Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Saccheen Laing - It's 'Thrones not Cells'

Published:Monday | October 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM

"When I wrote my first book, I thought I wouldn't write anymore. But then I thought of the boys in the society and I did not want to leave them out. Most times, our boys are left out in a lot of things, plus I know that they don't usually gravitate towards reading easily and I want to end that."

Last year, author and poet Saccheen Laing published her first book, The Curly Hair Club. This created waves as it helped little girls to learn to embrace their natural hair. Now, the writer has unleashed her transformational prowess yet again, this time focusing on young males. Thrones Not Cells is her new book and one which all boys should read. In the book, Laing cleverly tells the tale of an eleven-year-old lad, Anthony, who fights with his complexion. The lonely, unenthusiastic dark-skinned boy reckons he's unattractive and lacks wit. He's forced to cut his afro because thick natural hair is considered to be "unacceptable". In the midst of his struggles, his substitute teacher and a special friend who sports locs, soared to his rescue and helped him to overcome his troubles. In no time, he learns to manipulate his experiences and makes a difference in his entire school and community.

The twenty-six-year-old writes with a purpose. For her, committing her thoughts to paper is fulfilling. It's the way in which she chooses to express herself, while making use of the creative and therapeutic benefits that accompany the skill. She told Flair that writing is like her companion, and vows to always use it as a tool to help others. "This is my passion and love. It's not just a hobby. I want my writings to make a difference and allow children to grow and love their natural selves," she explained. She said that putting herself in the shoes of young boys was the greatest challenge she endured as she penned her latest piece. Laing declared that as a reserved child growing up in Spanish Town, she did not interact much with boys. This proved to be troublesome as she had to become one to effectively tell the story of young Anthony.

 

BEING A CHANGE

 

The University of Technology graduate gets her inspiration to pen life changing chronicles based on her experiences. While growing up she immersed herself in story books. Fairy tales were one of Laing's favourites. But none of the characters looked like her, which for her was an indicator for a story line adjustment. "I'm grown up now so these books are not for me and my comfort. I want today's children to have books that they can identify with. It's not only about the story per se, but more so about the vision that comes from them," Laing said. The skilful writer is powered by her drive to be a role model for others.

Motivating others to be reach for their success is one of her goals. She hopes Thrones not Cells will help her to achieve this task. Laing also pushes innovation to the fore and hopes that youngsters will realise it's importance. She believes creativity will take them far, especially to places they think they will never get to go. She's been exploring her writing talent since she was a child. Today, she has six books in total, including four poetry collections. Her love for the art as she describes is unending and tries at all times to release her creativity in every avenue she stumbles upon. And who knows maybe the next play you read or watch might be her's. For playwright is also an option that she has her eyes set on. Thrones not Cells is available on Amazon and will be in local bookstores too.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com