Archive for the ‘STORM Anthology’ Category

Storm Anthology book signing

Friday, June 27th, 2014

storm cover

Tomorrow is the book signing for the STORM Anthology at Rooihuiskraal Library in Centurion. I’ve been asked to read a portion of A Girl Called Storm. Good thing there will be sherry.

This is a bit of a first for me. I’ve done some public appearance gigs in the past (including performing as a front man for a band for a glorious year) so I won’t be nervous about the public speaking part, but I do have some reservations with regards to reading out loud something I’ve written. We’ll see how it goes, the show must go on, right?

As I often mention, all authors feel paradoxical about their work at any time. On the one hand, you really love your work and what you’ve accomplished, because you know how much work went into it. On the other hand, you are convinced that this piece of… writing is the worst atrocity committed to the English language and must be purged from human conscience. What will happen if the only remnant of our doomed civilization that is found by alien archaeologists in the distant future is your writing? Writers feel both those feeling about their writing simultaneously, I can assure you.

A Girl Called Storm review

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

A girl called storm cropped

I’ve been informed that A Girl Called Storm got a great review on Goodreads, so I hopped over there and had a look. It was more than a great review, it was unbelievable! It’s not often that you get a five star review, but this one had relevant analysis in it. This is a great compliment to the piece in that, firstly, she read it and then liked it, and secondly, she liked it enough to go through the trouble of analyzing it.

This, to me, means that the reader has a reasonable background in literature and is in the habit of providing concise but in depth insight to authors and prospective readers. This is the most valuable input a reviewer can give to a piece or to an author, because it encourages the growth of the entire industry as a whole. An author that receives such a review would be encouraged to write more, the reader will be encouraged by the review and buy more. This turn of events also encourages writers to write more again, and so forth, thus causing an upward spiral for everyone involved. All because a reviewer showed her enthusiasm for literature.

I don’t know the reviewer. Apparently she lives in Cape Town or Durban, somewhere coastal anyway. I have had a peek around the web to see if she’s hanging around the public domain, she’s not, so that precludes my endeavors to return the favor. Alas, I’d have to settle for taking on her review style and post some reviews of my own on the relevant sites, to also be a part of the upward spiral.

I’ve not received a negative review on the piece as of yet, but have received plenty of that in the past on other works. Negative feedback is still valuable feedback, but wouldn’t it be nice if it was as constructively written as this review had been? Even the one and two star reviews that I’ve received was valuable to me as the author, but how many people can look at naked criticism day in and day out and have the will to continue creating art? I understand that many authors just do not look at reviews at all, especially the ones from Internet based outlets, and that’s fair enough. I am personally finding it hard enough to squeeze enough time out of a day to get everything that I need to get done, done and have time to write. Where will I find time to scrutinize someone’s opinion on the online forum?  I do it. I do it because I care. I care about my work and I care about my readership. If they are unhappy about a facet of my writing I’d like to know about it in order for me to improve.

So here’s to the crux of the matter. I thank that reviewer for the glowing review. I will endeavor to pay it forward by reviewing the books that I appreciated as constructively as you did for the good of the industry. One good turn deserves another. Even if I am disappointed in the book, I will endeavor to review it constructively. I will use this method to learn about the craft of writing from those authors, by looking at what works and what doesn’t.

All in all, it falls to the readership and the authors to foster and grow the industry of literature. By loving books, we can help more great books to appear.

STORM Anthology

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

storm cover Recently, I’ve completed a short story for publication in the Pretoria Writer’s Group’s STORM Anthology. It’s due to come out next month, as far as I’m aware. I will keep this site posted.

I’ve also done two interviews with regard to this anthology, and will link them to this site as well. Their questions made me think quite a lot regarding the craft of writing, and my perceptions on writing. I’ve not considered writing short stories with any seriousness before, but found myself liking the format. I could experiment with story ideas that I felt were not strong enough to carry a novel, but still warranted the story treatment. I also learned quite a bit, and found the process as a whole beneficial.

I am already committed to at least one more short story for a fellow Pretoria Writer’s Group member, Natalie Rivener, and will definitely be writing and publishing a few more.