You’d have thought that with eight previously published books that I wouldn’t be nervous, yet I was. I was reading at the Calabash International Literary Festival 2009: “The only international literary festival in the English-speaking Caribbean.”
And I was reading from a new book, Who’s Your Daddy? And Other Stories.
I wrote “Big Wheels Keep on Turnin': Calabash 09 (Part 2)” to capture my experience of reading “The Day Jesus Christ Came to Mount Airy” because it was a turning point for me in my writing career. It was the first time that I’d read to so large an audience in Jamaica, and as everyone knows, Jamaicans can be a tough audience. Especially with our own.
For you can write a technically competent story with a beginning, middle, and end about a character with whom you think the audience will empathize; you can set up the plot in such a way as to make the hero’s choices (whether is a comedy or tragedy) seem plausible; you can even try out the story with a few friends for a "dry run," and still fail to connect with an audience.
Luckily, the reading was a success and I was proud to have been one the Calabash authors for the 2009 season.
This is part of a group write project: Essential Lines from 2009: Group Writing Project.