A Belizean teacher has entered in the publishing world after releasing her first book entitled La Partera. Author Melissa Bradley stated that the book tells the story of a Belizean community affected by supernatural forces. It was launched today at the Image Factory in Belize City. Bradley told us more about the inspiration behind the book and the importance of having more Belizean authors.
Melissa Bradley, Author: “I had to write a children’s book and it was a very very short book but because of the influence of folk tale and my mom always telling us stories I decided you know what this is something I want to pass on for generations to come and so I decided to write the Midwife for that specific course. I always tell people I am my number one fan because I have been writing forever, I write for almost every occasion but I keep my information to myself so I guess because I was very shy growing up and even as an adult I am naturally shy. Well my students will never say this but because as a teacher you know you change, you grow and so you cannot be shy for too long as a teacher but my personality I am a shy individual and I was afraid of the media I didn’t want the exposure because it meant I had to talk in front of people but for me now as an adult it’s very exciting because as I said before I always wanted to pass on the tradition. I have already started writing another book well actually two books but one is a compilation of short stories so it’s more than one story and the other one is a novel and so this experience makes me even more eager to share my knowledge and information that I believe is necessary for our young people today. I especially would like for these books to be used in our schools because I believe that students need something to hold on to. We need to preserve our culture, we need to preserve our history and we need to see more of us, more of our traditions in our education system in the books that we read. We often open these books and it’s either from some other country some foreign country or the Caribbean but we want more of Belize in our Belizean education system.”
The illustrator of the book is young Nisa Sanchez, whose love for drawing extends many years. She spoke about why she was interested in illustrating the novel, and the process that it took.
Nisa Sanchez, Illustrator: “When you read La Partera you understand that it’s based in the real world. You understand that it’s based in a world that we can understand, that we exist in right now but then you’re also thrown quite suddenly right into the supernatural you’re thrown into something mystical and that’s what I liked about it. I liked that mystical sense to it, I liked that supernatural touch to it so that’s what really got me excited about drawing these illustrations you know reading it through trying to pick out the best parts, trying to compose the illustrations as best as possible. First I had to read the whole thing. Yes naturally step one read the story you’re going to illustrate, had to read it over and over and to really get that sense I had to start visualizing compositions, had to start thinking about how the characters are going to look. I had to do different little thumbnail sketches a lot of them, I had to do the whole color schemes I had to put together like a whole sketchbook of just work just to really get a feel for it and then I go into the illustration process.”
The book is available for sale for $20 at the Image Factory.