Atonement, Caribbean literature, Mainstream fiction, On Writing, Rachel Olivier, Rejected and abandoned
For those of you who follow my weekly blog posts on Sundays, this is a special post in response to an invitation from my writing friend, Rachel Olivier, who recently tagged me in a writer’s blog tagging called The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The intention is to get readers interested in our next book in the making. Rachel and I worked together at the Miracle Mile Writers Club. She has played an important role in my journey as a writer. I enjoy her work and know that her next big thing, a modern take on Cinderella, will have some unexpected twists, thrills, and hard truths.
According to the regulations of this Blog Hop, I have to answer the following ten questions about my Next Big Thing. Here goes:
- What is the title of your work-in-progress? Under the Tamarind Tree
- Where did the idea come from? My response to the question: What had I done in life to deserve being thrice abandoned by people I love?
- What genre does your book come under? Mainstream fiction
- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? I leave that task to casting experts. When I went in search of faces for my characters, I chose pictures of regular people I found online.
- One sentence synopsis for your book. A man’s atonement for the deaths of his mother and eight-year-old brother.
- Will your book be self-published, published by an independent publisher or represented by an agency? I would like to be represented by an agency.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Four years
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Caribbean literature. It is set in pre- and post-independent Guyana: a period (1950-1970) marred by racial violence.
- Who or what inspired you to write this book? My reunion with my mother after 31 years of separation was a tsunami in my life. She was not the mother I had known and loved. During a year of soul-searching, I began writing as a form of therapy.
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The main characters are people readers will come to love, despise or hate. They are not only capable of great sacrifice and generosity in times of crises, but also reveal traits of vindictiveness, jealousy, betrayal, infidelity, deception, despair, brutality, and even murder.
During the course of writing my novel, I learned that those we love can reject or abandon us when we fail to fulfill their expectations of us. We lose our value or importance. Such is the nature of conditional love. Richard B. Cheong, protagonist of Under the Tamarind Tree, learns this the hard way.
Now comes the part where I should tag another writer. Regrettably, the three writers I contacted prefer not to participate. If you are a writer and would like to share your writing project through this media, please feel free to tag yourself and take this forward. We are writers promoting our work and the work of other writers.