Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Nothing Comes Close" named among Africa Book Club 2012 Books of the Year!

"Nothing Comes Close" makes the list of Africa Book Club 2012 Books of the Year! Woo-hoo! I'm in really good company!

It's amazing to think my book has been featured on a list of best books of 2012. The list was compiled by the editors and reviewers of the Africa Book Club.

Daniel Musiitwa, the managing editor, said "Our 2012 list includes the top picks from our team of reviewers, that is, books they read and recommended as deserving to be on the list. We also scoured the continent (and, of course, the Internet) to find books about Africa or by African authors that generated the most buzz, received literary awards, or made the bestseller lists."

Nothing Comes Close was featured in the fiction category, alongside other exciting books such as: The Spider King’s Daughter (by Chibundu Onuzo), Daughters Who Walk This Path (by Yejide Kilanko), On Black Sisters Street (by Chika Unigwe) and No Time Like the Present (by Nadine Gordimer).

According to the reviewer, Dianah Ninsiima, "Nothing Comes Close" makes for a refreshing read – certainly a departure from other African stories that mostly center on the continent’s instabilities."

You can read the full list here:

(You really don't need further convincing, so here's the link to buy the book ~ Nothing Comes Close: Paperback: Amazon UK) Thanks!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

AdeOla (Jostwrite) reviews "Nothing Comes Close"

Hello everyone! Hope you've had a great time at Christmas and you're looking forward to a wonderful 2013. Isn't is remarkable how quickly 2012 seemed to fly past?

I'm pleased to say that Nothing Comes Close got another great review from the wonderful AdeOla of Jostwrite! She had been one of my beta-readers with earlier drafts and her feedback was very helpful. I'm pleased that she enjoyed reading the final version of the story.

"When drama stalks the man you love, it is important to evaluate what you want...him or a drama-less life. Beautiful, sassy and independent Lola had to make that decision about her relationship with handsome and mysterious Wole in Tolulope Popoola's debut novel, Nothing Comes Close. For a romance novel, the twist and suspense embedded in the pages made it all the more delightful." ~ AdeOla

Read the rest of the review HERE and leave a comment!

(As if you need further convincing, but here's the link to buy the book ~ Nothing Comes Close: Paperback: Amazon UK) Thanks!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review and Interview with.... Mary Okeke

Hi folks! I'm glad to have received another great review and interview by the lovely Mary of Mary Okeke Reviews:

Read her review of "Nothing Comes Close" here:
"Tolulope's way of writing is simple, straightforward, engaging and, hence, it's an uncomplicated read. The description of the characters are so genuine that I felt connected to them. Besides, this novel is not just about a simple love story per se, it is a story full of intrigue that evolves in an enjoyable manner, and kept me on the edge of my seat."

And read my interview here:

Thanks a lot Mary!

Please stop by to read and comment.

(Do you need any more convincing? No? Click here to buy a copy of the book~ Nothing Comes Close: Paperback: Amazon UK)

Book Review and Interview with.... Bookshy

Hi folks! It's almost the end of 2012 and I'm having a good week :)

The lovely blogger, Bookshy wrote a great review of "Nothing Comes Close:

"Nothing Comes Close was a very enjoyable debut novel, made even better with its relatable characters and unpredictability. Just like some movies, where you have to stay until after the credits, if you think you're done reading Nothing Comes Close, there's more." ~ Bookshy

And she also interviewed me for her "Meet..." series here:

Thanks Bookshy!

Do stop by to read and comment (and buy a copy of the book too! Nothing Comes Close: Paperback: Amazon UK)

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Got Recognised by Women in Publishing!

Last week, I got an email, informing me that Accomplish Press (and me, Tolulope Popoola) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Women in Publishing New Venture award! I was so excited, because a friend nominated me, but I didn't even take it seriously. So imagine my surprise when I was invited to the awards ceremony!

The award ceremony was held on the 12th of December 2012 at the Women’s University Club in Mayfair, a beautiful and cosy venue with a lot of history, heritage, and lovely art collection. I almost didn't make it because I couldn't arrange childcare at the last minute, but when I called the organiser, she said she didn't mind if I came with my little one. So off I went to the ceremony, baby in tow. It was great though, everyone welcomed her and she got on well with all the guests. One of the speakers, who is also a member of the Women in Publishing Committee suggested I should come and give a talk at their next meeting. The topic? How to Balance Children and Careers! Lovely stuff.

After the speeches, the award announcements were made. First for the Pandora Award, which recognises a “woman who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the publishing industry” and this year the runner up was Sam Missingham, The Bookseller’s head of marketing and events and the co-founder of Futurebook. The winner was Marjorie Scardino, the CEO of Pearson, who has been in the role for fifteen years.

Then it was time for the New Venture Award! This award aims to recognise “a woman who has done pioneering work on behalf of under-represented groups in society”. Claire Pimm, the co-ordinator of the event and a committee member for Women in Publishing, said they were really impressed by the quality of candidates for the award this year, so they included a “Special Recommendation” category to recognise a third woman. And the awards went to:

Special Commendation: Rivkie Baum, founder and publisher of SLiNK magazine, featuring plus size models

New Venture Awards Runner Up: Tolulope Popoola, founder of Accomplish Press (yay!)

New Venture Awards Winner: Caroline Taylor, founder and editor for 91 Magazine

I'm delighted to be recognised by such a great organisation of inspiring and creative women, and I'm really grateful for the honour. When my name was called, I had to go up to give a speech and collect my award certificate. I was a bit nervous but I managed to get through it with a smile.

(Here's a photo of the New Venture Award recipients courtesy of Maia Walczak)

It’s such a lovely recognition and a great way to round up my first year since I ventured into publishing. Here's to even more achievements, and more exciting things to come in 2013!

Other Links to the Awards news:

The Bookseller: 

Publishing Scotland:

Beatties Book Blog:

Book Launch: Update and Photos

So it was the 1st of December 2012, and the date for the launch party for "Nothing Comes Close". I was excited cos I'd planned most of the details myself and I was looking forward to it, hoping everything would go well. I prayed for good weather (very important in London), and I was hoping there wouldn't be major issues with transport or parking for my guests. I was also nervous because I had to read an excerpt of the book and I've never done a public reading before!

The venue was the Vortex Jazz Club, a nice cosy space with great, helpful staff. They kindly set up the space, the projector so that we could show the book trailer and manned the bar so we could have drinks :)

After waiting a bit for the venue to fill up, we started the event by showing the book trailer:

And then it was time for me to do a reading:

Afterwards, I was interviewed by the lovely Abidemi Sanusi (so excited she came to my book launch!)

Next there was a Q&A session with the audience. Lots of people asked thoughtful questions about my choice of genre, if I intend to write a sequel, if I would like my stories translated onto the big screen, etc. There were also questions about the publishing side of things, and if I intend to take on other writers as time goes on. Then my dad (yes, he came from Nigeria to attend my book launch!) totally hijacked the rest of the session and chatted for ages about how I got my writing skills from him because he studied English at university, how he's been friends with me since day one, why I should work faster on my next book, etc etc.

Moving on, there was a book presentation, and then it was time for book signing and refreshments!

Mini-book cupcakes anyone?

The cupcakes were so cute! Very tasty too, all courtesy of Deluxury Cupcakes

Then we had the the raffle giveaway! Some of the gifts and prizes included two special goody bags, jewelled scented soaps, umbrellas, handmade chocolates, wine and Amazon gift cards. Congratulations to the guests who won something!

Signing copies :)

 Posing with my very good friend, Sefa.

 A very special someone wanted his own copy signed too :)

(Blogger is taking ages to upload the photos, there are more on my Facebook  page)

I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who pitched in to help with the event, to the guests and friends who came, the venue staff, everyone who sent me congratulatory messages, and to you all who have been a big part of my writing journey since way back in 2008! I really appreciate your kindness and your support.

Two other lovely bloggers have posted their summaries of my book launch. Drop by to read their views and say hello:

Bookshy: An African Book Lover - Book Launch
Fairy God Sister - Nothing Comes Close

That's how it went! Thank God for everything :)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Adura Ojo reviews "Nothing Comes Close"

Hello everyone,

It's a few days after the book launch and I'm exhausted, but happy! I'm really grateful to all the folks that came out to support me on a freezing Saturday afternoon. The event went very well and I had a great time. I'll put up the photos and a full break-down of the programme in a few days.

For now, I'm pleased to say that Nothing Comes Close got a great review from the wonderful Adura Ojo! I'm glad she enjoyed reading the story and I hope to learn from the few weaknesses she pointed out:

"No woman likes nasty surprises in a relationship, particularly when it is her heart on the line. So it is plausible that the reader feels the jolt of every twist and turn in the journey of these two lovers as they learn to put their trust in no one else but each other." ~ Adura Ojo

Read the rest of the review HERE and leave a comment!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Launch for "Nothing Comes Close"

Hey friends, for those of you who live in London, you're invited to my book launch!

I would love to meet you :)

Book Launch Party
Nothing Comes Close, a novel by Tolulope Popoola
Date: 1st December 2012
Venue: Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
Time: 2pm – 6pm (prompt)

Meet the author, win a goody bag, have drinks and nibbles, enter our giveaway competition, have your book copies signed, have fun!
For more information about the book, please visit
For information about the venue, please visit
If you live in the UK and would like an invitation card in the post, please RSVP with your address to
PS: If you can’t make it to the event, you can still purchase the ebook or paperback online from many retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyles, Book Depository and many more!
Find the event on 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Review of "Nothing Comes Close" by Africa Book Club

As a writer, it's great when your work gets reviewed and the reader got a good experience from reading it :)

Nothing Comes Close was recently reviewed by Dianah Ninsiima for Africa Book Club.

Read her comments here: Review: Nothing Comes Close (by Tolulope Popoola)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Flash Fiction: The Accident

Image credit:
I remember leaving my body ten minutes after the impact. Before then, it was a blur of tyres screeching, horns blaring, a loud scream, a dog barking and an awful thud. I fell off the bonnet of the car, and landed on the stony tarmac. Then I heard voices, and footsteps of people running towards me.

“Call 999!” I heard someone shout.

For the few minutes I was suspended between life and death, I recalled my mother’s warnings. Always look carefully before crossing the road, she said. I thought about her then. How would she react to the news of my accident? I imagined her crying, and I felt sorry for causing her trouble.

An ambulance arrived with a wail of sirens. My head hurt. My back hurt. My left foot throbbed. A light was shone into my eyes.

“I’ll check for a pulse,” a man said.

Somebody touched me. I heard sounds that I couldn’t comprehend. Then I suddenly felt cold. Slowly, I started to rise above the scene of the crash.

“Will she make it?” A voice floated to me, as if from far away. 

I thought of my father and baby brother, Paul, barely two years old. He wouldn’t understand any of it. I hoped someone would tell him that I’d gone to heaven. 

I visited that spot later. People had left cards and flowers. I wished I could thank them. But what I wanted most was to say goodbye to my family.

(c) Tolulope Popoola

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review: The Officer's Bride by Lara Daniels

Review - The Officer’s Bride

I recently read Lara Daniel’s soon-to-be-published novella, “The Officer’s Bride”. Having read two of her previous books and many of her series and short stories, I knew what to expect: a heartfelt and moving story with characters I could empathise with. And I wasn’t disappointed. 

This time, Lara introduced me to the world of Nafisah and Eddy, a world of military oppression, coups and violence. I was reminded of a dark and scary time in recent history where it seemed there was no freedom, no hope and no good in the world anymore. But this was also a world where sacrifices had to be made for the sake of the greater good, and ultimately, goodness and love triumph over hate and evil. 

The story revolves around two characters who are brought together by an act of fate. Colonel Edward (Eddy) is a top aide to the ruling dictator in the country, a paranoid, evil army General whose callous acts have brought the country into turmoil and darkness. Nafisah is a victim, directly affected by the acts perpetuated by men who have the power to do as they please. Her world is turned upside down, and she could have easily been lost forever, had Eddy not stepped in to literally save her life.

Eddy’s character surprised me. He works for an evil boss, carrying out swift and sometimes bloody assignments. But deep down, he remains a man with a conscience. When he meets Nafisah, she noticed that he was the only man that still had kindness in his eyes, compared to all the soldiers around him. And for five years, he took care of her, feeding and educating her and Nafisah blossomed under his care.

But Eddy’s most important mission demands he stakes everything - his loyalty, his job, his love and his very life on accomplishing a dangerous task. At this point, Nafisah has come to regard him as more than a rescuer and protector and she fervently hopes that she doesn’t lose the only person that has stood by her and protected her.

There were many moments in the book where I had to pause to absorb the tension that Lara built into the book flawlessly. I desperately wanted Eddy to succeed in his mission and come back to fulfil his promises to Nafisah. And I also wanted him to rid the country of the evil dictator and restore some sense of peace and morality. I must commend Lara on her ability to write much more than just a love story. Her writing is simple, and uncluttered, vivid and beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Officer’s Bride, and even though it is short, the characters and imagery will resonate in my mind for a very long time.

Rating: 4 out of 5

To find out more, visit
Follow Lara Daniels on Twitter -

(c) Tolulope Popoola

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Punch Newspaper Feature

I was featured in the Literary section of the Punch Newspaper recently!

Click here to read the article on the Punch Newspaper website.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Nothing Comes Close" E-Book and Trailer

Hi friends!

At last, we're almost there :)

I've been working on finalising all the details for the release of "Nothing Comes Close". Honestly, it has been an amazing journey, and a huge learning experience. It's also taught me something about patience, cos I was thinking the book was good to go in July. But then I had to wait for more and more rounds of editing, typesetting, and all sorts of other things :)

Well, at least now the ebook is ready to download! To buy the ebook, you can visit any of the following links:
Amazon Kindle US
Amazon Kindle UK
Amazon Europe (Germany,  FranceItalySpain)
Apple iStore
Sony Reader store
WH Smith
Nook (Coming Soon)
Smashwords (Other formats)

Many thanks to those who pre-ordered the ebook! You're now entitled to a 30% discount on the ebook from Smashwords! Your discount coupon will be emailed to you shortly.

I'm hoping the paperback will be ready in a few weeks, so stay tuned for more updates here and on Facebook. Thanks so much for all your support, I couldn't have done it without you guys!

In the meantime, enjoy the book trailer:

Book Trailer

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ebook Review: Boosting Your Confidence by Aloted Omoba

Boosting Your Confidence by Aloted Omoba

I was delighted to receive a copy of Aloted’s new ebook on “Boosting Your Confidence”. It’s a short ebook of only twenty pages, but it is packed with great tips and techniques for women who want to give their confidence a boost.

Whether you’re a mum who works from home or outside, these tips will help you claim your inner confident self, and put your best foot forward. 

Some of these tips are ideas that I’ve come across before, but Aloted managed to put them together in such a way that makes sense and it finally ‘clicks’ in my head. The fifteen steps flow logically, and they are easy to follow and adapt into everyday life.

Reading the book, it was very clear to me that the topic is something the author is very passionate about, and she  made it interesting by giving an example of her own personal experience and her journey to regain her confidence after taking time off work to care for her new baby.

I’ve read the book twice, and I will certainly be reading it again and again, and putting the tips into practice. I believe there’s always room for improvement and change, and I recommend this book to everyone who wants to improve some aspect of their life.

You can get a copy of the ebook from here:

Aloted Omoba, a pseudonym, lives in Essex, United Kingdom with her husband and daughter. She is a freelance writer and the initiator of the Super Working Mum website where she writes practical tips for the working mum who desires to succeed both at home and at work.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Feature - Finding My Right Path

Recently I was asked by the editor of African Daydreams to do a feature article on my journey to becoming a writer.

I enjoyed doing this feature because it helped me to reflect on the past few years and how far I've come with my decision to change careers and become a writer.

You can read the whole feature here: Inspire: Beyond Daydreams

I really hope that I can inspire even one person to go out there and follow their dreams.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Pre-order my novel "Nothing Comes Close"!

Hey folks!

A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes (like several rounds of editing and rewriting) and now my novel "Nothing Comes Close" will soon be published!

If you're interested in getting the book, my publisher is offering a pre-order incentive, so register your interest today. Here's the link:

Hurry, so you don't miss out! I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive of my journey thus far, and I really hope you enjoy reading the novel when it's released!

Thank you!

FLASH FICTION: Best Laid Plans - By: Tolulope Popoola

Another flash fiction piece on Radical Chic:

FLASH FICTION: Best Laid Plans - By: Tolulope Popoola

Read and comment!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Article - Working From Home

My recent article published in ReConnect Africa Magazine:

For many people the thought of working from home is a very attractive one. Especially if you have no choice but an over-priced, horrible ride on your commute to work in overcrowded trains, or if you have to leave home three hours early to beat the traffic just to be at work on time, or brave treacherous weather conditions daily or an unreliable bus network that gets you home late almost every day.
You might just be tempted to quit the journey and work from your living room.

Click here to continue reading...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On Life: (Female) Family Politics

I'm a big fan of Asa and I love both her albums. I've listened to both albums over and over again. She's such a great lyricist and all the words in her song make sense. She talks about life as she sees it - whether it is relationships, culture, family problems, politics, war and so on.

One of my favourite songs on her second album (Beautiful Imperfection) is Bimpe. I love the simplicity of the music and the beats, but above all, the song tells a story. It is the story of an unnamed  character, and Bimpe is her boyfriend (or husband)'s younger sister. But they do not get on at all. The narrator accuses Bimpe of overstepping her boundaries, of disrespect, saying bad things about her and of sticking her nose into her private affairs.

Now in Yoruba culture, a wife is supposed to respect all her husband's family members, even if they are younger than her. Perhaps this Bimpe takes advantage of that culture and is rude and disrespectful of her brother's wife because she knows that the wife cannot openly confront her. So in the song, the narrator is trying to send Bimpe a warning to back off and stop disturbing her relationship with her brother.

I tried to imagine myself in that situation.Thankfully, I have a great relationship with my hubby's sisters who are lovely people. But we hear so many horror stories of wife and in-law battles, or the political games that both sides try to play to keep the peace even if they don't get on well. I have friends who are happily married, apart from the fact that they don't like members of their husband's family. And I have friends who don't particularly like the lady that their brother is dating or married to. 

It also seems to be a woman thing, for some reason. I don't hear of wives having battles with their father-in-law or brother-in-law. It's usually the husband's female relatives that are hostile to his wife. I wonder why. Are we females so selfish and possessive that we feel we have to protect our "territory"? Do we see the new woman in a son or brother's life as a threat to our own position? Is there no room in a man's life for other women apart from his immediate family? Questions, questions.....

Anyway, back to Asa's song about Bimpe. Someone needs to tell her to chill and back off - that's what the narrator is saying. It almost sounds like "Your brother loves me, deal with it." I love the way the narrator even calls Bimpe out on some of her own issues - Bimpe is unmarried but she has a child out of wedlock. Bimpe has no manners, but she is looking for a husband to marry. Bimpe, fix your issues and stop minding other people's business!

My other favourite song on the album is "Ore", that's another very interesting story. We'll save that for another day....

Did I tell you I looooooooooooove Asa? Here's a photo of me posing like Asa. The photographer knew I was a huge fan, so he handed me the guitar to pose with. I wish I could actually play though!
(c) Tolulope Popoola

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Short Story - Divine Intervention

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kunle and I were in love. He was seventeen, and I was fifteen, and he made me happy like no other person had before him. Not my mother who nagged me, and watched me like a hawk, and made me do all the chores around the house. Not like my father, the abusive man I had given up on; whose presence was worse than his absence. While I tiptoed around my parents, with Kunle I could be free to be myself.

Kunle lived with his parents and sisters three houses away from ours on Adebajo Street. Their house was the biggest and best looking one on the street, prettied up with rows of neat flowers and hedges lining their garden. I lived with my parents in a small two-bedroom flat behind Chief Adeleke’s house. My mother was the cook and the nanny to the Adeleke family’s young children. They allowed us to live in their compound so that my mother would not have to travel back and forth.

Being Kunle’s girlfriend made all the other girls in the neighbourhood jealous. I heard of this from my best friend, Shade, who lived next door. She told me that some of the other girls felt I was beneath Kunle and that he could do better. To tell the truth, I couldn’t believe my luck either. Kunle could have had his pick of any of the other girls, but he chose to be with me. This made me suspicious of his advances at first. But he won me over. With his handsome smile, his love letters and his little gifts of jewellery and expensive sweets.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choosing My Book Cover

In the past few weeks, I have been working with my publisher, marketing director and graphics designer to come up with a great book cover for my upcoming novel "Nothing Comes Close."

The designer produced two great covers, and I was delighted with his work. The problem is, I can't choose which one I prefer! So I asked a few friends for their opinions and the votes were pretty much split down the middle.

More confused than ever, I asked my friends on my Facebook Page, and again, the votes were pretty much even.

So I thought, maybe I should ask my blog friends - what do you think? Some of you may have followed the series, read the excerpt or even received the free giveaway copies of the book. Which cover do you prefer, and why?

I would really appreciate your response!

1) Sunset Couple
2) Painting Couple

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Book Excerpt (1) - Nothing Comes Close

An excerpt from the forthcoming novel "Nothing Comes Close". This story is a spin-off from the popular online series "In My Dreams It Was Simpler". 

Synopsis: Sassy, confident career girl, Lola meets cool, handsome, unpredictable hunk, Wole. He pushes all the right buttons for her, and sparks fly. Wole is also irresistibly drawn to Lola, and before long, they get together in a delightful romance. But Wole is not all that he seems, and he is holding back a lot of secrets.
Things start to unravel when Wole’s past starts to catch up with him and Lola has to decide if Wole is worth the trouble that threatens to overwhelm her. Will their relationship survive the trials of a murder investigation, a meddling relative and a trip across the world? Or will they give up and go their separate ways? Find out in this fantastic new book!


‘Slam dunk!’
‘Great shot!’
I retrieved the ball and bounced passed it to my team mate Kenechukwu. We were playing basketball with some of the other guys in the gym. I was drenched with sweat but feeling absolutely great. I had just recovered from a grim bout of flu and it felt great to be alive and fit again. I ran down the length of the court and threw the ball straight up into the other team’s net again.
‘Someone is on fire today,’ Mark grinned as he retrieved the ball. He was playing for the opposing team.
‘For sure!’ I called back.

We played for another ten minutes before the whistle went and our booked slot was over. I tossed the ball towards Kenechukwu and we started going towards the showers, clapping the guys on the back, muttering ‘good game guys, see you next week…
Mark joined us a few moments later.
‘Well done Wole,’ he said. ‘Did you overdose on some high energy drink?’
‘Naa,’ I said. ‘Just full of beans today.’
‘So I see,’ Kenechukwu said. ‘What have you got planned for the rest of today?’
‘I’m going to see my girlfriend in Kent this evening.’ Mark said
‘Not much. I was thinking of catching up on some work.’ I said. ‘I slacked last week because of the flu.’
‘Keep the work till later, man. Since you’re buzzing with energy today, you can be my right-hand man.’
‘What are you up to?’
‘I’ve got an album launch and a birthday party. Plenty of opportunities to meet chicks.’
‘I’m not looking to meet anyone.’ I said. ‘But I don’t mind having some fun this weekend. I can do my extra work during the week.’
‘Great. Sorry you can’t come with us Mark.’
‘I’ll survive without you today. You’re becoming a bad influence on me anyway, Kene.’ Mark said.
‘Me? I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Kene replied, raising one eyebrow.
‘Don’t worry Mark. I’ll do my best to keep him in check.’ I said.
‘Good luck with that.’ Kene said, and we all laughed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012