Monday, November 26, 2012


Today on Novels On The Run I have a Q & A with Blood To Blood's author , Ife Oshun. My review of Blood to Blood


Michelle:  What 10 words describe Ife the author?

Ife:  Imaginative, eclectic, tenacious, perfectionist, creative, funny, dark, visual, unconventional, good lord I can’t think of another word, and honestly this feels so describing myself like this so maybe I’ll just throw in “unassuming.”

Michelle:  Have you ever people watched and found yourself a character for your books or an idea for a character?

Ife:  A lot of the ideas for characters come from real people in my life (sorry beloved friends and family, but yes that was about you). I know a lot of over the-top personalities, but it’s the subtler, every-day personalities that inform the nuances of a character. Usually several people I know or have encountered will give me ideas for one character. When it comes to character building I enjoy embedding the bizarre, or unexpected, within the ordinary because in my world this reflects life. For example, I know folks who practice what some may call witchcraft, and I know folks who talk on an ongoing basis with folks who have left this plane of existence, but to me that’s not what makes them fascinating. What makes them interesting is that despite these abilities which many find unusual, they have gender identification issues, waste hard-earned money on lottery tickets, or they are suspicious of libraries. I cannot make this stuff up.

Michelle:  What was the last YA book you read that really changed you and why?

Ife:  “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing.” Without giving too much away, it’s a creepy, distressing, brilliant fictitious take on history, American history in particular; fiction which utilizes historical facts and therefore is even more disturbing because of it. It crawls into your mind and establishes permanent residence there, echoing years later within the recess of the subconscious. It challenges the young reader to embrace the language of another era and incorporates a number of genres.

Michelle:  Which 4 people/characters alive or dead would you like to have dinner with and why? They can be from any book/movie or any walk of life.

Ife: 1. The prophet Ezekiel. The book of the Bible that bears his name is still one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever read and I would love to hear first-hand his description of the wheels with eyes, and other things he saw come down from the sky.

2. Jesus Christ – I know everybody says that, but I’d really like to chat with him about the women in his life, his ideas surrounding love and romance, who he may have had a crush on, and finally his thoughts on why humans would deny that part of his human existence in order to push religious dogma.

3. Barack Obama’s mother – What did it take to be a woman of that calibre at that time? What did it take to raise a man who is already historic figure?

4. Harriet Tubman – She has been my hero and my torment for years. Torment in the sense that I have tried to tell her story, in mediums ranging from paintings to rap lyrics to a picture book, for decades and it always comes up short. I am not worthy to translate her experiences. She had to be an angel because the things she accomplished were beyond the scope of human endurance.

Michelle:  What song describes Angel’s character the best?

Because life is an amalgamation of experience, there is never a single one of anything that can best describe a character, and, in my mind at least, this is especially true when it comes to how music informs writing. But there are three songs that accurately sum up Angelika Brown’s personality and her circumstance. These three songs are part of the playlist I rocked endlessly while writing Blood To Blood. There may be two or twelve more songs that I’m forgetting but these three pop into my head immediately. They are “Help I’m Alive” by Metric; “Fly” by Nicki Minaj; and the uber-dramatic “Butterflies and Hurricanes” by Muse. Please google the lyrics.

I like to ask the music question as I always put up the lyric vids if they are made:)

You may have to click on the vid and it will take you to youtube to watch it

You may have to click on the vid to watch it in youtube

Michelle:  I think if you are a writer it would be safe to assume you have been to book signings. Which author was the last book signing you went to and what was one memorable thing that happened there?

Ife:  Ha! I chuckle just thinking of it. A few weeks ago at the Boston Book Festival, Daniel Handler not only signed his books for my son, he also signed my paperback proof copy of Blood To Blood. He opened it to the title page where he crossed out my name, filled in his and wrote “My finest work.” You can see it right there. He is a wonderful guy, so funny and humble in a unique way. It was an honor to meet him.

Michelle:  I had a look to see if you had a book trailer. I love your book cover. How important do you think book trailers are for the Indie author? 

Ife:  The book cover was designed by Char Adlesperger, who has an amazing visual eye. Honestly, I’m truly conflicted when it comes to book trailers. I have a background in television and have worked at several studios (Paramount, MGM, FOX and Tyler Perry), so when I look at a trailer, any trailer, I want attention-grabbing stuff, a story at the very least, that makes you want to experience the product as soon as possible. So I’m a hard sell and probably not that best person to ask about this. A lot of the book trailers out now are simply slideshows created in iMovie or some other pedestrian editing software. Yawn City. They have amazing potential as a marketing tool, but collectively the literary world hasn’t figured out how to make them stand out. In this information-packed culture, where a hundred things vie for your online attention at any given time, we haven’t figured out how to make book trailers worth the few seconds it takes to view them. That being said, authors, especially independent authors and publishers should utilize the technology to the max, and as with anything, work with professionals who understand the art of creating trailers. It takes a lot of work, and people, to create a successful movie trailer, and I think that if the notion of trailer can be turned on its head, scaled down and adapted for the medium, it will work for book promotion.

For me personally, I would like to have one made eventually, but it would have to be interesting, and contribute something to the overall process before I would put it out into the world. It may be too late for Blood To Blood, but perhaps a trailer may be created for the sequel. I know there will be a trailer for the first book of a series based on one of the book’s characters, Justin McCarthy, because I can see it clearly in my mind.

Michelle:  I have previously in another interview you have done, read what inspired this book, Blood To Blood. In part being the death of Aaliyah, the singer. In a non blurb format, if you had a bunch of readers in front of you, who had the choice of your book to buy off the shelf or another vampire book, could you give me a new paragraph spiel that you would tell this group of readers to sell your book to them?

Ife:  I suck at selling books. I can write them well enough I suppose, but I am no salesperson and will be better off hiring people who can do the job effectively. So there is nothing I can say that will sell my book to you. However, I’d like to thank all the folks who have downloaded Blood To Blood so far, and sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed being the conduit for it. I hope that you will take the time to tell me and the world what you thought of the book. The book chronicles the coming-of-age of a girl, a simple girl who wants to share the music in her heart with the world and who is born to a legacy of blood and glory. It was inspired by real events.

Thank you Ife for your time J

Thanks Michelle for taking the time to speak with me! And thanks to the readers for… reading! Kisses. J


Author Website:

Official Pre-release Press Release (PRWeb)



Goodreads Author page:

Book Addict


  1. Great picks and explanations on who you'd like to have dinner with!
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I love that you know such interesting people! No wonder they inspire you!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction


We love hearing from you, your comments mean a lot to us.