Blog The Inspiration Behind Di Island Crew Series
I particularly liked island adventures. As a child there was something freeing about them. The isolation, the nature, the sense of feeling trapped but also feeling like the world was yours for the taking. Maybe it was because I born on an island or maybe it was the freedom children were allowed.
The idea started to take shape when I came across a YouTube video talking about tiny islands that belong to Jamaica, and this sparked the idea of Di Island Crew. I needed a place that was small enough for the kids to roam freely without worrying about their safety, but big enough for them to explore.
There were a few islands in the video, but two caught my attention. One was Errol Flynn Island, given to the James Bond author but was now uninhabited, and the second was an island where a wealthy Jamaican family took their boat to spend the day. The idea of a private island for a small number of wealthy Jamaicans came to be.
The more I thought about this story, the more excited I became. This was new territory for my writing. I had told stories of working-class Jamaicans, but I had not told stories of Jamaicans who were wealthy.
I particularly loved the idea of exploring the class system through a child’s eyes. As someone who grew up poor in Jamaica, then returned when I was eleven living in gated communities and going to private schools, I felt I had seen both sides.
The real work for me was coming up with the mysteries. This was something very new to me. Although I had read a lot of mysteries, I hadn’t written one in a long time.
The idea of the lighthouse came from a photo I had taken in Negril Jamaica of a lighthouse surrounded by a bed of rocks, and immediately the idea of the shadow came to me.
But whilst mystery is the theme, I wanted the reader feel as though they were also in DI Island Crew. More than that, I wanted it to be about my favourite subject, friendship and how no matter what your economic status or background, relationships with your peers were the same everywhere. Complex, rewarding and a roller coaster of emotions.
Published: Fri 16th Jun 2023