Monday, April 14, 2014

The Butler Banks Book Tour begins with Colby R Rice


The tour kicks off with Colby R Rice:

This is her book page on amazon

Her books are:

  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rebel Ragdoll Press; I edition (December 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H86G7JW










About the Author:
Sci-fi, Fantasy, & Thriller Novelist. Screenwriter. Film Producer. Globetrotter. Action Junkie. Rebel Ragdoll.
A shameless nerd and bookworm since the age of five, Colby R Rice is the author of Ghosts of Koa, the first novel in The Books of Ezekiel, a dystopian-urban fantasy decalogy. She was an Air Force BRAT born in Bitburg Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and came to the States at the age of one. Colby bounced around a lot, but finally settled in Los Angeles, where she could at last deal with her addictions to creative entrepreneurship, motorcycles, and traveling.
Now, armed with a mound of animal crackers and gallons of Coca-Cola, Colby takes on fiction writing in a fight to the death!
Current projects include: the second novel in the Books of Ezekiel series, the first novel in a middle grade SFF detective series, the first novel in an adult sci-fi thriller series, development of her first sci-fi thriller film, and the growth of her production house, Rebel Ragdoll. Stay tuned at www.colbyrrice.com! ;-)


Find out about her here:



http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2014/04/14/the-butler-banks-book-tour-begins-author-colby-r-rice-brings-us-the-ghosts-of-koa/


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Interview for Sword and Soul about sword and soul

What is Sword and Soul to you?
Sword and Soul is about theme and culture. On the one hand, it's a celebration of African culture. Africa had as glorious a history, as mystical and magical a culture as Europe with their Euro-royalty, Euro-faes and monsters, and Euro-wars. So why shouldn't there be Black shape-shifters, African warriors, Sub-saharan spritualities and culture in fantasy? Sword and Soul such as Charles Saunder's Imaro, Milton Davis' Amber, and my own Wind Follower address all that. But for me also, s/s is not necessarily rooted in Africa but in an African-American present, in the here and now of my life. It's a truer more American alternative to current fantasy and it addresses themes that are important to African-Americans. As a Black American, one can't help but have story themes such as injustice, prejudice, oppression. African-American writers of Sword and Soul are African-Americans, not Africans. And one cannot help but be affected by the larger culture. So my short stories about contemporary times -- although there are often no swords present-- do carry the themes of Sword and Soul.
What is your process for developing plots and characters? I generally don't develop characters. The characters turn up as they are. I just try to see clear. I write and depict what I hear them say and what I see them do. I don't sit at my computer and say, "This character should be like this, should do such and such, should have such traits or such flaws, should fall in love with this person, etc." The plot is something the characters do and I try to observe them carefully and record what they say. Stories already exist in the cosmic ether, basically, and my purpose is to bring the stories down and onto the page xactly as the universe presented them. I have to hear carefully so writing a story is all about discovering what already exists.
My only personal choices, as a writer, comes after the first drafts. For instance, I often write a scene because I see clearly that this scene happens. But in subsequent drafts, it becomes clear that the scene is in the wrong place so I move it. Or I see a death scene and I write it for a specific character, only to realize that the same death scene occurs but with different characters.
The good thing about editing over a long period of time is that one can play plot clean-up more efficiently.
Other choices come in the proofing sessions. If a character is lame, I have to make sure I don't have him lame in one leg in one chapter then lame in the other leg in other chapters. And that he has the same eye color, clothing style, speech habits, or personal tics throughout. If I see inconsistency or if I realize the characters are showing me their own symbolism, then I clean it up and tighten.

Where do you hope Sword and Soul will go in the future?
For me, sword and soul is reality. It's multicultural and has multicultural concerns. There really is no reason why a speculative fiction story written by anyone in the contemporary western world should have only one race. Some sword and soul stories look back to Africa or ahead to Afro-futurism. But as an American who lives in a world with other ethnic groups, I hope Sword and Soul will show how pitiful and bereft typical white spec-fic can be. Really, we live in the USA. There is no excuse for having stories like Game of Thrones where black characters are ghetto-ized. I want Sword and Soul to so reflect the real ethnic make-up of the world that from now on it would seem utterly strange to have thoughtless homogeneous fantasies. I'm not against homogeneous fantasies. Just bothered by the ones where characters of the non-majority race are placed like tokens in stories.

My books are: Fantasy Novel , The Constant Tower

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Interview for Constant Tower for Compulsivereader.com

So, your second book has come out? Your first was Wind Follower, right? But. . .five years between your novels?

Yeah, I really am the queen of procrastination. Watching way too many videos on youtube, or playing solitaire. However, I often do some creative procrastination. So I managed to get some good stories written during that time.

And were those stories published?
Most of them, yes. Here and there. In some very good and prestigious anthologies, and in smaller indie collections. I collected some of them and put them in a short story collection, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction by Carole McDonnell. 

And they're mostly speculative fiction?
Pretty much. With all my concerns. Race. Religion. Politicis. Feminism. Fantasy. Steamfunk. Science fiction. Fairytales. Ghost stories. 

You mentioned religion and race. Those matters concern you a lot? Do you think that might put off some people? Especially Christianity. And even with racial issues. Don't people read fantasy to escape the political stuff in the world?

My answer to the first question is that people often think they will be put off by my stories but when they finally sit down to read them they find the stories pretty inclusive. I'm pretty ambassadorial in my writing. White folks don't feel distanced, and non-religious people don't feel put off either. I guess if you really have an intense dislike of Christians or Black people you might find a reason to find something hateful in my stories. One reviewer on Amazon seemed to do just that. But most people see the stories as very accessible. The second answer is that people read fantasy for all kinds of reason and political or not they like seeing themselves reflected in the stories.

So, your new novel is The Constant Tower? What's it about?
It's about a world where humans have no permanent dwelling. IF they are caught alone in the night outside of a dwelling, they are flung by the night to disparate parts of planet. In order to stay together, they live in longhouses..and these longhouses are called clans. In addition, there are towers that are somewhat sentient which gives them some power to steer their own course to their homelands. The towers are still somewht a mystery and the scientists of those clans -- called "studiers of worlds"-- are still discovering how the towers work. But the ultimate goal is to find a way to be able to stay rooted to one place. Some clans are more technologically advanced with their tower lore, some not. And there are people who were caught outside at night and who lost their home tower or home longhouse and awake every morning in a different place. That's the background. The story is about a young lame (and very petulant) prince, a war between two of the larger clans, and a prophecy about the time of the end of towers

Wow, sounds interesting. How did you come up with the idea for The Constant Tower?
I dreamed of such a world. And the characters kept coming to me so I had to write it after a while.

It's fantasy?
Yes, it's fantasy. Epic fantasy. Kings, battles, daggers, chieftains, men controlling women's lives. All that.

Men controlling women's lives? So, is that one of the themes?
One of them, yes. But I hope it's not in your face feminist like that. The largest theme is infighting, how there are battles in the world against great enemies and yet people in certain groups often are fighting against each other. It's also about how the weak, the disabled, the powerless are often treated. The clan my main male character lives in is a very eugenistic warrior clan. But the hero is a lame prince with polio. Of course they don't call it polio but that's what it is. 

You often write about warfare. Why? Because it's epic fantasy and epic fantasy always contains wars and warriors?
Well, maybe that's part of it. But if you look at my stories, although war is all around, I generally don't get into describing battles. Partly because I find battle scenes hard to write but mostly it's that they don't interest me. I seem to always write about people on the outskirts of war, the collateral damage, people who aren't warriors but who are somehow involved in war.  

Your first book Wind Follower received much critical praise but didn't sell many copies. Why?
I was a first time author then, and I am published by Wildside which is a small publisher. In addition, there is an element of readership in fantasy who don't think books by women, minorities, or Christians are really good novels. It's still around. The warfare this year in the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) about nominating of minorities and women was really horrendous. Also Wind Follower was more overtly Christian. The Constant Tower isn't like that. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

My interview with Sith Witch about Constant Tower

1. How would you describe your book? What kind of story are you trying to convey?

It's an anti-fantasy fantasy, I guess. Many fantasies are about "a boy going on a journey" --the Heroes' Journey, etc. But I've always wondered about stasis. What if the hero could not go on a journey? What if the warrior was stuck? What if the warrior did not have a warrior's heart? Heck, what if the warrior was sick and puny? So here we have Psal, the hero. He doesn't like his clan. But he can't escape it because the night prevents journeys. I suppose I want to convey the idea of children being controlled by their parent's, wives being caught in their husband's wake, people being stuck in their own tribe/clan and having no choice of escape.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from? What was it's inspiration?
I had a dream in which someone said to me, "But the towers are constant." In the dream, every morning people would wake to find the geography of their city moved about, as in a puzzle. So everyday on waking they had to discover the paths of their cities again. But there was always a tower which was constant and which didn't move. That would've been a fun story to write but I decided I would write a story where the world's regions stayed the same but the people in that world would be tossed around all over the planet.  Unless they had some control over how they were tossed. The idea of how it was controlled led to figuring out what kind of technology they had, and that's how the towers fit in.

3. How would you describe the main characters in your book? What is the nature of their relationship?
The main characters are relatives, friends, allies, adversaries. There are so many small and large wars going on in Constant Tower. It's a world of different clans and cultures and relationships. Very few of the relationships are smooth. They -- like we-- are fighting each other when all around them the world is falling apart. They are fighting each other when there are larger foes outside. 

4. When a reader finishes the book, what is it you hope they will walk away with?
Perhaps it will make the reader ponder what it is that keeps people chained or fearful of leaving. There is also the religious element. How do we forgive those inside our own clan -- whether it's those who are our own sex, our own race, our own religion? 

5. Do you have any current projects that you are working on? What can you share about any upcoming works?
I'm working on a YA book called "My Life as an Onion." I'll self-publish that because it's a bit odd --being very Christian, very sexual, very fantastical-- and I don't think a publishing company would allow me to do what I want to do with it. Most of my stories are about young people but this is my first contemporary story and it'll be somewhat semi-auto-biographical (but not really.) It'll have my own life's issues  and my might-have-been life. I've always wanted to have a rich flaky lover. 

6. Who are some of your inspirations as a writer? Which other authors do you look to for inspiration and motivation?
I read tons of poetry. I love Shakespeare. I love Henry James. The Bible. James Joyce. 

7. If they made a movie of your book, who would you cast in the lead roles?
 I still don't know who would be the lead. Psal is hard to cast. But his father, the king could be Julian Sand, Ben Cross, or Jason Statham. And weirdly, the bad guy, Cyrt, could be any of those actors as well. 

8. When not writing, what other hobbies and interests do you have?
I love anthropology, linguistics, learning languages, Korean Dramas, and Japanese Dramas.


My interview with Compulsiver Reader

Q: So, your second book has come out? Your first was Wind Follower, right? But. . .five years between your novels?

A: Yeah, I really am the queen of procrastination. Watching way too many videos on youtube, or playing solitaire. However, I often do some creative procrastination. So I managed to get some good stories written during that time.

Q: And were those stories published?
A: Most of them, yes. Here and there. In some very good and prestigious anthologies, and in smaller indie collections. I collected some of them and put them in a short story collection, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction by Carole McDonnell. 

Q:And they're mostly speculative fiction?
A: Pretty much. With all my concerns. Race. Religion. Politicis. Feminism. Fantasy. Steamfunk. Science fiction. Fairytales. Ghost stories. 

Q: You mentioned religion and race. Those matters concern you a lot? Do you think that might put off some people? Especially Christianity. And even with racial issues. Don't people read fantasy to escape the political stuff in the world?

A: My answer to the first question is that people often think they will be put off by my stories but when they finally sit down to read them they find the stories pretty inclusive. I'm pretty ambassadorial in my writing. White folks don't feel distanced, and non-religious people don't feel put off either. I guess if you really have an intense dislike of Christians or Black people you might find a reason to find something hateful in my stories. One reviewer on Amazon seemed to do just that. But most people see the stories as very accessible. The second answer is that people read fantasy for all kinds of reason and political or not they like seeing themselves reflected in the stories.

Q: So, your new novel is The Constant Tower? What's it about?
A: It's about a world where humans have no permanent dwelling. IF they are caught alone in the night outside of a dwelling, they are flung by the night to disparate parts of planet. In order to stay together, they live in longhouses..and these longhouses are called clans. In addition, there are towers that are somewhat sentient which gives them some power to steer their own course to their homelands. The towers are still somewht a mystery and the scientists of those clans -- called "studiers of worlds"-- are still discovering how the towers work. But the ultimate goal is to find a way to be able to stay rooted to one place. Some clans are more technologically advanced with their tower lore, some not. And there are people who were caught outside at night and who lost their home tower or home longhouse and awake every morning in a different place. That's the background. The story is about a young lame (and very petulant) prince, a war between two of the larger clans, and a prophecy about the time of the end of towers

Q: Wow, sounds interesting. How did you come up with the idea for The Constant Tower?
A: I dreamed of such a world. And the characters kept coming to me so I had to write it after a while.

Q: It's fantasy?
A: Yes, it's fantasy. Epic fantasy. Kings, battles, daggers, chieftains, men controlling women's lives. All that.

Q: Men controlling women's lives? So, is that one of the themes?
A: One of them, yes. But I hope it's not in your face feminist like that. The largest theme is infighting, how there are battles in the world against great enemies and yet people in certain groups often are fighting against each other. It's also about how the weak, the disabled, the powerless are often treated. The clan my main male character lives in is a very eugenistic warrior clan. But the hero is a lame prince with polio. Of course they don't call it polio but that's what it is. 

Q: You often write about warfare. Why? Because it's epic fantasy and epic fantasy always contains wars and warriors?
A: Well, maybe that's part of it. But if you look at my stories, although war is all around, I generally don't get into describing battles. Partly because I find battle scenes hard to write but mostly it's that they don't interest me. I seem to always write about people on the outskirts of war, the collateral damage, people who aren't warriors but who are somehow involved in war.  

Q: Your first book Wind Follower received much critical praise but didn't sell many copies. Why?


A: I was a first time author then, and I am published by Wildside which is a small publisher. In addition, there is an element of readership in fantasy who don't think books by women, minorities, or Christians are really good novels. It's still around. The warfare this year in the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) about nominating of minorities and women was really horrendous. Also Wind Follower was more overtly Christian. The Constant Tower isn't like that. 


-- 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Offenders: Saving the world while serving detention by Jerry Craft

THE OFFENDERS:
Saving the World While Serving Detention!

"... funny, exciting, and the most charming thing I've read in ages. Writing something entertaining is tough, but writing something important is even tougher. Jerry and his boys have made it look easy."

-- Drew Pearce writer of Iron Man 3
 
Middle Grade Novel Takes on Bullying ... With a Twist!
 
BULLIES BEWARE! A freak accident gives five middle school bullies super powers. But instead of being able to transform into cool super-beings, they are forced to take on the characteristics of the kids they pick on. Sure their abilities may be at an all-time high, but do they really have what it takes to save their school when their self-esteem is at an all-time low?
 
The only thing they know for sure is they're about to learn one "powerful" lesson in compassion!
 
For more info or to order your copy, visit
 
HUFFPOST LIVE, TV, and MORE!
Our pre-release tour has gotten great press, including my 13 year old son Aren's first live TV interview on Eyewitness News with Tina Martin (photo right)
 
Aren also had the pleasure of being a guest on HuffPost Live and got to talk with Drew Pearce, the writer of Iron Man 3, who also provided the cover blurb above. Watch interview.
 
TV INTERVIEWS

 
 
 
ARTICLES
 
 
 
 
 
Multicultural, Common Core and more!...
Dexter Diaz, one of the few Latinos starring in a middle grade / YA book.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anti Bullying: We show kids how the way they act can effect others.
 
Funny and Exciting: A book that both boys and girls will WANT to read. You can't teach them unless you can reach them.
 
MultiCultural: Our super powered team is made up of 3 boys and 2 girls from various backgrounds: Caucausian, Korean, African American, Mixed Race and Latino.
 
Aligned with the Common Core State Standards:
RL.6.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10
RL.7.1,2,3,4,6,10
RL.8.1,2,3,4,6,10
 
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Bullying
Guided Reading level – W
Grade level Equivalent- 6
Interest level- grades 5-8 (middle school reader)Ages 12-up
 
IN THE SCHOOLS!
I'm proud to announce that The Offenders has already been chosen by a Junior High School in NY for their One Book One School program. They purchased a book for each of their middle schoolers! I visited the school and spoke to close to 900 kids, including those in detention. :)
 
The photo to the right is from a book fair at a school in CT. My workshops show them what it takes to make a book: Creating characters, writing, re-writing, drawing and publishing.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Black Speculative Fiction Month: Minister Faust









  • Paperback: 531 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345466357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345466358

  • Hamza and Yehat are The Coyote Kings–best friends, one a disgruntled dishwasher and the other a video store clerk, but each brilliant in his own right. Yehat builds prototypes of space-age inventions in his spare time, while Hamza, a former English honors student who was kicked out of the university, writes lush, lyrical poems when he’s not blocked–which, these days, is nearly always.

    When the gorgeous, mysterious Sherem shows up in E-Town decked out in desert finery, Hamza’s creative spark is ignited. Who is this sophisticated woman that speaks arcane African tongues, quotes from obscure comics and Star Wars movies, yet seems somehow too ethereal for the world Hamza inhabits? And what is the lost artifact that she and a cast of coiffed collectors and criminal cultists so desperately seek? As Hamza falls blindly in love with Sherem, little does he know that he and Yehat play the biggest part of all in the recovery of the ancient relic–and in the future of all living beings. . . .


    Two Sudanese “Lost Boys.” Both fathers murdered during civil war. Both mothers forced into exile through lands where the only law was violence. To survive, they became ruthless loners and child soldiers, before finding mystic mentors who transformed them to create their destinies. One, known to the streets as the Supreme Raptor. The other, known to the Greeks as Horus, son of Osiris. Separated by seven thousand years, and connected by immortal truth. Both born in fire Both baptised in blood Both brutalised by the wicked Both elevated by mystic madmen Both sworn to transform the world And themselves By the power... of Alchemy. *** A re-imagining of an ancient myth, and the invocation of a modern, urban reality, The Alchemists of Kush is the first novel to explore the lives of Somali and Sudanese youth in North America. Written by the award-winning maverick novelist Minister Faust, who's increasingly described as one of the finest voices of his generation, The Alchemists of Kush is a visionary novel that will anger, shock, profoundly move, and even transform its readers.



    “An outlandish, outrageous tour de force by the most innovative prose stylist in the field.”
    –Robert J. Sawyer, author of Hominids

    They’re Earth’s mightiest superteam–and dysfunctional as hell.

    OMNIPOTENT MAN–a body with the density of steel, and a brain to match

    THE FLYING SQUIRREL–aging playboy industrialist by day, avenging krypto-fascist by night

    IRON LASS–mythology’s greatest warrior–but the world might be safer if she had a husband

    X-MAN–formerly of the League of Angry Blackmen . . . but not formerly enough

    THE BROTHERFLY–radioactively fly

    POWER GRRRL–perpetually deciding between fighting crime or promoting her latest album, clothing line, or sex scandal

    Having finally defeated all archenemies, the members of the Fantastic Order of Justice are reduced to engaging in toxic office politics that could very well lead to a superpowered civil war. Only one woman can save them from themselves: Dr. Eva Brain-Silverman, aka Dr. Brain, the world’s leading therapist for the extraordinarily abled.

    “Faust has pretty much invented his own genre. He’s totally original, full of surprises.”
    –Richard K. Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

    “Samuel Delany, Harlan Ellison, and Ishmael Reed all rolled into one. Faust’s writing is biting, insightful, and hugely entertaining.”
    –Ernest Dickerson, director





    Minister Faust is a long-time community activist, writer, journalist, broadcaster, public speaker and martial artist in several disciplines.

    A lifelong fan of science fiction, his earliest memories of the genre were watching Star Trek: The Original Series in black & white and having his mother read to him from Robert Heinlein's Red Planet.

    After deciding to become a comic book writer and artist when he was ten, he secretly changed his ambition to science fiction novelist after glancing through the glossary to Frank Herbert's Dune. He'd planned to become an ecologist so as to gain Herbert's ecological depth, but before his first university class switched his entire enrollment to English Literature, having concluded that learning to write was more relevant to the career of a writer, and that going to endless lab classes at 7 am for four years would likely be hell on earth.

    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Black Speculative Fiction Month: Masoth: the Journey Beyond


    • Paperback: 408 pages
    • Publisher: Aventine Press (December 6, 2012)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1593308027
    • ISBN-13: 978-1593308025


    "Masoth: The Journey Beyond" is the story of a man named Ezra Lyons who has lost his way. After everything that he has come to accept as reality falls apart he stands at a crossroads wishing that he could start a new life somewhere else. By chance, he finds himself transported, on a journey, to a strange and mysterious universe where the culture he left behind may be the key to finding a purpose beyond anything he could have imagined.

    Ehav Ever - author of
    Masoth: The Journey Beyond - a sci-fi novel-- is an American born Israeli who lives in Jerusalem. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University and was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He is a YouTube video blogger at "The Chronicles of Ehav Ever" and has written articles for the Institute of Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
     
    Drawing upon a mix of interests in science fiction, Senegalese culture, and Jewish philosophy Ehav Ever creates an intricate tale from a perspective rarely seen in sci-fi literature. So, if you are brave enough and strong of heart, join him on this Journey Beyond.

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