I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1960, to Freda and Slade. My brother Keita came in 1966. My birth family has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, the U.S, and Canada. I began reading at age 3, and was reading Homer’s Iliad and Kurt Vonnegut by age 10. My favourite fiction has always been the various forms of fantastical fiction; everything from Caribbean folklore to Ursula K. Le Guin’s science fiction and fantasy. I began writing in the genre somewhere around 1993, and sold a couple of short stories before I attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writing Workshop—then held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, USA—in 1995. In 1997 I won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest for my novel Brown Girl in the Ring, which Warner Aspect then published in 1998. I’ve written and published nine books of fiction and a number of short stories, and I’ve won some literary awards.
I now live in Southern California in the U.S, and am a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside, where I’m a member of a faculty research cluster in Science Fiction. I sew, craft objects in whichever media strike my fancy, design fabric, and cook food that mostly turns out pretty well. I have fibromyalgia, and was diagnosed relatively late in life with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, which explained a lot. I like moderate sunshine, love bopping around in the surf, and dream of one day living in a converted church, fire station or library. Or in a superadobe monolithic dome home.