It won’t make a major impact now, and probably won’t later, but I need to draw attention to an author that I have discovered only recently but am now deeply invested in.
Derek Owusu is a writer from London who published his first work, a combination of fictionalized and semi-autobiographical memories that began as a work of poetry, called That Reminds Me. Derek’s book is a real achievement. It uses the lens of partial, incomplete, and complex memories we all have of our experiences to specifically cover the lives of black people in London, taking the reader through narrator K’s experiences as a child and adult.
For me, the eye-opening parts were related to the 2011 England Riots around the killing of Mark Duggan by police. It highlighted how the plight of black people and their relationship to police is not an issue exclusive to the United States. Additionally, Derek writes very realistically from the perspective of someone battling mental health issues. As someone who has become more and more open about his own anxiety and depression, I appreciated how real and relatable this all felt.
Finally, Derek was kind enough to take time out of his day to talk to one of my English classes that read That Reminds Me and he was an incredible presence. He spoke honestly and directly, and was willing to address each and every question that came his way. Treating the students as equals was something I was so happy to see him do, and it meant a lot to them and to me.
So there is my plug for Derek Owusu. I can’t wait to see what he writes next, and I know he is working on his second book now.
As for my own status, I have simply a brief update to report on the progress with the audio book: it is closing in on a completed version of the Prologue, which will be released here on the website. Additionally, I have a content meeting with Wes today to iron out necessary changes and tweaks to the third book so I can plunge headfirst into finalizing that this month. Look for an early 2021 release date for The Steed.