|Photo by: Jaxon Photography|
From Software Development to writing children’s books, Carol Mitchell, who hails from St. Kitts in the Caribbean is doing just that. She is the published author of two books under her trademarked Caribbean Adventure Series.
How does a former Consultant with Deloitte & Touche and Manager of a software development company make time to write? Her first book was written at night after she had put the kids to bed and although she has always written for pleasure, she only began writing for the Series in 2007 after a visit to Brimstone Hill, a fort built in the 1600s in St. Kitts where the first book is based.
After Adventure in Brimstone Hill was completed, she then went through the arduous task of trying to find an illustrator for the book. I ask why she chose to self-publish and she admits it was not out of choice. Publishers in the Caribbean were not to eager to publish her book for a number of reasons – it was not scholarly, not a textbook and did not really follow a particular theme. The first set was printed in Trinidad and the subsequent set in the US. the book was well received in St. Kitts.
The second book, Pirates at Port Royal is based in Jamaica was written with her son and dad’s input, when she found herself uncertain of where to the story should go. Also well-received in both St. Kitts and Jamaica – where she went to market the book.
The wider Jamaican audience gained the book more recognition. The appeal she thinks is because she tried to stick fairly close to the history, while remaining a children’s read. With the third book completed and its illustration underway, Carol has simultaneously launched her Publishing Company, Caribbean Reads with fellow author and very good friend Nerissa Golden. The third book will be published by Caribbean Reads and the story is based in Trinidad. While still historic, it hopes to create an awareness to environmental issues amongst its young readers.
I ask why she eschewed the agent-publisher route with the third book and she admits that as difficult as the self-publishing route is, she wanted continuity with the series, which the mainstream publishing route would have hampered, and fans of the series are ‘banging at the door!’. Carol says she wants to develop more of a reading culture in Caribbean children, where a lot of children are leaving elementary school without having learnt how to read. On an island with a population of 35,000, carol is the first writer of children’s books in St. Kitts, where unfortunately young adults and tweenies are not catered to.
Currently working on a novel – although she says ‘working’ is too strong a word, this writer is also President of the United Nations’ Spouses Association of Ghana and a registered student for a course in editing and creative writing with Berkerly. She is a regular contributor to the online magazine Kittivisian Life for St. Kitts and Nevis by a group of writers. She also writes for her own blog Caribbean Thoughts, about her life and observations in Ghana.
The Caribbean Adventure Series books will be available in Ghana in book stores soon.