Monday, 30 November 2015

Images of the People, Places & Classic Cars of Cuba

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, a tropical paradise where lovingly preserved 1950s American cars adorn streets lined with crumbling, centuries-old buildings. And, somehow, the seemingly incongruous all fit together in one of the safest and most photogenic countries in the world.

I spent 11 wonderful days in Cuba, during which I took all the photographs presented in the photography books - Images of Cuba and Classic Cars of Cuba.

A living museum, Cuba effortlessly appeases all the senses. With its warm, educated, population and famed for its hand-rolled cigars, rich coffee, exceptional rum, stunning tropical vistas, unrivalled cultural heritage and infectious music, Cuba is like no other place on Earth.

Due to its unique history, many of Cuba's aspects remain frozen in time. With an estimated 60,000 antique vehicles still in active use, it has more classic cars per person than any other nation in the world.

A lifetime after rolling off Detroit production lines, yank tanks manufactured by Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and others remain in active service on Cuban streets. Once the exclusive property of Cuba's large, pre-revolution middle-class, these cars are kept running by the pooled resources of today's poverty-stricken families.

Images of Cuba:

Classic Cars of Cuba:

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Character Interview with Kaya Abaniah

Hezekiah ‘Kaya’ Abaniah is a student at Paria College, a prestigious high school in the two-island Caribbean Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He was born in the small village of Tortuga and lives with his mother, Josephine, in the seaside town of Coconut Grove. Kaya is a member of the Wildlife Heritage Trust, a non-profit environmental non-government organisation. The WHT aims to conserve all natural habitats and wildlife in Trinidad and Tobago. Kaya is a keen track and field athlete and an asset to Ocelot House, one of Paria College’s 4 houses. His many interests include art, photography, computer games, cycling, basketball, and scooch, the Trinidadian equivalent of dodgeball.

1.              How did you first meet Wayne Gerard Trotman?
Ah plan de whole t’ing from de start. Meh cousin, Soraya, tell meh ‘bout ‘im. So, ah jus’ wait till he was in ah really deep sleep. Ah had tuh wait ah long time because dat man doh sleep at-all-at-all-at-all.

2.              Did you ever expect your adventures to be written in a book?
How yuh mean? Wit’ all dat happen tuh me, in one school year, it was inevitable.

3.              What are your favourite scenes in Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest: dialogue, romance, action?
If ah doh say dialogue, Trotty might get vex an’ kill meh off. If ah doh say romance, ah might end up goin’ tuh de Christmas Ball alone. And, if ah doh say action, meh breds dem will t’ink ah sorf. So, ah’ll say, ah like all de scenes wit’ dialogue, romance an’ action. Ah like every t’ing.

4.              Did you have difficulty convincing Wayne Gerard Trotman to write any particular scenes for you?
Dat man stubborn fuh so, oui. Ah wanted ah full alien invasion, buh he keep saying dat is another story. Ah had tuh compromise, breds. In de end, ah get ‘im tuh include ah Carnival scene, instead ah de alien invasion, and ah convince ‘im it was his idea.

5.            Have you ever infiltrated Wayne Gerard Trotman’s dreams?
Only ah few times. De man doh sleep, an’ sometimes ah get confused wit’ de time difference between Trinidad an’ Englan’.

Josephine & Kaya Abaniah

6.            What do you enjoy doing when not at College?
Ah like liming wit’ meh friends, and ah like paintin’ an’ takin’ pictures.

7.            Are you currently in a relationship?
Buh wha’ trouble is dis? Like yuh didn’t read de book, awa?

8.            Are you pleased with the genre you have been placed in?
Yeah, young adult, sci-fi, adventure… Dat cool.

9.            What would you rewrite in Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forerst, if you could?
I’d remove de death. Ah doh wan’ nobody tuh die.

10.         Do you like the way your epic adventure ended?
Well, yeah, although ah had ah lot ah explainin’ tuh do.

11.         Would you be interested in a sequel written by Wayne Gerard Trotman?
Of course, breds, nobody else crazy enough tuh write ah story like dis. It was ah lot ah fun, an’ ah t’ink ah sequel will be even better. Plus, ah livin’ in Trinidad; and, ah learn t’ings ‘bout Trinidad ah never know before.

12.         Are you happy being portrayed in digital editions or would you rather be in paperback versions only?
How yuh mean? Ah was tellin’ one ah meh ole cousins ‘bout eBooks an’ she askin’ meh what is dat. Fuh some people is only digital, an’ fuh some others is either paperback or hardback. As long as dey read it; ah happy.

Hardcover Dust Jacket

13.         Were you able to contribute to the cover design for Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest?
Yuh see meh face or any part ah me, on de cover? Ah done tell yuh, de man stubborn. We hit chapter 21, an’ when ah look so, he already design de cover, oui. So, de short an’ sweet answer is, no.

14.         What is the lamest characteristic attributed to you by Wayne Gerard Trotman?
Ah still cyah believe dat man had meh cryin’ in de book. Anyway, ah was only 14 when he started writin'. 

15.         If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Man, Trotman gi’ meh de best superpower ever….

Author Bio:
Wayne Gerard Trotman is a British writer, filmmaker, artist, photographer, composer and producer of electronic music. Born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Trotman immigrated to England in 1984, where he lives with his wife and two young sons.

A martial arts enthusiast, he wrote and directed Ashes to Ashes, Britain's first martial arts feature-film. He has a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural approach to all his artistic work, which has received recognition internationally. His epic science-fiction novel, Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest, is the first of a proposed series, within the Psychic Wars universe created in Veterans of the Psychic Wars.

Legends are immortal dreams made flesh…

Kaya Abaniah believes he’s an ordinary fourteen-year-old college student. He lives with his mother on the Caribbean island of Trinidad; he’s passionate about wildlife conservation and has a crush on the prettiest girl in his class. However, one fateful day, Kaya’s life is changed forever when he encounters Papa Bois, a folklore character similar to the Greek god, Pan.

Kaya learns he has the talent. He’s a telepath, and he’s not alone. So begins a unique story of love, heartbreak, revenge, murder, bodyguards, bullies, martial arts, monsters, snakes, ocelots, secrets, lies, dreams, UFOs, shape-shifters, aliens, clones, kissing, running, and life after death.

Barnes & Noble:


Official site: