Saturday, March 28, 2015

SAIR Book Festival

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to report in quickly about this great new Book / Publishing festival which I attended today - The South African Indies Rocks Book Festival. :-)

Fellow South African author Carlyle Labuschagne put together this new Festival as a means of promoting South African authors, and though the event was small, small things have a way of becoming large as they gain more momentum - which I'm sure we'll all witness year after year. :-)

I had the great fortune of meeting passionate new people at the Festival: among then Rachel Morgan, Jo Watson, Paula Gruben (whom I didn't get to chat with since she was making notes), and Louise Cosgrave and Leani le Roux (Wordsmack Publishing).

I'm singling him out, because he was the only new MAN I met (hehehehe, remember yogurt and aromat!), but I finally met Joe Mynhardt, too - Joe's the driving force behind Crystal Lake Publishing, and it was awesome to chat and knock a couple of beers (and brandies) back with him. :-)

I was also on a great panel with Rachel, Monique Snyman and Joan De La Haye, in which we discussed Publishing and Bookselling, and I was also honoured to accept a award on behalf on my publishers, Fox and Raven Publishing. :-)

Check out some of the photos of the event:

And a book / publishing event wouldn't be complete without a book haul, now would it? :-)

I really enjoyed this event - it's wonderful to see how much passion and excitement there is for South African-written Fiction, and I'm sure this event will go from strength to strength! :-)


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Great November to March Update

As you may have realized, it's been so long since my last post that the blog was seemingly hacked - twice. In any case, that seems to have been sorted out and I'm back. :-)

A lot has happened since I posted an excerpt from Book 2 - more reviews, a podcast, and a lot of progress on book 2 (now at 127K); but I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't a trying and difficult time.

In November I had the honour of participating in two events - a very windy and fun signing at the Labia Theatre (during HorrorFest), and a meet-and-read at Book Lounge in Cape Town's CBD.


The HorrorFest Night Market taking shape

David Horscroft's *first sale*

From left to right - Nerine Dorman, Daniel Hugo, David Horscroft and Marius Du Plessis

Nerine and David facing off

The table we shared - the best table at the HorrorFest Night Market, of course!
Book Lounge:

From left to right: Toby Bennett, Ruth Browne, David Horscroft, Carine Engelbrecht, Zane Mark Gentis, Diane Awerbuck, Sally Partridge, Nerine Dorman, and me. 

The story I read at Book Lounge is 'Mackey and the Monster' and can be read over on Wattpad. :-)

After those events it was back to work, for a couple of weeks, and then December arrived.

On the 11th I was interviewed by the epic folks at GeekXP for their podcast, 'Release the Geek', largely because Raymond E. Feist called me a 'sonnovabitch'. ;-) You can listen to the podcast here and here (for those of you on iTunes - it's the 8th episode).

December was a busy period - I'm a bookseller and we had a damned good festive season, which allowed me to really enjoy the break I took with Leana; we went down to her mom in Mossel Bay and had an awesome, relaxing holiday. Lots of swimming in the sea (major step up for me since I hate cold water), tanning, book-buying and we also caught the kickass South African band, Zebra and Giraffe, at an awesome venue in Mossel Bay. Check out the pics below:

Upon our return to Pretoria, the sad stuff began happening; the day after we arrived back we lost our cuddly, loud, adorable and opinionated rescue, a Pekingese named Teddy. Leana and I don't have kids, so it was devastating, and we will never stop missing him or feeling his absence. Here's a video I created, telling Teddy's story - have some tissues ready, folks.

Five days later we had to put Woody to sleep. He was a lovable and gentle soul who didn't deserve his previous owners, and though we did what we could to show him a better life, cancer basically destroyed him. :-(

Less than a month later, our feisty little girl, Bubbles, also had to be put to sleep. She had a bad heart condition and she deteriorated very quickly. We didn't want her to continue struggling, so we made the decision, and she died in our arms.

Needless to say, all the losses affected my writing and I found myself, once again, falling behind - I was supposed to have Book 2 done by the end of December, and then January, and then February... Now things are looking better for the end of March, so hold thumbs for that! My publisher has been awesome about it, but I still feel bad - I didn't want to take so long to write the second book; as a bookseller I know how bad it is to have to wait to read a book, especially considering how book 1 ended! :-)

Anyway, it's not all doom and gloom - although sales have begun to really slow down for book 1 the store that I work at has the distinction of having sold over 100 copies of "Betrayal's Shadow", and only 54 of those copies were sold on launch-day. :-) Not bad, eh?

The BIG news that I hinted at in my last post hasn't materialized yet, but I'm still hopeful that I'll get good news - whenever that happens. :-)

Some absolutely awesome news is that you'll all be able to read a full-on Horror story from me very soon - "Exertion" was chosen as a finalist in Bloody Parchment's 2014 competition, an achievement I'm very proud of! I'll keep you all updated on when you can order the print / Kindle copies of this anthology. :-)

I've also had some epic (and not so epic, but still cool) reviews of "Betrayal's Shadow" - one of my favourites from a man who is quickly becoming a legend in Fantasy fiction, and whose work I enjoy immensely: Zachary Jernigan. He's the author of No Return, The Bottom of the Sea and the forthcoming A Shower of Stones - if you haven't read his work yet, get to it!

The other awesome review came from prolific reader and blogger Andy Angel - still stunned by what he had to say. :-)

That's it for now - will be back soon with the title-reveal for Book 2. ;-)

Until then,