Obscura Burning

Some of you may have noticed already that the cover for Obscura Burning is missing from my blog and my social media sites. This is because Obscura Burning will no longer be published by Etopia Press. This doesn’t mean you’ll never see the novel again though, it just means that Obscura Burning is taking a bit of a holiday and will return soon to stores and shelves. Stay tuned for updates!

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A is for Apocalypse

So I’m definitely a little behind on this, but I just wanted to let you all know that the anthology titled A is for Apocalypse is now available in all the usual places. This anthology was edited by Rhonda Parrish from Niteblade magazine and includes one of my stories about music and the end of the world. Here’s an excerpt from F is for Finale…

The world will end in f minor, in dark red smudges of sound that bleed into the hearts and minds of all who can hear Earth’s final lament.

Sasha staggered through filth, kicking aside empty Ramen packets and a moldy mound of forgotten pizza crusts. The cracked handle of the screw-driver fit snug against the callouses on his palm as he scratched at the flaking plaster of the wall. He carved a diagonal line through four vertical ones – another five days gone. Only ten left to complete the composition.

Gray sunlight filtered through the cracks in the boards nailed across the windows. He dared not stray too close for fear of the radiation corrupting his mind. His mind, his thoughts, his music – it was all he had left as the world disintegrated, succumbing to rot and ruin in the wake of the catastrophe. Soon though, soon he’d end the suffering, end the long-slow demise of humanity and wrap those clinging to life in a blanket of sound to bear them into the afterlife. He owed them that much, a last nod of appreciation for the years they’d filled the halls and applauded his performances at Carnegie and Royal Albert. If only he could’ve given a gentle death to his teachers at Juilliard, to the maestro at La Scala who plucked him from obscurity and made him a household name, to his fans and lovers and parents who’d sacrificed so much. But for those still left on the dying planet, he would play for them a grand finale.

Sasha knelt amidst the score. The pages fluttered like broken dreams against the edges of his violin, which weighed them down against the breeze seeping through the cracked window panes. The laptop lay useless, the battery long since dead and the wall sockets devoid of even a spark. Not that he needed the files locked on his hard drive. He remembered every note of the thousand page score by heart. He had almost finished the transcription, only the last movement’s recapitulation and closing chords to go. The notes spilled across the pages, across the floor and up the walls, blossoming across the low sloping ceiling. He’d saved one precious piece of paper for the ending, the staves neatly ruled in black ink completed before the pen ran dry. The notes filling up the measures were blue and green, black and red from the tips of a dozen different biros scavenged from neighbors before the demons began to stalk the corridors.

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Recent and Upcoming Events

I can’t believe it’s August already and that I go back to teaching tomorrow. The summer was amazing! Not only was it actually hot in Finland, but I had an amazing time at FinnCon and managed to finish writing the book I started working on in April. This autumn is kicking off in a similar vein!

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On Wednesday. I’m heading off to LonCon3 – it’ll be my first time in London and my first time at a WorldCon. I’ll be on two panels at the convention. Those are as follows:

Friday August 15

The Trouble with Teens

Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

What are some of the big obstacles associated with writing a teen-centric story within an adult-centric world? What dangers lay in wait for the unprepared first time YA writer? What do young adult readers expect to see in their stories and how will you know if you’ve gone off target in the writing process?

Sunday August 17

SF/F Across Borders

Capital Suite 9 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

Genre writers such as Vandana Singh, Geoff Ryman, Tricia Sullivan, and Zen Cho are already travellers to other worlds. Many authors write as resident outsiders, and want to write their new homes as well as their old. How does the experience of moving between countries affect the writing of fiction? How can or should writers respond to the varying power dynamics of race, language and culture involved in such migrations? And how should readers approach the stories that result?

I can’t wait to see London and hang out at WorldCon – hope to see you there!

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While in London, I will also be participating in a blog take over for Inked Rainbow Reads on August 15. The take over is happening all day with lots of giveaways and general LGBT+ awesomeness. I’ll be on the blog at 14.00 US CST time (That’s 2-3 PM). I’ll be chatting about The Other Me, why Treasa is gender non-conforming and more. Hope to see you there!

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Recent and Upcoming Events

This past week I was back in my home country of South Africa. While visiting family, I managed to sneak in a few promo events too.

A huge thank you to Michelle du Plessis of Hay House South Africa and Germaine de Larch of CtrlAltGender for inviting me to speak at the weekly CtrlAltGender meeting at Wits University. It was an absolute honour being the guest speaker and a moving, humbling, liberating experience getting to share the story behind my book The Other Me with so many beautiful, kind and compassionate souls.

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Later in the week, I returned to my high school where I spent an exuberant morning with teen age girls discussing the creative process as well as the hotness that is Four. There are undoubtedly quite a few photos of me with high school girls celebrating pyjama day on Instagram now.

Next up, I’ll be at FinnCon in Jyväskylä, Finland on Sunday July 14 on both the foreigners writing in Finland and the LGBT in SF/F panel. I am so excited to be sharing the stage with Cheryl Morgan for the LGBT panel!

And then I’m off to LonCon3 in August where I’ll be on two panels again, one discussing the cultural impact of immigration on SF/F and the other on the trouble with writing for teenagers. I am so excited and I hope to see you there!

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First translated publication!

Today I’m celebrating my first ever translation!

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My story Where Dreams are Grown, originally published by Niteblade Magazine in September 2012, has been translated into Finnish and published by Finland’s leading science fiction and fantasy magazine Tähtivaeltaja.

P1030600It’s rather surreal seeing my name on the front cover of this magazine!

Along with my story, I did a lengthy interview with the magazine, chatting about everything from why I left South Africa for Finland to what inspires my writing and what’s coming up next for me.

It was a huge honour to be featured in this magazine and I’d like to give a shout out to all the people who made this possible, as well as to all my Finnish readers. Thank you so much! If any of you are going to FinnCon this July, be sure to come by and say hi. I’ll be on a couple of panels at the conference and would love to meet you all!

 

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