‘As dawn kissed the sky, she looked out of her window and saw a ball of flames darting through the tamarind trees. The shape-shifting Soucouyant had found her victim.’
I’m very excited to announce that I’m writing a new book – a collection of Caribbean Folktales which will be published by The History Press. These stories for adults will be my retellings of tales from many Caribbean countries, including Haiti, Trinidad, Grenada and Guyana, to name a few. There will be themes of magic and mystery, love and loss, tricksters and fools. It’s such an exciting journey for me, collecting these wonderful Caribbean stories to share with everyone.
As part of my research, I’m arranging to speak with renowned Trinidadian author and Storyteller Grace Hallworth, who will be turning 92 next year. I remember reading her first book, Cric Crac, a collection of tales from the West Indies, which was published in 1990. It will be such an honour to hear a story from Grace for my collection if possible.
Alongside these colourful stories, I’m capturing true reminiscences of migration from the Windrush generation – people who came from the Caribbean to Britain, shaping new stories to influence the old. Listening to my own mother’s memories of arriving in London from Guyana as a 12 year old, inspired me to find out more and weave them into the collection. She spoke of nights filled with a deep fog around London. She was not use to people appearing suddenly in the street through this grey mist, as if the Moongazer jumbee (ghost) himelf was ready and waiting to crush you with his limbs.
I’ll leave you with that ghostly image and keep you updated with my writing journey as the Caribbean story collection takes shape.