Amina Lovell celebrates publication of her first novel, Opal Island, and says she is most proud of her focus and consistency

Still relishing the celebrity status accorded to one of Antigua and Barbuda’s premier writers, recently, the country can celebrate the entry of a new pen on the scene.

Amina Lovell, who resides in California, USA, has had her first novel, Opal Island, published by Bee Infinite Publishing.

The book, aimed at a young adult audience, was officially released on February 23 and had its formal launch and signing event on March 11.  It is billed as “a sci-fi and fantasy thrill ride with an Afro-Caribbean twist.”

In a Voyage LA interview with the author, Lovell shares her writing journey which, she said, began in 2011.  

She recalls working in various administrative and entertainment positions and then landing a news producer job after completing graduate school. However, she says, three and a half years of producing left her feeling “repressed, unseen, and unheard.”

Accordingly, she says, she took the decision to quit her day job – typical of her risk-taking personality – and “pursue creative writing full-time,” concentrating on her debut novel.  

In pursuit of that dream, she moved to Los Angeles and eventually published an e-book, and then met her future publishers, who helped her to “polish and refine” her ideas.

Satisfied with her accomplishment – after an admittedly rocky creative journey that took her “close to giving up completely a few times” – Lovell says she is most proud of her focus, consistency, growth in her self-confidence, and her particular brand of storytelling and creativity.

Her book – illustrated by an artist who understood her vision – is available through several online sources, including well-known booksellers Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Lovell, a graduate of the Antigua Girls High School, is the daughter of Harold and Joanne Lovell.  

Her father, who travelled to the USA to attend the launch and celebrate her success, says he “could not be more proud of her – not only her novel, but the person she has grown into. My children are my greatest accomplishment.”