This isn’t the standard way to write a book description, but let me take a minute to be straight with you: writing a memoir was never a part of my plans. While when men plan, God laughs, I think when women plan, God shudders. Why? Well, it seems that we women have a special gift for learning our lessons the hard way. And being the overachiever that I am, I have, at times, signed up for the hardest crash courses on life.
For the most part, you will find within these pages a bunch of stories with many, MANY, instances of precisely this: me, not knowing what the hell I was doing. It cost me a lot. From battling religious conditioning with naivete to escaping horrors with my life as the price, you will come face-to-face with my skeletons and demons—and, maybe, even yours. But, if you can join me in this analysis of Past-Me through those sometimes painful, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes dangerous stories of how I became who I am today, you’ll realize that in some ways, even when I didn’t know what I was doing, I had planted seeds.
This memoir is the harvest I never knew pain could produce. I believe I’ve found a thread that connects it all, even every crisis hidden within the darkest moments of our memories. It’s provocative (maybe even a bit controversial). It’s honest (embarrassingly so, at times). And, it’s somewhat spiritual (even if you aren’t). I call it Worship.
The Kirkus-star winning title of the 2019 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature has received the honor of not only being listed under Kirkus Reviews’ Best 100 Indie Books of the year, but it is also listed in the five(5) Best Indie Middle-Grade & YA Books of 2019!
It is one year to the very day of Book One's release (The Unmarked Girl) and I have magically accomplished what I once thought was impossible: releasing my first ever book, and trilogy, within 365 days. My magical secret: surrender, surrender, surrender. That is the source of all power, I promise you (Book One readers already know this). It is currently available only on Amazon, but I will be doing a local (Trinidad) release and full trilogy launch by the end of July/ beginning of August 2019. You can also find the entire series on Amazon here.
Thank you for being a part of my unbecoming and my becoming. I would love to hear ALL of your thoughts on this series (whether good or bad), as I know the good will encourage me and the bad will improve me. You can send me a note here. ^_^
It's the month of The Melded Truth's release (Book Three of the YaraStar Trilogy), and no I am not finished yet. Am I worried? Yes and no. I am learning to trust in the unknown, and to understand why then you will simply have to read Book Three. :D
In the meantime, I hope you will excuse my absence. I promise to update this website with everything that matters as soon as I am back out from deliberate hibernation (my productivity cocoon). Thank you for your patience, and catch you on the flipside.
Here is the recap of my RIK book signing experience! :)
Okay, maybe not my "first" - I did have a book signing at the CODE Burt Award ceremony (thank you for that, Bocas Lit Fest). This time, I have engaged the public to meet me at R.I.K. in Gulf City Mall (San Fernando, Trinidad). Here, I decided to tell them about the books and why they should come. It is also my first YouTube vlog. I'm not sure I will be able to post these regularly, but I do want to capture as many occasions as I can. I'll definitely do one for the book signing itself! ^_^
Thank you to the Bocas Lit Fest, my family, and the incredible students who attended and asked those brilliant questions. I look forward to our book readings and discussions together!
I had an in-depth discussion with LoopTT regarding my work and sources of inspiration. Feel free to take a read of it here. :)
The Unmarked Girl has been shortlisted for the 2019 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature
As a first time author, being shortlisted for the CODE Burt Award is incredibly surreal. Gratitude... so much gratitude...
You can read more about this on the Bocas Lit Festival's post here.
Book Two of The YaraStar Trilogy was due for release in December 2018. Instead, I posted this to my social media on the final day of the year:
"#MixedFeelings: This month was supposed to herald the release of Book Two of The YaraStar Trilogy: The Eld Queen. Then, coming down to the end of December, I had what I can only describe as an epiphany. I was sitting in my living room when a huge part of the story revealed itself to me that I hadn’t felt before. While most of the storyline tends to flow to me from a place I can never describe, these particular “epiphany” moments always feel massively divine. This was never a part of my Book Two synopsis, yet it was a critical connection that I didn’t even know was missing.
But there was a catch: if I followed that leading and allowed myself to go down the rabbit hole, it meant not only delaying the book’s release until January, but also writing a book that was longer than I intended, longer than I had ever written... and I’m talking around 20,000 words more than the first book, with new chapters and an evolved flow. It felt like I had trained all year for a 5K race and just as I was about to cross the finish line, I find out it’s a 10K race instead. Do I stick to the 5K I trained for and revel in my personal achievement, or do I surrender to the 10K and give my everything?
It was a gut-wrenching decision. I am a stickler for deadlines, and I am loyal to my commitments. But I had two conflicting commitments: one to my readers (all of whom I love), and the other to Yara (it’s her story). Eventually, it came down to a single question: why am I writing this trilogy? And the answer was that I had felt guided to share Yara’s story. That became the foundation on which I made the final decision yesterday, to hold off the release, dive into writing, and stay true to the art..."
I went on to promise that I would do commit to doing this all within one month: a complete restructuring to include the new storyline, a fair amount of new writing, having the book reviewed, copyedited, formatted and finally made available on Amazon in January 2019. I am still relishing in what we humans are capable of if we give wings to fire and fuel to passion. The week of The Eld Queen's release heralded another emotional post:
"I am overcome with emotion when I consider what this past month has been like, after surrendering to the call of unexpected inspiration and pausing December’s release. I had intended this trilogy to be a shorter, punchy, but still potent approach to writing fantasy in a world filled with distractions and limited time. I projected books one and two to be around the same length; but, you know, man plans… An additional ~25,000 words later, I believe I’ve done right by my book one readers—but you all can let me know.
The manuscript is complete, the countdown is on, and Amazon and I are going to intimately intertwined over the next few days until your Kindle versions are available (on or before Jan 31st, God’s willing... no offense, Sunstar)..."
The Eld Queen's new storyline is now yours as a result, alongside an incredible vision for The Melded Truth (Book Three). I am excited to have each of you along for this journey, and as I've said before, I am certain that Yara chooses her people. #TribeLove
P.S. If you've read Book Two and you'd like to know what's different from the original synopsis, I am happy to share it privately with you (click on my Contact page and drop me a note).