It's a celebration! A worldwide celebration of books and reading, designated as such by UNESCO.
But more than that, World Book day—marked in over 100 countries all over the world—is a celebration of authors - the men and women who inspire, educate, and often, entertain us.
One of the main highlights of this celebration, aside from book offerings from publishers for distribution to schools, is the sharing of a story. It, therefore, is no surprise that the principal hashtag for this event is #ShareAStory
AuthorSuite Blog now shares titbits of conversations with Augustine Sam
I think I first considered myself a writer when my first play for radio was aired on my local radio station. I was in high school at the time and my two sisters and I used to sit by the radio every Thursday evening to listen to the radio plays. One day, I told them I would convert one of my stories into a play and sell it to the radio station. Mercifully, they didn’t dismiss it as an untenable dream. They actually encouraged me to do it.
Back then, while other kids my age kept diaries, I kept piles of notebooks where I wrote short stories mainly for the pleasure of my two sisters who, by the way, were my first real fans. I eventually converted one of my short crime stories into a play and took it to the radio station. The producer of the radio theater, who was used to receiving scripts from Theater Arts students and lecturers from the local university, tried her best to be polite, took the script from me and sent me home.
One week later, I went back to see her, half-expecting to be politely dismissed. I was surprised when she said she had read and enjoyed the script and said I should have left a phone number or a forwarding address. The next Thursday evening, when I sat by the radio and heard the words: “Radio Theater presents The Turning Point, a play for radio written by Augustine Sam,” I was thrilled. I think that’s when I began to consider myself a writer.
On what motivated the story of his debut novel
Interestingly, it was conceived originally as a single chapter in another novel I was working on at the time and it was meant to create a minor distraction for the protagonists based on events of a date night. But for some reason I couldn't write it, the more I thought about it the more the story expanded, slowly detaching itself from the original plot until it became clear to me that the story of my protagonist, Paige Lyman, deserved more than a chapter. As every writer knows, when a story is ready to be told, there's nothing an author can do to stop it. So, I put the other novel on hold and focused instead on the plot development that later became Take Back the Memory.
On what inspired his mystery/thriller novel
Actually, The Conspiracy of Silence was motivated by a play I wrote for the radio many years ago. It was a 30-minute play about a musician accused of a murder he did not commit. His sister, as it turned out, was the only person who knew he was innocent though the evidence pointed to his culpability, and her desperation to save him became the core of the play. When it was aired, I felt that it was too short to convey the kind of emotion that should naturally accompany a tense plot such as that, so I decided to turn it into a novel and added all the powerful ingredients that I couldn’t put in the radio play.
On what book for him was the easiest to write or the hardest or the most fun
My poetry collection, Flashes of Emotion, was perhaps the easiest to write because of the genre. In my creative mind, poetry comes before prose, so working on that collection was like a homecoming for me. While that was the easiest, Black Gold was the hardest to create because I actually set out to write a short novel out of a rather complex plot and it was difficult to tell the story in its entirety without short-changing the reader. The most fun, without a doubt, was Take Back the Memory, because, funny enough, at every turn there was a woman reading over my shoulders, trying to determine if part of her soul was being stolen for literary narration.