I spent part of Saturday 15th December 2018 at the Best of Books Bookstore as part of their in-store display of local authors. Yes, we were right there to greet and hopefully entice readers doing their Christmas shopping.And yeah, we did some of that but we also caught up, talked movies, talked comics, talked comic book films – so you know it got spirited #booknerds We’re our own special brand of misfit cool – so don’t come for us.Do come for our books though. There is still time between now and Christmas. And since books – unlike bread – don’t go stale, there’ll be there after Christmas too.
So, let me tell you about these books real quick. Starting with the books (the pictured books) by the authors who were present.
Like Kimolisa Mings (far left in each of the posted pictures) most recent Into the Black Widow’s Web, and earlier releases If the Shoe Fits and She wanted a Love Poem. Into the Black Widow’s Web is a Caribbean mystery beginning with the death of Audra Kellman and featuring private investigator D’Angelo Marshall walking the razor’s edge of the law and getting caught up in a web of secrets, and a case that could change his life forever. Similarly If the Shoe Fits is a mystery from the perspective of Cindy Ellington who wakes up in the middle of a gruesome crime scene with no memory of the night before, and is now on the run and uncertain if she is the killer. She wanted a Love Poem is a poetry collection. You can read my review of it here on the blog. I’ll add this. In addition to being a talented and prolific writer, Kim is savvy – she self-publishes, and has attention grabbing titles and covers, runs workshops on and assists others with self-publishing, and is quite internet savvy (building and running sites like Bus Stop Antigua and others). She did a guest post about ebook publishing which is her primary lane a while ago; you can check that out here. Kim has a few books – A Friend in Need, I do…NOT, If the Shoe Fits, and Into the Black Widow’s Web – in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda
Then there’s Brenda Lee Browne (middle in the top two pictures) with her book London Rocks (her other book Just Write, a photo/lit journal isn’t pictured but I’ll mention it because she mentioned that there’s a new smaller version of the original book now available). London Rocks though is her first book of fiction and it tells the story of Dante a young Black man of West Indian descent finding his way in London, finding his way through music. So Dante gives you a window to the dub music/sound boy scene in late 70s/early 80s England and to the realities of being a Black body in a largely white world. When Brenda, mother of one, is not writing, she’s working behind the scenes of professional cricket both in the Caribbean and across the way in India; she’s also been a journalist and a creative writing/communications instructor and text writer. Both London Rocks and Just Write are in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda
Michelle Toussaint (middle, bottom picture) has a book called Now Taking a Lover which is a collection of poems chronicling a woman’s journey from spurned lover, to finding love. She is a secondary school science teacher (trained in forensic science and science education), wife, and mother of three. She also maintains two blogs, Death by Expectations and What the Hell is Real.
Finally, there is me, Joanne C. Hillhouse (far right in each of the pictures). In one picture I’m holding Musical Youth and on the table you can see Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.
In addition to being an author, I provide writing and writing related services, and I blog here (at Wadadli Pen, the online platform for the programme I started in Antigua and Barbuda to nurture and showcase the literary arts) and at jhohadli. Musical Youth was first runner-up for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature in 2014. It follows the drama – literally – of a group of teens involved in a summer production and deals with friendship, young love, family (including a bit of familial mystery), creating art, and coming to terms with colourism (in which lighter shades of blackness are given greater currency than darker). Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure is a picture book about the story of an Arctic seal stranded in the Caribbean and how he finds his way back home after making new friends. It is inspired by a true story. Lost! and its recently released Spanish edition is also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda
There are some other Antiguan and Barbudan books on the table – Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell and How to Work Six Jobs on an Island by Shawn Maile (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda) – and on the shelf behind us – I can see Cooking Magic, a cook book from the country’s longest running TV show o the same name, and Explore Antigua and Barbuda by Gemma Handy (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda).
Check us out. Better yet, check out our books.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.