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

Advertisements

Phoenix Fire – authors

You’ve seen the Phoenix Fire blurbs, now it’s time to meet their authors!

Natalie Rivener

You already know me but, who knows, maybe you’ve never read my bio before…

Natalie Rivener_B&W.jpg

If Natalie had been born a few odd centuries earlier, she would have been burned as a witch. Her nonconformity has branded her as not-a-sheep and she loves exploring new things without caring too much about what others may think.

She currently spends most of her time running after her two kids but she’s really a Jill of all trades…everything from sewing to pole dancing to painting to calligraphy to baking has taken up her time, but her favourite remains writing.

She lives with her husband, two children, cat and tarantula in a quiet part of Gauteng, South Africa.

Connect with Natalie Rivener:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natalie-Rivener-writer/103681193158365

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/Siygrah

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TheRivener

 

Ann-Elize de Ridder

Ann-Elize de Ridder_B&W.JPG

Ann-Elize de Ridder completed her BA Honours degree in 2005 at The University of Pretoria. She lives with her husband, dog and cat in Pretoria where they keep company with Pratchett, Gaiman, Coelho, King, Feist, Shakespeare and others. She is a teacher and a true believer in the unlimited potential of the human mind. Having the opportunity to work with learners with ASD has given her an interesting perspective on the human condition.

After a near brush with world domination, she decided to down scale to a quiet life of chaos and magic. Granted, that last part is not entirely accurate, but as a LARPER, imagination is the limit of possibility.

She is grateful to her mother who gave her a love for reading and introduced her to fantasy and horror writers from a young age, and to her husband who supports her reading habits.

This will be her first publication. It is dedicated to the people and the families of those on the Autistic spectrum. May they find their voices.

 

Richard T Wheeler

Richard Wheeler_B&W.jpg

Richard T. Wheeler is the author of The Kobold who Breathed Fire in the Phoenix Fire anthology, Guardian Angel in the Flight of the Phoenix anthology and A Girl Called Storm in the STORM anthology of short stories, and the co-author for the Sanguinem Emere universe of Gaslight Vamp novels. Richard holds a BA Degree in English Language

and Literature (with a specialisation in Creative Writing), the content of which he disregards in the creative process. He aims to liberate writers from their day jobs at Dauntlesswriting.com.

Connect with Richard T Wheeler:

Websites:
http://www.richardtwheeler.com/
http://www.dauntlesswriting.com/
http://www.sanguinememere.com/

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/RichardTWheeler

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6456004.Richard_T_Wheeler

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/richardtwheelerauthor

 

Rob McShane

“Building a life is similar to writing a successful story,” Rob says. “The plot, characters and action must flow together and it takes a team effort. As with writing a story, you

Rob McShane_B&W.jpg

cannot do it alone.”

 

He should know, he has lived several different lives shared with various characters, and written many stories on his journey: novels (The MageStaff), poetry (regularly on his blog, The Wayward Warrior, and published in several chapbooks), short stories, songs and music. Thrilled to be accepted as part of Phoenix Fire he has also been recently accepted by the AVBOB Poetry Competition and regularly finds success amongst his worldwide blog readership.

Connect with Rob McShane:

Website:
https://robmcshane.wordpress.com/

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/robmcshane

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/robmcshane

 

Carmen Dominique Taxer

As a South African writer, Carmen understands the complexities of the human spirit and the urge to escapCarms Author Pic.jpege the ravages of newsworthy stories of cruelty and injustice. She spent her childhood dreaming about suave, eloquent strangers that could change the world, that could sweep the filth away and leave a gleaming, beautiful darkness behind them.

 

A daydreaming gothling, Carmen has always found beauty in the dark and hope in horror. Romance and love, twisted into the struggles and grit of reality, are the core of humanity. But horror doesn’t have to be ugly. At the centre of the horror genre lies a kernel of hope that explores the intricacies of the human psyche and its power to overcome suffering. She writes Dark Romance, Horror, and Erotica, and what she and her co-author and long-suffering husband, Richard T. Wheeler, have coined as Gaslight Vamp – a look at vampires through a fictionalised Victorian setting, ruled by vampires.

 

Carmen uses vampires to give voice to the struggles and successes of humanity, painting a portrait of the world that is both dark and beautifully highlighted with love conquering death above all else.

Connect with Carmen Dominique Taxer:

Websites:
http://www.sanguinememere.com/

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CDTaxer

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/Orionangel

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/richardtwheelerauthor

 

Ryhen E Knight

Ryhen E Knight was born in Pretoria, RyhenEKnight_B&W.jpeg

South Africa in 1976. He received his doctorate degree in engineering in 2003 and has been working in the field of engineering since 2003, to pay for his addictions: travelling and coffee.

An engineer by trade and a writer at heart, he has a passion for history, dragons and Lego. Short stories are one of his preferred writing formats, but he has dabbled in poetry and travel writing. The dream is to publish a series of fantasy novels from his cottage in Scotland. He and his wife have two young squires that resemble sons and they live happily ever after in Pretoria.

Connect with Ryhen E Knight:

Facebook:
https://facebook.com/RyhenEKnight

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14050160.Ryhen_E_Knight

 

Minki Pool

Minki Pool_B&W.jpg

Minki was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1985. It soon became apparent that she was the artistic type, and she found an outlet for her creativity in music, art and writing. She is a graphic and website designer by day, and a writer, corsetiere, horn player, and maker of things by night. She currently lives in Cape Town where she spends most of her time reading anything she can lay her hands on. She enjoys yoga and miscellaneous musings over a good cup of tea.

Connect with Minki Pool:

Website:
http://www.minkipool.com/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/minkipool/

 

Vittorio Leonardi

Vittorio Leonardi_B&W.jpg

Born in Warrenton in the Northern Cape, South Africa and raised in Welkom in the Free State, Vittorio started his flights of fancy very early. A passion for Star Wars and a desire to be Luke Skywalker took him to study Drama at Pretoria Technikon, which naturally led him to becoming a full time stand-up comedian… Because you need something solid to fall back on.

In 2009, he began making thoughts into reality as the head writer on Last Say on Sunday – a political satire show ahead of its time but one step behind the censors. However, once TV-Land had him, they wouldn’t let him go as he has continued in this vein, writing for SABC 1’s local celebrity gossip show The Real Goboza since 2010; for children’s television on Let’s Get Quizzical and on sitcoms such as Thandeka’s Diary, Ses’Top La and Abo Mzala.

On the big screen, you can see him in award-winning sci-fi film District 9 as well as Death in the 48-Hour Film Project 2014 short Death’s (Man)date.

A full-time geek; when he’s not gaming, he co-hosts the GeekXP podcast Release the Geek and his own podcast Urbane Myths.

This will be his first short story… And about time too.

Connect with Vittorio Leonardi:

Website:
http://vittorio.sharp.fm/archives/heres_a_thought/

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/GritPypeThin

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/VittorioLeo/

Twitter:
https://mobile.twitter.com/vittorioleo

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/vthejester/

Phoenix Fire is about to break out!

Mark your diary for 15 December, Phoenix Fire is about to break out!

More Than a Fish by Natalie Rivener

When Myhrrl runs away from her arranged marriage and (sort of) into Eldvin’s arms, he can almost ignore the fact that they have been captured by pirates. Maybe this fisher boy is destined for more than gutting fish after all.

Layers of Darkness by Ann-Elize de Ridder

Growing up with tales of great warriors taught Eveline one thing: When things get tough, a true knight will not ride off into the sunset with you. A true knight will stand by your side through the darkness.

The Kobold Who Breathed Fire by Richard T Wheeler

The Eldkin told Kobold Nix that he’s to become a snatcher. He, however, is set on becoming a mysterious flametongue to impress enigmatic she-kobold Shi’zine. Nix’s a little greedy thing. Too bad kobolds define greediness as a four-letter yip.

Dragon’s Breath by Rob McShane

A dragon without fire? When Warheart is called to lead his house to war, he can hide the loss of his dragon’s breath no longer. Will he find his strength or is he doomed to fail and burn?

Radiance by Carmen Dominique Taxer

For six decades, Ka-Jyn has sworn to protect the people of Disara from pain and disease. But now, succumbing to the ravages of age, she must defy the laws of nature and seek help from an old friend.

The Pirate Who Played with Fire by Ryhen E Knight

When magical fire and a drunk pirate collide, things go south and it is up to Tom and Elyan to set aside their wedding plans to rescue the situation. And maybe a cat.

Ancient Ashes by Minki Pool

Dell, a troublemaking heiress, is sent on an archaeological expedition to unearth an ancient religious relic. When it becomes clear that the relic has devastating secrets of its own, she must choose between betraying her family, or betraying everything she has come to believe in.

What Remains by Vittorio Leonardi

“It’s amazing what you’ll agree to when you’re on fire.”

Cole has been haunted by his father’s words since the old man’s death. On the dark side of the moon, he’ll come closer to understanding them than he can imagine.

 

 

Phoenix Fire – beta reading

Phoenix Fire - beta reading

When writing a story of any length, you need to get outside input. As writers, we are deeply invested in our work and it’s easy to start believing that everything you created must be gold. In fact, even if you secretly think your work is the worst and should never see the light of day, you still feel like every single word of negative feedback is unfair and hurtful. It’s easy to understand why writers are so afraid to ask anyone to read their story before it’s published, right?

The funny thing is: Writers are the harshest beta readers. You know what you want from a story to make it a delight to read (even though it somehow eludes you with your own work). You know that it should be effortless to read. You know your genre and what the audience expects from it. Even if you don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory of good writing yourself, you expect every other writer to be the utter personification of it.

So, what do I do to balance it out for anthology submissions? I use two beta readers per submission (at least, for the first round) – one academic (a writer or someone who studied literature) and one layman (someone who reads but never studied literature). If both of these beta readers hate the story, then something is obviously wrong. If only the former finds the submission lacking, it means the writer did not apply good writing theory and needs to develop their skills but a total overhaul of the story is probably not necessary. It is highly unusual for the layman to dislike a story if the academic finds it satisfying.

Wait a minute, Natalie, you just used the word “satisfying”. You know that’s a subjective thing, right?

Yes, I realise that. This is why I give all my beta readers, regardless of background, a list of questions they must answer about each of the stories. Some of the questions are simple, for example: “Did you enjoy the story?” Some questions involve story writing terms and concepts that I actually explain in layman’s terms in brackets. This means that my layman gets a little guidance on what to look for and my academic is kept on track (if you give this particular dog a bone, he won’t let it go).

Of course, there’s no way that the beta readers will identify all the problems. There is always that one troll reader who will tell you all about the plot holes and character discrepancies once the book is for sale. And don’t get me started on beta readers being too polite to tell you what they were really thinking. All I know is: I try my best to help my writers craft a better story.

That’s all for today. I’ll post about helpful beta reading another time.

Phoenix Fire – stoking the fire

Phoenix Fire

It’s amazing how fast you forget how much effort goes into doing something from scratch. Whether it’s raising a child (potty training – groan) or compiling an anthology, there are so many things that need to be done – little, big, somewhere in between…

After getting into contact with my writing community, I have an initial list of writers, beta readers, language practitioners and artists/designers. Each of these groups get an info pack to let them know what they need to do by when.

This sounds simple but it takes a lot of time and careful consideration. I need to keep in mind that all of my helpers are volunteers. When are the deadlines too tight or too lax? What is too much, what is too little? At what point do you overwhelm your helpers with information?

Here, in the beginning of the process, the worst is really waiting for responses and submissions. I don’t know who will fall out. I don’t know who will pull through. I don’t know whether there will be enough stories in the end or whether my writers will present me with drivel. And, I’m working with writers and artists…so, everything will happen at the last possible minute.

I guess, the good news is: I have one story already in beta reading. If everything else goes wrong, I can publish that story.

Get ready for Phoenix Fire

Two years ago, a fire was kindled and it promised to grow. But life has a funny way of taking turns and making it difficult to find your way. We all started wondering whether the fire was going out and we would watch another dream being snuffed out before it could fly.

I am writing this post to tell you that from ashes a phoenix shall rise!

Yes, you read right! Phoenix Fire is in the making. My South African writer friends are putting on their writer hats and we’re putting together an anthology to follow up The Flight of the Phoenix. This time around, the target audience is narrowed down to YA (young adult) only, though the genres will stay fantasy, science fiction and horror.

Keep your eyes open for more posts as we fight the dying of the light!

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.