The Bookmark

Alex Wheatle

Hi Alex, can you tell us about yourself?

I’m a former reggae sound system DJ and care leaver who decided to write about my own lived experiences.


Can you tell us about your latest book?

CANE WARRIORS is based on the legendary Tacky’s 1760 slave revolt in St Mary, Jamaica. The story is told from the perspective of a 14-year-old field slave boy called Moa.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been writing lyrics and songs from when I was sixteen years old.


What’s the best bit about being a writer?

The best thing about being a writer is seeing the response from young people who were ‘reluctant readers’ before they tried my fiction.


Can you tell us what you’re working on next?

Another historical tale, Kemosha of the Caribbean – the story of a young black girl who sails the seas with Captain Henry Morgan.


What other interests do you have?

Theatre, film, film noir, early Hollywood silent era comedians like Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin, cricket, football, athletics and chess. Hong Kong kung-fu movies of the late 70s and early 80s and of course reggae music – especially from the classic period 1975 – 1985.


OK, here are the questions everyone needs to know the answers to:

Chocolate Hobnob or Lemon Drizzle cake?

Lemon Drizzle cake.


Cream soda or Limeade?

Cream Soda.


Jollof or plantain?

Fried Plantain.


Trainers or Flip-flops?



Tucking your shirt in or leaving it out?

Leaving my shirt out, especially when meeting royalty and leaders of nations.


What’s your best celeb spot?

The Yurt tent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (it’s where I met Jesse Jackson) and the old Frontline in Brixton where I once bumped into the legendary drummer Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace.


If you had to start a rumour about yourself, what would it be?

Rumour would be that I was asked to play the lead in a remake of THE HARDER THEY COME and Lupita Nyongo, Lauryn Hill and Jamelia are fighting to be my love interest.


Thanks, Alex, where can we find out more about you?


Twitter: @brixtonbard

Instagram: @AlexWheatle

Facebook: @AlexWheatle


Where can we buy your book?

Cane Warriors is out on 1 October 2020 from all good bookstores and websites.