Anton Marks ushers in new wave of ‘Dancehall’ with latest novel
Jamaican author, Anton Marks is putting one of Jamaica’s most famous genres to the forefront once again as he has unveiled a republished version of his acclaimed novel, Dancehall.
Telling the story of an aspiring deejay who brushes with the harsh realities of inner city life, love and death in his attempt to achieve stardom, Dancehall depicts a tale of survival through the hardships and proverbial rollercoasters encountered upon one’s ascent to mainstream success. Originally released in 1996, the book is truly relatable to many young artists whose journeys towards becoming Dancehall stars are filled with trials and tribulations, as well as triumph.
Marks, who’s based in the United Kingdom, says this newly-released book is a testament to his love of the music and his culture and that people will feel that from its theme.
“I’m hoping it will take readers back to the heady days of Dancehall and immerse them in the life of a ‘ghetto yout’ made good,” Marks said. “For those readers who have never experienced the Dancehall culture first hand, this will be a doorway into a world they can experience from the comfort of their homes.”
“This is a gritty tale of one small aspect of Jamaican life and by no means reflects the complete Jamaican experience,” he added. “I’ve taken a caricature and made it as real as I could back then. I tried to keep the characters real by making the dialogue as phonetically close to Jamaican patois as possible. It may turn off some readers but from my point of view it was necessary.”
The original version of the book was well received in his native country as well
the U.K., North American and Europe and Marks believes - considering how in demand Dancehall is now like it was back then – it will connect with readers worldwide who are fans of the genre.
“Dancehall music was at a high at the time and readers around the world were looking for entertainment that reflected their tastes,” he recalled. “I was with a publisher in the UK and they were receptive to creating content that featured characters from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. For the first time it seemed there was a unified cry for more diverse books and I was at the right place at the right time.”
Marks has shown range through his many years in the publishing industry, having penned works such as the supernatural thriller, Bad II The Bone, the sexually-charged 69 as well as In The Days of Dread; describing his books as ‘urban fantastic.’ However, this crime thriller, he says, stands out given its realistic and diverse nature.
“What they all have in common is featuring characters that you normally would not see as main protagonists in these kind of adventures,” he said. “I have strong female characters, Jamaican characters, African American characters, Chinese characters, etc. And I’m not afraid to keep the dialogue real, especially in stories that feature this kind of diversity.”
Marks has other works in the pipeline, including the young adult urban fantasy, The Last Prince of Alkebulahn and the second in the Bad II the Bone series called, Good II be Bad.
You can purchase Dancehall on any of the following Amazon.com outlets, where you can download a Kindle version or Paperback version of the book: