Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents B4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 8, 2013
Ann Marie Myers recently
launched her debut children s
novel, Up in the Air, at Paper
Based Bookshop in St Ann s.
Myers, 55, is a freelance trans-
lator and mother based in Canada
who s loved writing since child-
hood. While growing up in Port-
of-Spain, Myers became enthralled
by Enid Blyton s children s books
and CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia
In a telephone interview with
the T&T Guardian, Myers shared
that she was 17 when it occurred
to her that she could be a writer.
Myers wouldn t start writing seri-
ously, however, until 1990.
She is a graduate of Mount Saint
Vincent University in Nova Scotia
and has worked for the United
Nations in New York. Even though
she s lived abroad since 1983, Myers
remains in touch with Trinidadian
current events and visits Trinidad
often to see family. Yet, she doesn t
consider herself a Caribbean writer
"I consider myself a writer, but
I don t limit myself to Caribbean
ideas," she said. Up in the Air is
"pure fantasy" and has nothing to
do with the islands, she added.
Up in the Air s protagonist,
Melody, is granted her life-long
wish of flying when she finds her-
self in Chimeroan, a mystical land.
Although Melody s dream comes
true, flying comes with a price.
Melody has to overcome a recent
accident that left her father paral-
ysed and which she feels guilty for
escaping unharmed. When Melody
first enters Chimeroan, the choice
to fly seems straightforward. In
this excerpt from the book,
Melody s choice seems easy:
My parents will freak out when
they don t see me. They ll think
I ve been kidnapped. I run my fin-
gers through my damp, limp hair,
and picture Dad in his wheelchair,
lifting weights ten times a day and
dragging his paralysed legs when
he walks with crutches. Then
there s Mom who always has some
kind of food in her mouth. And
school, where everyone thinks I m
stuck-up because I won t play with
Here, on Chimeroan, dreams
come true. I have a chance to get
wings. And fly like I ve always
wanted, playing in the clouds with
the wind on my face.
"I m sorry, Dad. Sorry, Mom,"
I whisper, then face Sara. "I ll stay."
By the end of the novel, however,
it becomes obvious that Melody s
choice to stay is nowhere near as
easy. As an adult who enjoyed book
series such as Harry Potter, Twi-
light and Hunger Games, Myers
foray into fantasy writing was nat-
ural. Her focus on children s stories
came after her daughter was born.
"After she was born I started
thinking a lot about what types of
books she would be interested in,"
she said. According to Myers, her
daughter loves Up in the Air and
that is one particularly satisfying
aspect of writing.
While the date for Up in the
Air s Canadian launch has not yet
been set, Myers already has plans
for another novel, which will be
based in Trinidad and meld fantasy
New book takes children
on flight of fantasy
An excerpt from Chapter Three
of Up in the Air, Exit Points
"Are all the teenagers guides?"
I ask Sara as we zigzag through
the crowd in the direction of the
"So why are they wearing
"Are you sure they're
costumes?" she says.
"What?" Of course they're not.
This is a place where dreams
come true. "So, that group of
Supermen over there can actually
send laser beams out of their
I gasp. "They're real, live
I turn around in time to see the
dragons leap into the air, a child
on the back of each of them.
"Don't tell me the dragons are
guides, too," I say.
"You got it." Sara says. "That's
very perceptive of you, Melody."
"But...I was joking. The kids
riding them are their Guided?
And they'll become dragons? Like
how people turn into
"If that is their dream," Sara
Thoughts boomerang about in
my brain and make me dizzy. I'm
in a place where dreams---all
dreams---come true. I'll get wings.
And fly. The children over there
will become Star Wars characters
like their guides. The witches are
real, the Supermen, even those
strange looking teenagers with
blue and green skin are some
kind of real alien, something or
other. It's hard to imagine the
eight boys and girls next to the
centaurs will soon have forelegs
instead of arms. Their bodies will
An awful image forms in my
mind. "What about my wings?
They won't grow out of my
back, will they?"
Sara laughs. "Of course not,
"They strap on? Oh, good." I'm
so glad to dismiss the picture of
wings sprouting out of my skin.
Sara points to a nearby group.
"There are the other flier guides
and Guided. Come."
I zone in on the guides' wings,
which are all different colours and
shapes. If only they'd unfurl and
lift the guides into the air. A light
flashes in my eyes. Shapes blur
into colours, except for two trees
in the woods; they stand out
from the rest, the bark a deeper
brown. The way the greenish
yellow leaves sway in the wind is
different, too. No, not sway
exactly---more like glide, as if
they're about to fall off.
Ann Marie Myers
Cover design of Myers' children's novel, Up in the Air.
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