Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged by my long time friend, Vijaya, over at Reading, Writing & Ruminating. She is the very first person I met online while taking a writing course through Institute of Children's Literature. Vijaya is multifaceted being a scientist, a writer, mother and wife. She's taught me a lot. 

The Next Big Thing is a meme designed as an interview where you describe you current WIP. This particular  meme is the perfect time for me to make a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! So read carefully.

What is your working title of your book?
Anansi and Company

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea to translate and retell some of these wonderful stories from the Caribbean came about when my sister Erva gave me, for safe keeping against the tropical climate, an old book of Jamaican Anansi stories. Because they were faithfully transcribed into the Jamaican dialect they are difficult to read and understand. I've spent at least five years slowing going through them, picking ones I feel are worthy of being retold. One of the stories I retold, "Why Dogs Beg," won first place in the Children's Writer Fantasy/Folktale Contest.  You can read it HERE.

What genre does your book fall under?
Caribbean folk lore.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since it would no doubt be an animated film, who would I like as the voice of Anansi? Oh gosh, somebody who can do a good West Indian accent. I'll shoot for the best, I'll shoot for the moon, Sidney Poitier.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Anansi the spider tricks, sings, and dances his way into and out of trouble in this collection of ten retold Jamaican stories.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Here's the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT folks. I'm going to self-publish this collection. It will be my first foray into the ebook market. The talented Adrienne Saldivar over at The Story Board is doing the cover which will be revealed at a later time. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
I'd say it's taken me about four or five years to pull these stories together. They're something I've been dabbling at while working on other things.

May we see an intro?
Okay, this is from the first story: "Anansi Takes Wee Pig Home," which has an object lesson at the end.

It was late in the afternoon when Anansi the spider and Wee Pig came to a stream they had to cross. After spending a long day at market selling a few yams and mango, they were tired and wanted to get home.

Wee Pig sat down by the edge of the stream to rest. 

Anansi, impatient to be on his way said, "Wee Pig, jump across this stream so we could go home."

Wee Pig said, "Anansi, I will not jump across this stream."

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
File:Brer Rabbit and family, 1881.jpg
Brer Rabbit and family
The Uncle Remus stories come closest, particularly when you realize Anansi is their predecessor. Anansi came to the Caribbean as a stowed away in the minds of the Ashanti people of West Africa.  He survived the Middle Passage and hundreds of years of slavery. His stories eventually made their way into the United States and, over time, evolved into the stories of Uncle Remus.

There are many tricksters in lore like, Loki, Pan, Puss in Boots, and Coyote to name a few. Tricksters break the rules and defy convention. They can be cunning or foolish. They lie, steal, and cheat often unintentionally causing something else to happen that is beneficial. Their importance is that they give the down-trodden a bit of hope and explain why certain things are the way they are. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I'd have to say, in regards to my writing, my mother has always been my primary inspiration. But there other factors as well. The Anansi stories deserve to be more widely known. They are a part of the Caribbean culture and heritage. I want to help spread the word, because the history of the Caribbean is so rich and diverse.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Although there are picture books depicting Anansi, as far as I have been able to discover, this is the only collection of ten stories in one place. Plus, I've included ten riddles!

So that's it folks. I'm joining many of you in this Brave New World of e-publishing. 

Gulp! Got any tips? Any suggestions? Will you hold my hand? 


  1. Congrats on your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Exciting news indeed. Best wishes for the new venture!

  2. Yes, congratulations on the big announcement!

  3. Bish! I am so happy that Anansi will be a book, and sad that I'm still behind on the e-reader ... I hope in the time it takes me to get one, your book will be picked up by a publisher, so that we Luddites can enjoy it too. I am thankful I got to read this in manuscript form.


    Now go over to the Blueboards and announce it there as well, because the one thing I realize about self-publishing is that people have to be able to find your book amongst a sea of books.

  4. Hey, Bish! Exciting news. CONGRATS!

  5. Congrats! love your BIG announcement. It's an exciting step towards reaching your writing goals:)

  6. Congrats! You'll learn a whole lot about publishing from doing it yourself. Be sure to have fun in the process :)

  7. Congratulations! Great sounding story.

  8. I am just so PROUD of you, and I know your mother would be too. Congratulations!

  9. What a wonderful-sounding idea, Bish! And you've got some great source material there to work with! Best of luck to you with the book! Can't wait to see it on the "shelves"! :o) <3

  10. Woo hoo, Bish! Congratulations! Your book sounds great, and I have no doubt you'll be successful with the epubbing. Very cool that you already have your cover designer. So happy for you!

  11. Congrats on your big announcement, Bish. I'm considering doing the same for a project I'll be starting soon. But it will be at least a year before it's ready for publication.

    Do you know Susan Quinn? Her blog is an amazing resource for SP'ed authors.

  12. Congratulations, Bish! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your book. :)

  13. I am so excited about your big announcement!! Yeah! Congrats! I cannot wait to read your book. Stephanie and I have been researching Anansi tales- as they tie into the second book in our Fairday Morrow series! What an amazing connection to you. :) Wising you much success! Loved learning more about what your book is about.

  14. Congratulations!!! Your collection sounds fantastic and I very much enjoyed the first page snippet!

  15. Oh, wow, Bish! Congrats on your fantastic news - YAY! Your books sounds intriguing and I can't wait to read it.

  16. Hooray! What a great thing to read today! And, not to be lost in the big announcement is your winning first place. Congratulations, Bish!

  17. Your book sounds wonderful!! Congratulations, Bish!

  18. Hello, I'm just over from The Secret DMS files. I'm glad I called in today as I got to read your big announcement. Congratulations! I’ve followed with GFC and would love it if you felt like calling in or following back. Barbara.

  19. Congrats on your decision to self-pub. That's a huge step, and I'm so happy for you, especially with somethings as unique as these.

  20. Yippee and yahooieeeeeee!!!! Cannot wait!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to interview you woman! I am so excited about this. Congrads!! *grabs Bish's hand* :-)

  21. I forgot to congratulate you on first prize. I did not know that! Yay you! Going to read it.

  22. Congratulations on the announcement! :) I love retellings; and Caribbean folklore sounds really interesting.

  23. Wow, what an exciting decision, and what fun it will be to see this book go forward. Enjoying and celebrating with you!

  24. Oh Caribbean folk lore sounds wodnerful!! Good luck with self-publishing!!!!

  25. Awesome. Keep me in mind for any blog tour.

    I'm familiar with Anansi. There was a passage my students had to read years ago about Anansi, which I used for two years.


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