My Book Tour

9 Jun

photo 2

trees on the way up the Bennachie

Dearest ayllu,

Summer is here and my first year of university in Aberdeen is over. It is warm and beautiful in Scotland, in 12 days I will turn 30 years old, and this is the “joie de vivre” music I am listening to as I write this. So if you want the full experience, turn it up and continue to read!


University has been beautiful to me but I really felt the end of it: the first morning that exams were over, I wore flamboyant clothes, make-up and earrings, caught myself in the mirror and thought: The artist is back. 

Some of my friends had a different way of celebrating.

swimming in the North Sea!

swimming in the North Sea!

By now, most of my friends have left Scotland and gone back to their countries. Of my  five flatmates, only Chinchin and I are left, so whenever we bump into each other in the corridor, we celebrate it.

Shortly before the majority of my Acrobats & Aerialists left for the summer, they surprised me with a THANK YOU bottle of champagne and card for founding our beautiful group, and a pre-birthday surprise!

photo 3


People have been asking how I feel about turning 30, and my standard reply has been, “I think it’s a great idea.” I really couldn’t be more pleased. 30 sounds like an exciting but calm age; I feel less like (to use Doris Lessing’s words) “an awkwardly put-together parcel” and more like ME – that enigma I have been trying to figure out. Reaching 30, I feel as thought I finally understand the coat I am wearing. Like I know its moth-eaten holes, which buttons are wobbly, why it sometimes seems of cigarettes and booze, and how snug it feels when I wrap it over myself and head out into the sun.

photo 3

climbing Bennachie on Saturday



As I prepare to travel down to Germany, I am of course preparing my NOVEL Qayqa for publication. Mark and I have been abusing Skype and Dropbox as we try to meet our deadlines. Last week I received an email with a beautiful attachment: the almost-finished cover. This was followed by 3 emails: “Well? Give me feedback! Hello? I need your feedback! Are you there? Tell me what you think!” So we skyped, chatted about this & that, and I almost cried because of the details he thought to include.

Photo 02-06-2014 12 57 38

yes, I document *everything*

Can you spot them? Can you see how well he knows me?

the cover for my first novel QAYQA by Mark Klawikowski

the cover for my first novel QAYQA by Mark Klawikowski

Now it’s not done yet: Damian is missing some hair… as you may have noticed! It’s only the main part of the bloody book… Hah. I wrote a book about hair. Typical.

What surprised the hell out of me is that it looks very much like the African childrens’ books I used to read when I was small in Nigeria. It has the same organic, magical, colourful feel. How amazing is it to have someone else paint a cover for a book I wrote that looks just like the books that inspired me as a child to write this very book in the first place.

The one thing we couldn’t quite decide on is: should the title QAYQA be left against a white background – or should it be surrounded by tree leaves? What do YOU think? Please write me!! I need your advice: or @rittisoncco (tweet, tweet) or or COMMENT at the end of the post!

book hangover




This. Is. It. We are finally doing this, querido ayllu!! And here is the idea I have:

We are a community. We are making Qayqa‘s publication possible through crowdfunding. I would not be here without you. If I were a musician, I’d love to sell you my cassettes out of the back of my car. But I’m not a musician. So my plan is this.

I will come to you.

Wherever you are. You can book me.

I will read for you.

All you have to do for this to happen, is this:

  1. Write me before the 21st June (if you include a small Happy Birthday! it’ll make me smile)
  2. Tell me where you are / want me to come to. I will come to your living room, local pub, favourite café, community center, etc.
  3. Tell me when would be best for you – give me a few possible dates so that we can make this work. I am available for you all of July.
  4. Tell all your friends. Organise a little party in your living room, your pub / café / community center. Get everyone to come round, have a few drinks, some snacks, and we will begin. I can perform for up to 2 hours and a half.
  5. Got any friends in the press? Let them know! Tell your community this is happening. If you need any information from me (photos, short description of Qayqa, short biography, poster, etc) let me know. The sooner the better.

If you can offer me a sofa to crash, hurray! I’d love to stay with you and spend more time chatting. If not, don’t worry.

As soon as your dates start coming in, I’ll begin planning the tour, so please don’t hesitate. If you are interested, LET ME KNOW and I’ll put you on the list. Just let me know ASAP that you want me to come to you and I’ll bend myself to make it.

You can reach me: 

  • in the comments below
  • twitter:  @rittisoncco
  • email:

As soon as I’m done planning, I’ll publish the tour dates on my blog. I’ll bring copies of Qayqa and if you were a supporter, you’ll be getting a big kiss from me as well as your support stuff!

Any questions?

photo 1

I’ll be in my hut


We’ll have us a damn good book tour!

We’ll open bottles of wine, laugh loudly and love literature, sing, dance, and hug Qayqa.

She’s finally coming out!

photo 4

All my Love to you, ayllu. I’ll post this now, bug the shit out of everyone on Facebook, and wait for your emails / messages.

As the Scots would say: I cannae wait!!! 


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