Nadine Tomlinson is a writer of speculative fiction. She enjoys sharing ideas, resources, and storytelling to help writers and other creatives find inspiration for their art and a thriving life. She is writing her first novel.
Q & A
What do you do and Why do you do it?
I write because it’s my gift and I want to share it with the rest of the world. Also, I believe in the power of storytelling to transform lives and shape new narratives. That’s what I want my stories to do.
Tell us about your most recent work.
I’m working on my first speculative fiction novel. It has elements of magical realism drawn from Jamaican folklore. It’s about family and facing the consequences of one’s actions, among other things. My protagonist is plus-sized and an anti-heroine. I love her. She’s way different from me. I hope I do her story justice.
Who inspires you?
So many, but here are my favourites: Octavia E. Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, JK Rowling, Olive Senior, Kei Miller, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
When I’ve created it, I’ll get back to you. (laughs)
What is your motto in life?
I think my motto has been subconscious in that I’ve never articulated it or written it down before. Now that I’m thinking about it, it would be to always be true to myself, and that includes never conforming to the status quo.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
To visit every continent and live in one of those places for a while.
What is your favorite quote?
Gosh, I have so many. But I love the first part of Charles de Lint’s quote: “We’re all made of stories.”
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
That I made people know that they’re not alone, that I understood and cared and did my best to show that through my lifework.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
When my novel is ready for publication, I’ll let you know.
Where can fans purchase your work?
This isn’t my work per se, but some of my short stories were published in a Jamaican anthology. It’s available on the publisher’s website: pelicanpublishers.com
The Anthology is a fitting follow-up to the Literary Anthology Festival published by the Jamaican Cultural Development Commission (1987). It is a colourful presentation of gold-medal winning short stories that reflect the many scenes of old and new Jamaica.
We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere—anywhere – where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.
Today’s assignment takes me into my imagination and my past is calling out to me. I have been to Jamaica twice in this life and each time I felt like I was coming home. There is something about the warmth of the people that felt familiar to me. I feel a kinship to this land and its people as if I was there before in another life. If I could be whisked away to anywhere in the world it would be there….
Dig if you will a picture of you and I engaged in a kiss. The sweat of your body covers me. Tell me my darling, can you picture this? Dream if you can a coastline with oceans of deep blue, palm trees and the smell of jerk chicken permeating throughout your nostrils. It’s like mother’s milk. Everything is easy going and there is no rush to do anything or be anywhere in particular. Walking down the street we encounter the most interesting people and have good conversations and plenty of laughs. We take time out to sit at a café and drink Blue Mountain or maybe have a rum punch. It’s whatever you like.
After the drink we stroll to the street market and talk with the vendors who treat us like family. The money that is spent is of no consequence because we are not living for materialistic things. It’s all about working together for a common goal. The vendor needs to eat and so do we and both provide a service for each other. We have a community in which we live and people know and care for each other.
After the market we stop by the beach for a nice swim and soak up the afternoon sun. There are no tourists at this beach, only locals and in the distance someone is playing some Bob Marley which always puts us in a good mood. I want you to take my hand and close your eyes, take a deep breath and inhale the smell of the ocean. Taste the salt on your lips and know that you have been blessed by God! While your eyes are closed, meditate and clear your mind. You are at peace and this is paradise to you and you are grateful to live in such a serene and beautiful place. Squidge your feet in the sand and feel the grains run through your toes. The sun is warm on your skin and you can hear the seagulls fishing in the distance. Do you feel like a kid again, because I do!
Once we have refreshed and recharged at the beach, we head home where you sit out on the patio overlooking the ocean and I get lunch. We dine on some spicy oxtails served with rice and peas, with cabbage and plantains. The aromatic scent of the food makes your mouth water before I can serve it up. I hand you a ginger beer to wash it down. Once lunch is over we relax in the cabana that you built for me for our anniversary and we relax enjoying each other’s company. There is silence, but we are not silent. We are so very comfortable there is no need for words, just relaxation and love in the air. You fall asleep while I read a good book and we are out there long enough to watch the sunset. We snuggle, kiss and do what people in love do when they are happy and alone. All is right in the world today and tomorrow who knows what adventure awaits us. Jamaica is more than paradise, it is home!