I would love to be able to upload the interview from my NY launch of Oh Gad! in its entirety but I can’t…yet. So here are some excerpts with thanks to the Friends of Antigua Public Library (NY) for hosting me in the summer of 2012 and Carib Blast Video WWW.CARIBBLAST.COM production for permission to use the video featured here .
On painting vivid scenes
“I try to give a great sense of atmosphere, and just to make it come alive for the reader so they can see it and feel it and smell it and touch it so that whatever it is, you can connect with it. That’s what I try to do because that’s how I think I interact with the world. I always have a notebook with me, and things strike me; it might be the way the sun feels on your skin or the way the colours are bleeding across the sky at sunset, whatever it is, it’s a moment and you can use that moment at some other point in your writing and so I tend to capture it. I steal moments.”
On keeping it fresh
“Because Nikki was experiencing Antigua, not for the first time but anew, it was an opportunity for me as a writer to come into it in a fresh way. So that when I’m writing for instance the Carnival scene – I’ve played mas so many times, I haven’t tried to describe the process before, but – how would Nikki who had never played mas and who reluctantly agreed to play mas, how would she kind of get caught up in the experience and what music would be playing and how would the rain feel on her skin and how would she feel in the middle of that experience, so all of that I was able to experience fresh through her.”
On writing from a Caribbean perspective
“As a writer, my thing is always to be true to my characters; to their voice, their experience, their truth. So when I’m writing it, that’s how I write it and I’m kind of happy that I got with an editor who respected that.”
Oh Gad! is published by Strebor, an imprint of Simon & Schuster in the U.S.A. Thanks to all who’ve supported this project in some way including buying the book and taking the time to share your thoughts. It is deeply appreciated.