Local author to launch third novel

St. John’s Antigua- Joanne C Hillhouse, author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, is about to launch her third book.

Her latest novel, entitled Oh Gad!, will be released internationally by US publisher Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster on April 17. In Antigua, fans of the author will be able to obtain an autographed copy at three minutes past midnight on that day at Joanne’s Midnight Launch to be held at the Best of Books Village Walk branch on Friars Hill Road. The festive launch party will begin at 11 pm on the night of April 16.

“You have to be there to raise your glasses as the clock strikes midnight as Oh Gad! officially takes its place on bookshelves around the world,” a release noted.

The new book tells the story of a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself and the country she’s never really been able to call home – Antigua.

Joanne C Hillhouse’s writing has been described as “honest”, “real”, “poetic”, and “lyrical.” Her Antiguan culture is at the heart of her writing.

A University of the West Indies graduate, she has participated in the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute (University of Miami) and the Breadloaf Writers Conference (Middlebury College, Vermont), the latter as an international fellowship recipient.

Other awards include a UNESCO Honour Award and the David Hough Literary Prize. JCI West Indies in 2011 recognised her as one of Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the region for her humanitarian work in Antigua & Barbuda. This includes her involvement in writing and reading programmes like the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize – which she founded in 2004.

She’s participated in showcases in the Caribbean, Canada, and America; and has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in local, regional and international publications. Her freelance reporting and feature writing has attracted awards (locally) for health and environmental coverage.

She has also worked in television and film – including as associate producer of Antigua’s first feature length film, The Sweetest Mango, and production manager on its second, No Seed. She’s consulted on local and regional campaigns with corporations, individuals and non-profits, in addition to her participation in literary projects like book and anthology editing.

Writing and reading have remained her twin passions, however. “I was influenced to write by my desire to tell stories, to impact readers in the way that my favourite stories impacted me … I’m just a sucker for a good story,” she said.