“You allow your imagination to run riot,” Mrs. Crick my high school, English and English Literature teacher wrote. This was when I attended the prestigious Montego Bay High School. Mrs Crick had given us a Composition to write, note I said Composition because we didn’t use the word essay back then. The title was, ‘who do you want to be when you are no longer a student.’ I didn’t take umbrage to what she wrote in red at the top of the page because it showed that I had interesting ideas in my head that I needed to put on paper. She also blessed my composition with an A. Yes, I said. An A from Mrs Crick who was a tough teacher was like an A from God.
I am sure you would all like to know what I wrote. In my composition I wrote that I wanted to be a professor when I grow up, but I also wanted to write fabulous stories about love and romance and adventure with smart, beautiful women and ruggedly handsome, wealthy men set in beautiful locations. I wanted to become a well renowned author. I would drive a convertible that allowed the wind to blow through my hair and paint my toe nails red to show off my beautiful feet in high heeled strappy sandals and open toed shoes. I would live in this beautiful house with a ¼ mile or more driveway bordered by beautiful and colorful gardens with manicured hedges that one would have a pleasant drive to get to the house up to the house. Of course my home would have a well stocked library would books on every subject, which would include books on Jamaican or Caribbean Literature.
From the living room windows one would be able to have a full view of my pool which would overlook the Caribbean Sea. The killer view from the open windows would be stunning as you gaze at the deep blue of the sea and its endless dazzle as it seem to meet with the paler blue of the sky. My huge ensuite marble bathroom would be another attraction by itself. Tell me Mills and Boon didn’t pay off then because after reading and reading I had a picture in my head of how I wanted to live and write.
That composition planted the seed that would begin to flourish as I got older, to become an author who wrote entertaining, interesting, romantic stories who choose to include background stories from the places and time I grew up in Jamaica.
I am not there yet. I wrote my first book Sunlight and Dappled Shade and now Blood in the Water. It is a struggle to find representation through mainstream media, writing stories with a Caribbean and African flavour. My books are not chick-lit genre. They are books that are written as other mainstream authors have written. Remember Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. Excellent novel it is and was but where is the next stand out Afrocentric moving and interesting book.
Vangella Hazle has written informative and interesting and captivating books such as The Master’s Daughter and Mariana and I do hope to see her on the bestsellers list soon. She has now opened her own book store, called The Writery Ink at 836 Park Ave #24D, Bloomfield, CT 06002, so do check her out if you are in the neighborhood.
Reading Sunlight and Dappled Shade and Blood in the Water will take you to beautiful places in Jamaica and you will get a feel of the culture, it will take you to places like Milan and Barbados, and right here in New York where you will find new experiences.
I dare to write stories in my head that makes me happy. You will feel the joy, the happiness and the buzz that says. I am alive after you have read my blog and my book.