Tuesday, 2 October 2012

MAN OF THE MOMENT: Omari on his empowering new book and life at 32

THE WORD: The debut writer seeks to inspire with new novel.

Omari Edwards keeps reminding us that he’s a man of many talents, and he’s ready to reveal yet another dimension to his blessings. In mid-October, the recording artist and gospel minister will launch his first book, Why Me God? (Pageturner Publishing), a faith-based novel about overcoming hardship and smiling at the storm. TALLAWAH has a chat with the entertainer-turned-author: 

TALLAWAH: Why was it important for you to write this book? 
Omari: Writing has always been a desire for me. If you look at how I even write my songs, I tend to tell stories so that people can better pick up what I’m trying to say. But, traditionally, the book came about as an extension of my song “Help.” A lot of people ask the question, “Why me God?” but we never really stop and consider “Why not me?” A lot of times we don’t realize that things happen in our lives for a reason, either to lift us up or refocus us or to let us be more determined in going after what we want in life. 

Plot-wise, what’s the novel about? What’s the primary storyline? 
I find that as Christians we don’t really write novels; we tend to write more inspirational books. It’s a story that people can read and learn from regardless of any situation they are going through at whatever age. It’s about this young man named Steve, who has his nice job and is helping to feed the poor. But all hell breaks loose, and he never expected it because he never thought something like that would happen. And that’s how life is – bad things can happen when you least expect them to. And no matter how good you are in life, tomorrow morning you might wake up and something goes terribly wrong. 

Sounds like people will have a lot to take away from the experience of reading it. 
What I wanted to accomplish through this book is to let readers know that even in difficult times don’t give up; life goes on. Today you go over this hurdle, tomorrow you may fall over it, but put it up back and go over it again. [My book] is to inspire people and let them know that in spite of how hard life is, once you have that drive to keep pressing on, you will overcome. One step at a time. 

Apart from the Good Book, share some of your favourite reads (and authors) that have inspired you over the years? 
I’ve read a lot of books by T.D. Jakes, he’s one of my favourites. I also like Gifted Hands by Ben Carson; I think that is an excellent book. 

Switching gears, where do things stand on the music side? 
Right now, I’m writing for my new album and I’m really focussed on that. Also getting ready to shoot a couple more videos. So music is really the driving force and getting it out there is my mission, because that’s how people will really get to know me and know my heart and what I represent so that I can branch off into other ventures. 

At age 32, what are your thoughts on where you are personally and professionally? 
To be honest, I’m very grateful for where I am at right now. I try not to fuss or complain about where I think I should have been. I am just grateful to be doing what I am doing. And I give God thanks for that.

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