Lola Opatayo

Creative Writing Resources, News and Tips.

Book Tour: Lawrence Amaeshi’s Sweet Crude Odyssey

Book Reading

It’s a cool Thursday morning, and what better day to host Lawrence Amaeshi as he talks about his expository novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey?

As I said in the announcement, the book exposes the inner workings of the illegal bunkering going on in the Niger Delta, and leaves you wondering about two things: how did the author know so much about the business and how does the Niger Delta, and in fact, the country rid itself of this chaos?

Before we go further, let me share an excerpt from the book:

B&N Sweet_Crude_Odyssey_Cover2

I felt uneasy. I couldn’t shake the thought that someone was watching me. Someone was.
The man staring at me was European, probably British from his stiffness. He wore a long sleeve shirt rolled up at the cuffs with corduroy pants. The smile on his face said he knew something he wasn’t willing to share.
He wasn’t alone. There were two women with him, clad in tight-fitting clothes – miniskirts and transparent blouses. Their table was heavy with drinks and food, but he was more interested in me.
The bar’s clientele was split between indigenous and expatriate oil workers, all in search of a good time. It was a melting pot for lovers of local music, drinks, aquatic delicacies, and assorted meat sourced from the thick mangrove swamp. Women of the night hung in the shadows along the drive-in.
It was way past midnight and guests had begun to leave alone or with company.
The clock hit 2:00 a.m. Daisy, my companion, had already retired to the hotel room, and I reluctantly rounded up for the night as well. Nocturnal insects hovered round the incandescent light bulbs and mosquitoes converged in the darkness under my table. They would have to find another victim tonight. I was done.
Then the white gentleman sat down at my table, opposite me. His cologne was a heavy, flowery fragrance with a touch of cider.
“Hi’ya, mate?” His cockney accent was thick.
I was not in the mood for small talk; I was plastered from downing two bottles of Hennessy. I looked on at the deep orange glow of my cigarette as I inhaled, aware that the bar almost empty, and brushed off a beetle that had fallen on my shirt.
“The name’s Steve,” said the Brit. “I couldn’t help but notice you. Can I bum one off you? I’m out.” He helped himself to a cigarette from my packet, lit up, and took a deep drag. “Been watching you.” He let the smoke out of his mouth as he spoke. “Judging from the way you guzzled those bottles, I can tell you need a life coach.”
He glanced around the bar, his distaste visible. “Continue down this path, my friend, and you’ll burn out fast. This is the land of not enough – near misses, misery, and strange bed fellows, ain’t it?” He jerked his head at the prowlers in the shadows. “Only so much your body can take. Would be a waste of the wonderful life you’ve never had the chance to enjoy. The one I know you’ve dreamt off everyday, Bruce.”
My head jerked up in reflex. How did he know my name?
“I can make you rich. Richer than you’ve ever imagined.”
I was dead sure I had never met this stalker before – drunk or sober. Was my situation so dismal everybody could see it? “Mister, did I ask for your help? Mind your business.”
Steve didn’t flinch. “You are my business.”


You’ve just met Bruce,  the protagonist of the novel who gets embroiled in the dangerous world of illegal bunkering. Now, meet General Jojo in this audio recording:


The book intrigues you with vivid imagery,  efficient language and plot twists. I could hardly set it down until I was done with it.


Authors photoThe author, Lawrence Amaeshi writes prose fiction and non-fiction. His first novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey, was published under the Prestige label of Kachifo Ltd. His book has been featured on Vanguard, Kirkus, Clarion, Creative Writing News, Reader’s View amongst other renowned literary review critics. He is rounding off a long-distance learning novel-writing course in Stanford University. He lives in Lagos with his wife and kids. He is working on his second novel.

The amazing Sweet Crude Odyssey by Lawrence Amaeshi is now available on Barnes&Noble, Amazon and Okadabooks.
A review of the novel was recently published in the Arts and Culture section of the Vanguard Newspaper.

Now’s the time to welcome the author,  I hope you’re ready with your questions!



30 thoughts on “Book Tour: Lawrence Amaeshi’s Sweet Crude Odyssey

  • Welcome Lawrence!

    Again, let me say that I admire your work and salute your courage to write such an audacious book.

    What I’d first like to ask is, what made you decide to publish the book, this time in your name? I read somewhere that you’d initially published it under a pseudonym.

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    1. Good afternoon, sorry for the delayed response. Good question. I republished in my name when I felt the climate was more receptive to my suggestions. It is a topic hat evokes all sorts in people….and there are times when such narratives do not digest properly.

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  • I am already captivated by the excerpt of your novel and my curiosity is piqued too.
    I have the impression that your novel exposes some deep issues in the Nigeria political scene. Have you at one time been in politics? Or was this story all conceived in you brilliant mind?
    Kindly share with us how this novel , about. Thanks.

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    1. I can’t put a finger on that for the simple reason that I enjoyed the focus and absorption it introduced. Researching and writing weren’t a problem for my established lifestyle. I actually think the hardest part of the whole process began after I’d finished. Publishing and marketing in a country where people are more passionate about films, gossip….. It can be discouraging if you don’t have a genuine love for this thing.

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  • I don’t know if someone has asked you this already, but I feel the need to ask what inspired writing this novel? Was it personal in any way and what reaction did you hope to get from your readers? Are you getting it?
    I know I’ve asked a lot of questions but please bear with me! 😁

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    1. I appreciate your questions. I write because I love creating stories in my mind. I chose this topic because it kept staring at me. Nothing personal in the sense the f being active in the plot. I just had a compulsion…sort of a gut feeling to do this.

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  • This is a question I was hoping to ask you during the tweet meet but I didn’t get the chance to.
    I’m curious about your inclusion of faith in the outcome of Bruce’s life. What did you hope to achieve with this? Is faith perhaps the only thing that can change a person like Bruce?

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    1. Lola, you hit the nail on the head. I’d like to give you a task if you don’t mind. I dedicated the book to someone. That holds the answer to your question. Do you mind checking that.. Lol

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  • Nice read i must commend Lawrence. Most new writers encounters writers block at the wee stage of putting down their stories. Few tips on how to overcome this Lawrence?

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    1. You are very correct . The muse isn’t always present. But there are places, events, people….that trigger it. Every writer must know what sets his juices rolling. For me I get the best inspiration when in having a hot shower or taking a walk under the hot sun. Sounds crazy…. but it does for me.

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  • I absolutely love your attention to detail. This is something most writers miss out on. There are times I may be writing a piece and another story idea would spring up. In an excited bid to get onto the next story, I sometimes feel rushed to get the current one over with and move to this new story idea. Has this ever happened to you? If it has, how did you overcome this rush and concentrate on the one at hand while still working on the new story idea?

    Also, how are you able to pen down apt physical descriptions and habitual gestures of your characters?

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    1. Wonderful questions. I see writing as a form of painting. You start with some strokes of the brush and keep coming back to paint on fresh layers, thoughts , ideas. Yes when a new string crops up, you yank out your note book and scribble the structure. I see the book unfolding in scenes. Like a movie. So I keep going over fleshing it up until I can’t do more. Sure one of those revisits is strictly for the detailed effects. I look out for those things real people do when they interact: scratch the chin, sniff, yawn, burp, fart… I take time to inject them in to give the scene a full body.
      It’s cumbersome, but the final delivery has me ch more depth.

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    1. Lola, its the reaction I see when I slap my book down on front of a business partner, colleague, friend, acquaintance…… and the person says… “you wrote a book?”
      Lol. And when I’m leaving the meeting, i see him peeping at me in bewilderment.
      Double LOL

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  • And finally…

    You already alluded to this but I want to ask what your impression of the Nigerian publishing industry is and what steps you think can be taken to improve the industry.

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    1. For free I will say this. The future is in the money trail. Until the Authors have a grip on the revenue, they will always be at the mercy of the pirates and hacks. I attended a couple of ANA meetings and I can boldly say… there is a lot to be done.
      Lola I have my thoughts. Studying with a good crop of budding writers in the US, but these are personal thoughts.
      I appreciate what you and Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam and some rising talents are doing. I hope more people will tow this line.

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      1. I agree, there’s a lot to be done. Thank you so much for your kind words and I wish you the very best with Sweet Crude Odyssey and look forward to reading that sequel, I have not forgotten! 😊

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