Cayman Brac author Joshua Dilbert released his second book, “Sarma,” last week.
Mr. Dilbert authored “The Mordenham Acres” previously, under the pen name Brad Tarlem. His latest offering features an elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr. Dilbert said “Sarma” gave him an opportunity to hone his writing skills and at the same time promote awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a very sad disease and some do not receive the care and attention they deserve. But I can see their full minds are still in there somewhere,” Mr. Dilbert said.
In “Sarma,” Joaquin, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has recently been placed in a nursing home, only receiving visits from his daughter and twin granddaughters. On one particular visit, he recalls a dream he had at age 16 in which he witnesses an alien invasion, later turns into a reptilian-like creature, and experiences an apocalyptic event.
“The book, I feel, appeals to an older, diverse audience, 13 years and older,” said Mr. Dilbert, who just turned 22. He started writing from around age 16, and from then on, he knew he wanted to publish his own books one day.
His debut book, “The Mordenham Acres,” is a more whimsical tale than “Sarma,” telling the story of two young rats who long to journey into a beautiful forest in search of adventure.
Mr. Dilbert said the community’s response was very supportive of both books. He said he has received many calls from people telling him he had done a good job, with some highlighting things they thought he could have done differently.
Most people wanted to know why he did not use his own name as author for his first book, with many saying he might have done himself a disservice by writing under a pen name.
“For this book, I used my real name,” he said.
Despite the challenges they face, Mr. Dilbert feels authors are encouraged in Cayman, with the Cayman Islands Book Fair and the Cayman Literary Awards held at the George Town Public Library. He feels that more needs to be done to assist young authors, but that the islands are taking steps in the right direction.
The new book will soon be available at Bluff View store in Cayman Brac, and Mr. Dilbert is working to have copies available at book stores in Grand Cayman. The book is available online through various retailers, including Amazon.