WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?: As a child, that was how I expressed myself. I learnt how to interpret and transfer emotion from within myself to paper, and as I got older, I developed an interest in observing human interactions. At school, writing assignments got me the highest grades, and by the time I attended college, it had become my passion.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? I wanted to be a Journalist and cover events all over the world
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?: I've always loved mornings - the freshness and quietness of the beginning of a new day. The glistening look of everything covered in dew gave me the idea of Dew Angels. Dew Angels actually took me seven years to complete, and when I was finished I couldn't understand why I felt so sad. One day I realized that it was because the characters had become such a large part of my life that I missed them terribly.
TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER: When my children were young, my husband and I would read to them every night at bedtime. However, one summer we went to the UK for vacation, and at bedtime we realized that we'd forgotten to pack all of the children's favorite books. To appease them, I began to tell them stories relating to the myths of my country, Jamaica, using a girl called 'Lally-May' as the main character. Very soon, my husband also came to listen to the stories, and every day as we went sightseeing they would all ask me, 'What is Lally-May going to do tonight'. So 'Lally-May', the character of my first children's book, was born out of necessity on that vacation, and now has become a popular character for many young Jamaican children.
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?: Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche; Toni Morrison
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?: A Woman of Substance was one of the first novels I read when I graduated from my Nancy Drew series as a young girl. I couldn't believe that a book so big could have gripped me so much on every single page. That book began my love affair with novels.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?: I think completing my very first novel, Dew Angels, and them hearing from the very first reader just how much the book impacted her was one of the greatest accomplishments for me. Writing had always been such a personal experience, so presenting my book to the public and hearing that it really did have some validity meant the world to me.
HAVE YOU PUBLISHED ANY OTHER BOOKS?: Yes, LALLY-MAY'S FARM SUSS
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?: In Jamaica, it is very difficult to get a publisher as a first time author, so I eventually had to self-publish. However, my recommendation to authors is to write your heart out, and then get the best editor you can find to help to 'pare' your material into an effective piece. Even in self-publishing, I find that a great editor helps to direct you where you may sometimes get carried away with your own emotion by giving you objective advice and very constructive criticism.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK? Readings and readings and more readings. Talk shows, radio shows, cable shows, school readings, library readings ... I think getting out into the public as much as possible and putting a face and personality to your work begins conversation that stimulates lots of interest. People are very curious about the process of creativity, so when you present yourself as a personable character, I find that the public wants to delve a little more 'behind the scenes' and want to see exactly what you've written. They may or may not like your book, but it is still a positive thing that conversation about your work is being generated.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?: I am working on another novel which I'm hoping will not take me as long as Dew Angels took to complete. I am not quite sure yet - hopefully this time around I will be able to use a publishing house so we will see what happens
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org