The suspense writer from Point Hill| Rowena Campbell-Thomas

She recalled locking herself in pit latrines and hiding under beds to write during childhood.

Rowena Campbell-Thomas, the author of four books, has earned her place in the annals of great Jamaican writers.

The island’s Ministry of Education recently approved her third book – The Adventures of ‘Big Rat’ – to be used in secondary schools.

Campbell-Thomas, a past student of Point Hill Leased Primary School and St Catherine High, said her writing prowess is rooted in her native Point Hill district, St Catherine.

She explained:

I started writing from I was eight years old.

I was called a ‘book worm’ as I would lock myself inside the pit latrine – which was the toilet back then, or take my father’s flashlight and hide under the bed and read and write for hours.

Campbell-Thomas further stated that, as a result of her childhood brilliance, some people though she would have become a teacher.

She didn’t.

I enjoyed teaching the older children when I was a child.

My parents thought I would become a teacher but upon entering Miss Reeva Latty’s class – the Common Entrance class, they knew teaching was no longer my interest.

This teacher lit the spark of writing within me, and I dreamt of becoming an author.

Campbell-Thomas subsequently came under the influence of two St Catherine High School teachers – Christabel Fuller and Verona Duff.

They persuaded her to write and, umpteen years later, she has four books under her belt.

Elaborating on her books, Campbell-Thomas, who described herself as a suspense writer, told The Beacon that her first publication Whirlwind of Love – Volume One, won an American award and is now out of print.

My second book – Out of the Valley, is an inspirational book that will give one a closer walk with God.

I got the vision to write this book from the year 2000 when I visited The Power of Faith Church in Portmore, St. Catherine for the first time. I was then a member of the Church of God of Prophecy.

Nineteen years later, the book was published in Jamaica.

As God would have it, my membership was transferred to the Power of Faith Ministry under the leadership of Bishop Dr. Delford Davis and Minister Dr. Petrova Davis.

Turning to her third book, Campbell-Thomas told The Beacon:

My third book – The Adventures of ‘Big Rat’ – is a family book, which has selected by The Ministry of Education for Grade Eight in the secondary schools.

This book brought great pleasure to me as it was the only Jamaican selection for years.

In 2017, it was chosen for Black History Month by the Linkage Radio Station, Mount Vernon in New York.

My fourth book – Whirlwind of Love, Volume Two, which is to be published, was written because of the great demand from my readers.

Campbell-Thomas, in the meantime, said she writes for all age groups, and her books are always in demand.

She hopes that, through her writing, she will inspire more Jamaicans to read.

It’s my intention to use my writing skills to make a positive impact on the lives of people, especially my fellow Jamaicans who – sadly, but truly – do not contribute to the reading populace.

Therefore, I have to write in such a way that will change this mentality.

Campbell-Thomas, the proud mother of two children, further told The Beacon that she wants to be remembered simply as a great writer.


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