Drawing on yard-bred humour, a flair for the dramatic, and an engaging writing style that reels in her readers, Joelle Wright is making strides as the author of the ambitious sketch-comedy volumes A Soh Wi Do It (2010) and A Soh It Go, which she published last year. Now the Maryland-based Jamaican is set to participate in a special Sangster’s Bookstore-sponsored literary event – in observance of Jamaica 50 – slated for later this year. Visit ackeepodpublishing.com to learn more. Below, TALLAWAH has a chat with the author:
What initially inspired your series of Jamaican sketch-comedy books, and what has the journey been like getting them to the world's attention?
I started out writing comedy sketches that satirize news stories and current events. Several of those sketches have been viral on the Internet over the years. In 2009, I was encouraged to pen my sketch-comedy books by those readers and fans who have been following my work throughout the years. The journey to bring the books to the world stage has taken a lot of hard work, tenacity and networking, but [it] has been tremendously rewarding.
2012 is such an ideal year for Jamaicans to devour homegrown stories like the ones you’ve penned. Have you been doing any special promotion of the books this year?
Incidentally, I have been asked by Sangster’s Bookstore Ltd to be a part of this year’s 50th anniversary celebration, which gives homage to Jamaican authors in the Caribbean and the Diaspora. The books have a commemorative 50th anniversary logo that will serve as collector’s items for Jamaicans celebrating this momentous milestone in our history. As a result of the promotions, the interest in and the demand for the books has increased. I am also working on spreading the books all over the island via LMH Publishing so that access is more widespread across the island.
Outside of writing and lit, where do your passions and interests lie?
I live to make people laugh. That actually feeds into my writing. There is not one without the other. I also have this fascination with forensic science (Laughs). It’s intriguing and maybe in the next life, I will definitely have a career in forensics.
What have you been learning about yourself these past few years?
That I have an incredible will and drive to succeed. I had set the bar very low when I started this journey, and I find myself wanting to raise the bar higher and continue to push to reach higher grounds. I am also learning I have the power to influence people positively.
As a daughter of the Jamaican soil, what are you most proud of when you assess the country's half-a-century of achievements?
I am very proud that I was raised in a country with such rich heritage. I am also very proud of the outstanding achievements Jamaica has obtained in just 50 years. There is still much growth left, however, there is no doubt that Jamaica stands out as a stellar nation, producing some of the best and brightest stars around the world.