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Writing Update: Of Metal and Magic + Beneath The Wax: Cover Reveal

It has been an enduring couple of months, and yet at the end of it all, writing continues to be both a savior and a form of catharsis that pulls me back from the murky depths. Well that, family, and good friends. Nonetheless, and despite my abhorrent absence, the writing cogs continue to go on. Much like life.

Of Metal and Magic

Facebook cover image of Fiction Vortex's Of Metal and Magic

For the last few months I’ve been working alongside a couple of authors from Fiction Vortex, specifically in the realm of Of Metal and Magic (OMAM). JM Williams, an international author currently enjoying Comic Con Seoul, with much grace allowed me to be part of the team, and as an effort to bring more readers to this amazing universe, created the OMAM Facebook Page.

All things related to OMAM, including the authors, upcoming works, and announcements (photos of JM Williams enjoying Comic Con without us haha) can be found there. Please join us as we embark on a journey through an epic-shared universe of dragons and unicorns and magical stories.

OMAM Facebook Page

JM Williams Author Page

Ashley Rothrock Author Page

Nthato Morakabi Author Page

Beneath the Wax – Cover Reveal

Book cover of Nthato Morakabi's first novella, Beneath the Wax

1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.

2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.

Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.

Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

With much thanks to Chasing Dreams Publishing and the amazing Nico Venter whose gorgeous artwork was featured in the Jozi Flash 2017 anthology, I am very proud to present the cover image of my first novella in my Wax trilogy. All details about where you can buy the book will be made available soon.

International Giveaway

Chasing Dreams Publishing is also running an international giveaway, offering a lucky winner-reader free eBook copies of Beneath the Wax, Dim Mirrors and Sketches. Competition runs until the end of August so you got plenty of time to enter!

Enter Here

Book covers for Beneath the Wax, Dim Mirrors, and Sketches for an International Giveaway

Dim Mirrors by Carin Marais

Dim Mirrors is a collection of 39 flash fiction stories that open windows into worlds of fantasy and nightmare. Interwoven with images from mythology and folklore are the themes of love, loss, and memory. The comical “Not According to Plan” leads to more serious and introspective works like “Blue Ribbons” and “The Destroyer of Worlds”, while mythology and folkloric elements come together in stories like “The Souls of Trees” and “Ariadne’s Freedom”.

Sketches by Nicolette Stephens

Like art sketches, flash fiction stories are fleeting moments captured in a few hundred words.

In a world without men, the first boy child is welcomed as the saviour of his race; a cuckoo clock holds death and destruction in its beautifully carved figures; and a snowman holds a silent vigil of peace during war.

In this collection of 50 stories, illustrated with her artwork, the author delves into worlds of imagination and reality inspired by words and drawings.


I apologize for the radio silence these last couple of months. Expect me to be very active and bringing lots of exciting new stories, book reviews, recommendations, and a couple of event articles too.

PS: I’m going to Comic Con Africa too. Expect pictures and geeking out haha.

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Camp NaNo Update: S.King, R.R.Martin and Fantasy Cabins

CampNano_Fantasy

I spent some time today listening to Stephen King and George R.R. Martin talk about their books, their failures, successes, how rats have played an important part of the writing lives and a whole other goodies. I spent some time listening to two major authors in two of my favourite genres (horror and fantasy) and one of them is my favourite author. I have yet to read any of R.R. Martin’s books nor have I watched any Game of Thrones but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his insights nor the fact that even Stephen King is smitten by the series.

I will admit that I have to fend off the obvious amalgamative (yes this is a word!) conclusion to write a horror/fantasy novel for Camp NaNo. Which, as I write this, seems like such a fantastic idea and I’m trying to write myself out of doing it. I think by the end of this update I will have completely failed at this.

Update on my Camp NaNo Preps:

Graphic Novels and things

First things first, I’m really excited to announce that my graphic novel has a tentative artist. In fact she has a published book on Amazon and works as an illustrator as her job. We’ve talked story, I gave her some comics to get a feel of what it would all entail and yes I know it’s not that simple and the whole process is different to just draw this here, write this there blah blah… but that’s the beauty of camp, isn’t it? It’s not about getting it perfect, it’s about doing it. And right now, I’m doing a fantasy/graphic novel for July. Even if she doesn’t do it,  I can probably scrape together enough scenes on my own to bring to a capable artist and bring my dream to life. *stares longingly into the stars*

Story things

So my story is based in Africa, up North this time along the Sahara desert. The premise is as follows:

The Galaxy (an entity of many) saw the destruction that humanity had wreaked upon the single living planet. Overcome with intense emotion, the Galaxy let a tear fall to Earth. It splashed across the Sahara desert and transformed the arid landscape into forestry. Within this tear drop was a star, a source of light that fed into the forest and gave it it’s life. This star was our Earth’s first “mage”, a boy who controls the elements by mental ability alone. But Earth is not unaware of this rare phenomenon, and the people flock to the great desert to see this miracle for themselves. Religion, science, superstition and everyone of the sort gather in hope of drawing some conclusion from the celestial forest to fuel their beliefs.

Of course the most obvious thing here would be to create some sort of mythical being who is jealous of the boy’s power and hopes to control it for world domination. Or a Dark Lord born from the anger of the Galaxy comes to eradicate humanity and it’s up to our lone star to prevent darkness from destroying nature and humans along with it etc etc. But I think I’m going to add a different sort of human element in this, as George R.R. Martin states:

“You don’t just have people who wake up in the morning and say, “What evil things can I do today, because I’m Mr. Evil?” People do things for what they think are justified reasons. Everybody is the hero of their own story, and you have to keep that in mind. If you read a lot of history, as I do, even the worst and most monstrous people thought they were the good guys. We’re all very tangled knots.”

Which is one of the things I love about Stephen King as well, is that most times his villains are the people themselves and not the outside evil that has put those people in those positions. The chat thing between King/Martin validates this too, so of course I’m not the only one who noticed this trait in King’s books. *-1000 ego points*

Camp things

I’ve updated the word count for my Camp to 40 000 words, which is 10 000 shy of NaNoWriMo and rather audacious for me. However, my Natural Man: Comic (name to be revised) will be a collection of stories rather than a novel so it’s word count won’t be very high. So I’ll be working on my Steampunk Horror (name to be revised…I’m terrible at names) and adding that to the word count. I’ve had some great insight from the Dragon Writers writing group I’m part of, with a lot of positive comments on the story. I’m exceedingly excited!

Writing things

Which brings me at last to my writing goals for the future. Listening to Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King and George R.R. Martin has been incredibly inspirational, and if I really want to be a writer, I will have to actually do some writing. And I have to stop this flitting about between books and stories on a whim because this new idea is great, let me write it or this idea is boring now let me work on this one and and and. So I’ll be focusing on getting both of these works done by this year, complete and ready for editing. A novel a year outside of NaNoWrimo, which will effectively mean two novels a year. I won’t say they’ll be amazing and become best sellers, but they will be complete and submission worthy.

Inspirational things

Right, so I’ve been mentioning this chat between Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, and here’s the video. Enjoy.

P.S. They do swear quite a bit so be warned:

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