D.A. hails from Georgia, though she grew up in Jamaica. When a friend passed, she poured her grief into poetry, which led to her book – To Fight Fire with Sun.
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Davia morning or afternoon, welcome to a discovered wordsmith. Great to talk to you. How are you doing today? I’m good. How are you doing good. Great. Let’s find out a little bit about you before we talk about your book. So tell everybody what you like to do some of the things you do outside of writing, where you live, things that
well, currently I live in Brunswick, Georgia.
I’m originally from Jamaica. I born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. I think I moved when I was 21. Oh, wow. Yeah. so I’m like full BR Jamaican. I currently live in Brunswick, Georgia, and outside of writing. I pretty much just, I read a lot and , I’m always watching Netflix something.
got it. So why’d you move from Jamaica?
I got a job offer in. First, originally I got a job offer in Buford, Georgia, which is Northern Georgia. And then I got another job offer like a year later down in Brunswick where I am today.
Okay. Do you go back to visit, you still have family back there?
Yes. I still have my parents back there.
My little brother is back there as well. I go back. I try to go back once a year, but it’s been hard because of COVID. Yeah.
Yeah. I used to work on a cruise ship that went to grand Bahama island. So I haven’t been everywhere down there, but , I definitely bragged everybody cuz it was over Christmas and I said, yeah, guess what?
I’m on a beach with a, it was like very beautiful and gorgeous.
Oh, I’ve always wanted to go to The Bahamas. Yeah.
So that’s about as close as I’ve gotten. You said you like to go back, visit family. Do you do. Anything music or anything like that?
No, I just, I listen to a lot of music, but IM not musically inclined at all.
It just, it seemed you might be a musical person, a lot of writers it Okay. I dunno, maybe just I’m thinking back to the music when I was working on the cruise ship. So what made you start writing? What you said you got a job here and now you’re writing. Do you still have the job?
Do you just write what got you started to wanna write?
Still, I still have the job. My work in hospitality in events. I run a lot of mostly weddings, but I don’t think there was like a set time in my life when I wanted to write. I just always have been, I remember getting really good feedback from my high school English teacher on a short story I wrote and I just kept going and going.
And I took a creative writing in college in Jamaica when I did my bachelor’s degree. And. I fell in love with it there. That’s when I really started taking poetry seriously. And I thought, Hey, I can do something with this. So I kept writing. I still write today. I try to write every day,
life, I imagine there’s a lot of weekends you don’t get to write just because you’re probably at a wedding or something like that. Yeah.
Sometimes the it’s.
No I know this isn’t necessarily what you write, but it just seems like with that type of job being at weddings all the time, it sounds like you’d be writing romance and writing these wedding stories and stuff.
Yeah. You would think that, but I do not love poem. I just. I think I’m horrible at it. I’ve tried my hand at it before, and it always ends in something very depressing, but I try
OK. I can go with that. You’re writing, you have a book out. Tell us about the book. What’s the title on, give us a little bit of what it’s like, what it’s about.
Okay. So it’s called to fight fire with sun. And it started after what I like to call my hell week. It’s like the worst week of my life. and it was just like one thing right after the other. And it, the week ended with my best friend in Jamaica. He had been diagnosed with leukemia and he ended up in, so he passed away and it was like a breaking point for me.
And he had always encouraged me to write a book. And I said, you know what, I’m gonna do it. So I booked a ticket to Jamaica and I spent two weeks there and I wrote the book. And now here we are.
so you wrote the whole book in two weeks?
Yeah, I did. I, few of the poems are from like my college courses, my creative writing courses, but I wanted to do something that like really helped me get through my.
So a lot of the themes in the book, it’s talking about loss, whether through love or I did write about processing Alex’s death and, two weeks later here, here I am with a whole book.
Wow. Condolences on your loss. I know a lot of people have gone through a lot of that during these last couple years.
But to channel that into writing I think that’s, pretty powerful. I think that’s been the. Not inspiration, but the spur, the push that some people use and channel their emotions into that writing. So did you said you’ve been planning. Do you think you would’ve written the book without this event that happened in your life?
I think I would’ve, but I think it would’ve taken me a lot longer than it did. I think that was just the catalyst that I needed to actually sit down and do it. Yeah.
So do you have plans for other books?
Yes, definitely. I am working on my second book right now. I’m hoping to release it later this year.
And I eventually want to get away well, not get away, but venture into short stories and possibly like why fiction, but right now I’m focusing on poetry.
Nice. Okay. So your poems, do you have a favorite like poet that you could say? Oh my, my stuff’s like this some other poetry.
I do think I’m similar to Pavana already.
She wrote this in amazing book called where do you go alone? I just love that book and I think, or writing styles are similar. But I think I have a slightly unique voice in that I have my Jamaican experiences mixed with my American experiences and it just, it comes out in it
and. And this may be a little weird.
If you thought about writing before, did you think about, like you said, the short stories in that. And then the poetry wasn’t as much thought of, or have you always wanted to do poetry? I’m not cuz I, and the reason I’m asking and I’m not trying to be weird about it, but sometimes I know I’ve talked to other authors where they wanna write a novel, but they just can’t get themselves to do it.
And then they found writing short stories, got them into writing a novel. I’m just they, the poetry was that always your plan. Or did you do this because of what happened to you? And you’re like, oh, now I know I can write for that confidence.
I’ve always written poetry, but I’ve always wanted to write a novel.
And I’m, I’ve always known. I’ve been good at poetry. But to answer your question, I think I am. Trying to like better myself in poetry and then get to the whole short story before I get into the novel aspect of it. Cause it’s super hard. Yes .
Yeah. And the reason I ask is as a lot of the authors, a lot of people that listen to the podcast are new authors and a lot of people I talk to just struggle, I wanna write, I want, but I can, I then blah.
And it. I like that. You’re moving into the stories and books and you still have that poetry. So , it’s nice to hear you didn’t just write one thing and then oh my gosh, I can’t, you it’s helped you move on. So I love that. Definitely so the poems, the second book, is this gonna be a series?
Are they connected or just
it’s slightly connected? I wanted to do something that it could be standalone, but. If you read it right after my first book, it flows. So that’s what I’m going for. And I can tell you that it’s gonna be basically about emotions on a whole exploring emotion.
Wow. That’s understandable. what, yeah. So is this self-published or traditionally published. It’s self-published okay. Did you consider traditionally, or did you always wanna do this? Self-published
I’ve always wanted to do it traditionally, but I don’t know what made me try self-publishing I just, I was looking around on Google one day and I was like, you know what, I can do this.
And then I just went through it.
Okay, nice. And your stories short stories in that you go self-publish those also? Yes. Okay, we’ll talk more about author stuff coming up in the second half here. After we talk about the books. What’s the title of the book again? To fight fire with sun?
Yes. It’s why that title?
I was driving home from work one day and I was thinking as we all do, when we drive home from work and It just popped into my head, that line to fight fire with sun and I got home and I just wrote it down immediately and I really loved it. And I don’t even know where it came from.
I like to say that the little creative theory, popped into my head and just gave me a great idea. But essentially I like to think of, to fight fire with sun in, in that one, never life gives you anything. You come back at its full force and that’s what I was going for with. The title to fight with them.
Okay. So is there an actual poem in the book with the same title?
Yes. The first poem in the book is called with.
Okay. And all the rest of them. Are all about emotions and dealing with grief and death. You said grief,
death. I have a few of them kind dealing with love, but it gets depressing. So
don’t depressed when they’re to romance.
What’s the feedback then? What have people been saying that have read
it? Oh, it’s been phenomenal actually. It’s. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. I there’s one review in particular that stands out to me where she I’m not really sure if her gender or his or her gender. So they basically started by saying that they to test my writing style, but they can’t they can basically say that it wasn’t well, we’re it?
They said every poem was well written and it just, it felt Something that a human would really relate to. And I think that was like one of the best reviews I’ve ever gotten. Nice. Yeah. And I’ve been very great feedback from friends, family, from people that I’ve, haven’t even met. Like my someone made a video of my book on TikTok when they got it.
That was just amazing.
That’s cool. So you got that book talk or whatever they call it? I haven’t done. Yeah. Nice.
I’m trying to break into it, but it’s kinda, it’s a little rough
so you speak English? I couldn’t detect I don’t detect any accent. But did you think of translating this?
So you have it in two languages.
No or main language in Jamaica is English, but I have been thinking of using my native language in some of the other poems for my second book that I’m G getting into. I’m trying to really explore that Jamaican side of me which for that one, I would probably do a translation for both.
We’ll see, when a time comes
I’m not a huge poetry reader. But I definitely would be interested seeing a book of poems where it’s like English on one side and Jamaican on the other and comparing and seeing, even though I can’t read it, it would just be interesting to me to see that think that would be unique, could be something unique.
It is a great idea.
So thank you to that. If you do that, I wanna see it. Definitely. I don’t that. So I usually ask people movies or TV shows that they’d like to have their book turned into. I don’t know if that works so well with poetry
no, it doesn’t. I have seen Poetry turned into like a music video and that’s kinda what I wanna go for.
would be cool that now you’re talking about breaking into the TikTok that, would be something to do, hire someone to create a video with your poetry. Yeah. And I’ve
been looking, but it’s just it’s rough with like my full-time job and everything.
So yeah. I understand I’m not the.
Video person. But I like that idea. I know that’s the type of thing. My wife would definitely be attracted to some nice video with a poem being read over top of it or something. She likes those types of things.
Can’t just to read it yourself and get, some videos that go with it of some just is my thought, but. Cause you have a very nice voice. I think it’d be very pleasant to listen to in something like that. So Hey, give it a try.
oh, and I’ll
complete credit. Yeah. Getting off track on the book, but I like that idea.
so do you have a website for people to go to?
No, I’m currently working on my site right now. I hope to like, make it fully published within a month or two. But no, I don’t currently have a website. I just have my social media, PA pages.
OK. And where can people find your book?
It’s available on Amazon major online retailers.
It’s also available on this great bookstore that’s based in Australia called amplify bookstore. And I had reached out to them for them to put my book in their inventory and they loved it and they represent bipo authors. So it’s a great
bookstore. Nice. Okay. I’ll have to put links to that.
I’ll look that up. That’s very cool. It, that sounds definitely, this is our world. You’re from Jamaica. You live in the states and you have a bookstore in Australia. That’s featuring your book. Yeah. I love that. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. So you mentioned, you like to read a lot. What are some me your favorite authors and what are your, some of your favorite books?
Currently so my change every day. So currently I’m reading the bridge kingdom by Daniel L. Jensen. And I just, I love it so much. Apart from that, I do there’s this book called by Neil Schusterman. I like the whole why fiction? Aspect of things. And I’ve thought I’ve always been drawn to.
I just, I love fantasy. I love wire fiction. So between those two Esther poetry, I’m a huge war and Shire fan. She has, I just love all her books and she’s amaz an amazing poet.
Nice. Okay. And down there, Georgia, do you have a favorite bookstore that you like to go visit?
There’s this bookstore it’s not in Georgia.
It’s actually an hour away from me in Jacksonville, Florida. And it’s called Chamberlins book mine. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dr. Who yes. Possibly based on your, the background. Yes. Like guitar, this, it looks so small on the outside, but as soon as you go in, it’s like miles and miles of books.
And I just it’s my favorite bookstore ever. That’s
pretty cool. So take it. You watch a little sci-fi at least. Yeah, I do. OK. yeah. I wasn’t big on Dr. Who until my wife turned me on. so who’s your, which, one’s your favorite doctor?
I don’t think I really have a favorite. Oh, No. I just I think everyone brings in like a certain like aspect to it, certain characteristic to it. And like personality trait, and I just, I love them individually. Got it.
Okay. That’s fair. Okay. And when you go back to Jamaica, do you have a favorite bookstore down there?
No, I don’t think I, I really go back to the bookstores there. There is one that I loved when I was little and it’s called Sangster bookstore. It was just, I would drive my mom insane, like spending hours in there at a time. But ever since I moved, I haven’t really been back to any of the bookstores there.
Okay. Just curious, cause I, I like. Put links to the favorite bookstores on the show notes. And I don’t think I have any from Jamaica yet. I’ve got Canada, Scotland, and Australia, and a few others. So
oh, I’ll send you that bookstore link.
That would be pretty awesome. So we wanna talk some author stuff also.
But before we do tell everybody listening, why they should get your book and read your book.
I think if you, as a reader want to experience someone putting into words, like your thoughts, your feelings what are your experiences? I think you should pick up my book because I want to say that I think I’ve done a pretty good job at relaying those feelings, especially when, as it relates to grief and loss.
So that’s my main reason why I think you guys
should read my book. Nice. Oh, cool. And I agree with that. Thank you.