By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
BAHAMIAN author and publisher Nicole Roberts hopes to be an inspiration for budding writers with the launch of her new books and publishing company. She hopes to show young writers the many opportunities that exist through a career in writing and publishing.
On Friday, Nicole will launch her three self-published books at Buy the Book: a humorous Bahamian dictionary, a book of poetry and other writings, and a Bahamian history book “The Story of the Bahamas in Ten Objects”.
The Story of the Bahamas in Ten Objects takes an unorthodox approach to the country’s history. The history story is told through objects, such as limestone, which takes readers two hundred million years back to the initial formation of the island, showing how it all happened.
Also included in the book are political events and events related to slavery in the Bahamas.
“The book ends with what I characterise as the best of times and the worse of times in the Bahamas. I characterise the last chapter as what I think in my opinion is the best the Bahamas is experiencing. We have entered the technological age; we have new roads, new investments, more educated Bahamians than we have ever had before. But the flip side of it is that we have a growing crime problem and a growing gang problem in the Bahamas and a growing number of people who feel disenfranchised of the dream of 1973. So that is how this book takes shape,” she said.
“What I wanted to do with the history book is bring out some unknown facts, talk about some things that have always been in the public media, but also bring the history to a newer generation. I wanted to bring the story of the Bahamas to the next generation in a way that marries both the European history that has influenced so much of what happened here in the islands for so much years. I just wanted to tell the story from a different angle. I wanted this to be a bit more rounded and I did not want it to be political or something that focuses on the negative aspects. It is a broad overview and it is meant to act as a spring board,” she told Tribune Woman.
Nicole believes there is enough potential locally for authors and their work to become international sensations. Suffolk House Books is the avenue Nicole uses to help aspiring Bahamian writers become published authors. She started the company a few months ago, with the aim of raising cultural awareness for all things Bahamian.
While in London, which has been her temporary home for the past 10 years, Nicole has nostalgic feelings of home. She wrote her three latest books in response.
“The poetry book is just basically me giving a little piece of myself to the world. There are bits and pieces in the book about things I love and things I hate. I talk little bit about how words can heal, words can hurt. The second book is what I call a Bahamian dictionary of essential words and phrases. I tried to make it humorous. It is not serious at all. It is for Bahamians and tourist and is funny, I hope,” said Nicole.
Moving forward Ms Roberts said she will do all that she can to get the Bahamas writing more.
She said her publishing company is looking for writers who have written books of any genre, especially children’s books.
“There is so much potential out there for international exposure. I think young people especially need to become more literate, more aware of books and develop a love for the written word. I think that is one thing, even my children have learnt. Where we live in London, there are tons of book stores and tons of libraries where people just spend hours and hours wondering around book shops. It is very different because you come here and almost no one reads. They may leap through the pages of something, but rarely I see someone just sitting down somewhere reading a book and somehow that needs to change,” she said.