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Jamaica Gets It's First YA Series - Coop Clan

Kerine Miller author of Coop Clan

As an increasing number of writers take publishing into their own hands, the Jamaican book landscape is becoming increasingly varied. Kerine Miller’s Coop Clan, recently launched at Bookophilia on Hope Road adds to this diversity, as the book is claiming bragging rights for being the first Young Adult (YA) series. While Coop Clan is certainly not the first YA novel, most writers have not engaged in serialization.

Miller, sitting surrounded by character cut-outs from the book, explained that she was motivated to create this series about five high school students to ensure that young Jamaicans have characters they can relate to in settings they know and understand.
 
"Everybody reads about little white children with blonde hair and oh they went to the mall,” Miller said. “So I wrote this that our children could have something to which they could relate." The stories feature five girls: Tiffany, Tasia, Shari, Danny and Mel. This first installment covers their adventures during their first term of high school.

Miller ensured that she pointed out to the audience that she was not in the book, however, many of the incidents are based on events that happened to her in high school with some modification and embellishments. She also revealed that some of the incidents are merely things she wished had happened to her.

Miller delivered an engaging reading taking on the characters and bringing the words to life. She read from three sections of the novel showing the girl's shenanigans of the girls including a visit to Port Royal, their attempts at flirtation, pranks on teachers and finally their attempt at staging a Christmas concert. Before beginning this final reading, Miller revealed that it was based on her own attempts at telling the Christmas story during her tenure at St. Andrew High for Girls. Unfortunately, her choice of a Mr. Vegas’ ‘Jacket’ to express Joseph’s dismay on learning of Mary pregnancy  was aborted and deemed blasphemous. The scenario in Coop Clan was a different scenario, but equally funny.

Coop Clan is the first installment in a series which Miller likened to serials such as Sweet Valley High and the Baby Sitters Club. She noted that the number of books that will be in the series is therefore unlimited. Indeed, serials are very popular among novels created for tweens and young adults moving from mega-successes such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games to far lesser to almost never-ending serials like Goosebumps.

Miller revealed that she wrote Coop Clan from 2008 and then put it down. However, in 2010 she began the process of getting it published and decided that self publishing was the way to go.

"I did a lot of reading that said self publishing made more sense," She also noted that talking to other authors and hearing their problems with publishers helped to steel her resolve.

Coop Clan was launched on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in Kingston and features illustrations by Rohan Mitchell.