The box arrives, a simple brown box with the familiar packaging from my publisher. I set it down on a chair – for two days. Other obligations distract me from looking at my fourth in the Shad Series.

Only five years ago, things were completely different. A similar box holding my first novel in the Shad Series, The Goat Woman of Largo Bay, was torn open in the car, paper thrown every which way as I kept saying, “Oh, my God, oh, my God!” When I got home, I held one book high and danced around the room, my heart full. 

Today I am working on two future manuscripts, writing one and doing planning and research for another, while the printed version of the last book waits patiently for my attention. When I finally open the box, I am more satisfied than ecstatic, a mellowness that comes from believing that this new book has a destiny that has been decided already. My pleasure now comes from positioning a book on the floor and taking photographs. Later I line up the book launch and signings. Time have a way of changing excitement to contentment. I write now not to get published but for the pleasure of writing.

Yet this new book has been an adventure, because I was able to delve into an area that was relatively unknown to me. The Rhythm of the August Rain opened up the history and philosophy of the Rastafari, weaving them into Shad’s life. I had grown up in Jamaica with Rastafarians all around me, but I really didn’t know much, I discovered. My goal is to educate readers who are also unaware of the culture.

The publication date – when it appears in bookstores and is shipped by Amazon – is July 28.

Here are some other dates for upcoming events around Rhythm:

July 18 at 2:45 – 4 pm: Harlem Book Fair, where I’ll be on a panel on “Literature and the Diaspora” at the Harlem Hospital Atrium, New York.     

August 7 at 7 pm: Barnes & Noble, Plantation, Florida, for the official launch.

September 5: AJC Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta, at the Emory University tent.

If you’re in either New York, Florida or Atlanta, please stop by. I’ll talk about Rhythm and about the new books I’m working on. 

I like my new addition to the Shad Series. The reviewer for Good Reads ( gave it a 5-star rating, so I think it’s worth a read, don’t you?