During a recent conversation about my future plans, I mentioned that I’m currently looking for work in the Social Media/Publishing area and I have a book to revisit. Then, it occurred to me that I’ve not spoken about my book for about a year. The last time was when my mum asked ‘what about the book?’, to which I replied I need to do some work on it. Sounds like a ‘writer’ thing to say isn’t it? Let me bring you up to speed on my book writing journey.
Dawn of an idea
I believe in the ole adage ‘everyone has a book inside of them’. I also subscribe to the view that you should ‘write what you know’. So, in my mind, I’d write a book in my golden years. What I know best is me (which is why I like my new Friday Khalo tee, but I digress). When I think upon my younger days in Trinidad it’s either sweet like sugar can or bitter like molasses.
Hair I love to talk about hair! Then one day an idea came without me calling upon it and earlier than I had planned. I’d write a picture book about natural hair (curly hair). Just as the idea came, I wrote it out on my lap top, passed it to a few friends, MY MOM and sisters. After it was edited, I sent it to a publishing consultant agency for copy-editing, proofreading and consultation. Then, off to the publishers I sent it.
Bringing the idea to life
Most of my submissions to publishers went unacknowledged. Only three responses came back. One publisher said they liked the voice but it wasn’t for them, because they were seeking YA writers. The two other responses were more detailed. They suggested there were ways to write about hair without making the book about hair. So I decided to put the book away for a while. I’d return to it with fresh eyes once the kids were in school full time, that was over three years ago.
What have I been doing in all that time? Well… blogging, reviewing, attending book events etc.
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Persistence pays not only was I able to buy the book I met the author. Pop over to my Instagram story to hear Claire talk about her writing process and read from her book ‘Golden Child’ set in 1980’s Trinidad @riffraff_ldn meet-up ? #trinisinlondon #thetigertales #expatlife #booklover #bookevent #bookstagram #claireadam #goldenchild #brixton #londonlife #lblogger #pblogger
While I waited, other books about hair were published. Check out my book reviews to see some of them. However, I’m not put off. Everyone’s story is unique to them… right?
In that vein I attended a Riff Raff London meet up last week. The line-up included debut authors:
- Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars
- Bev Thomas, author of A Good Enough Mother
- Yara Rodrigues Fowler, author of Stubborn
- Victoria Selman, author of Blood for Blood
- Claire Adam, author of Golden Child
I found out about the event via a tweet on Claire Adam’s time line. Her book sounded amazing and wanted to support a fellow Trini. The Riff-Raff vibe was friendly and supportive. Each author spoke about their journey to publication which was really inspirational.
In a nutshell, here are my takeaway points:
- Victoria Selman– Sometimes you may need to change the beginning of your book which may affect your protagonist actions a bit but it’s for the enhancement of the story. Don’t give up.
- Bev Thomas– If you are passionate about writing, even if you have sixteen unpublished books under your bed stick with it. Sometimes the book you are writing is not the one you should be writing. When you are work with what’s authentic to you, you’ll find your true story. Don’t give up.
- Claire Adam- Sometimes looking back is where the story is, signing up to MA or creative writing group where you can get feedback on your work (be ready and open for feedback/criticism), consider what you like to read, Don’t give up.
I couldn’t stay for the entire event, but it was amazing. You know how exciting it is when you find your tribe?! Turns out Riff Raff London also offers a mentoring programme. It’s my plan to return to my book very soon. I’ve been away too long.
What are you working on at the moment? What exciting projects are you working on at the moment? I’d love to hear from you.