A Book Festival in Kingston

I’m a huge reader. The biggest piece of furniture in my home is a bookshelf filled with my books. When Kellie Magnus of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica asked me to join the planning committee of the Kingston Book Festival, I said, “sure!”

One of the cool things I get to do is interview the keynote speaker, Christopher John Farley, for the supplement in the local newspapers. I’m doing some background research on him and thought I’d share it with you. He’s pretty awesome.

Christopher John Farley is a Jamaican-born writer who has made waves on the international scene. He is currently the editor of the Wall Street Journal’s culture website, Speakeasy. He graduated from Harvard University in 1988 and started writing for Time magazine in 1992, holding “one of American journalism’s most sought after jobs as Time magazine’s pop-music critic.”

He has done (in)famous interviews with Whitney Houston, Halle Berry, and Bob Dylan among many other celebrities, and frequently appears on MTV, CNN, and MSNBC to talk about music and pop culture. If that weren’t enough, he’s also written biographies of Halle Berry, Bob Marley,  and Aaliyah, as well as two novels. I have Kingston by Starlight: A Novel – about the life of a female pirate in Jamaica – on my bookshelf.

Apart from being the keynote speaker at Redbones on Friday, March 8, he’ll be chairing a workshop that same day at the Spanish Court Hotel called “Making Memories, Making Money: The Business of Memoirs.” I will definitely be there.

I also love that this year, we’re bringing book publishers and distributors from the United States and the U.K. to meet local authors and publishing houses and educate us on how to tap into these markets. One of the confirmed publishers from the U.S. is Akashic Books – a Brooklyn-based independent publisher, known for bringing books by minority authors to a wide market.

Overall, we’re trying to use the festival to get the word out that a book is a business, and that there are fantastic books being written by Jamaican authors all over the world. I’ll be joining the ranks of published Jamaican authors very soon. I’ll update you on that next week.

The festival runs from March 2-10. Hope to see you there!

For more info, see this page, or follow @kgnbookfest on Twitter. 

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