Last week I experienced one of my greatest moments as a writer. It was a moment that made me feel that if I never sold another book I would honestly feel satisfied in calling myself a successful writer. (Being honest, I will also admit that the part about not selling another book was quickly retracted but…. Still… I’m sure that as you read on you’ll understand how I felt.)
Before this point, I think the highlights of my writing career were: the first time I published; launching my own publishing Company, Homegrown Press, and its imprint Caribbean Passion; having my novel Pick of The Crop published by the internationally acclaimed publishing company Heinemann Publishing (now Pearson) and winning numerous local (Barbadian) awards including The Kamau Brathwaite Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry.
Last week, my daughter read, Colourblind, one of my novellas (winner of a third prize in Barbados’s prestigious Frank Collymore Literary Competition) and declared it “Awesome!”
This thrills me on two levels: 1) my daughter is already old enough to read one of my novellas Wasn’t she born just yesterday? Where did those eleven years go? 2) The story excited her. It excited her so much that she sometimes forgot that I wrote it and she’d come bounding into a room to tell me what had happened next, or what other snippet of information she’d learned about a character’s life.
Talk about gratification!
Her comments (“This boy is racist!!!” “You’ve got a big error here: It’s not Super Centre; it’s Massy Supermarket! I’m going to highlight it for you!” “That’s just horrible! Nasty! How could you write that, Mummy?!?!?” and “That’s so sad! I want to cry!” among my favourites) are priceless to me.
To watch her devour that book and then move on to another of my novellas, Someone To Watch Over Me (which resulted in my having to hide the Kindle since that was one of the racier romances in my repertoire), is one of the finest accolades I’ve ever received as a writer.
And don’t get me started on the discussions we’ve had since she read Colourblind! We’ve talked race, bullying, anti-bullying, self-defence, the wide, wild world of secondary school (which she will enter in September), friendship, death, spirituality, death of a loved one, grieving, heroism, bravery, creativity, inspiration, dreaming, ambition….
Her comments and queries show me that I have achieved my objective in writing Colourblind – to write a gripping story; they demonstrate that this reader (albeit 11 years old and my offspring) got it!
This has been every book-loving mother/teacher/writer/reader’s dream!
Nailah is founder of Caribbean Passion, the Caribbean’s premier Romance series. She is the author of the Romance novellas To Star, With Love, Someone To Watch Over Me, Second Time Around, Cruising to Love and her latest (the Rihanna-inspired!), Fantasy Fulfilled. She is also the author of the YA novellas Colourblind, available on Amazon and Smashwords, and Pick of the Crop. She is currently working on the sequel to her first action/thriller novella To Protect & Serve.
To read more please visit: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/nailah