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A Nigerian in UK, Babs Odugbesan, scripts success story

Leading theatrical agent approaches Babs Odugbesan 11th October 2010: A Nigerian in the UK has scripted a success story. Working as an IT consultant with IBM, the 35-year-old penned a book in his spare time; and soon became an award-winning author.
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But the story does not end here. Babs Odugbesan has been approached by a leading theatrical agent to turn his horror story Give Me Yesterday – released earlier this month – into a stage play.

The married dad-of-two is "hopeful" that the deal – believed to be worth up to £10,000 – will go ahead.

Babs said the deal would mean he could follow his dream and write professionally.

He said: ”Though negotiations are still in the early stages, it all seems highly encouraging.

”I can’t go into too much detail, but the agent feels my novel could work well on stage, which as a writer is thrilling to hear.”

`Give Me Yesterday’ is Bab’s second novel. It centres on a family cursed to re-live the same lethal destiny down through the generations, escalating into an epic battle between good and evil for their souls.

The 226 page book, written over a two-year period from 2008, is quickly winning the hearts of readers and critics alike.

It was spotted by the theatrical agent after Babs, who published the book himself, mailed a preview copy to him "on the off-chance".

Both parties are at tight-lipped about the deal, but if an agreement is reached Babs could see the curtain rise on a theatrical adaptation by late 2011.

Babs, whose first novel The Lost Sheep with a Poetic Mind won first place in the 2007 Good Grace competition, says the "charged,demon-filled" plot only came to him as he wrote the chapters.

"I usually don’t know what the next plot will entail, neither do I plan for it," he said. "I write chapter by chapter, not needing to jump. I’m quite lucky when it comes to that.
"Inspiration seems to come to me in the right place,at the right time. I started writing Give Me Yesterday in 2008, wrote the last chapter in 2009 and after that went through many late-night revisions up until publication."

Babs, originally from Nigeria, says his new work is a "significant departure" from what he has written before. He added: "Give Me Yesterday is quite different to Lost Sheep which had one main character and an inner voice expressing most of the facts through poems.

"That was a meditative title but this is an all-out action-packed horror with a varied cast of characters and gripping storyline. Think The Omen or The Exorcist."

The author – who has also penned two books of "unconventional" poetry, Miracles At An Angle, and Stolen God, under the pen name Godwill B.King – says that his writing is guided by his firm Christian beliefs.

He said: "Religion does not inspire me; God inspires me. There is a big difference. I believe my gifts are from God and there’s nothing better than using it for His purposes.

"Experiences in life, deep thinking, wisdom, mysteries and so on don’t have to be wasted. They’ll all account for something depending how you want to use them, positively, negatively or not at all.

"All my novels and poems share a Christian undercurrent and show that those who are able to draw inspiration from the Holy Spirit can move forward with their lives, regardless of the conflicts around and within them."

Babs says he has put off starting his next novel to concentrate on devising a draft script for the potential play version of Give Me Yesterday.

"I’m investing all my time into making it a big success," he said. "It would be great to see it set on the stage. I’m a big fan of the theatre and the novel has so many twists and moments of suspense that I think it will keep bums on seats if given the green light."

Give Me Yesterday is out now, priced £8.99.

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