WIN a free membership: SCBWI Caribbean South

The Caribbean South chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is giving away two free annual memberships.

All you have to do is submit an unpublished children’s manuscript from any of the islands listed below that speaks about your island’s folklore or draw your very own ‘Tanti Merle’ from Paul Keens Douglas “Tanti at the Oval.”

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is a professional information and networking society of over 19,000 authors, agents, editors and illustrators world wide. Based in Los Angeles, the SCBWI is the largest of its kind and has chapters in 200 regions. Our membership package is an invaluable tool for aspiring and professional writers and artists. It includes indispensable ‘how to’ articles and a directory of publishers in the field. One of the best things about SCBWI membership is the networking opportunity it presents to gain fruitful contacts the world over.

The Caribbean South chapter was launched in Trinidad in September 2005 and serves the following islands Anguilla, Saint Maarten, St Barbs, Saba, Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Tortuga and Trinidad and Tobago (and everything in-between)

The competition is open to non-members and members alike, and all work submitted remain the property of the author or illustrator.

The deadline to submit is November 1, 2017. 

SCBWI-2017-Competition

For further information and membership details visit http://www.scbwi.org.

 

Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Regional Advisor , Caribbean South

info@marshagomes.com

 

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Book of the Day resumes in 2017

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Caribbean Books Foundation’s Book of the Day promotional book feature resumes in 2017. It will run from the 1st January to 30 November 2017. 

Books from the online catalog are chosen randomly and by genre to fill this feature and are usually set a month in advance.

Authors who join the online catalog at http://www.caribbeanbooks.org are also welcomed to request a date to be featured if the date correspondence with a book launch or book giveaway.

Caribbean Books Foundation is an international platform that connects the Caribbean Community and its Diaspora through its literature.

 

 

 

 

No longer a hobby…

A year ago I went to a fashion show; each designer had at least twelve pieces of clothing. They each got their fifteen minutes on the catwalk and wowed. Models came out in style, designers bowed with their collection and they were ready to take orders. I sat there and imagined the catwalk full of authors with their books on show.

How many of us have one published book to walk down the catwalk proudly with?  How many of us have five to twenty works of writing to exhibit? At that time I had only one, that was properly edited and really public ready. I had a number of finished-to-edit and unfinished manuscripts with too many potential stories. I imagined my models on the catwalk with only one finished dress. The rest of my collection would be missing buttons or bottoms (endings). All the sides wouldn’t be sewn up; some would be hung together with pins.  I winched as I sat there thinking about my wild and crazy fashion show. Unlike a designer my product couldn’t be reviewed in fifteen minutes but all artists have one thing in common. They have to complete their work before they can show it and sell it.

Not one of those designers came to the show with one dress because it didn’t matter how dynamic that one dress was, it meant one sale while a collection meant multiple orders. An art gallery has the same mind-set. One glorious painting at the middle of the gallery you would never see. There is certain power in numbers: numbers to attract different tastes, numbers to widen the profit margin and numbers to establish a brand.

As a writer my brand is my books but I realized I wasn’t writing enough.

I know that writing isn’t a race and a fashion designer and artist isn’t a writer but the principle of sales is universal. If you have one product in a certain market, there is a point of saturation for that one dress/book. Soon your fans will look to see what else you have on the market. If you have a collection it is very likely they will buy another dress/piece if they loved the first but if you have nothing else to offer they move on.

That is the year I made up my mind to treat my writing as a business and stop calling it a hobby.

I stopped looking at one book and started to plan for the collection. I’ve known a number of authors who have published one book and the marketing work they did could have definitely covered five books at the same time. I placed my manuscripts in categories, I gave myself a monthly target of words and I made time to write even if it meant missing sleep and socializing.  When I print I want to have a very diverse book launch, nevertheless I have been publishing e-books as I go along.

One year later I have two distinct genres, the first is paranormal/folklore fantasy fiction which I write under the pen M. Mckie and children books which I write under Aunty Marsha Books. My collection is not yet complete but I like what I see and I build on it every day. My target is three books per year after the first launch (2017) in each category. I will also like to explore the young adult genre, contemporary romance and more magical realism in the future.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Book likes and Goodreads for occasional giveaways and new releases.

My website is http://www.marshagomes.com.

THE GHOST – 2 day free download

cover-ghost-new

Five star review: “I rather enjoyed this story. A story about a Caribbean Island with two resident demons, and the people who got caught between their individual snares. But mostly it was about Theodore and Madgalene; a ghost of a man, cursed for 100 years, and a young woman who desperately needs to take control of her own life. For them love was a trap, a poison and ultimately the one thing that could save them both.”

Synopsis: Magdalene inherits the neighborhood’s haunted house and she didn’t even know her family owned it.
She bravely decides to move in and finds the house is really haunted by a ghost who awakens her sensuality. He spends his time strumming an old grand piano and she knows she has found a soul mate for her violin.
When she digs into his past she unearths a family secret and comes face to face with a curse which threatens to hold more than her heart captive.
Magdalene starts a chain of events that puts them both at the mercy of an evil spirit.
Can she find the means to break the curse or is she destined to be yet another causality of the house on All Hallows Eve?

This book will be free to download on the 25 and 26 September 2016. Please download, read and leave a review.

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Book Reviews, Book Reviews

empress-expressions-copy

I find myself reviewing a lot of Romance Fantasy Fiction lately.

Which is in part because I write Romance and Fantasy sometimes together, so i get a few of those requests every month but I read and review all fiction for free. Well i need a copy of your book – kindle or print is accepted.

ALL BOOKS, from picture books to thrillers. OK not twisted dark fantasies aka horrors, i scare easily and i have an overactive imagination so it takes days to get over extra scary stuff. (ok it also happens with mildly scary books too or books without a happy ending or books where the poor dog dies or books with too much abuse to women and children or books that just don’t end – closure is important.)

That being said, i really will read your book and post a review for you online (amazon, goodreads, my blog, my booklikes blog), if you ask nice enough.

I don’t post review below 2 stars. I would send you a note why i didn’t like the book, but i would rather not mess up your average with a poor review. As an author myself i know the struggle.

As of this week. I am adding my past reviews to this blog and will add any new reviews henceforth.

Feel free to reach out at marsha@caribbeanbooks.org to request a review or contact me on social media.

All the best!

Let’s find ways to promote each other’s work.

#caribbeanauthors #caribbeanbooks

bookreview

A book Review – Hurricane of the Heart

Hurricane of the herat

Kyle and Alia’s story started out like two young traditional characters; the male player who chases and the female most innocent who runs away. Somewhere in the story the writer captures the life of the indigenous Carib people (yes I am a little bias as I am from that line of people) and the power and effect of a hurricane. These vivid descriptions of the catastrophe, during and after brought the couples’ banter and love to life. Which was all happening in between the most realistic Caribbean characters like ‘Tanty’ and ‘the Reverend’ and island bureaucracy. By the time I reached half of the book I was won over.

Then they had a huge change of scenery and I wouldn’t have complained if the book ended at that moment and went into a book two.

Nevertheless we followed the characters into another phase and met new characters who were also so familiar. I wondered if the writer was writing about her experiences. The character development was excellent and made the difference in the rating. As expected they were challenged, they were torn and then they found their way back.

This book is a sweet romance that will make you say awwww at the end.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

Barbadian Author launches Bridgeland

MEDIA RELEASE
Barbadian author launches self-published Bridgeland: Volume One graphic novel

July 29, 2015/Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgeland. Marc Gibson

Barbadian author and film-maker, Marc R. D. Gibson, celebrates the print release of his self-published first graphic novel, Bridgeland: Volume One.

The intimate event held at the Old Spirit Bond in early July was well attended by various members of the local literary and arts community, fellow authors and film-makers, as well as a number of governmental representatives including Director (Ag) of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr. Deryck Murray, and Cultural Industries Development Consultant, Andrea King.

With interior illustrations by Tristan Roach and cover art by Cherise Ward, Bridgeland: Volume One tells the first part of a gripping and suspense-filled saga set in contemporary Barbados that poses the question ‘How far would you go for family?’ The original story follows two teenage brothers from an underprivileged background after they execute a half-baked plan to burgle a wealthy home that goes tragically wrong.

Gibson stated that even though time-line for the pet project, from conception to present, spanned a decade; he was pleased by his accomplishment, adding that the milestone was not only a representation of his effort, but the support and encouragement he received from Bridgeland’s many supporters.

According to Gibson, since the launch the response to his graphic novel has been outstanding. He admitted that he took sincere delight in delivering signed copies to persons who were unable to attend the launch. “I’ve been working and talking about Bridgeland for a long time. My sheer determination and dedication was something that some people personally told me got them interested in it,” the author commented.

Gibson added there have been some unexpected developments. “When I learned that the Governor of the Central Bank (Dr. DeLisle Worrell) wanted a copy of my graphic novel, I was flabbergasted!” Gibson explained that the twists continued. Instead of a brief signing and quick photo op, he instead enjoyed an almost 90-minute, intimate conversation that began with his and the Governor’s mutual love for the media of graphic novels and comic books, and extended through an eclectic range of topics.

Gibson stated that he had a number of things up next on his slate, including completing Bridgeland: Volume Two, penning a memoir about life with a rare condition, and wrapping up production on the crime/drama web-series Strongarm for the Blazer Base Network.

Bridgeland: Volume One has been available on http://www.chattelhousebooks.com in e-book format since November 2014 and will be available in print at Chattel House Books in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, Barbados in August this year.

Bridgeland Vol 1 Launch1

Author and film-maker Marc R. D. Gibson signs a Bridgeland poster for a fan.
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Bridgeland: Volume One author Marc R. D. Gibson is all smiles with Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell after he received his signed copy of the graphic novel.

Selima and the Merfolk by Vanessa Salazar

A BOOK REVIEW

selima and the merfolk

I am a sucker for happy ending so whenever I read a book, I secretly say to myself please don’t let this be an undercover tragedy. I get so caught up in a book that I literally feel like throwing it if the ending is horrid. (ok I have thrown some.)

I am pleased to report that ‘Selima and the Merfolk’ was enchanting. The book was full of beautiful descriptions and real emotions. It captured the local culture perfectly; anyone who has been to the beach Vanessa Salazar writes about will search their memory to remember those rocks. Youngsters and adults will relate to it. In the end I felt a little worried about Dave’s relationship but I look forward to enjoying more magic as the second book is published. I hope the manuscript is already in the works.

Overall, ‘Selima and the Merfolk’ was a refreshing read.

I felt like driving up to Las Cuevas, as I am in Trinidad to see if I can cross the jagged rocks into the isolated beach and find the hidden pool. Maybe I will someday.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis

A BOOK REVIEW

Inner city girl

The strange thing about dialect is that it isn’t universal. It enriches a book for a particular market but sets it apart for another. Whenever I try to figure out what a “slang/colloquial” word may mean, it usually isn’t what it means. Months after in conversation I get that enlightened look and have to go back to the book.

Inner City girl started with heavy dialect. The conversation was rich enough to have me regretting I ever lent out my copy of “Cote ci Cote la.”

The book however would be nothing without it. The heavy dialect did more to frame the poverty than any other words. I could almost hear Martina’s mother’s slurs and understood Martina’s need to be different. The book outgrew the dialect as Martina grew: simple and subtle. The story was unique, a passionate advocate for overcoming life obstacles with determination. Another good read.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org.

Musical Youth by Joanne HillHouse

A BOOK REVIEW

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This was a sweet coming of age romance and I found myself saying awwww way too often.

Shaka is the guy who falls hard for his girl and his animated crew lives the romance with him. Zahara is complicated but the music frees her, each cord brings her to herself. Many times in Caribbean books you reminisce about how your childhood compared and Pappy was it for me: holding everyone and everything together with simple finesse that you didn’t even notice it. Grandparents are wonderful.

I have to admit that I was once weary of reading Caribbean fiction because they tend to get dark quickly and I don’t read book to be depressed. I am pleased to say that Joanne’s Musical Youth was refreshing and uplifting. Write on Joanne, write on.

This in no way takes away from the book but after reading the skin tone of the girl on the cover seemed off.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org.