Dominican Journalist and News Producer Shermain Bique-Charles isn’t just about interviews and sticking her nose into matters that don’t concern her. The 40-year-old, who is a news presenter at Observer Radio in Antigua and Barbuda recently published her first romance novel ‘JASMINE’ available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.
Completed in December 2019, the novel was an off and on focus for Bique-Charles, who said she had to juggle her full-time job, taking care of her family, ministry work and running around the house behind her toddler.
“I love writing, but I never thought I’d write a novel, far less have it published. I just didn’t have the time,” she admitted.
Bique-Charles said she decided to post the first few chapters of her book on an online website and could not believe the feedback.
“I think I just did it for fun in the first instance. I went online and posted the first 9 chapters and I had 3.5 K reads in just over two weeks. It was unbelievable. I said to myself well people were bored, under a lock down and they had nothing else to do,” she told eMAGE.
Readers, she said, kept asking for more. “They wanted to know what happened with JASMINE. Most of the inquiries were from the US and Canada”
It was then, she decided to put some time and work into finishing the novel and finally having it published.
“I have a close friend who motivated me a lot where this project is concerned. I struggled with a cover because most photos were copyrighted. I had to use a female’s face. She had to be beautiful but mysterious as well. He suggested that I use my face. I laughed at the suggestion because I didn’t think I looked mysterious or even beautiful. After much convincing, I decided to take the advice,” she said.
Since the book’s publication earlier this month, a number of copies have been sold both in Kindle and paperback.
The story follows the life of a young woman who was teased in school, laughed at and considered unpopular. In a series of intriguing developments, a young man teamed up with his friends to violate her. Instead, he fell in love with her, putting aside all his wealth, pride and ego to gain her trust and love.
“The story draws you in through soaring hopes for the main character and balances that with a series of setbacks that keep you constantly wondering. JASMINE is quite romantic but also hilarious. Sometimes I read the book and can’t believe I wrote these things. Some parts of the book actually happened but it is mostly fictionalized,” she confirmed.
As a journalist of 20 years, Bique-Charles is quick to clarify that she has no intentions of making a career change.
“Not a chance,” she says. “After all of these years, I still love my job and cherish the people we serve”.
Bique-Charles is originally from Dominica but has been living in Antigua and Barbuda for over five years. She is a former radio journalist at Kairi FM.
JASMINE is available on Amazon both on kindle and paperback