On a beautiful Caribbean Island, bizarre events and characters intersect under the ominous presence of a mysterious science facility, in Nicole Georges-Bennett’s “Tales of St.Marts”; a collection of fantasy genre short stories.
Nicole Georges-Bennett was born, and raised in the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. She has worked as a journalist (radio/television/print) for the over 20 years. Her career includes stints as a radio announcer/reporter, and television anchor at several Dominican media houses (D.B.S Radio, Kairi F.M Radio, and G.I.S).
“Tales of St.Marts” is Nicole’s first book, and explores themes of small island society, culture and politics against the backdrop of an island that is anything but typical “sand, sea and surf.”
Speaking to Nichole she noted, “I made my first magazine out of a school exercise book when I was 12 years old. I always wrote short stories and I loved the “composition” part of English class. I’m not sure I’m taking it seriously yet lol. I do it for fun and because I feel compelled to get the stories out of my head.”
Fantasy, folklore and fear permeate the lives of the people of St.Marts: a retired policeman who struggles to solve a strange death he’s witnessed; a fisherman’s wife who is forbidden to go into the ocean; a madman who has lived too long; a delivery driver whose neighbors want to consume him body and soul; a mother who fears the beast within; all are shadowed by the menacing presence of “the Lab”.
Nicole created theses short because, “I prefer short stories because I lack the patience for a full length novel. I enjoy the challenge of fitting an entire story in a shorter format. Fantasy, because there literally is no limit to what you can write about. I can go wherever my imagination takes me.”
“Tales of St.Marts” includes the Nature Isle Literary Festival Award winning “Water Woman” which captured first place in 2014 for best short story.
“The stories in Tales of St.Marts are based in part on my experience of growing up in Dominica; the dynamics of small island culture, religion, politics, society, mythology etc. There’s no getting away from those influences. Even some of the characters are composites of people I’ve observed, and that was done subconsciously. It’s only after I re-read the stories, I realized I recognized some of the personalities.” says the author.
Fellow Dominican writer, Roy Sanford, say “Tales of St.Marts” will delight fans of the fantasy genre, “It’s a tasty collection of short fantasy stories which quickly grabs attention of the reader. The stories mix a combination of mystery, awe and surprise with a generous mix of Caribbean flavour.”
Professor Dr.Bernard Frampton describes the debut collection as a compelling first effort, “Nicole Georges’ voice is engaging and refreshing. Throughout this collection, her range is bold and unapologetic. From her re-imaginations of lived experiences, and her creation of a dark volcanic island to her macramé reconfiguration of contemporary sci-fi tropes…”
When asked on what may be of concern to her readers Nicole sated, “I think my imagination maybe a little too quirky, a little too “out-there” for some readers, but I do think it will appeal to readers looking for fantasy stories that aren’t based on the usual obeah, jumbie stuff.”
She stated however,“I’d like them to finish the book and think, well that was different! My main themes are self-discovery and self-awareness, where the characters either learn about themselves or a secret of the town they live in. So I hope the readers will empathize with the protagonists.”
**Nicole immigrated to Canada in 1996 to pursue studies and earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in broadcast Journalism, from Ryerson University (Canada). Her work in Canadian media includes news articles published in The Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper (Toronto), Share Newspaper, Pride Newspaper, and over 10 magazines amongst other media. Nicole is a committed Christian and so founded Angel Hair Magazine in 2010; a natural hair Christian based magazine for kids,(www.angelhairmag.com). She is the host for the online radio Gospel show “Inspiration for your Day” on www.life101radio.net. She is also an event planner and media relations consultant.
Her love for Science-fiction & Fantasy literature prompted her to begin writing original works in these genres. Her short story “Water Woman” was awarded first place by the 2015 Nature Isle Literary Festival in the short story category. “Tales of St.Marts” is her first book in Fantasy fiction.