A Geek of All Trades – podcast

As a writer just starting the journey to worldwide fame and celebrity (oh, see how my eyes glitter at the thought of receiving my first Nebula award…which, of course, will only happen once I actually write enough to get nominated for such things), it often feels like being doomed to the depths of endless obscurity. But, if an unsolicited request for a podcast comes along, it feels like the light just got switched on at the end of the obscurity tunnel.

While I was busy preparing for the Phoenix Fire launch at The Nexus, I was approached, much to my surprise, by Douw and Greg from Geek of All Trades for a podcast. It was a clear sign that word was spreading about the local writers and that we were, in fact, actually doing the thing – you know, writing and actually publishing the results.

So it happened that Ann-Elize de Ridder (author of Layers of Darkness) and I were sat down with our gracious and, oh, so punny hosts a few weeks before our launch at The Nexus. I’m afraid I was a bit less than eloquent on the day but, luckily, Ann-Elize was on fire and helped my floundering self through the challenges.

Have a listen to our wild race through space <<here>>.


Phoenix Fire – book launch

Phoenix Fire book launch

It’s been a few weeks since the Phoenix Fire book launch and I’ve had a chance to centre myself again. What a ride! I’m sure you could tell from the tone of my various posts leading up to the release of Phoenix Fire and the day of the book launch that I was dealing badly with stress. *laughs*

I’m happy to declare that the launch was a success. The decorations looked pretty. Fans and supporters attended. Copies of The Flight of the Phoenix and Phoenix Fire were sold and signed.

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I would like to thank Grant, Tex and Les for lending us the space at The Nexus. Their friendly staff and mesmerising milkshakes (at The Nexus Cafe AKA Catz Pyjamas) made our day so much easier than previous launches I’ve been a part of. You guys rock!!!

If you live in Gauteng (South Africa), I can still supply you with copies of both The Flight of the Phoenix and Phoenix Fire in person. Outside of Gauteng will incur courier fees. It appears that some of the Flight authors still had a few knocking around.


Phoenix Fire on Release the Geek

I got a surprise email from  Les Allen at GeekXP, asking me whether I’d like to do a podcast for Phoenix Fire on Release the Geek. I’m sure that you can tell from this post’s title that my answer was “Yes, please!”



It was a truly novel experience to sit next to Vittorio (Phoenix Fire author) for this interview. I know him as the loudmouth joker whom everyone listens to at parties and gatherings. He’s charismatic and always the life of the party (right along with Les, our host). On this auspicious Sunday, he was quiet as a mouse, waiting for his turn to speak. It actually threw me off my game a little. Good thing Les is such a good talker. He smoothed over most of my confusion at having Vittorio so well behaved and nervously excited. (Heck, Vittorio’s been in movies! I have a DVD of District 9 with his signature on it.)

Shout out to my cat, Pantoffel, who clawed Vittorio during the interview. You’ll hear mention of the grumpy kitty in the podcast. Poor thing has a bad back.



Have a listen to what Vittorio Leonardi and I had to say about Phoenix Fire on Release the Geek – the GeekXP podcast. Just click on the GeekXP button or <<here>>.



Phoenix Fire book launch

It’s time for the South African book launch! If you are in Gauteng on 24 February 2018, you should hightail it to Nexus in Randburg to come meet the authors and have your copy of Phoenix Fire signed. Don’t have a copy? No problem! We have a few on hand at R200 each. And, if you buy your copy at the launch, you stand a chance to win a R500 Nexus voucher!

If you missed out on the previous anthology, The Flight of the Phoenix, you will be able to buy a copy at R150 at the Phoenix Fire launch.

Book launch details:

  • Date: 24 February 2018
  • Time: 14:00-16:00
  • Venue: The Nexus – 21 Harley Street, Ferndale, Randburg

Authors attending:

Natalie Rivener Flame_black_100 Ann-Elize de Ridder Flame_black_100 Richard T Wheeler Flame_black_100 Carmen Dominique Taxer Flame_black_100 Ryhen E Knight Flame_black_100 Vittorio Leonardi

Come join us at Nexus Cafe afterwards! Us authors will be having some of its legendary milkshakes to celebrate the launch. You can check out the Nexus Cafe menu right now if you’re curious. It’s definitely in the local geek style. I had a self-deprecating laugh when I checked it out. My order so far? Roasted Marshmallow Deluxe Milkshake and Cheesy Chips. Droooooooool.

Phoenix Fire – RSA pre-orders

The plan hadn’t been to do a local print run…but, it turns out, I have a bunch of local fans who prefer getting my books, not online, but from me…in person. So, here we are. I am currently wrangling with our printers for technical specifications (there are oh-so-many little niggly details that no one ever hears about).

Local release details

  • Release date: 16 February 2018
  • Cost: R200 per copy (excluding shipping)
  • Fill in this handy form ↓ with the number of copies you want in the Comment section.

    If you want to get your copy of Phoenix Fire from me in person, keep an eye out for my next blog post that will cover our book launch at Nexus in Randburg.

Pre-oder Phoenix Fire!

You have waited long enough! Phoenix Fire is finally available for pre-order! Yes, on Amazon, it means that the eBook is a bit more expensive…but you do get it delivered to your Kindle (or Kindle account) the moment it is published.

If you want to save those last few pennies (or whatever small change is called in your country – here, we use cents), mark your calendar for 20 December! Phoenix Fire will be available on Amazon as both eBook ($8.99) and print-on-demand versions.

Pre-order Phoenix Fire

Phoenix Fire – illustrator and designer

It is time to meet Ida van Os, our illustrator and designer. She has assisted me with a few different projects over the years and, again, she jumped right in when I realised that we need help.

Phoenix Fire - illustrator and designer

Ida van Os – Graphic designer extraordinaire!

She came up with a design that was so close to what I had envisioned, I could hardly believe she had done it from scratch in less than three days. We fixed a few small design elements (and several typos *cough cough* – those were my fault) and voilá! Behold the cover for Phoenix Fire!


About Ida

She is an experienced graphic design all-rounder, focusing on User Interface (UI)

Phoenix Fire - illustrator and designer

Watercolour – Ida van Os

and User Experience (UX) design. She is a strong arts and design professional with a BA (BK) Information Design, focused in Graphic Design from the University of Pretoria. Ida loves everything that has to do with the fluid process of creating mobile first solutions and apps. She strives to design solutions that answer to the users’ needs in the most intuitive form, packaged in elegant user interfaces.

Phoenix Fire - illustrator and designer

Pencil sketch – Ida van Os

Ida has over 20 years’ design experience with 18 years as an in-house designer and brand guardian in an engineering environment, working closely with business analysts and development teams, to create elegant, effective mobile and web solutions for consumer, government and corporate clients.

Ida’s hobbies

Ida likes to spend her free time on side-quests, doing any creative challenges or

Phoenix Fire - illustrator and designer

Ceramic art – Ida van Os

outdoor activities that inspire and expand the boundaries of her imagination. She believes that one should never stop dreaming, because without dreaming freely and without boundaries one cannot create with something of significant impact. One should also not just commit to one single hobby. Try everything once and try as many things as possible! For example, this year, Ida kept herself busy painting ceramic mugs and salad

bowls for friends, she learned how to brew and bottle beer, made a doodle series in pen and ink and is now venturing into needle point, making table cloths.


Phoenix Fire - illustrator and designer

Beer – Ida van Os

Greatest inspirations

Ida finds her greatest inspiration in traveling and experiencing new and interesting places. It doesn’t have to be an expensive overseas trip, just leave your comfort zone and travel through our country (South Africa, for those who assume some other country) and see how different and amazing life can be.

In the words of Mark Twain “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”