Two thriller writers, Todd Moss and Bolaji Olatunde, as well as the alternative rock musician, Bem Sar, will kick-start the 2018 Guest Writer Session series. The event holds at Aso Hall of Nanet Suites by 4pm on January 27.
Todd Moss is the author of the Ryker diplomatic thriller series for Penguin’s Putnam Books, drawing on his real-world experiences inside the U.S. Government. Dr. Moss served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Secretary Condoleezza Rice and is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC and a nonresident scholar at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He holds a PhD from the University of London and a BA from Tufts University. His latest novel is The Shadow List.
Everyone knows about the emails from a Nigerian prince or a Russian oligarch promising easy money. We laugh when it pops up in our inbox. And we wonder how anybody falls for these things. But scams are no laughing matter. They’re one of the biggest organized crime rackets in the world. They’re deadly. And State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker has fallen right into the middle of one. The disappearance of a young American banker in London sends Ryker into the heart of a corruption scandal in Nigeria, at the same time his CIA agent wife Jessica is chasing a Russian master criminal known as the Bear. Unknown to either of them, they are pulling at two ends of the same lethal thread, a staggeringly vicious enterprise of piracy, extortion, and murder. The world is messy and dangerous, Jessica warns her husband. More dangerous than you know. And Judd is about to find out.
More information at www.toddmossbooks.com.
Bolaji Olatunde, novelist and playwright,was born in Benin City where he had his primary and secondary education. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. He is a chartered accountant and an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
He ascribes his love for words and writing to his childhood days in 1980s Nigeria, when he was fed what he considers to be “a healthy dose of story books and novels, both from Nigeria and other parts of the world, books that were able to take us to realms beyond our immediate environments.” His first major creative writing foray was writing plays for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s playwriting competitions. In 2009, his play, A Requiem For Daniel Fregebo, received commendations from the judges of the BBC International Playwriting Competition 2008 Season. One other play, Sacking The Potter, was among the three plays shortlisted by the Association of Nigerian Authors Drama Prize 2016.
Olatunde’s second novel, Hang No Clothes Here, follows his debut, Straw Dogs. It is published under the Origami imprint of Parresia Publishers, Lagos. Set in 2011, it is the story of a Nigerian policeman, John Braimoh, who gets thrown, unwittingly, into a turf war between two international drug cartels, battling to maintain footholds in the Nigerian environment. The cartels are engaged in a bloody competition to dominate the Nigerian route for peddling narcotics to the European market.In the words of a South African reviewer, “this (is a) genre-blending book – part history lesson, part magic realism, part mystery, part comedy, part spy thriller. Husband, father and man of God John Braimoh feels trapped by his job on the Nigerian police force. As John is unknowingly led along the steps of his fate, haunted by past demons, he gets caught in a hot mess of espionage, corruption and drug deals that lie hidden beneath Nigeria’s political history.A lot of people have opinions on Nigeria and Nigerians, without having been there. This book gives an insider’s view.”
The novel arose out of his desire to document everyday life in Abuja, and the need to redo as well as update Nigerian police stories which were common in 1980s Nigerian novels, but which were almost all set in Lagos. The release of the novel couldn’t be timelier, coming on the heels of the #EndSARS protests around Nigeria.
Olatunde’s social media accounts are: on Twitter, @BOLMOJOLA and on Facebook, Bolaji Olatunde (Author). He lives and works in Abuja.
Bem Sar has had a diverse musical career spanning over two decades. With a wide range of influences, from Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Fred Hammond to alternative artists like John butler, Jon Gomm and Pierre Bensusan, Bem has become known for his audacious blend of alternative rock with RnB, jazz and gospel.
Bem began reaching a whole new audience performing at festivals, establishing himself as a serious music manager and lending his voice to causes bordering on social security.
His brand new EP project, “CHRONICLES OF THE IMITRAITOR”, was born out of his active efforts to address the ongoing mayhem unleashed by herdsmen invasions in various communities across Nigeria. The predominantly guitar driven tracks portray the desperate plight of Internally Displaced Persons and their various hopes and dreams.
He plans to tour to promote the record in 2018.This work marks a significant transition in his musical journey. The EP is released on his online store cdbaby.com/CD/bemsar13, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and others.
Currently, Bem Sar is the A&R Manager for Mad Dragon Entertainment, a record label operating in and out of Benue, Nigeria.
The monthly Guest Writer Session also features a raffle-draw for books, and is one of various interventions by the Abuja Writers Forum which include a creative writing workshop series, weekly critique sessions and an online literary journal, DUGWE (see www.dugwe.com).
Edith Yassin ,
Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF)