Picking up from where I left off in Part 1, in this blogpost I would like to share more about the genesis of my upcoming historical fiction novel, Children of the Ocean God. After making a decision on the title, I felt ready to dive into the thick of writing – the difficult but fun part of creating a novel.

Initially I had the idea that I couldn’t start writing Children of the Ocean God without first conducting some rudimentary research about the Garifuna (i.e., Black Caribs). I pretty much knew nothing about their culture, history or traditions, when I first started this writing project. So I had to start from square one. As a resut if this, at first I concocted an elaborate plan to visit Belize, Honduras and St. Vincent to interview various people as well as look into government archives. However, as I was contemplating this daunting and rather costly undertaking, the Covid Pandemic struck in late 2019. In the space of a few months it became clear that traveling overseas to conduct historical research for this book was not on the cards. I quickly realized I would need to get creative by using as virtual resources as possible. That meant scouring web, watching YouTube videos (including drone footage), accessing online records and reaching out to various people who could assist me in tracking down the historical information I sought.

At the same time, it is also dawned on me, that for the story that I wanted to tell, which focuses on the key events occurring in the pivotal, first fortnight of the Second Carib War, it was not necessary to visit Belize and Honduras (where the diaspora Garifuna are concentrated in Central America). Instead I needed to find resources in St. Vincent, the UK and France, which could help me gain deeper insight into the major events of the war, in particular from the Garifuna perspective (which was hard to come by). Luckily, I managed to access a treasure trove of the information in the British Archives online, and as well as through diligent online research which led me to some obscure, albeit insightful resources. One such record of note, is a detailed account of the battle on Dorsetshire Hill, in which paramount chief, Joseph Chatoyé was killed, from the archives of the Forty-sixth Regiment of Foot, of the British Army. Without invaluable resources such as this it would have been impossible to write an honest and authentic story about this conflict.

In Part 3 I will share more about how I went about incorporating the perspective of the Garifuna into Children of the Ocean God. Thanks for stopping by my blog to read my latest post. I am always curious to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you would like to receive more updates about my writing kindly consider joining my newsletter mailing list by subscribing below.

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