What Start Bad a Mornin’

By Yolanda T. Marshall

Five years ago, I invited Carol Mitchell to be a guest on my Caribbean Storytime podcast. It was a space for me to promote Caribbean writers and books to parents and educators. Her short stories have been long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She is a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), author of over seventeen children’s books, editor, copywriter, and the Founder of Caribbean Reads Publishing – a traditional publisher in the Caribbean region. My son and I are fans of Carol’s children’s books, and it is with great pleasure to interview her about the launch of her debut adult novel, published by Central Avenue Publishing. The novel, What Start Bad a Mornincaptures the essence of Carol Mitchell’s superb storytelling, as it imprisons your attention to digest a woman’s hard truths to the surprising end.

Carol Mitchell


What would you like readers to take away from ‘What Start Bad a Mornin?’

What Start Bad a Mornin is about a woman who had a traumatic experience as a teenager. She’s now in her 40s and she has not dealt with it. In fact, she’s completely suppressed her memories of the event, and everyone related to it. She is moving through the world as if everything is okay, but it really is not. Her past is holding her back. Very early in the book she has an encounter with a stranger that causes memories of her past to unravel, and this takes her on a mental and physical journey from Virginia in the US to Washington D.C., to Trinidad, and finally to Jamaica, where she was born. The book is about a character who is from the Caribbean, but there are many universal themes, including memory, motherhood, family, finding a home, and more. One idea which is very closely related to the title is how unresolved issues in our lives can deter us from being all we want to be. Life is messy. All the baggage that we carry, it’s always there with us. If we ignore it, the consequences can be quite dire. The book isn’t at all preachy and it’s not talking about forgiving others or making amends, that’s for a very different book. This is about facing your inner demons and making peace within yourself about what’s happened in your life.

Please share some advice for aspiring authors.

What Start Bad a Mornin’

My advice to authors is to write. This may sound trite, but the reality is that it is that simple…at the beginning. Write your story as if no one will ever read it…the uncensored version with every flaw and all the missteps. After you get your ideas from your head onto paper or a computer, the harder work begins. Revise your work. Find the emotional core of the story and ensure that everything that happens in the story is moving the reader towards that core. Seek help from experienced authors and editors whom you trust. Then listen to their advice. You don’t have to accept it all but consider it even when it is hard to hear.

This book is available wherever books are sold.

Here are a few other books to check out this week.





The Antiracist Kitchen

The Antiracist Kitchen: 21 Stories (and Recipes)

Edited by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Roza Nozari and foreword Ainara Alleyne.

The Antiracist Kitchen: 21 Stories (and Recipes) is a celebration of food, family, activism, and resistance in the face of racism. In this anthology featuring stories and recipes from 21 diverse and award-winning North American children’s authors, the authors share the role of food in their lives and how it has helped fight discrimination, reclaim culture, and celebrate people with different backgrounds. Featuring recipes and stories from S.K. Ali, Bryan Patrick Avery, Ruth Behar, Marty Chan, Ann Yu-Kyung Choi, Hasani Claxton, Natasha Deen, Reyna Grande, Deidre Havrelock, Jennifer de Leon, Andrea J. Loney, Janice Lynn Mather, Linda Sue Park, Danny Ramadan, Sarah Raughley, Waubgeshig Rice, Rahma Rodaah, Andrea Rogers, Simran Jeet Singh, Ayelet Tsabari and Susan Yoon.” – Orca Book Publishers, September 2023.





Dance Eva Dance

Dance Eva Dance


Written by Wendy Coates and illustrated by Milan Samadder.

Dance Eva Dance is a loveable tale about an elephant named Eva who loves to dance but is afraid to dance in front of anyone. With a little encouragement from Mom, Eva learns that it is okay to share her talent with the world and joins a dance class. Dance Eva Dance reinforces positive messages for children especially young girls that they can be and do anything they want in this world.” -Independently published, WKCOATESBOOKS, 2020.





The Grover School Pledge

The Grover School Pledge


Written by Wanda Taylor, an author, freelance journalist, screenwriter, and college instructor.

Arlaina Jefferson is eager to prove herself. Tasked with caring for her cousin’s rabbit, Obeena, Arlaina knows all that stands between her, and the grown-up world of middle school is one year of staying out of trouble and making sure to clean up Obeena’s turds. It would be easy—if growing up didn’t also mean growing wiser.” – HarperCollins, June 2023.


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