The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

Last but not least is HJ Kruger. I met this multi-talented artist/writer/designer during my university years. He is an absolutely fascinating creature and I have spent much time marvelling at his art (photography, paintings, stories, designs and more).

He has slaved away hours working on cover and banner designs for The Flight of the Phoenix and we are eternally grateful for his fantastic work.

Here is his interview:

How has your participation in The Flight of the Phoenix changed your approach to writing?
Let me start by saying what an amazing experience it’s been collaborating on this anthology. Flight of the phoenix taught me to be more focused in my writing and also to be more flexible. In developing a story specifically tailored for a publication I leaned to be receptive to constructive criticism and respect the creative process. The best thing of working on this project was the support and developmental feedback from the publisher, Siygrah Books, that always assured me that my story was in the best possible hands from the start.

Is writing a short story much different from screenwriting?
Screen writing is a lot more structured with a more defined format. The use of adverbs and inner dialogue, especially narration, is widely discouraged. Because a screenplay is never supposed to be a piece of literature by itself, it should rather be looked at as the creation of a blueprint that will guide and aid the filming process. When writing a short story I feel a lot freer to explore the minds of my characters and describe their inner realms, something that is sadly absent when you have to tell a story visually.

As the cover designer of the anthology, what was your biggest challenge?
The original image was a stunning hand-drawn image by Elsabé Viljoen; my biggest challenge was to reinvent the image to better suit the market and genre expectations and I think that the process was well worth it and yielded a image that both me and the publisher were happy with.

Get into contact with HJ Kruger:

https://www.facebook.com/hjkrugerwriter

The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

Ahhh, Richard. The man who set me on the next journey in my writing career. He’s one of those guys who will charm the socks off you. I can’t help but listen to his advice. Heck, today I came home with a tub of coconut oil and a packet of coconut flour just because he was telling me about its amazing baking applications.

Initially, I actually met him because he was my middle sister’s best friend’s little brother (at the time, all I really knew about him was that he kept a rat called Rattex). Try that for a tongue twister! Say “my middle sister’s best friend’s little brother” six times fast!

He kept popping up in my life and I never suspected that he would one day be writing right along with me…and that I would learn so much from him.

Here’s what he had to say when I asked him a few questions:

What was the biggest lesson you learned as a contributor to the anthology?

Each writing project teaches you something about yourself, but a collaborative project can acquaint you with your limits. Limits of personal time management, limits of personal leadership and, more importantly, the limitless potential of a collaborative effort. Writing is usually a solitary affair, but when writing for an anthology it’s not just you. Your work needs to match up to others, so you naturally up your game.

An anthology gives you an opportunity that you also don’t always have readily available, access to other writers and an overarching volume editor. These two parties also have a stake in the quality of the anthology, so they tend to provide focussed and valuable feedback to your work, and you to theirs.

If you have the opportunity to write for an anthology, I’d recommend it. Your co-authors will make you a better writer, and hopefully, so will you them.

What are your current writing projects?

It’s a pretty exciting time, actually. I am writing a series with a co-author, the talented Carmen Dominique Taxer, and simultaneously blogging about the process of writing, post-production, publication, and marketing the series on DauntlessWriting.com. I have the aim of doing this full-time, as opposed to trying to squeeze it in between full-time drudgery at a traditional nine to five. We’re going full indie, taking responsibility for every facet of the creative process. Marketing is creative too! I’m hoping that the non-fiction work will be of some help to others who walk the same path as we are.

The series itself is something that I believe will have seen the light of day if the traditional gatekeepers of the publishing world had their say. The beauty of indie authorpreneurship is the ability to do what you want, when you want to, and not being beholden to someone else’s idea of what will be “worthy” for publication. If traditional publishers were honest with themselves, they would admit that they have no idea what makes one book explode onto the bookshelves of every home in the world and another fizzle back down into obscurity.

The series is called Sanguinem Emere, (which is an archaic legal term that, loosely translated, means redemption bought through blood). It is a Gaslight Vamp series which draws from diverse inspirations, such as from the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles to A Song of Ice and Fire, to the Steampunk genre, to the classics’ Gothic Horror. Like I said, traditional publishers would have had no idea what to do with this.

If an aspiring author approaches you about writing their first novel, what advice would you share?

ABC. Always Be Creating. There is a reason that the first episode of the Dauntless Writing Podcast is on this topic. The rest of the stuff will follow, just get yourself in the seat and write. Even if you think your writing is no good, even if you think you have a bunch of other stuff to do first, like reading up on craft or publishing. Write, because the best way to get better is by writing. Read up, by all means, but never let that stop you from putting words on paper.

Priority number one is Always Be Creating. You can always make it better later as you learn new skills and techniques.

Contact Richard T Wheeler

His personal website

Dauntless Writing

Vampire Bibliographica

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter – @RichTWheeler

The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

Of all the authors, I have known Elmien Grove by far the longest. She and I met one fateful day just before we turned ten. We spent a heck of a lot of time together. We would ignore each other for hours on end reading books side by side. We wrote shameless fan fiction stories throughout high school…for each other…about our favourite musicians… Hahaha… Ahem!

She has always had a gift for writing. Her style is approachable and speaks directly to the reader. Where I like writing high fantasy because of the vaulted language and flowery words, she writes in a way that has you through the story before you even realised that you have started reading.

I love this woman to bits and I’m sure you will too. Here is what she had to say when I asked her a few questions:

What was the biggest lesson you learned as a contributor to the anthology?
The biggest lesson I learned while contributing to this anthology was that writing a story is only a small part of what you need done in order to have a polished end result to publish. The beta readers, the editors and the marketeers have blown my mind with their expertise and sharp sense of what is currently on point and in demand. It has been a huge learning opportunity for me.

What are your current writing projects?
Currently I am focusing on writing the invitations for my wedding, autobiographical pieces about both my fiancee and myself for the wedding website, my blog and the story I aim on entering for the next edition of this anthology. With all the tools I’ve been given by the other writers and editors during the process of compiling The Flight of the Phoenix anthology, I have high hopes that this one will need slightly less tweaking.

If an aspiring author approaches you about writing their first novel, what advice would you share?
If an aspiring author asked me for advice on writing a novel, I would probably say: “I have no idea, but when you find out, please let me know”. On writing in general, I would suggest getting into a routine, in order to minimize the emotional component and fear of running into a bout of writer’s block. Even if you sit down for only half an hour everyday and just start typing, eventually it should flow more naturally and your confidence will improve over time. Spend less time trying to come up with ideas and more time rambling right onto the paper. You might be surprised at what emerges.

Connect with Elmien Grove

Blogger: http://ellenell.blogspot.com/

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

 

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 – 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…

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

 

Storm Volume II final small

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?