The Flight of the Phoenix on Unisa Radio

Before 25 July 2015, I had never before been in a radio station studio before. I arrived a good hour early…you know, so I have time to get lost trying to find the campus where it’s situated and then get lost trying to find the right building and the right room and so forth.

It turns out, I used to work on the very campus where Unisa Radio has its building. And it took me all of 5 minutes to find the station’s building inside.

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Going on air was actually quite relaxing after stressing myself out beforehand. I guess it also helped that our DJ, SindiM, was really easy to talk to and she didn’t ask any questions I wasn’t prepared for.

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HJ Kruger, SindiM and Natalie Rivener

To listen to our interview, click here.

Afterwards, true to form, HJ and I spent an hour talking about writing and story ideas. It’s a writer thing – you get lonely sitting behind your PC screen tapping away at the keys. And, when you finally see someone who can relate, you develop instant verbal diarrhoea and overcome all paranoia about the other author stealing your ideas.

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HJ Kruger and Natalie Rivener taking a shameless selfie…haha

The Flight of the Phoenix – podcast

This is your chance to hear me displaying all kinds of bravado on Release the Geek, the official GeekXP.co.za podcast!

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Les (from Release the Geek) actually podcast ambushed me one sunny day while I was at home with my son (who was almost 3 months old at the time)…so, you might get to hear a little baby voice here and there. *blush*

All in all, I think it went quite well. And I put my foot in my mouth less often than usual.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

The Flight of the Phoenix – Editor

Every book has its evil editor and I have the honour of filling that role this time. I sent their stories to beta readers. I made my writers jump through hoops. I made them rewrite whole stories. I demanded pictures, author bios and links to their online presence. I had to strongly resist the urge to drive over to their houses to strangle them.

Being an editor really is no cakewalk. You have to tell people that their pride and joy is riddled with errors and inconsistencies. You  have to wheedle and needle people for stories they promised time and time again and simply did not submit. You have to cajole and encourage and sometimes even berate your writers (friends, family and acquaintances).

I’m not a heartless person. In fact, I have been known to be a real softy. But, goodness, did this anthology make me learn the value of giving a cold shoulder to people you love…and to yourself.

I was among the very last to submit a story. My story’s second round of beta reading happened in the last two weeks of editing the book. And I’m very relieved to say that my feedback meant minimal changes.

During the compilation and and endless editing on The Flight of the Phoenix, I have learned more than I ever expected to. I had a crash course in learning how to use Scribus, an amazing open source programme for desktop publishing. I learned how to publish a book on Amazon and CreateSpace. I had to relearn how things work on Goodreads. I had to rediscover what my preferences were for writing conventions. I had to put my foot down really hard to get things the way I wanted them. And…I learned that Amazon will make us wait 3 months before we get to publish on Smashwords. And publish on Smashwords we will (in October).

My advice to anyone who wants to publish a book:
Get your ducks in a row, it’s not easy. You need to keep to your own deadlines. You need to keep your writers to their deadlines. You need to learn skills you never knew were necessary and things like that take time.

To get your hands on our book, use any of the links above and remember to get your discount code from me on via our Facebook page.

Hosting STORM

STORM Volume I & II ebooks are available at:

Smashwords

Apple iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Store

Storm Volume I

 

 

STORM Volume I

Volume I is amix of fantasy, science fiction, supernatural and dystopian stories where people’s lives are influenced by the occurrence of a storm: physical, moral, supernatural or magical. Set in worlds apart from our own, five authors of the Pretoria Writers’ Group give life to characters doing battle for the survival of their people, or fall over themselves in the process of trying.

What can change the nature of a man? In John’s case, it was 90 seconds. His life before was not a savory one, but now it contained a new force, a change agent, A Girl Called Storm.

The fearsome Serpent Storm that surrounds Yrthull has long kept the Myrrh from their ancestral homeland Beyond. Now, their only hope is to fulfill a prophecy that will eventually allow their people to cross the Serpent Storm and return to the fabled Halls of Gata.

In reGENESIS the scientists are sitting with their hands in their hair, because the human species is dying out. A scientist proposed the use of genetic engineering and found the solution to manipulate the fundamental code of life: the DNA helix. It worked, but there was an unexpected side-effect.

Ilgiprart and Oogithap, Electrosquids from the Fungus Asteroid are sent to earth on a dangerous mission. Their only weapon, a deadly one at that, is the storm in a teacup, As fate would have it they lose control of the weapon in their attempt to escape the farmer’s wrath, A tale of hilarious consequences.

The Icarus Curse – Shiloh realises that she holds the only blueprints that could save the planet from the brink of extinction. Does she have the courage to execute this? Who should she place her trust in, in this new dysfunctional place where nothing and no one are what they seem?

In The Gravic Exacerbation Mestrae Corvic is arguably the least liked person at the University of Yithnisia. If he can’t even convince his own apprentice that Mestrara Mikya and Mestrae Yundra’s latest projects are going to have serious repercussions, how will he convince the rest of the University’s apprentices and mestrari to heed his words of warning

 

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STORM Volume II

Volume II is a mix of contemporary stories where people’s lives are influenced by the occurrence of a storm, physical, moral or imaginary. Set in a modern day setting, four authors of the Pretoria Writers’ Group brings real life in sometimes difficult circumstances to this anthology.

Dandelions for Mother is story about a young girl whose heart is broken when her mother dies from cancer. She is left behind in the big house with her father who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that the church people, his so called family, did nothing as they suffered alone.

In Dahlias and Daisies Carla lives in a poor, gang-infested community on the Cape Flats, and dreams of one day leaving this area. Is it really possible to truly leave such a life behind or are the physical and mental shackles too deeply entrenched?

In Once Upon a Storm a new child joins Lauren’s little group for story time in the orphanage, the evening takes an unexpected turn. As the little storm in the story goes in search of courage, the children test the boundaries of their own limited existence.

In The Cutting Horizon Bryce has been drifting away from his wife of ten years. House bound as the result of a thunderstorm, the Sinclairs have to face the facts, and decide if their future should continue on the same path or separate ones?