Chimezie Ihekuna’s Sixth Installment of the Success Story

Please feel welcome to read the five previous installments of The Success Story here, here, here.  here.

And most recently, here. 

Chimezie Ihekuna

The Building: Creative Publishing Press 

It is a large three-storey building that has the banner, covering most the frontage of the middle floor, when looked at, from an exterior view, the multi-coloured banner that reads: Creative Publishing Press…a literary forte where writers become authors. The office of the publishing manager is at the third floor. The symbol representing stacks of book by an individual writing on a table, is also depicted in the banner.

The first floor is the Production Department. This is where they are various machines designed to make ready formatted and edited manuscripts print-ready and publication-worthy—for marketing and distribution. They are ten to fifteen workers operating the heavy-duty and electricity-powered machines. The second floor has in it the various offices. There is the Legal Department office; where there are two employed intellectual property lawyers that draft fair contracts which would serve as the basis for business between authors—those whose works have been accepted for publication—and the publishing company.

There is the Editorial Department Office. This is where the various editing sections take place. Editors, five to ten in number, have the responsibility of touching the manuscripts such as grammar corrections, revision, content addition or subtraction at the three-stage processes, known as editing passes. The Media and Publicity Office has trained media professionals and publicists, whose tasks are to provide quality interviews for published authors, publish them in various major dailies and the much-needed publicity to get their names heard throughout Perth and beyond.

The largest part of the second floor is occupied by the Bookstore Department Office. This is where books of published authors are showcased and available for readers to purchase directly from the company at discounted prices. There is the store manager and attendant. All of the offices are spacious enough and have in-built in them well-designed synthetic ventilators. The last floor is exclusively for the founder and publishing manager. It is called Office of The Publisher. It is the most spacious office in the building. Any visitor would have to stay at the Secretary’s Corner pending when the publisher is ready to attend to that person. The office of the Publisher has a mini-library where all books of published authors solely by the company are showcased.

Barrister Frank and Greg climb through the staircases to the last floor. They see a well-seated young lady, dressed in corporate female suit, with a complementing pair of blackhill shoes, and trouser and,about twenty-three years of age. Fat but cute-looking, her warm smile ushers the beginning of the conversation.

Secretary (stands up from her seat): Make yourself comfortable.

She shows them the two long black seats where they could seat. Barrister Frank is showing a bit of tiredness climbing as a result of climbing through the staircases. He quickly sits on the one to the corner’s left. Greg has to sit beside him for courtesy sake.

Secretary (observes his tiredness): Sir, I see you’re tired. You’re panting. Make yourself comfortable and relax

Barrister Frank is moved by her beautiful alto voice.

Barrister Frank (looks lustfully at her): Exactly! But your voice is giving life to my ageing body and bones

Secretary smiles. Greg takes a second look at Barrister Frank

Secretary: Thanks

She hits the nail on the head

Secretary: How may I help you?

Greg and Barrister Frank are confused as to who would speak. They stare at each other for few seconds. Greg takes the lead.

Greg (takes out the envelope from his pocket): We are here to sign a book publishing contract.

Secretary: What book publishing contract?

Greg: My work, The Success Story was accepted for publication. This is the evidence

Greg hands over the envelope to the secretary. Barrister Frank is watching. She reads it…

Secretary (understands): Yes, I get it.

Greg: Good

Secretary: Before I meet my boss, I would like to ask if you came with your lawyer

Greg (confident as he points his fingers at the barrister): I came with a lawyer. He is my lawyer

Secretary (smiles in admiration): You’re very funny man! So you are the lawyer he came with, right?

Barrister Frank (smiles seductively): Yes

Secretary: Let me tell my boss you’re around. Have your envelope young man.

She stretches her hand to give Greg his envelope and works in her boss’ office to inform her. Barrister Frank is looking through her posture as she walks into the office. It takes her about forty five seconds. The secretary indicates her boss is ready. The office is open.

Secretary: You guys can go

Greg stands, first. Barrister Frank follows. They both work into the office expressly.

She takes an upright standing position to acknowledge their presence and offers them seats.

Publisher: Make yourselves comfortable

Greg takes his sit first. Barrister Frank does same, some five seconds later.

Publisher (introduces): Welcome to Creative Publishing Press; a literary forte where writers become authors

Barrister Frank (observes the entire office in admiration): Indeed, it is

Publisher (keeps an eye on Greg): I am Ms Amanda Brooks, founder and publishing manager of Creative Publishing Press. I was told you came for a contract.

Greg (replies hastily): Yes

Publisher: Any evidence to show for your claim?

Greg: Yes

Publisher: I guess you have it, don’t you?

Barrister Frank is a getting a bit infuriated. But he controls it by keeping a pseudo-smiling face. Greg brings out from his pocket the envelope and drops it on the very-spacious glassy table.

Publisher: Can I have a look at it?

Greg (hands it to her): Sure

The publisher opens it. Takes out the letter to read…

Publisher: Oh! This is one of our major contracts! We have always looked forward to getting started with you! But who is Greg between you two?

Barrister Frank is quick to point his finger at him

Barrister Frank: He’s the one

Publisher: Good to know… Let me check the files in my locker.

She goes on to her office locker and sees the created-but-yet-to-be-completed-file of Greg

Publisher: I just wanted to confirm. From what the file reads, the mail was dispatched to you about three to four days ago

Greg (thinks): Yes

Publisher: Okay. Here is the contract for your perusal.

She hands it to Greg but needed someone who would act as his legal witness

Publisher: Do you have a lawyer?

Greg: I came with one

Publisher (apologizes): So, he’s the lawyer you came with. I’m so sorry, sir. I thought you were his uncle or something

Barrister Frank accepts her apology but still concealing his grief over her attitude towards him

Barrister Frank: I’m not taking any offence at all! I am Barrister Frank!

Publisher: Thanks! Please, sir, take a good look at the ten page contract. I am ready to answer any questions. Please to meet you, anyway.

Greg gently presents it to him as he peruses it, page by page, reading between the lines. The publisher is moving around the office in anticipation of questions to be asked. Barrister Frank, completely satisfied with the contract terms, having taken an hour to study it, gives a green light—approves of Greg’s signature. Greg is happy but patiently waiting when the contract papers would be served to him to sign.

Barrister Frank (comments as he views the page by page): It’s a very fair contract. What’s interesting is the advanced payment. There’re others too, though. Before he signs, he’d be paid a sum of 5,000 Talars, right?

Publisher (delighted): Yes

Barrister: Hmmm…Very good. And an additional 15,000 Talars after the contract has been signed

Publisher: Sure!

Barrister Frank: Very good. Another interesting part is that the author will be issued hundred free copies. And should he be interested in ordering for more, he could do so at a sixty-percent discount. The contract stipulates. ‘The money gotten via sales of purchased copies belongs to the author’, the contract also stipulates.

Publisher: Exactly

Barrister Frank: I see. The duration of the contract is for five years; after which he may decide to renew his contract or seek another publisher

Publisher: Yes

Barrister Frank: Good. You have the right to first refusal of his subsequent works.

Publisher: True. But based on what we have extrapolated of this present work, that is, The Success Story, it will be more likely we’ll be working with him on his subsequent book works.

Barrister Frank (asks Greg): Do you have other works?

Greg: I do. In fact, I have written nine others

Barrister Frank (exclaims): Wow! You’re indeed a serious writer!

Greg: Thank you.

Barrister Frank (continues): I am satisfied with the contract and as I mentioned, it’s a very fair one. Since the book will be published three months after it’s being signed, as stated in the contract, I’d say:‘Greg, go ahead and sign on it’.

He presents the contract papers to Greg. Greg signs his signature at the bottom of the last page. The publisher uses her phone to take a snapshot of Greg penning down his signature with Barrister Frank taking a look. They are not aware that there is a photo of them has been taken.

Publisher (returns to her seat): Now, everything is set. Hand over the contract to me

Greg hands it over to her. She sees Greg’s signature at the bottom of the last page and places the 10-page contract paper on the table.

Publisher: We’ll begin with the 5,000 Talars payment. Do you have a functional bank account?

Greg: I do.

Publisher: Write down your name, bank and account number on any of file papers on the table

Greg: Okay

Greg gets a plane A4 white sheet. He puts down his account details while Barrister Frank looks on. The publisher is operating her advanced super highway personal system to transfer money into Greg’s account.

Greg (gently pushes the paper to her): There it is.

Publisher (reads it for confirmation): Your account name is Greg Smith

Greg: Yes

Publisher: Your account number is 0009877665

Greg: Yes

Publisher: Your bank name is The P and G bank

Greg: Yea

Publisher: Good. I want to confirm your account so that I could wire both the 5,000 Talars and 15,000Talars separately.

Greg (terrific): Okay

Barrister Frank ‘’thumbs-up’’ Greg. She is concentrating on working on the transfer of the money electronically into Greg’s account. It takes her five minutes to get done with the transaction. Greg gets double alert messages on his phone.

Greg (picks his phone from his pocket): Oh! Two messages… Let me see

Greg reads the message…He voices out his reaction in excitement. Barrister Frank knows what had just happened but holds on in silence. The publisher is smiles and winks at Greg

Greg (heightens his voice as he suddenly lifts himself up): Yes!!! At Last, this is what it is…The Success Story!!!

Barrister Frank (warns but feels happy for him): You’re in a office. Learn to keep your cool! Congratulation Greg. You’ve made us proud!

Publisher: Barrister Frank, he’s a young man leaving his dream. Let his exuberance explain all….

Barrister Frank: Yes…But just wanted to…

Publisher (interrupts): Never mind. It’s one of those things and it’s all tolerated here. We are building a strong network of relationship that should exist among us, our authors and readers. Greg is our youngest signing since the establishment of this company three years ago

Barrister Frank (feeling proud): Wow! That’s great! We have the best and youngest author in town…Greg Smith!

Publisher: You can say that again!

Barrister seeks to call his friend, Mr Smith, to inform him what had just happened.

Barrister Frank (seeks for permission): Publisher Amanda, I want to make a call. Could you please excuse me a minute?

Publisher: Sure. But you can do that in the rest room. And if you don’t mind and not offended, that’s where the rest room is

Her hand points adjacent to where she is sited.

Barrister Frank: Fine by me.

He mutters to Greg as he leaves his sitting position, ‘I want to call your dad.’The publisher is not concerned about it at all.

Publisher: Do you have your passport photographs with you and are you ready for the interview?

Greg: Yes, I have them with me and yes, I am ready for the interview

Publisher: You know…It has to be…

Barrister Frank checks out of the rest room and returns to his seat.

Barrister Frank (appreciates): I really want to thank you for allowing me the convenience to make that call.

Publisher (indifferent): You’re welcome

Barrister Franks senses he has interrupted an on-going discussion.

Barrister Frank: I hope my sudden checking out from the rest room to taking my seat in this office didn’t disrupt any conversation here…

Publisher reaction tells it all but decides not to express it in words.

Publisher: Not really. It’s just that I was discussing with Greg if he has ready with him his passport photographs with him and if he’s ready for the interview.

Barrister Frank (asks again): Are you ready, Greg?

Greg: Yes I am

Publisher (continues): Greg, you see, make yourself as brief as possible and to the point. We’ll be sending the interviews to all major print media houses in Perth and other places. This would be handles by the media and publicity department. Remember, the shorter, the better. Good luck!

The publisher up the stand-by landline to call the secretary.

Phone Mode

Publisher[Are you busy?]

Secretary [Not at the moment. Just gathering up files]

Publisher [leave that and come see me at now at my office]

Secretary [Okay madam]

The Secretary rushes in the office. Barrister Frank is lustfully looking at her as she stands just behind them. Greg is looking at the super highway device in excitement. The publisher is not bothered by Barrister Frank’s stare of lust. The secretary’s attention is staring directly at the publisher.

Secretary: You sent for me, ma

Publisher: Yes. Please, take these gentlemen to the Media and Publicity Office.  They know what to do.

Secretary: Okay ma.

The Secretary waits for the duo of Barrister Frank and Greg to get up and follow her. They follow her out of the office. The publisher calls the attention of Greg. Barrister Frank, and the Secretary are out of the office but have to wait because of him.

Publisher: Greg, one more thing…

Greg (stops and listens): Okay…what’s it?

Publisher (answers at he was about closing the office’s door): Submit your passport there. They are the one to handle it. When you’re done, wait for your interviewer to call the secretary. The secretary will then call me. This what we term as ‘confirmation’. Then you can take your leave! We will sending updates regarding the status of your work all through to when your work has been published. We’ll mail a signed copy of the contract to your mailing address before the day ebbs away.Good luck!

Greg: Thank You.

Greg gently close the door of the office and is moving behind the secretary who is taking the lead and Barrister Frank following next. Barrister Frank takes out his business card from his wallet and shakes the right hand of the secretary as they mounted the staircase, leading to the second floor. The secretary sees what’s in it and keeps it in her back pocket.

Barrister Frank (quietly asks her name): What’s your name, my dear?

Secretary (quietly answers): I’m Pamela Jong.

Barrister: Nice to meet you

Greg is eavesdropping their discussions but he is concentrated on getting the best out of the interview. The secretary takes them to the office. The white door reads at the upper part: Media and Publicity Office. She knocks at the door while Greg and Barrister Frank are behind to her left and right respectively. The door opens. It’s a young, slim girl in her mid-twenties, dresses in a white T-shirt and blue jean trouser with a matching white Sneaker Shoe. 

Young girl: How’re you doing, our secretary?

Secretary: I’m doing quite well!

Young girl: What is about to get down this time? Any new author?

The Young girl looks at the faces of Barrister Frank and Greg.

Secretary: Yes, there is an author in the person of Greg. Madam has directed him to you.

Young girl (asks for clarification): I know. But who’s the author

Secretary: He’s name is Greg. The author to my left. The writer of The Success Story

Young girl: Oh that great inspirational write-up. So, he’s the author. Let me take a good look at him.

The secretary ‘’absence’’ herself to her to have a good look at Greg.

Young girl (comments): Such a young chap! Good to have the first author being signed! Congratulations Greg!

Greg: Thanks.

The young girl is finding it difficult to ask who the next person, Barrister Frank, is. The Secretary is quick to understand the situation. She helps her out

Secretary: The other guy to the right is Barrister Frank. Greg came with him to ascertain the legality of the contract.

Young girl (takes a casual look at the barrister): I see. Hope it all went well

Secretary: Of course. Let’s don’t waste so much time. Do you job and let them go. I have to go to my corner and attend to other things. Bye for now

The secretary leaves their presence. She does not know the young girl is the only one on seat. The Young girl fails to tell her.

Young girl: Alright! Gentlemen, come in

Barrister Frank and Greg move into the office. They see various super highway personal systems on tables and desks, all multi-coloured. The walls are pasted with various excerpts of published interviews in major dailies of well-known published authors. She assumes her position and offers them seats.

Young girl: Make yourselves comfortable

Greg and Barrister Frank take their seats, the smaller versions of what are in the boss’ office.

Greg (takes his seat first the right): Thank you

Barrister (takes his seat as well): Thanks

Young girl (continues): First and foremost, welcome to the Media and Publicity department! As you know, this is where interviews of authors are done before their books are out there in the market for purchase and general literary consumption. We, the Media and publicity officers, work together to ensure that a good demand for our authors’ books are being met. However, they’re not on seat for now. They will be here in the next two hours. Though we weren’t told you’ll be coming around today, but I am that punctual because I have come to the understanding that punctuality is the soul of every business. Now, I have the opportunity to attend to you…Butbefore I continue, let me introduce myself. I am Daniella Hoyle.

Barrister Frank: I am Barrister Frank

Young girl: Nice to meet you

Barrister Frank: You’re welcome

Greg: I’m Greg Smith

Young girl: Great! Nice meeting you!

Greg: You are welcome

Young girl (continues): Let’s go into the business of the day. By the way, congratulations, Greg, over the acceptance of your work, The Success Story’

Greg: Thanks

Young girl: Greg, I want to believe you know why you’re here, right?

Greg: yes.

Young girl: First, let me have your passport photos.

Greg: Ok

Greg deeps his hand into his back-pocket to surrenders it to her. Barrister Frank is a spectator; just looking. She receives the photographs, checks them, looks at his face and nods her head. Daniella Hoyle, the young girl, keeps them on the table. She takes out from her locker the questionnaire and a recording machine.

Daniella Hoyle: What I have with me is a questionnaire and a recording machine, which, by now, you ought to be familiar with. This is where your author interview questions stems from.

Greg: I agree. I am ready for them.

Daniella Hoyle: Alright. Let’s get started. Please switch off all your phone sets

Greg is ready. Barrister Frank is paying rapt attention. Both men have their phones switched off. Daniella Hoyle reads from the questionnaire and enters ‘Record’ on the machine. She is sitting on the table reading question after question, what’s written on it.

Daniella Hoyle: Tell us your background

Greg:  I go by the names Greg Smith. I was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Smith and am the first child in a family of three; two boys and a girl. Born and bred in Perth, I had my elementary, high school and briefly, my tertiary education here at Perth

Daniella Hoyle: How long have you been writing?

Greg: I have been writing from the get-go of things. My passion for writing was manifested in my early years at senior high school. But because of what was trending at the time, which, of course, was engineering, I joined the bandwagon of those who traded what they really wanted for what was trending. Happy I found my way back, after all said than done!Writing is my calling and I have come to answer it!

Daniella Hoyle: How many works have you done so far?

Greg: Ten. One of which is being worked on for publication

Daniella Hoyle: What’s it?

Greg: The Success Story

Daniella Hoyle: Wow! Before this work was accepted, there have been several rejections? How do you handled them?

Greg: When I started, I knew rejections can’t be avoided. I realized that the literary world is so subjective that what would pass for a well-written work may be rejected and what may be described as a poorly written piece may be accepted. It’s just a matter of luck. However, the more one is rejected, in my opinion, the more he or she should strive to make his or her writing style better. That’s how to become a better author.

Daniella Hoyle: What’s the inspiration behind your written works?

Greg:  First, Discouragement. Let me explain. I was very excellent in high school and did prolifically well at the University of Perth. As a matter of fact, I had three first class grade points in Mechanical Engineering at the prestigious University of Perth. However, I realized, like I mentioned, that I have only been a product of following what’s trending, not leaving up my dreams. To cut the long story short (you can find the rest of my story in my book The Success Story when it’s out), I had to call quits with school to begin with writing three years ago. I faced a lot of discouragements, resulting from multiple rejections by publishers and agencies in and out of Perth. However, the more their discouragement came in the form rejections, the more are horned by writing skills. It was all a matter of perceptions. I’d say discouragement was all a part of The Success Story

Second, my family. Nothing can be farther from the old saying: ‘’nothing stays longer than family’’. When I thought I was all alone in this (then new venture), my family, that is, my mom, dad, my kid brother,  and most important, Jane, my one and only sister, stood by me all through the three-year toiling period. No wonder when the saying ‘Behind a successful man, there is a woman’ is correct. She’s just an amazing woman but a strong one at that. In all, my family was indeed my inspiration. The encouragement and support they gave me are clearly priceless

Third, the university authority. I’m happy I went to the best university in the world. The University of Perth! My HOD, college president and vice chancellor have been supportive to me and have been the backbone of the success I am today. Without a doubt, I’m grateful to them for their support.

And before I forget, my very good friend, Harp. Whenever I see him, I realize he’s what they call ‘a friend doing the needful is a friend indeed’. He’s a great colleague and an inspiration to me

Daniella (smiles): Greg, how do you handle the Writer’s Block syndrome?

I told myself first that writer’s block can’t be avoided. When there is no ‘’leading’’ or inspiration to write on paper, I ensure I take a break. Whenever it comes, I start. That’s the way I handle the Writer’s Block Syndrome.

Daniella Hoyle: Can you give us a summary of what The Success Story is about?

Greg: Yes. The Success Story paints the picture of how people perceive success and how has it influenced their lives. It explains how people misplace their priorities because of the ‘incompleteness’ of their success philosophy and consequently subjugated by lack of fulfilment but put up their pseudo ‘all-is-fine-with –my-career’’ outlook ( for those who, by notion, are said to be making it—-salary increase, incentives, free travels and other gains from what the jobs they are occupied with). Yet, they are not fulfilled. The 105-page book depict how success is measured at several levels and each level, being tantamount to one making sacrifices—time, energy and money—-to attain the feat. It gives a true-life story of a young man who realizes his calling but was carried away by what was fashionable. Situations, however, makes him re-think of his state of not being present with fulfilment in his chosen endeavour. He decides to turn back to his calling after spending years, ‘’excelling’’ at what as fashionable. Who’s story? Find out

Daniella Hoyle (reacts): Hmmm…I will find out when the book comes out. When will it be out?

Greg: In about three months

Daniella Hoyle: Finally, Greg, what’s your advice for writers aspiring to be authors?

Greg: Be focused, determined, consistence, patient, give room for mistakes and learn from them, accept the fact that rejections must come. Never give up. The sky will not only be your limit, but your very starting point of success.

Daniella Hoyle: It’s a pleasure having you

Greg: You’re welcome!

Daniella Hoyle Un-Enters the Record button. Everything is set. Barrister Frank claps his hands.

Barrister Frank: Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Straight to the point, rich content and easy-to-relate with words. Great work, Greg!

Greg (feeling on top of the world): Hmmm…Thanks

Daniella Hoyle: Happy to have you, on our train! Greg is success-personified!

Barrister Frank: You can say that again!

Daniella Hoyle: Let me call the secretary we’re done. She would call the boss. Then, upon confirmation, you guys may take your leave. That’s the way it works here in this company

Barrister Frank: Go ahead

Greg: Alright.

Daniella Hoyle puts a call to the Secretary

Phone Mode

Daniella Hoyle [Tell the boss we’re done. I have the interview questions and answers all recorded]

Secretary [I will call. Just hang on]

Daniella Hoyle waits for fifteen seconds as the Secretary puts a call to the boss. The response comes

Secretary [She told me that they can go but you will have to bring the recorded machine for listening at her office]

Daniella Hoyle [okay]

She hangs the phone and addresses Greg and Barrister Frank

Daniella: You may take your leave. Mission accomplished. I have to see my boss with this recoding machine. Greg, I have your passport photos with me. So, you have no problem! Have a great day and welcome on board!

Daniella Hoyle steps out of her seat. They follow suit. She leads them out of the office.

Daniella Hoyle: I’m marching straight to her office. Have a great day, guys! Greg, welcome on board, once again!

She heads to the office, leaving the reach of Greg and Barrister Frank. They are facing the office’s door.

Barrister Frank: You’re now a big boy, Greg!

Greg: Really?

Barrister Frank: The money being wired to you says it all!

Greg: It’s not all about the money. It’s about that which gives you fulfilment.

Barrister Frank: If you think it’s not about the money, transfer them to me

Greg (laughs): Not so fast, sir!

Barrister Frank: Smart young man!

Barrister Frank tells Greg his decision

Barrister Frank: I don’t be going with you now.

Greg: Why?

Barrister Frank: The secretary

Greg: The Secretary? What do you mean?

Barrister Frank: I really want to date her!

Greg (in utter shock and disbelief): You want to date someone you barely know…

Barrister Frank: That’s how it starts…

Greg: You’re married!

Barrister Frank: In time, you’ll understand. Let me give you your share of the money.

He takes a thousand Talars out of his wallet and gives Greg.

Barrister Frank: You can now go now…Your dad is aware of what has happened! Greet him for me but don’t tell him what’s just happened. You’re now a man and should be opened to manly things

Greg (receives the money): Okay. I will keep a sealed lips on this one. Thanks for your efforts. I really do appreciate it!

Barrister Frank: You can go now. I’ll be around this vicinity. Never mind…Will get that girl

Greg (shakes his head): Okay. Let me take my leave. No wonder you looked at her lustfully the first time you set your eyes on her

Barrister Frank:  YES!!! See you!

Greg quickly leaves the building in twenty seconds, boards a taxi to his place.

The mail, containing the signed copy of the contract, is being dispatched to Greg’s mailing address to be delivered in the next few hours. Work begins for the media and publicity office. The audio and written interview questions and answers are being prepared to get it all around the major newspapers and magazines in Perth.

{5 months on]

The interview, ‘’Time Out with Greg’’ has its publications in all the ten major newspapers and ten magazines in Perth. The publicity is spreading like an inferno. Greg is fast becoming a household name, not only throughout Perth and Berth but in other cities.

All small, medium and large-scale bookstores and book dealers have copies of The Success Story on their shelves. It has various showcases at various writing conferences, book festivals and inspiration-based talk seminars. The Perth Central Library has at least a thousand copies of it stocked in its shelf. It is in high demand by all High schools in Perth and Berth.