Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Snow: A Big Fear for my Jamaican Novel.

Hi again. This will be my second IWSG post and I'm glad to be doing it. So what am I insecure about in my writing today? That would be about writing my stand alone novel Snow.

Snow came about as a combination of my desire to write a book set in Jamaica but my disinterest in writing just another Jamaican novel that often falls in the literary 'text book' category (despite being written as fiction for all ages) or another book about a girl or boy struggling in typical squalor or some other slap stick usual story concept for local books. So I decided to write a novel that took my love for fantasy but removed the magic. My contemporary novel Snow turns the Snow White fairytale it was inspired from on it's head. Samantha a.k.a. Snow is a child born white from two black parents, Terrence and Annabelle. After years of accusations of infidelity and one very unfortunate incident between mother and daughter, Annabelle leaves. When a D.N.A. test proves Snow is their daughter all hell breaks lose. Annabelle leaves refusing to have anything to do with either husband or daughter. After the divorce she leaves the country and Samantha who realizes her mother wasn't bad after all turns on her father. It only gets worse as he moves on and remarries and when the novel starts sixteen year old Snow is enjoying her sixteenth birthday with a member of the police force and declaring her no care attitude about her father. Terrence wants to stop her wanton ways but has no idea how and has to try not to neglect his two other kids and new wife. This novel as many twists and turns with an ending I think will actually surprise readers.

Snow's Tagline is: Real Life's No Fairytale. But what makes me nervous with this novel is that it is set in my home country of Jamaica. While most will find it exciting to write in a local setting, I'm wary. First off, I don't have a local writer or fan following. Those who comment and like my blog, writing ideas and stories are exclusively foreign. Only my poems have received local praise including Kezumie McKenzie who was a winner in a past JCDC Competition in the poetry section. I communicate with her from time to time but it's on poetry and life, not my fiction writing. I should definitely push harder to get my writing out locally but I feel little is out there. Online with fellow bloggers it feels endless. Outside my house....(crickets). You get the idea. I am excited though that yesterday Jamaican author J.L. Campbell stopped by my blog and left a comment. When I went to her blog and confirmed it was her, my heart soared. She has a new book out now named Distraction. She also has for free on kindle Don't Get Mad...Get Even and I'm a big fan of Contraband. I love her work because it's not just the typical fare and I want to read exciting books by local authors who are interested in writing. Not a celebrity shelling out a quick book or 'novel' for extra cash from fans. Or the local fare of books that pretty much tell the same story but with different characters.

But at the end of the day I know I need to expand my writing reach in my own country as well as abroad and online. It is my job as an author of my work to promote it and that's what I'll do. Wish me luck and my debut novel Sacrifice Her will be out August 29, 2012 through Smashwords. Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Sheena. I see we have pretty much the same challenges. For me, there aren't many people here that write and who I'd think of asking to read a whole ms before it's published.

    I totally understand feeling insecure about your book. For Distraction, I experienced a lot of that, thinking about whether the non-Jamaican reader would understand the cultural nuances and differences. I find that writers are very open to new experiences and so, the book has gotten some interesting reviews and no, the patois hasn't been a problem.

    That said, I'd encourage you to keep moving forward and if I can help in any way, just shout. It's a pleasure connecting with another Jamaican.

  2. All the best with Snow, Sheena. Another Jamaican writer.

  3. I REALLY love that it's set in Jamaica. There seems to be a huge gap in mainstream literature in terms of having characters and settings of book that are Jamaican in nature.

    I've had some novel ideas set in Jamaica on the back burner ... part of me says "go for it!" but the other part says, "will it be marketable?"

    Publishers and Agents are constantly talking about 'looking for' characters from different cultures and backgrounds. Well, why not from Jamaica? Good luck with your project!


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