Friday, March 15, 2013

State of Doing… Not Being, evidently.

I suppose at some point I should write about all the cool stuff I’ve been doing lately. Like that book release I had in February which I neglected to make any mention of on my blog. [slaps self through face with pap snoek]

Yes, I had a book release, and it’s called Camdeboo Nights. Yes, it’s a weird-sounding title but the Camdeboo is an actual place here in Africa. It’s very dry and it’s in a region known as the Karoo, and the Camdeboo is pretty much smack bang in the middle of South Africa, in the middle of nowhere. Desolate. Empty. Yet so very rich in mystery.

So staying with that, I've already gone visiting at a few blogs, most notably an interview with author Carrie Clevenger over at Wicked li'l Pixie's spot, a stop at Calisa Rhose's blog, and this week I'm author of the week at Kim Larocque's blog. So, if you're yet to catch any of those posts, they're all neatly rounded up for you 'cos I'm kinda nice like that.

No go get Camdeboo Nights direct from the Lyrical Press website, at Amazon or on Kobo. Hey, even Kalahari has it.

Some exciting stuff happening with my Books of Khepera series. I’m getting fantastic peeks into what my illustrator Daniël Hugo is up to for book two’s cover, and I’m in the midst of sorting out the file for Khepera Redeemed, to get it ready for layout and eventual release late-April if all goes smoothly. I’m of half a mind to get stuck into finishing book three soon, but I’m kinda letting my muse lead me where he will right now, so everything is subject to change. But if you’ve yet to dip into Jamie’s world, you can pick up book one, Khepera Rising, at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and in print.

Because I’m very nice that way and try to give you as many different formats as possible to keep everyone happy. Curious what other people have said about the story? There’s plenty of reviews up at Goodreads. Go check ’em out then add the book to your TBR pile if it tickles your fancy.

Dawn’s Bright Talons, that very odd fantasy novel in a pseudo-Victorian setting has been sitting on full sub now for a very long time. That is all I can say about it, apart from mentioning that I’ve chewed both my arms off at the elbow and am now using a straw to type this blog post. I pray I have good news. One day. In the meanwhile I'm going to pretend like this novel never happened and we'll all be happier for it.

Raven Kin is now almost halfway with the revises. Yes, it’s taking its sweet time and I’ve still not decided whether I’ll bother going on the submission mill with it or just do it myself, because to be quite honest, I don’t see agents or editors lining up to play with a talking griffin as the narrator. So, between you, me and all those Skandranon fans, this is a little homage to non-human protagonists. Yes, I blame you, Mercedes Lackey. I’ve always wanted to write griffins, and I hope my readers will soon get to meet Silas.

Occasionally I get a small chance to write, mostly during down-time at the office or over my lunch hours. I’ve been blessed in that I’ve finished two short stories this past month. The first is entitled Painted Wolves and it’s written in response to a call for subs related to werewolves. I’ll know muuuch later this year whether anything is happening with this. My protagonists are two African wild dog sisters who’ve been dispersed from their birth pack, as per custom. They bump into a mysterious Egyptian lone wolf, and things get a bit weird after that.

The other story I just penned was by invitation for an A-to-Z bestiary. I drew the letter P and I’ve written a story about a púca, but obviously I’ve added an African spin to this mostly Irish legend. Am not quite sure when that one’s coming out or whether it’s even been accepted yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve got other short fiction out there or on the verge of being available. You can check out a creepy spook story called All That Remains which I wrote for Chaosphere volume #4. I return to the seaside town where I grew up in this one, and draw on mystique of a house that used to belong to the little old lady who lived down the road…

Then Probatio Diabolica features a journalist who bites off more than she can chew; the story appears in the Urban Occult anthology (edited by Colin F Barnes). You can get it on pre-order now but it releases March 25.

Another anthology to be released soon, The Demonologia Biblica, features a my dear friend Jamie the black magician in action. Yes, I’ve been missing the lad, and in Old Scratch he has his hands full with a troublesome exorcism. And yes, he's in top form, so be warned.

The fact that I’m writing (and selling) short stories like hot cakes fills me with endless amounts of the lulzies. You see, I always thought I needed to write and sell short stories first before I got round to writing and selling novels. Evidently I do things backward. Now, just to secure me a literary agent AFTER I have an offer from a large publishing house. Now wouldn't THAT be a hoot?

But probably one of the contributing factors to me focusing on my short fiction instead of longer works is my editing work. I’m currently wrapping the edits for Bloody Parchment volume #3 (eKhaya, Random House Struik) and once that’s done, I’ll be giving my all to my next editing assignment with DC Petterson. I’m really looking forward to working on Lupa Bella (Dark Continents Publishing), which is a werewolf tale that draws on ancient Italian folklore. It’s suitably visceral, on many levels. I’ve also got the Dark Harvest anthology looming (Dark Continents Publishing), not to mention arranging this year’s Bloody Parchment short story competition. Yeah, and there are other ideas in the pipelines too. Which I can’t talk about right now or else I’ll have to kill you.

On a completely different front, I can now safely say I’m playing music again. Last year April I picked up my classical guitar after not playing for more than half a decade. I’m still nowhere near where I was when I was studying music and doing the whole rigmarole with exams, but I feel like I’m feeding part of my soul that I neglected for a very long time. I have memorised a few pieces, and have even performed at a small private function. Where I’m going with this I don’t know, but it’s enough right now for me to say that music keeps me from doing stupid things, and at least for an hour every day I stop caring about all the usual BS like my home loan, annoying people, job security, sadness… You pick whichever works for you.

But back to writing… I’ll give you a hint about a WiP that’s growing slowly… Shhh… It has fairies in it. ;-) But they’re not the nice kind, okay?

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