The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

I met Andrea Vermaak over a decade ago at the University of Pretoria. Back then, she was studying publishing and was a member of the Inklings (the creative writing society).  It didn’t take much for us to recognise kindred spirits and we have stayed in contact ever since. What a pleasure to have her right next to me, chasing our dreams!

Andrea’s interview:

What has been your high so far with The Flight of the Phoenix?
I have been able to rediscover my passion for writing short stories. This particular passion has been long dormant. I’ve also had the opportunity to write a story that has been burning a hole in my mind for quite some time already. Being able to complete a story is always most satisfying.

What was your worst low?
I think my lowest point was trying to write the middle of my story. I knew how I wanted to begin and end it, but finding plot points for the middle and trying to sustain Draca’s torn state of mind was very difficult. I, however, learnt a lot about myself, as well as writing, during this journey.

What are your future writing plans?
I want to finish the novel I started writing years ago. It has undergone many changes and many drafts have been written. It is now time to polish it off and send it out into the world. I’m definitely going to write my short stories for Siygrah Books too. It has been a pleasure working with and learning from this amazing group of people.

Get into contact with Andrea:

Blog: andreavermaak.worpress.com (Beyond Words).
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaVermaakWriter
Twitter: @AndreaVermaak
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AndreaV83
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=47213899&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

The Flight of the Phoenix – Links

It’s time to get your hands on The Flight of the Phoenix!!! Pre-orders are open! Now, since we are not in charge of how our platforms work, we’ve had to get creative with how we’re doing pre-orders.

CreateSpace (print-on-demand via Amazon – so, worldwide distribution) and Amazon (eBook). To get your pre-order discount, please contact us via our Facebook page and I will personally send you a coupon code.

For our local South African print run pre-orders, contact all authors directly. We are all reachable on Facebook.

Elmien GroveRyhen E KnightHJ KrugerCaldon Mull
Natalie RivenerAndrea VermaakRichard T Wheeler

Please note: The pre-orders are limited to the period before 16 July 2015. From there on, they will be available only at the full price, so, don’t wait! Get your discount now!

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX COVER FINAL copyThe Flight of the Phoenix on Amazon, CreateSpace
and in South Africa!

Leave us a review on Goodreads if you like it!

The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

Next up is Caldon Mull. During the many years that I spent at gaming conventions and LARPs, I got to know this man and could never quite put my finger on why I found him so charming. Maybe it’s because he’s a fantastic cook. Maybe it’s his easy manner and captivating voice (though he’ll be quick to tell you it’s not a voice for radio…go figure). All I know is: I enjoy his company even when I don’t see quite eye to eye with him.

Here follows my interview with him…

What has been your high so far with The Flight of the Phoenix?

Being selected and identified with a group that is currently producing high quality work in my area. It has been lonely writing, and knowing that there are others who are doing the same thing as I am doing has proved to be refreshing. The genre is very, very small in South Africa, and yet overall the quality and originality of fantasy and science fiction has a long history going back to the 1950’s and almost nobody in this country recognizes that South Africa SF has a really good international reputation. Perhaps The Flight of the Phoenix will be the next ‘novel of the decade’ for the genre in this country, and I am pleased to have been selected as a contributor.

What has been your worst low?

There was a point where it didn’t look like the compilation would get off the ground and it burnt me a little. I have not had particularly good luck with collaborations (mostly because of my own personality, more than lack of opportunities, or lack of trying) over the last two decades and I was concerned that this would go the way of all of the other attempts I have undertaken. However, I am resilient and my faith in the editor paid off and I am quite proud of The Flight of the Phoenix, because I think the selection of material for the volume represents the best work of the contributors, to date.

What are your future writing plans?

I am currently on a path, and I am compulsive enough to continue with that route until the loop is closed. I envision a major release of my own material in May, and October to complete my current publishing schedule.  In 2016, I need to examine my contracts and then see if I can publish a genre novel a year for at least two genres from my backlog until my list is exhausted. As I am rated as ‘solidly mid-list’ the only way through that is to experiment with breaking into cross-genre work and see where that goes. The Flight of the Phoenix provides an ideal and uncomfortable excursion into the Young Adult genre that I would not have ordinarily thought to make, and thus I will continue to support the project for as long as I am able to. That is what is so exciting for me, the ‘treasure-horde-in-your-backyard’ sort of excitement.

Get into contact with Caldon:

Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Caldon

Print paperbacks: www.createspace.com

Goodreads: Caldon_Mull

The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

It is time for the countdown to the release of The Flight of the Phoenix (links and updates will follow soon) and time to introduce you to the authors who worked themselves silly to contribute!

First up is Ryhen E Knight with his understated wit that will have you chortling in short order.

What has been your high so far with The Flight of the Phoenix?
Being my first venture into publishing some of my work, I feel like a kid at a dinosaur exhibition – often awed, sometimes frightened, but always excited. Picking a high… All of them? If I had to choose one (while my arm is being twisted by Natalie), the biggest high has been seeing the proof of the book and realising that this is it! My name is there. My story is there. And soon the book will be there!

What was your worst low?
As a writer, self-doubt is often the biggest enemy. And when you are navigating your way through uncharted territory, in this case first time publishing, that self-doubt is magnified and surrounds you like a wet t-shirt in a cold breeze. You are never satisfied with your product and constantly in fear of what your readers will think. And wondering what you look like in a wet t-shirt. That has kept me up at nights.

What are your future writing plans?
Write some more. There is a sequel to this book and I want to take my quirky mind deeper into this world of transformation. Furthermore my hunger for being a writer has been rekindled and I am working on my big passion: Planning my next travel adventure! And then finishing my first novel…

The Flight of the Phoenix – Artist

The original art Elsabé VIljoen supplied for the cover of The Flight of the Phoenix

The original art Elsabé Viljoen supplied for the cover of The Flight of the Phoenix

Elsabé Viljoen and I have come a long way since we met in our awkward teens. We both love art but she definitely took that love further than I have ever dared. And, when I approached her about the art for The Flight of the Phoenix, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Here’s what she had to say:

What kind of art projects do you typically get involved in?
I generally work in New Media and digital installation, but have also involved myself in a variety of community (art) upliftment programmes such as SANParks’ educational outreach and the ReVive community outreach programme. I have also taken part in quite a few group exhibitions at various levels.

What and who has influenced your style the most?
Presently I am influenced by the work of Bill Viola and Tony Oursler. Both of these artists integrate technology and art, creating an alternative ‘reality’ through the use of digital media.

What projects are you currently working on?
Presently I am exploring Afrikaner genealogy and the familial through digital media. I am also moving back into the field of stop motion photography and video by exploring the relationship between the body and parasitism.

Elsabé Viljoen

Elsabé Viljoen

The Flight of the Phoenix – Important dates

The Flight of the Phoenix will officially be released on 16 July 2015! This will include both our international sales (ebooks and print-on-demand via Amazon) and the local print run in South Africa.

Pre-orders for these editions will open 1 June 2015.

The book launch (South Africa only) will be 2PM on 25 July 2015 at the Rooihuiskraal Public Library.

Our Smashwords edition will be available as of 16 October 2015.

The Flight of the Phoenix – Book launch in the making

Wow! What a lovely feeling when everyone is pulling together! My authors are super excited about this project.

In July this year, we will be releasing The Flight of the Phoenix on Amazon (both ebook and print on demand) and we will hold a local book launch!

Mark the 25th of July on your calender if you live in (or around) Gauteng and we’ll see you there!

Please note that pre-order prices will be cheapest (25% less than the normal price). At the book launch itself, it will be 20% less than the normal price. The final pricing is still being calculated.

Flight of the Phoenix – it’s happening!

I’ve been keeping this under wraps but, despite my many misgivings, it looks like Flight of the Phoenix will be making its appearance in the next two months!

What is this now?
Flight of the Phoenix is an anthology of fantasy, sci-fi and horror short stories written by seven different South African authors.

Though anthology is aimed at teens to young adults, I have tried hard to get all my writers to provide stories that was wide-audience compatible (i.e. if you are not a teen or young adult, the stories are still enjoyable – like Harry Potter). It has been long in the making but it’s finally looking like we’re moving ahead!

Where did I find all these authors?
I actually started off with 15 writers last year when I decided to jump in head first and compile an anthology. They all seemed keen…but, as time passed, about half of them fell out claiming life interfered, they didn’t have any ideas at the moment, work was eating their time, they weren’t willing to adapt according to feedback received… You know, the standard stuff. At least, one of the writers said “No” because she was busy writing on another story that was taking a lot of time.

Sooo, when’s it out?
Depending on whether my fellow writers are keen on doing hard copy as well, the release date will be either beginning of April (if it’s to be an ebook only) or June (if we’re doing print too) this year. Why the hold-up if we do print? Well, I’d prefer bringing out all the formats at once, rather than it appearing in drips and drabs. And…I happen to be expecting the arrival of my second child midway through April…I can promise you: Nothing will be happening in my life other than keeping my family alive for a month after his arrival.

Updates on progress to follow soon!

For fellow writers – Dauntless Writing

As a fairly unknown author (don’t worry, I will make it big – no way I’m pulling out of my life dream), I often sit with questions and doubts… If you write, you will know them intimately.

  • This belief that my writing is gold coupled with crippling self-doubt, do other writers suffer from this?
  • Getting feedback on my stories kills my spirit, do I really suck that much?
  • Getting feedback like “I liked it” is nice, but it means nothing to me…how do I get feedback that actually means something?
  • How on earth am I supposed to get around to writing if I have a 9-5 job/kids/household chores/friends?
  • How do I get people to give me feedback on stories? I mean, they know it’s not ready for publishing and they don’t feel like reading it. How do I convince them?
  • People look at me like I’m a bum because I choose to write and be poor for now. How do I deal with the constant judgment?

There are many more. They haunt me everywhere I go.

Luckily, I have found like-minded people. One of these iRichard T Wheelers Richard T. Wheeler, an absolutely invaluable asset to my writer self. Richard has a passion for fellow writers. He loves helping writers find their way. He loves sharing what he has learned in his relentless quest to learn the three big things in writing: craft, organisation and marketing.

I highly recommend checking out his website for fiction writers: Dauntless Writing. He’s adding content as often as he can and it’s all about the stuff independent writers need and want to know.

 

And this silence, Natalie?

I am sure you have noticed that I haven’t been blogging. I’ve noticed too. 😦

No, I haven’t quit chasing my dream. It’s just been put on hold by life. No, not the usual drivel about being busy or having to take a job and having no time. Something that will sound even more mundane. I’ve been occupied every moment of the day with my super curious toddler. What about when she sleeps, you ask? Well, I’ve been passing out every moment she does. I’m pregnant again and her new brother/sister (we don’t know yet) is putting me through my paces again. Exhaustion, nausea (mostly just feeling queasy all day and night), abdominal discomfort. Fun! *cough cough*

My plans:

  1. Send my eldest to kindergarten as of next year (then, she’s two).
  2. Use the last three months before the new baby arrives going through the submissions I got for Flight of the Phoenix (anthology of fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories by South African authors) and hopefully get the thing ready for publishing. This time Amazon! And, I will do my best to launch a second website – Sies! (it’s Afrikaans and roughly translates to an exclamation meaning both “Yuck!” and “Goodness!”). It’s about the unromantic side of pregnancy. All the yucky squishy things you don’t get told about before you get pregnant.
  3. Raise my second child while writing short stories when I can.
  4. 2017 (holy moly, that’s a long way off!) will see me diving into writing with a vengeance. I already have four books in mind right off the bat.

I am very serious about writing and living my dream. I will not give it up. But I am realistic and my children are a priority to me. So, please hold on.

*thick Terminator accent* “I’ll be baaaack!”