Author Giftus John

Yesterday, I participated in an event, Festival on the Green, at Friberger Park in my hometown, Union, New Jersey. It was part of the annual Mayor’s Day activities in the town. A number of vendors and artisans and crafters pitched their canopies or spread their wares on tables in the open with the hope that attendees to the event would purchase something. It was a beautiful day, though a bit cold and windy under the trees in the park.

One of the questions that some of the visitors to my booth asked was… “Did you write all these books?” and I obliged by answering yes and letting them know further that I had written five books in all and that I also painted and did photography.

This question has come up at almost every event that I have attended within the past year. I don’t know if I should begin making note of it, but one thing I have never done is ask why the person had asked me that question. Yet, almost every time, that person would smile and offer a compliment, or buy a book, if they were so moved to do so. I would be glad if everyone bought a copy, but the fact that someone stopped by and engaged you in conversation about your work was admirable. Since my work is focused primarily on Dominica and the Caribbean to some extent, I usually end up doing a “class” in History or Geography.

I don’t know what the reasons are, and maybe I will never know, but sometimes I ask myself whether people are amazed that they’re meeting someone who has written a book or amazed that the author is out at an event trying to sell his books. Is it because the traditional way to purchase a book is to go into a bookstore and buy a book, without even knowing who the author is or what he/she looks like?

Ma William Book Cover

Yet things have changed over the years as we are into this digital age. There is the opportunity for more writers to print their work. But there is more work now since they, in most cases have to bear the burden of marketing and promoting their work. I should confess that sometimes I wonder whether there are other reasons why they ask me that question. But whatever the case, I am always glad that someone took the time to stop and say hello.When I was thinking of writing this blog I wondered what topic I should deal with. I was not sure if I should talk about “Ma William and Her Circle of Friends,” or one of the chapters in the book and highlight one of the characters, or an event in St. Joseph, but when that question came up again yesterday, I decided to write along those lines.

Yes, it’s been a while since I have been writing. It’s been a long literary journey. It’s been a journey that began with “The Dawn” and continues with “Ma William and Her Circle of Friends,” and where that journey will lead me to, I don’t know. I am not sure if I can say it’s been easy or difficult – think somewhere in between, but there is a lot of pride in the accomplishments thus far. I have had to battle some situations that I didn’t expect and had hoped would have been easily surmounted -won’t go into detail though- but otherwise I would not be talking the truth if I say that it has been all worth it.

I have seen a new interest in “Mesye Kwik!Kwak!” my first collection of short stories which is presently being converted to an e-book.  Mesye Kwik! Kwak! was published 7 years ago.  “Ma William and Her Circle of Friends,” continues to find new avenues where it can be discovered. The journey continues as I begin working on new projects that I plan on publishing soon. How soon, I am not sure. But there is room for advancement on that journey. I am not sure what I will meet along the way, but I am sure I will find the help, support and cooperation that I need to keep on going. As the song goes…”the road is long with many a winding turn, that leads to who knows where….”  All I can hope for is to get to the end of that journey or keep going on until I get there.

Click here to learn more about Ma William and Her Circle of Friends first year and to participate in a contest to celebrate the book’s first year.