. I have a website of my own it is http://ephesusworld.com.ng I do hope you will visit, post your own articles, poems whatever there and hopefully be part of the forum. I would love to learn from you. I am posting an excerpt of my upcoming novel and I still hope I will be able to invite writers soon to CenterStage.

Ife carried an uncanny ability to know what was going to happen and would innocently announce an impending event with a casualness that made people around her give her a second look. One day at lunch she suddenly stopped eating and stared at her father with an air of consternation. Her father had looked up and asked her what the matter was.
“That your friend Abdul is going to be caught soon. He has been stealing from the police exhibit stores and has been planning to let them think it is you but he will be caught a few nights from now by the inspector himself. Will you be on duty Papa? I have just been told.”
Her father stared and swallowed his food, washed his hands and walked to his room. Everybody stopped eating and stared at Ife. She stared back and washed her hands too going into her father’s room. She found him sitting quietly on the bed and sat next to him.
“I am sorry Papa; I did not mean to offend you.”
 Her father turned and stared at her, for long seconds. Then he sighed, “I did not tell anyone but I am going to be placed on suspension and room orderly for those missing items Ife, so how did you know?”
Ife shrugged helpless, “I don’t know how I know, they just tell me, things or sometimes I just suddenly know”.
“Like you see visions”?
"No, papa I have no idea how it happens, I just know and sometimes I argue with them but they wouldn’t tell me if I press. I just know.” Ife was now close to tears.
Her father looked at her and drew her close in an embrace comforting her.
“It is okay, might be nice if you know how to make thieves stop.” and he laughed but Ife heard the catch in his voice and looked up at him. “Don’t worry, Papa, you will even get a nice letter from this.”
He laughed now in genuine amusement. “That one was you right”? I can tell sometimes when it is you from when it is her.”
“Are there two of me Papa?”
“Definitely, I like both of you,” he added in soft voice, "Sometimes though I am scared of the other.”
When she finished her primary education there had been drama about the desirability of her going to secondary school. The women had all risen up against her that she was just a girl and was going to be somebody’s wife someday so why bother sending her to school. She had said nothing and stared at her father. He looked at the women and shrugged that he did not see any reason why she should not be allowed to go to secondary school. Then his mother came and supported the wives arguing that she was from one branch of the family house. It was the turn of the second wife to have her son educated. Her father pointed out quietly that the said son was not even ready for primary.
That did not wash with the wives and things went a bit ugly as they referred to her ‘strong head’. She asked what that meant and she was told that her strangeness did not guarantee that she would finish school. Spirit children could decide to leave at the peak of their successes so that their departure could be painful. They asked why her father had never been able to extract from her the secret pact and where she hid the symbol. Her father shook his head and gave her mother a puzzled look
“Why give her this unnecessary stress?”
Her mother stared close to tears and demanded that he should apologize as she had done everything in her power to get Ife to cooperate but each time Ife had shrugged and said she did not understand what she was talking about.
“I thought since you are close to her, you could make her talk.” Her mother finished.
Her grandmother who was smoking her pipe and had been giving Ife a very close observation suddenly spoke. She declared that she was calling in the medicine man who would decide. Ife observed that her grandmother said it with some relish in her voice. Grandma continued her close inspection of Ife giving her a disdainful look, she added that the medicine man was so powerful that no spirit child or abiku could resist him.
Ife looked at her grandmother and smiled. She said nothing. She was curious, how can a man make what does not exist happen? She wondered.
It was arranged that the man should come in on the next market day early in the morning. Ife shrugged and went to her room. Her mother hovered over her pleading and promising all types of things. Ife watched her mother and then smiled. She explained to her mother that she had no pact with anyone and was simply living as normal as she could. Her mother said she was going to vigil in the church and Ife shrugged and wished her well.
The next morning, the medicine man came and brought out his divining beads. She was asked to sit in front of him. She sat on the mat and stretched out her hand. The medicine man took one cursory look and then a shocked second look and fainted.
There was instant pandemonium. Everybody started shouting at once. Ife stared at the man irritated, why make a ceremony out of nothing. She stood up and walked away.
When the old medicine man was finally revived, he insisted on seeing Ife. Her father who had been as stunned as the rest of the family had a determined look on his face as he watched the medicine man. He asked why the man wanted to talk with Ife, the medicine man who looked as stunned as her father tried to speak, swallowed and insisted on seeing Ife. There was silence as her father watched the man then sighed before he ordered one of the younger children to go fetch Ife from her room. Ife came back wondering what she was going to be accused of now. The old man saw her and bowed very low in greeting saying he would be of assistance if ever he was needed.