When I began writing in 2008, the message was clear; let the information, the stories, the characters be the public faces of Oho Ake Books, you (that’s me) stay behind the curtain and dish up the material, spin the narrative and just enjoy the unfolding wonder. Yeah, that worked well…
In the years preceding the advent of me creating the team around me that became integral to the publishing company, I adhered to that philosophy. I was anonymous, in more ways than being just the guy behind the curtain. When I told people of the premise behind the publishing company they thought that it was original, interesting and occasionally it was labelled genius. I must be ahead of my time by a thousand years then, because the concept has not caught on, I generated no traction, sold no books and no one knew that I: a) owned a publishing company b) had a team of up to five people working for me at one time c) wrote novels, short stories, and poetry and as a consequence, the hungry chasm that devours my money in vivacious determination continued to do so while moths flew out of my wallet whenever I opened it.
About two years ago someone close to me asked me if I was ready to walk away from it all. At the drop of a hat. ‘You’ve given it a good shot. Hasn’t worked out. Time to move on. No?’ It took me all of about two blinks of my eyelids to say, ”NOT DONE YET!’ This friend then proceeded to explain to me that being ‘anonymous’ wasn’t helping. He made a hilarious joke about one of the authors, Pablo Wairua after reading All Roads Lead to Parihaka. ‘Whose Pablo Wairua? Oh, some guy created him. Who? Don‘t know…he’s ANONYMOUS.’ Take a bow.
So I decided to part the curtain and present myself to the world in late 2019. Here I am throwing myself in realms once beyond my comfort zone, using social media for the business, Facebook, instagram (I feel like a millennial but with poor fashion sense) youtube, and the website. Blogging, baring my experiences, my life, my soul for all to read, (a youtube channel coming for all to watch and listen to me wax lyrical about me being me). It’s a scary process for me to put myself out there in the world like this, but you know what? The more I do it, the less menacing for me it becomes. I write what I love to read, and I love what I’ve written. All of it. I’m unashamedly beaming with delight at the quality of the work I’ve done. This is what makes my heart sing and I’m belting out Ode to Joy whenever I sit at my terminal and tune into the authors that write through me.
I was born to do this. Nothing makes me happier than being in the flow of creativity. Head above the parapet, ‘Hi. Yeah, it’s me, I did all this… I’m the creative force behind Oho Ake Books and I’m no longer hiding in the shadows.’ Bout time right Tabaash?