‘Ambitious’ entrepreneur writes novel
It took ten years for David Wilkinson to fulfil his dream of becoming an author. He was 24 when he suddenly developed “a passion for writing”.
With no experience, and no clue what to do he floundered but his ambition kept him on path until he discovered Letitia Washington’s company WordWorld Publishing a couple years ago.
Once he had a plot in hand, it took about two months to complete Torn Between Two Paradigms. The novel is now available at Brown & Co, on Amazon.com and from his fiancee, Justice Belboda.
“With this article I just want to spread the message to ‘fail forward’ because that’s exactly what I’ve done. I never gave up with this project,” said Mr Wilkinson, who was inspired by Denzel Washington’s commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
In that speech, the Academy Award and Tony Award-winning actor told graduates it was important for them to “fall forward”, that every failure would take them a step closer to success.
“It makes so much sense,” Mr Wilkinson said. “You learn, try, fail, learn, try, fail until eventually, you start to apply what you’ve learnt and end up succeeding. For me, it’s been an amazing journey to get this project out there.”
Torn Between Two Paradigms is a work of fiction that is loosely based on struggles the author faced while growing up.
The “dysfunctional” and “violent” people in his neighbourhood were big influences on him; his mother packed him off to the US so he wouldn’t get caught up in a life of crime.
“I ran from Bermuda to avoid getting in trouble. I had some family in Virginia and, when I got there, that’s when this passion came to me. I went to Walmart and bought a laptop and that's how my writing journey started.”
He attempted several stories but wasn’t sure what he was doing or where to turn for guidance.
“I was just writing and I kept failing, writing and failing, and all of a sudden this plot came to me which is the story that ended up being published. It’s a story about my life. It's fictional but inspirational because of various things I went through in life and overcame.”
Torn Between Two Paradigms starts where Shawn, the main character, meets a girl, Kenya, at a party thrown by his best friend Romo.
Days later the couple bump into each other unexpectedly, but their conversation is interrupted by a call from Shawn’s cousin about a drug deal that has gone wrong.
“He ends up getting shot and that’s how his being torn between two paradigms really kicks in, because he realises he needs to give [the street life] up but, Romo is not ready to give it up,” Mr Wilkinson said.
“It ends where he’s in the hospital. There is some spirituality in it – he has an encounter with God and that’s when the paradigm literally takes a turn because God’s like, ‘Wake up, because if not your time’s gonna run out.’”
Even after the plot was in his head he struggled to put down his thoughts and create a novel.
“I didn't realise there’s an art to writing. I didn't understand how to do it. I didn’t understand how to dialogue. I didn't understand how to get the characters to talk,” he said.
“It’s amazing because I was out there praying for someone to help me; I didn't realise that people were actually in Bermuda who could help.”
He then came across an article in The Royal Gazette about a woman who had written a book with Ms Washington’s help. He reached out using the contact details included with the story.
“I contacted her and we were just conversing, going back and forth on Skype. It's been a two-year process just with her.”
Mr Wilkinson started writing in earnest in January and was filled with a huge sense of relief once it was all done.
“I'm the type of person, if I don’t get it accomplished I’m not happy,” he said, explaining how it was that same attitude that helped him open his plumbing business, DW Maintenance.
“My life has been upside down for so long. I'm very, very driven, very ambitious so when I have a plan it has to get accomplished. Ever since this book has been accomplished a burden has been lifted. I just feel so light, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I just feel so much better.”
For more information on WordWorld Publishing visit www.wordworldpublishing.com
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