When you're born on the shores of a harbor, even if it's in Jamaica, all you can think about is sailing away. The result? My working life has taken me to the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and South America.
It's been quite a journey. Three degrees, ending with a doctorate from Emory University in film and history. A varied professional life in the communication, academic and entrepreneurial fields. And now that I've decided I'm no longer interested in turning over every rock in the world, I'm happy to be a writer.
In 2011, I started publishing a series for Simon & Schuster's Atria Imprint. The Shad Series chronicles the life of a trail-blazing Jamaican bartender who shines a light on every obstacle blocking his path to success - even while he hides his own past.
I ventured into script writing again with Preciosa, a film directed by Peter Sagnia and shot in St. Croix in 2016, my first drama. The following year I wrote a play called How to Be an Immigrant, which was one of the three winners of Pistarckle Theater's New Playwrights Contest in St. Thomas, USVI, and was performed in Atlanta's Academy Theater in 2018.
Last year, my short story "One-Eyed Woman" appeared in the anthology Atlanta Noir, edited by Tayari Jones and published by Akashic Publishers, New York.
Currently, I'm working on two TV pilots. One for a drama series based on my Shad Series of novels, and the other a comedy for network TV. The writing never ends!
Where do you find the time to write?
GR: I'm a speed writer. And I'm pretty disciplined. I wake up in the morning full of ideas and go to town. I have lunch and a nap around midday -- and, of course, I fade by 5 o'clock.
Will you be writing any more Shad novels?
GR: Probably not for a while. I'm loving screen and theater writing so much that I haven't come up for air!
How do I get my book published?
GR: Oh, I get this question a lot. First, you have to make sure that your manuscript is so tight that you don't have much re-writing to do. Take classes, take classes, take classes to write well. Getting feedback from friends and family isn't what you need. Get a professional involved. It will be worth it.
Am I too old to start writing?
GR: Love this one. As long as your creative mind is spinning ideas, you’re never too old. Think of Andres Segovia and Pablo Casals who composed and performed into their 90s. My generation is expected to live into our 100s. You probably have more time left to write than you think!