I was born on a tiny island in the Caribbean--Trinidad--but as my mother likes to remind me, "Sugah plum plum yuh come from both islands as yuh born in Trinidad but conceive in Tobago."
Though the twin isles of T&T are intensely beautiful, much of them untouched, I had to leave them behind when I was twelve years old, trading the islands' indelible allure for the urban streets of New Jersey.
Both places have shaped the person I've become as well as the characters I create and write about. I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing or didn't have an idea for a story I wanted to pursue; my mother recognized this early on as one of the first presents I remember her gifting me was a diary (with a rather lewd picture on the front that she covered with a blank sheet of paper). Once I filled that up, she kept buying me more. I kept writing and she kept fueling.
As an undergrad, I tried to major in something more lucrative, something with a solid career path carved out for me, but nothing made me happier than when I was steeped in a story or learning about women and gender roles across different cultures. Actually one story in particular kept pulling me to it over and over again--my mother's and grandmother's. At first I fictionalized it not knowing I could write it as memoir but once I discovered memoir as an art form, I knew, to preserve its integrity, it was how I wanted to bring this story into the world.
I went on to study at Hunter College where I earned my MFA in creative nonfiction and went on to teach creative writing and women and gender studies at New Jersey City University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. In 2015, my manuscript titled, "Incantations" that would eventually become the memoir SECRETS WE KEPT, was a finalist for the PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize.
The people and characters I write about and create are all around us. They are the people you bump into at the grocery store, someone muttering under their breath, another human being desperately in need of connection making casual conversation. Relationships and their conflicts, people and their struggles, plumbing the depths of the human condition, stories often left untold in places not usually written about, move me in ways I will forever try to fathom through my writing.