Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Bring on the Roaring Twenties

Here's something a little more bloggish for a change. I so very rarely post personal stuff but, given the season, I'm in the mood for a retrospective. I'd have thought that going freelance would give me more time for writing, but alas, that is not the case. For those who don't know, I keep a roof over my head working as a graphic designer. My primary clients include a high-end petfood brand, a digital agency, and the local film industry. Trust me, the latter is not as glamorous as it sounds. It often entails 12-hour days under incredibly stressful conditions. The money's good, even if the hours are terrible.

But that's not to say that awesome things haven't happened along my authorly pursuits.

My little novella The Firebird was awarded a Nommo this year, announced at the Ake Book Festival in Lagos. It's incredibly validating for me to be recognised here in Africa, among my fellow SFF authors.

"When it comes to worldbuilding original fantasy, it often takes a sprawling narrative covering a few hundred pages and usually multiple volumes for the world to come alive. The Firebird is able to convey a fully realized fantasy world in the span of a novella." – JR Rainville, Goodreads

Buy it as ebook, print or audiobook.

Another huge highlight this year has been the release of my novel The Company of Birds. For those of you who've been following all my social media updates, you'll understand how I've suffered with this novel. It's taken me five years of writing and extensive revisions, and I was incredibly privileged to work with one of my literary guiding stars, Storm Constantine. This is very much a 'heart' novel for me where I plunged much of my energy. If you're looking for a slowly-unfolding dark fantasy read, then this one may be right for you.

"...a story that is already focused very much on internal journeys, it will appeal to readers who like to savour a strange new world. This is not flash!bang! fantasy, but a story about people, and their fight to find a place that is truly theirs." Cat Hellisen, Goodreads

Buy it as ebook or in print.

Now the really big news is that my young adult science fiction novel Sing down the Stars was awarded Gold at this year's Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature and was published by Tafelberg. To say that I'm tickled pink is the understatement of the century. This has been the culmination of so many of my dreams as an author, and I look forward to sharing Nuri's world with readers. As one of my friends best described the novel, it's 'like a mashup of Star Wars and Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang'.

"It reminded me of Elizabeth Moon and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s Sci-Fi books. It took me back to all the years of fantasising of going to space and living among the stars. Towards the end, I was speed reading just to find out what happens next. What I truly enjoyed was that although it could be read as a stand-alone book, there are enough threads left open to continue with Nuri's tale. And I would dearly love to read more." – Sumanda Maritz, Goodreads

Buy it as an ebook or in print.

For my newer readers, who are perhaps interested in a selection of my older writing, I'd like to recommend my boxed set, The Wayfarer. In it you'll find my Raven Kin, Dawn's Bright Talons, the two-novella bundle In Southern Darkness, and my YA fantasy novel The Guardian's Wyrd. Apart from the fact that it's incredibly good value for money, it's what I call the gateway drug to my writing, and sums up some of the best of my older works.

Buy the ebook bundle.

Reviews are gold to authors, and if you've read any of my books this year and enjoyed them, do leave a few kind words and a rating over at sites such as Amazon or Goodreads.

As for what I'm currently up to... I'm revising Inkarna and its previously unreleased sequel Thanatos. While I'd dearly love to work on something new, I have a daunting pile of revisions on older works that I've been putting off for ages. So keep tabs on me during 2020 for news of my ancient Egyptian reincarnation cult shenanigans.

After that, it's work on revising and releasing Dragon Forged, my novella that was a finalist during the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature. And, if I still have spoons for the rest of 2020, I'd like to revise and release Call the Fire, a brand spanking new fantasy series.

That's not to say that there isn't writing happening. Fellow Sanlam Prize winner Toby Bennett and I are currently collaborating on a fantasy trilogy. At time of writing, book one has already swept past the 70k-word mark, and we're having a wonderful time of it. Toby is a fantastic writing partner and complements my style perfectly. He has an incredibly devious mind, and I'm looking forward to showing you what we're doing. Do go pick up his prize-winning novel The Music Box. It's a lot like Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising.

I'll still be providing editing services to select clients during 2020. While in most cases I'll edit any fiction that lands across my desk, my expertise remains with SFF and horror, as well as romance and erotica. I'm LGBTI friendly and will take on dubcon and BDSM. I offer a range of services, from manuscript assessment all the way through to proofreading. I will not, however, work on religious/inspirational writing, self-help, poetry and film scripts. I keep my rates reasonable, because I prefer repeat customers. Query me for editing services here.

A little-known fact about me is that I majored in illustration at university. (Yes, I know...) But I've been working hard over the past few years to spruce up my skills again. I'm not quite ready to take commissions because I can't draw people or landscapes for shit, but I love creating art that features animals. So yeah, I'll do pet pawtraits for select folks. You can follow my more graphically inclined posts over at Instagram.

That's it for now. Be sure to stalk me on Twitter or go like my author page on FB. Be kind to yourself, and be excellent to others. Now bring on the Roaring Twenties.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed meeting you and Toby at the craft market this morning. As a team the two of you are phenomenal. As individuals both extremely talented. I shall follow your respective careers with interest. Diana