Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dossouye: a new Charles Saunders anthology

Charles Saunders, that excellent Afro-centric fantasist, has just published a new book, 'Dossouye', with Sword & Soul Media. The book is available via print-on-demand at

'Dossouye' consists of all the short stories about the African Amazon warrior that were published in anthologies over the years, plus a brand-new novella. He heavily revised the first Dossouye story, "Agbewe's Sword." The others were slightly altered to make them flow better sequentially. The new novella, "Obenga's Drum," puts the preceding stories into context, and ends the volume.

Here's the blurb:

Charles R. Saunders, critically acclaimed author of the cult classic Imaro novels, has created yet another heroic-fantasy icon in an Africa of a different place and time. Orphaned at a young age, Dossouye becomes a soldier in the women’s army of the kingdom of Abomey. In a war against the rival kingdom of Abanti, Dossouye saves her people from certain destruction; but a cruel twist of fate compels her to go into exile. Mounted on her mighty war-bull, Gbo, Dossouye enters the vast rain forest beyond the borders of her homeland, seeking a place to call her own. The forest is where Dossouye will either find a new purpose in life… or find her life cut short by the many menaces she encounters.

Sword & Soul will also be publishing the remaining Imaro novels. So, if you can spread the word about this, I'd really appreciate it.

Well folks, Worth the price of admission alone! Everyone please support . You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Clive Staples Nomination

Okay, some Christian speculative writer web-pals of mine are trying to create an award for Christian worldview fiction. Hey, I think it would be good. If you know of any Christian book written by a minority, please nominate them. No, you don't have to nominate Wind Follower. It wasn't particularly well-known in the Christian community so I don't know if that matters. Popularity, craft, theology, are all in the mix for an award like this one would think. But if you can think of a Christian speculative book written by a minority and nominate it...that would help at least make the Christian community be aware of books written by minorities. Heavens, there's got to be more Christian minority writers out all the world.

The works that are eligible are Christian worldview science fiction/ fantasy/allegory/furturistic/supernatural novels published in English by a royalty paying press between January 2007 and December 2007.

Okay, so the Doves and the Christys or whatever they are seem to abound with romance and don't pay attention to Christian speculative fiction.

Of course, if you've read one of these nominated books and like all means go ahead and nominate it. I know that Auralia's Colors and Legend of the Firefish were really good. So if no minority book ends up on the list, I'll vote for them. I might vote for The Book of Joby which was very good but am not sure if the author calls himself Christian. God's demon was also interesting, I hear. But I haven't read that. Not sure if author calls himself Christian either. And then there's Wind Follower -- ahem-- which was pretty good if i do say so myself.

Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook)
Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress)
DragonFire by Donita K. Paul (Waterbrook)
Father of Dragons by L.B. Graham (P&R)
Fearless by Robin Parrish (Bethany House)
Flashpoint by Frank Creed (The Writers Cafe Press)
Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson (Thomas Nelson)
Landon Snow and the Volucer Dragon by Randy Mortenson (Barbour)
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House)
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
The Restorer’s Son by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)
A Wine Red Silence by George L. Duncan (Capstone Fiction)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

National Poetry Month -- Minority version

Remember when Walter Mosley, Rafael Campo and several other poets resigned from the Board of Governor's of the Poetry Society of America?

They did it when New York Times Book Reviewer John Hollander made a comment comment about “cultures without literatures — West African, Mexican, and Central American.” Then he made matters worse by saying on National Public Radio that “there isn’t much quality work coming from non-white poets today.”

But that's my paraphrase. Go check out the article yourself and well, here are the three anthologies mentioned by the reviewer:

Check out San Antonio current online for the full article:

Monday, April 21, 2008

orphaned copyrights -- so-called

Call me paranoid and suspicious but this bit of legislation makes me raise my eyebrows. Will corporations be able to keep an orphaned "document" after they have done a "reasonable search" and been "unable" to find the creator of the work? Contact your senators and representatives.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RIF needs your help

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.6 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information, and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at

From Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO, of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF):

"President Bush’s proposed budget calling for the elimination of Reading Is Fundamental’s (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program would be devastating to the 4.6 million children and their families who receive free books and reading encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 20,000 locations throughout the U.S."

“Unless Congress reinstates $26 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation’s youngest and most at-risk children. RIF programs in schools, childcare centers, migrant programs, military bases, and other locations serve children from low-income families, children with disabilities, foster and homeless children, and children without access to libraries."

To find out how you can help, visit

Check out RIF’s third annual Program Excellence Honors .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month recommended speculative list

Here's some info on API Heritage Month:

FYI: National Hispanic Heritage Month will begin on Sept. 15, and American Indian Heritage Month is in November. Arab American Heritage Month is April, actually, so we missed it this year. We'll catch it next time around.


the following speculative fiction books for Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

Ted Chiang STORIES OF YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS: A collection of stories from one of American speculative fiction's most precise and beautiful writers.

Sesshu Foster ATOMIK AZTEX: An Aztec prince or a Los Angeles meatpacker? The protagonist travels back and forth between two alternative realities, never sure which is real.

Hiromi Goto HOPEFUL MONSTERS: Wonderful stories by the author of The Kappa Child.

Kazuo Ishiguro NEVER LET ME GO: In a dystopian England, three children discover that they are clones produced to provide organs to the sick.

Larissa Lai SALT FISH GIRL: Science fiction set in a dystopian near future in which corporate enclaves house lucky employees, leaving most of humanity to deal with increasingly strange ecological developments.

Amirthi Mohanraj (illustrated by Kat Beyer) THE POET'S JOURNEY: A young poet sets out into the wide world on a journey to find poetry; with the help of a few magical creatures, she finds more than she ever expected.

Haruki Murakami HARDBOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD: Mad experiments with the unleashed potential of the dreaming brain.

Vandana Singh OF LOVE AND OTHER MONSTERS: The main character wakes up from a fire and doesn't know who he is, but can sense and manipulate the minds of others. He is not alone in this ability. Singh takes us on a metamind ride.

Shaun Tan THE ARRIVAL: A wordless graphic novel about immigration and displacement.

Bryan Thao Worra ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EYE: Speculative poems that take us from the secret wars of the CIA in Laos to the secret edges of the human soul and the universe.

For more information, please visit

2008 Indy Publishers Semi-Finalists -- multicultural categories

The 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards Semi-Finalist were announced. These are the Judging Results in 64 National Categories and Outstanding Book of the Year in the multicultural books categories

Multicultural Fiction Adult

Who’s Afraid of Red, by Alessandra Gelmi (Publish America);
Blue Turquoise, White Shell, by Virginia Nosky (Treble Heart Books);
The Guyanese Wanderer, by Jan Carew (Sarabande Books);
Dance Lest We Fall Down, by Margaret Willson (Cold Tree Press);
Osaka Heat, by Mary Claire Mahaney (Author House)

Graciela’s Dream/El SueƱo de Graciela: One Family’s Journey to College, by Max Benavidez & Katherine Del Monte (Lectura Books);

Up Mountain One Time, by Willie Wilson, illustrated by Karen Bertrand (Bonne Resolution Press);

The Little Saguaro/El sahuarito, by Shannon Young, illustrated by Kim Duffek (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Book Press);

Mei Ling in China City, by Icy Smith, illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski (East West Discovery Press);

How to Ruin My Teenage Life, by Simone Elkeles (Flux/Llewellyn)

Multicultural N-F Juv-Teen-YA

Latino Minnesota, by Leigh Roethke (Afton Historical Society Press);

Homeland: The Illustrated History of the State of Israel, by Marv Wolfman, Mario Ruiz, and William J. Rubin (Nachshon Press, LLC);

TB Aware, by Rachel von Roeschlaub (TB Aware, Inc.);

From Slave to Superstar of the Wild West, by Tom DeMund (Legends of the West Publishing Co.);

Taj Mahal, by Caroline Arnold and Madeleine Comora (Carolrhoda Books, Inc.)

Multicultural Non-Fiction Adult

The Sioux in South Dakota History: A Twentieth Century Reader, edited by Richmond L. Clow (South Dakota State Historical Society Press);

Askiwina: A Cree World, by Doug Cuthand (Coteau Books);

The Journey of Life: 100 Lessons from Around the World, by Sharon K. Sobotta (Intercultural Encounters/Channel Trade Editions);

Feeding the Ancestors: Tlingit Carved Horn Spoons, by Anne-Marie Victor-Howe (Peabody Museum Press/Harvard University);

Stones Witness, by Margaret Randall (University of Arizona Press);

The Red-Black Connection, by Valena Broussard Dismukes;

An American Paella; by Gloria Lopez

These and other books in other categories, non-culture-related are located at:

Monday, April 7, 2008

NYC Walk for lupus now

On Sunday, May 18th at Battery Park here in New York, there will be a walk against Lupus.

Unfortunately for many, Lupus is never diagnosed properly, and they lose their lives before a true path toward healing is ever begun.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide have a form of lupus. 90% of these are women, and a startling number of these women are African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.

Lupus is a significant public health problem that requires action and more public and private research now! The LFA mission is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, support individuals and families affected by the disease, increase awareness of lupus among health professions and the public, and find the causes and cure, which are still unknown.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 through the Walk for Lupus Now®. This is the first annual walk, and I am very excited about fundraising for this cause. Please know that all the money raised will go towards supporting the 41,000 people in the New York area who have been diagnosed with lupus.

Please help us achieve this goal by making your tax-deductible donation to my team, THE MAMATHANGS! here:


If you are free on that Sunday morning, we'd love to have you walk with us. Join The Mamathangs!

Thanks and All Best,
Sheree R. Thomas
(Team Captain, The Mamathangs!)

The inaugural Walk for Lupus Now® to benefit The Lupus Foundation of America is scheduled for Sunday, May 18th and I'm inviting you to join our team for a fun filled morning for a very worthy cause!

Please visit our Team Page using the link below to register online today...

Online registration is free and especially easy. By registering online, you will have the opportunity to customize your own Personal Fundraising Page which you can then email to others asking for their support.

This event will bring together families, friends, co-workers and community leaders.

Visit for more information
Sheree Thomas

Our Team Information:
Team Name - The Mamathangs!
Team Captain - Sheree Thomas

wars, great, small, undeclared or recurrent

Yesterday I stayed in bed all day and watched movies. I saw two movies I hadn't seen before. One was called Tomorrow (by writer Faulkner by way of director Horton Foote and actor Duvall) and the other was called Constantine with my lifelong crush Keanu Reeves. (In fact I have had such a jones for Keanu for such a long time that in Wind Follower I actually named my character Kaynu after him.)

Anyways, Constantine --despite Keanu's gorgeous self-- just had me rolling my eyes. Hey, I'm okay with folks fooling around with Christian theology but what a mish-mash it all was! I mean...he had to look into the eyes of a black cat in order to enter hell. What's that about?

"Tomorrow" on the other hand touched me -- although I think the actual Faulkner story would have touched me more. I can't help it. I'm a Black Jamaican but I have always had this fascination with poor white folks in Appalachia. Supposedly --at least this is what I pick up from the media-- these salt of the earth types would be the first to lynch me. I can watch movies about city sophisticates having all kinds of angst but the stories that really touch me are those about poor, country people, whatever culture they're from: China, poor white, Africa, Latin America, African-American.

So there I was watching it and reminding myself that I haven't seen The Apostle in a while when it suddenly dawned on me that all my stories are about wars. Wars, small, great, undeclared, and recurrent. In Wind Follower, my main characters thought the human war was over and they figured that as long as they avoided the spiritual war, the spirits would ignore them. In Constant Tower, there's a war of a different kind going on. And in Inheritance, wars also abound.

Of course all stories are about conflicts...and conflicts are another word for war. War against the self, war against nature, etc. Each author has her own opinion about what wars abound in this life. Romance writers concern themselves with the emotional wars at home and the wars between the sexes. Sometimes status and race are thrown in but for the most part, the characters in a romance story are dealing with their home culture and emotional inheritances and how their cultural inheritances conflict -- war with-- that of the one they have come to love. Other writers, on the other hand, deal with more political and social wars. And Christian fiction writers often deal with spiritual wars: the conflict between the self, the soul, and the spirit....and how that inner conflict is compounded when it encounters the world, the flesh, and the devil.

I totally believe that a great romance is the best kind of story possible. Why? Because it concerns itself with love --which is eternal and which changes the soul-- and with the creation of a new family/community while retaining the best of one's self and one's community. In Romances, relationships are ultra-important.

Now all this is tough for me to balance in a fantasy story which aims for action from the get-go. I, unfortunately, am fascinated by normal life --the normal life of the world we know, and the normal life of the fantasy world an author has created-- and what makes normal life tick. This means that even when I create a fantastical world, if I'm not careful I'll find myself wandering leisurely among the poor folk of that culture, ambling along the country lanes...and not pushing the plot along. Romance writers and Christian fiction writers are used to this kind of slice-of-life stuff. They are used to slow country rambles with subtle small conflicts and stressors. Most fantasy lovers, on the other hand, are more into Constantine-type stories. They want a lot more action 30 pages of mucho drama, death, external warring. So I'm trying my best to get into that groove. What to do?

Work at figuring out how to work with cross-genres, maybe. Thank God I'm still growing as an author. I hope that whatever path my stories take -- the gentle ramble or the page-turning adventure-- that my fans will walk lovingly and patiently with me. Thank you all.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Latest post on Blogging in Black

Please check out my latest post on Blogging in Black, a site for writers.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

very thankful and humbled

Wow, got this in my email. I made it! My novel, Wind Follower is on the SORMAG -- Shades of Romance list of best christian multicultural novel of 2007.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Faith under fire by LaJoyce Brookshire

Check out the interview with LaJoyce Brookshire. She is the author of the novelization of the heartwarming film “Soul Food” but her latest book is self-published and it's called, “Faith Under Fire: Betrayed by a Thing Called Love.” This is a painful read, my friends. Not only does she have to deal with the illness and death of her husband but she discovered he had been on the down-low all the time she was with him.

Anyway, check out the book and her blog.

wind follower

wind follower