April’s showers actually brought May flowers. I’m back on the selling track again. I sold a few books at my two events this month and also made some sales online. Made a few trades, too. One trade was with Wendy Raven McNair for a copy of her book Awake. It’s a tale about a young African American girl who discovers her boyfriend is not what he seems to be. Yeah, it sounds like Twilight and it is, but then it’s not. I’m not going to give the plot away, just go to her website and check it out (http://www.wendyravenmcnair.com/).
I also did a swap with Jason Waltz, editor and owner of Rogue Blade Entertainment (http://www.roguebladesentertainment.com/). I’d been hearing good things about one of his book, Rage of The Behemoth, so we did a swap, Behemoth for Meji Book One. One of my Changa stories, Mbogo Returns, will appear in his upcoming anthology, The Roar of The Crowd. Make sure you check both books out.
Other than that I’ve been working hard. Changa’s Safari goes out to edit next month so I’m reading it over one more time. I hoped to have a story posted for this month but it looks like I won’t. I will have at least one posted next month; the other I’m considering submitting to a magazine of a friend. I’ve been itching to write some sci-fi so look out for something fresh soon. If all goes according to plan the second edition of Meji Book One should be ready. The new manuscript will correct the editorial errors of the first edition and will also have a new cover that complements Book Two. Oh, I almost forgot. The deadline for the Sword and Soul Anthology is May 31st, so I’ll have plenty new material to read for the summer. And then there’s the Meji animation project…
Looks like a busy summer ahead. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In anticipation of the release of Changa’s Safari I decided to site one of my sources, The World of the Swahili by John Middleton. I purchased this book long after the manuscript was completed but it has been very beneficial during the revision. The Swahili are a people located along coastal East African. Although their origins are obscure, for centuries they flourished in coastal city states such as Mogadishu, Lamu, Kilwa, Mombasa, Sofala and Zanzibar. These cities run the length of East African Coast, from modern day Ethiopia to Tanzania. The Swahili were a mercantile people, middleman traders that linked the luxurious wealth of the interior African kingdoms to lands as close as the Arabian peninsula and as far as China. Their culture was basically African with a strong Arabic and Asian influence. Their language, Kiswahili, was the trade tongue of the coast and is still spoken by millions of Africans today. In Tanzania it’s the official language.
John Middleton does a good job describing the complexity and intricacies of Swahili culture. The book can be confusing at times as you attempt of follow the rules of their society, but the information provided gives a good understanding of the culture and the people. It’s a good start for anyone wishing to understand the history, culture and customs of these unique people.
I met Valjeanne Jeffers a few years back at the social website Black Science Fiction Society.www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/. I was introduced to her writing skills through her excellent poetry. I love poetry and I envy poets for their natural ability to bend words to their will. At the time Valjeanne’s poetry was contemporary, so I challenged her to write a sci-fi poem and she responded eagerly. In response to her effort I wrote a story based on her poem; the result was the collaboration titled ‘Leviathan.’ (http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Leviathan.pdf)
A little later I became aware of Valjeanne’s book, Immortal. I was hesitant at first because I’m not a shape shifter fan. Well, I’m still not a shape shifter fan but I’m a definite Valjeanne Jeffers fan. She takes the genre and tosses it around, combining sci-fi, horror and romance resulting in an exciting and interesting series. Valjeanne also makes her characters very believable in this fantastic setting. She never fails to incorporate the character’s personal and ordinary struggles into their extraordinary and public lives.
Immortal Fantasy is a trilogy. Immortal I and Immortal II are available now; Immortal III is on it’s way. If you’re bored with the same old mainstream vampire and werewolf stories or even if you’re not, do yourself a favor and check these books out. You’ll be glad you did.
You can visit Ms. Jeffers at http://www.immortalfantasynovels.com/