While the immediate midwives of my book were white, I must note that the head of Knopf, Sonny Mehta, is not. Whether that has had any influence on my editor, or on the many people I have worked with over the years—people who are hugely educated and open-minded and curious in any case—I don't know. But for whatever reason, I was in no way discouraged from challenging the status quo.
I’m inspired by Ebony Patterson, a Jamaican artist, who also portrays Jamaican working-class people. One of her most memorable exhibits was one paying tribute to the victims of the Tivoli Gardens massacre where hundreds of people were murdered when law enforcement raided the Kingston community in search of a drug lord. No one cared that these people were families.