W. St. Cyr – Fields Of Death

Critics May Lie

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

First of all, let me just say that most reviews I’ve seen for this book have been glowingly positive but from the stand point that they can’t believe such a hard core crime novel came out of Barbados.

I find that a little insulting and I refuse to join in your amazement. There are incredibly talented people from that island who are capable of anything and I will not let this review be bulldozed by the low-expectations placed on a clearly talented author. Sorry but only honest reviews here.

When I chose Fields of Death to review, it really was the cover art that drew me, so kudos to the graphic artist, whoever they are. Cover art matters!

fields of death

It drew me to find out more about the story behind the book. The cane field murders in Barbados. Now I’m not going…

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Stakeholder Consultation regarding proposed Literature Amendments to the Art & Culture Tax Allowance

Writers,

On Fri, Feb 22 the Ministry of Culture sent out the following correspondence below to Stakeholders which is in response to lobbying by Caribbean Books Foundation in Trinidad for Writers to be included as Art and Cultural Allowance. This proposed Consultation is a huge step to revitalize our Literature Industry please take the time out to share your views at the Consultation.

The letter that was sent to request this initiative is available here to review:  letters.admendmenttoArtandCulture Allowance.Min.Culture from Caribbean Books Foundation

I will be sending in names by 7th March, if you have an interest in being apart of this let me know or you can contact the Ministry directly.

Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Founder

Caribbean Books Foundation

mgomesmckie@gmail.com

consult____________________________________________________________________________________________

Good day,

The Artist Registry intends to embark on a pilot stakeholder consultation session regarding proposed amendments to the Art & Culture Tax Allowance. In order to do so we would like to have a diverse cross section of representatives from the literary community and as such we are asking for your suggestions on persons who should be contacted for the session to be held in March (further details to come). At this point we would like to put together an initial list of persons and different bodies to invite for meaningful discussion. This will be a working session and we hope to have some solid suggestions by the end of the exercise. 

If you can send us a preliminary list of names along with contact information of persons who you think would be vital to this process by Friday March 8th it would be much appreciated. Once the details are finalized we will work on sending out an invitation with the date, time and more details regarding the session to both you and the list of names provided.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to conducting this exercise with your assistance in the very near future.

Regards,
 
The Secretariat
The National Registry of Artists and Cultural Workers
JOBCO Building
51-55 Frederick Street
Port of Spain
 
Office Nos: 868.225.4023 ext 4058 / 4059 / 4061 / 4063
                www.artistregistrytt.com

 

 

How to Write Best Selling Children’s Books

How to Write Best Selling Children’s Books

This was an interesting read, wanted to share. Taken from WikiHow edited by Lucas Halbert, Horses4Ever, Nicole Willson, Sondra C and 8 others

There are seven fundamental reasons that some books succeed and others collect dust on the author’s bookshelf. These seven keys to success as an author are simple, obvious even, and yet in the midst of our writing many of us forget them. We get so focused on the idea of the book that we forget the mechanics. Here is the strategy that award winning authors use:

  1. Create a hero that your audience can relate to
  2. Examine your target market honestly. Who will be reading your book? Just because you think that your main character is funny, charming and brilliant doesn’t mean your audience will. Write about what your audience cares about.
  3. Write for your audience, not your high school English professor. There has already been a Shakespeare. Most genres do not require you to write like him. You will just turn your audience off if you write at a level beyond their comprehension.
  4. Give your reader a problem that he or she can empathize with. For example are you writing for teenage girls? Then something to do with the pains of adolescent romance, or lack thereof, might be a good start.
  5. Provide a nemesis that makes sense. The antagonist in your story should appear to be everything that your main character is not. Then go back in and give him or her some good qualities as well.
  6. People are not good or evil. Your characters should have the same character traits, as the rest of humanity.
  7. Example: A Thief with a Conscience or who hates everyone except his little sister, who he has taken care of since their mom died.
  8. Give all your characters depth.
  9. Provide obstacles for your main characters. Both your hero and antagonist need to have a few bumps in the road. Life isn’t smooth. Let them both screw up and figure their way out of their messes.
  10. Your hero, at the very least, must learn a lesson about himself or herself. Is he braver than he thought he was? Is her nerdiness actually an asset?
  11. Your characters should have some type of self-realization. It can be subtle. You do not have to go into a five chapter monologue on it, just give the readers some clues that he or she has changed.
  12. Begin and end your story with a bang. Grab your reader’s attention in the beginning and have them hoping for a sequel in the end. The rest, no matter how much work you put into it, will probably be skimmed until they hit the next seat gripping scene. Your job is to make that skim time as short as possible.

 

My Email : mgomesmckie@gmail.com

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marshagomesmckiesbooks/

My Website: http://www.marshagomes.com

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Book Review: Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini

Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini is the 2017 third place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature.

At just ninety pages, it is a quick but enlightening read about a fourteen year old girl’s struggle with mental illness. Kayla, a Trinidadian residing in Trinidad, is shipped to care of her aunt in Canada after a failed suicide attempt. Her aunt and her lesbian live-in partner welcome Kayla as their guest with an option to stay on a more permanent basis.

The sexuality of the couple is of no relevance to Kayla; they are stable and very supportive. Without reason, she is guilt-riddled about burdening the childless ladies especially because they were not obligated to accept such a huge responsibility. Kayla’s mother had always been ignorant and in denial about her condition hence sending her away. As a result, their mother-daughter relationship continued to be strained and dispassionate.

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Book Review: The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez

The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez is the 2017 winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature.

Thirteen year old Adela lives in the midst of a revolution in Cuba. She is not oblivious to the discord that is happening around her but as times go on more and more events are unexplained. First, a well-loved young lady goes missing, then Adela’s own cousin, Miguel survives a boom attack at the hotel where he works. However, nothing makes an impact as much as the devastation that unexpectedly hits her parent’s marriage. The family discovers that her father was having an affair with a prostitute. Before long that is the least of their problems.

Adela cannot forgive her father; she questions why her mother is tolerating him and his mistress. She focuses on solving another mystery with her brother and cousin Miguel and they are led to…

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Book Review: The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein

One of my favorites as well.

The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein is the 2017 second place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature.

An adventurous story about a girl’s choice to investigate the murder of her classmate, The Beast of Kukuyo follows Rune as she tracks clues and uncovers secrets.

Rune, a lover of the TV show Murder She Wrote, lives with her grandfather and alcoholic brother. She is an outcast at school except for her friend Tiki, a good looking boy who’s abusive father dislikes her. Tiki is her voice of reason; a voice she rarely obeys.

When Rune is mistakenly dubbed a thief while investigating a lead, her grandfather punishes her by making her work for a pig farmer. It takes her a while to relax with him. However, her discovery of a bag of teeth in his bedroom alleviates the pity she felt for him. She…

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#2017CodeBurtAward Winners for R2R

Caribbean Books Foundation has a limited supply of the 2017 Winners of the #CodeBurtAward. These books are being offered for R2R (Read to Review) to Bloggers to be featured on their page before the end of August. If you are interested in reviewing and featuring the books on your blog please send me a note.

Burt Award 2017 winnersThe CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature 2019 submissions is now open.

Eligible manuscripts and books published between November 1, 2017, and October 31, 2018, must be submitted to the NGC Bocas Lit Fest no later than October 31, 2018.

Eligibility guidelines and submission forms are available as a pdf here 

About CODE
CODE logoIf you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be anything. That’s the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with 59 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education with support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages. code.ngo

http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/2018/07/16/2017codeburtaward-winners-for-r2r/

 

Author Interview – Imam Baksh

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Imam Baksh’s manuscript Children of the Spider won first place in the 2015 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature, it was published in 2016 by Blue Banyan Books. in 2018 his manuscript The Dark of the Sea won the CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature again. He is the only Caribbean author to win this title twice. 

Let’s Learn more about Imam with his author interview today.

1. Where were you born/grew up? Where is your home now?
I was born on the Essequibo Coast of Guyana, a South American country with an Anglo-Caribbean culture. It’s a farming area but I moved at age 10 to the capital city Georgetown to go to a better school and experienced urban life. These days I have moved back to Essequibo where I live full time.

2. When did you start writing?
For fun? I have a comic I did at age 6. I wrote short stories for fun at about age 11. Even tried to do an alien invasion novel though I didn’t get far. I tried writing short stories for magazines starting at about 21-22.

3. What is your motivation to write?
I enjoy the process start to finish. From the moment when a few ideas and images start to coalesce and become the nucleus or string that a story can be built from. And then I enjoy the crafting of that story by choosing words and laying them down like putting paint on canvas and I enjoy the sense of freedom as I throw open my imagination and I enjoy the reworking of the initial draft of the story into a leaner, more coherent, form and I enjoy going out and promoting the book and hearing from readers.

4. Tell me about the books you have written. How many are there? What genre is it?
I’ve got one published novel, a Caribbean Urban Fantasy YA adventure called Children of the Spider. It was the winner of the 2015 Burt Award. I recently won the 2018 Burt Award for a manuscript called The Dark of the Sea which will be published within a year. In between I wrote a book called The Demise of the Queen’s College Adventure Club which is as yet unpublished.

5. Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?
Mayali, the young hero of Children of the Spider has such a straightforward approach to dealing with problems that it can be quite astonishing the things she does because she has such little sense of Earth society and the conventions we live by. For instance, she sets a ship on fire at one point as a distraction so she can escape the evil sorcerers chasing her.

6. Tell us about your writing routine? What one thing do you need
before you write?
I have no particular routine. I do work best in quiet, so late at night suits me.
Before I write I need to have an idea of what the scene is going to be about. I can create dialogue, descriptions, even actions on the fly as I go along, but I must have an overall  idea of the flow of the scene. I will often sit or go for a walk until I figure that out. Maybe I just need to do the dishes and think about it. But once I have the path mapped, I have great freedom to write in the moment.

7. What advice can you give to a new author or someone interested in becoming published?
I got very lucky to win the CODE Burt Award which provided a path to publication. I don’t know if I have much to say about being published that is useful. To an author who wants to become better, my advice is to join a critique group whether in person or online. The main benefit is that you become better through analyzing others’ stories as well as using the feedback of the group to make your own work better.

8. Which book are you working on right now?
A novel about a 2nd generation Guyanese girl living in Washington DC who returns home’ to Guyana when she finds herself part of a war between ancient magical forces and doesn’t know who to trust.

9. Who is your favorite author?/What is your favorite book?
Hard to pick a favorite author since so much of what I read is based on genre rather than author. But my favorite book is easy: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  The writing is skilled without being showy and its themes subtle yet clear and all so  entertaining and well balanced in its narrative pull and push.

10. Tell me something that no one knows about you.
I’m still scared of the dark sometimes.

Thanks Imam!

If you would like to be featured as next week’s author please contact me via email at mgomesmckie@gmail.com with the heading Author Feature.

_______________________________________________

CHILDREN OF THE SPIDER 

Children of the Spider final POSTER rgb med
Mayali, an escapee from a world enslaved by spider gods, finds herself in Guyana, hunting for her father and a way to stop the monsters who rule her homeland from taking over Earth. She journeys from the jungle wilderness to the urban disorder of the capital city, finding allies and obstacles in the alien Caribbean society.Children of the Spider - Covermd

Duck in the Red Boots an Aunty Marsha Book

Unlike other little ducklings, Duck is quite particular about staying clean. His determination to do just that lands him in quite a pickle every day nevertheless he stands firm for what he believes. This story is a cute reminder that children are people too. They have their own character which when nurtured produces confidence.

www.marshagomes.com

Duck did not like getting his feet dirty at all, at all, at all.

He loved to swim with the other ducklings, but he did not like walking out of the water through the mud. Duck loved flying high in the sky above the trees, but he did not like landing on the dirty ground.

Somehow no matter how hard Duck tried, his feet got dirty every day.One day Duck noticed his feet never touched the ground once he was swimming. So he decided to swim all day long and never come out. Duck swam and swam and swam. He swam up and down the pond. He did the backstroke. He paddled, and he splashed his friends with his wings. The other ducklings rested but not Duck.

I am not going to get my feet dirty today! he quacked

Duck 1The hours passed. One by one the other duckling went home until Duck was all alone in the pond. The water got colder and colder and colder. Duck felt wet and tired. His bill shivered. The feathers stood on his head stood up. As the sky grew dark, he felt lonely and afraid.

“I better fly home,” Duck encouraged himself. “Mom and Dad will be worried about me.”

But his wings were too wet and too cold to fly. Finally, Duck gave in. He took a deep breath and marched right out of the pond, through the icky sticky mud. Squish, Squish, Squish, Slop, Slop, Slop. The mud stuck to his feet. It tingled all over his webbed-toes. Slop, Squish, Slop, Squish, Squoosh, Slop, Squoosh, Slop, Squoosh, Squoosh!

Duck mumbled and grumbled all the way home where his mother gave him a warm bath, and his father made his favorite water grass tea.

The next day, Duck decided he would fly with his friends instead. As Duck flew, he noticed his feet did not get dirty while he was up in the sky.

So guess what? Duck decided to fly and fly and fly and never come down. He flew up and down. He flew high and low. He flew in circles and turned somersaults too. Swoosh, Swoosh, Swoosh! Duck’s wings felt so light in the air. The other ducklings stopped for a rest, but not Duck. He did not want to land on the dirty ground. So he flew, and he flew, and he flew. Duck’s wings got very, very, very tired. They moved more and more slowly, but Duck kept on flying. Then something happened! Duck dropped right out of the sky!

SPLAT!

Into icky, sticky, gooey, wooey mud! Duck got up slowly. His feet were very muddy. His wings were very muddy. His head was very muddy. Duck’s whole body was very, very, very muddy!

Duck was horrified. Once gain Duck mumbled and grumbled all the way home. Duck’s father scrubbed his feathers clean and his mother made his favorite water grass tea. Duck went to his room and vowed to never go outside again.

Day by day Duck’s friends tried to get him to play outside since no one wanted to stay indoors all day when outside was nice and sunny. So Duck was left to play all alone. Soon it was Duck’s birthday. His parents invited all his friends for a party in their backyard. They hoped Duck would go out and play.

On the morning of Duck’s birthday, it rained and rained and rained. Duck looked through his bedroom window sadly. It was so muddy outside. Duck’s birthday party was ruined so he went back to bed.

Later Duck’s grandparents arrived with a special gift.

“Little Duck, why are you still in bed?” grandma quacked as she sat to comfort him.

“Why so sad on your birthday?” quacked grandpa.

Duck 2

Duck just moaned and rolled over in his bed.

“Maybe opening a present will make you feel better,” grandpa suggested. Grandpa pulled a giant yellow box from behind his back and handed it to Duck.

Duck loved presents. He could not resist opening it. Guess what it was? The most beautiful pair of red boots ever!

Duck put them on and ran outside.

Duck flew and he landed. Plop! No more dusty feet. Duck went swimming and his new boots went too. Glop, Glop, Glop, Squish, Squeak, Squirk! The boots sang as he ran out of the water. No more muddy feet! No more icky toes!

“Wow, now you look like the happiest Duck in the world!” called grandpa.

Later that day when everyone came to the party, Duck marched up and down in his new red boots. He was very happy. From that day on, Duck was known as the Duck in the Red Boots.

Duck 3