BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW – ALICIA MCCALLA

Do you write full time, or do you have another full-time job? What is your educational background?
Yes. I’m a full-time writer. Until recently, I worked full-time as a School Media Specialist or School Librarian. I have a Master’s Degree in Library Service from Clark Atlanta University.
What genre(s) do you write in, is there a favorite and which do you feel have had the most important impact on the black community? Traditionally, in mainstream media, blacks have been vastly marginalized in Speculative Fiction and fiction in general, how do you see that changing and what impact will your work have on making those changes?
I write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories with black women protagonists. My goal is to continue to write my diverse stories and encourage readers to expand their scope and horizon. These stories offer the opportunity to dream, fosters creativity, and the ability to “see” oneself in a futuristic world. It’s imperative that African Americans take up this challenge and dream broader and bigger. In fact, it’s equally important for all others to see us in expanded roles, as well.
Who are some of the major writing influences who most inspired you?
My favorites are Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Patricia Briggs, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Sarah J Maas.
Do you listen to music when you’re creating? If so, what type?
Yes. My music is very boring. Lots of brain-based sounds that keep me in the creative zone.
How long does it usually take you to complete work on a book?
Lately, a lot longer. For many years, I was a discovery writer or a “pantser.” This allowed me to write a novel in a month but it took 6-months to iron it all out. As a full-time writer, I’m taking workshops and classes to teach me how to plot. So About a month to plot and 2-months to write. I’m sure as I get better at plotting, I can get back to writing my novels in 1-2 months.
What does your writing schedule look like and how many hours a day do you write?
I work on current WIP for 5-6 hours per day. I use Pomodoro method (40 minutes work and 15 minutes break). Very helpful.
As a black author, do you feel a personal responsibility to the black community to create content which not only entertains, but also uplifts and educates?
Books, TV, Movies have changed substantially over the years.  In some cases, there is no longer a positive message to the audience. It’s quite disconcerting and frustrating.  Just looking at recent TV series where audiences were “let down” because it was all about “entertaining” and not about “uplifting” or even answer the basic questions of “why is this important” and “what message do you have to share with me about life” is critical. All creatives have a responsibility to not only entertain but to share a message of survival, especially in the Black community.  I do feel a personal responsibility. Hopefully, others will come around and return to good storytelling.
What type of research do you conduct and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
There are so many different types of ways to research when writing a book.  I generally like to get an idea of what the market is about by reading 10-40 novels in the niche that I’d like to write. Then, I go to Amazon and read the reviews of the top selling books to see what readers want in the niche. This is very enlightening and eye-opening. I usually take notes on the tropes/conventions to get an idea of what this niche is all about. After I have that scaffold, then I start to think about my theme/armature for the type of story, I have in mind. That’s where the research tends to get more detailed and specific to my protagonist and supporting characters.
What are some of the upcoming projects you’re working on?
In 2012, I released my first novel, Breaking Free.  I sold many copies but I could never quite figure out how to finish the series. Recently, when I decided to write full-time, I knew I had to go back and finish that series. It’s the project that I’m currently working on. I’m reworking it into a Post-Apocalyptic Superhero series. I’m very exciting about this project and can’t wait for readers to see the changes in the world-building and main character, XJ Patterson.
How can the readers learn more about your work and follow your career?
If readers want to learn more about my work and get an idea, if they would like it, they can visit my website www.aliciamccalla.com and read several flash fiction stories that I have available on my blog. They can even listen to me read them on my podcast. And, of course, signing up for my newsletter will get them even more free reads and bargain books.

It took thirty years for Alicia to accept her calling as a writer of “unusual stories.” Always writing edgy tales that pushed the envelope.  She learned to hide her violent, controversial, heart-pumping, and tragically romantic stories from family and friends.

Alicia writes for both new adults and adults with her brand of multicultural superheroes, dark fantasy, paranormal, and horror. Her stories always include strong women heroines who fight back, sometimes to the death.

Alicia’s influences include Octavia Butler, LA Banks, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs and Laurell K Hamilton.

Alicia is an activist in the movement towards diversifying Science fiction and Fantasy (#diversityinSFF). She created the first “State of Black Science Fiction 2012″ blog tour, is an active member in the State of Black Science Fiction FaceBook group and has a ScoopIt page where she actively curates topics related to Afrofuturism, Black Science Fiction, Black Speculative fiction and Multicultural Science Fiction.

Alicia is a native Detroiter who currently resides in metro Atlanta.  Alicia recently lost her beloved son who served as a NAVY Officer.  His memory keeps her pushing forward. She currently works as a full-time writer and enjoys spending time with her husband.

She’s working on a new superhero series and looks forward to releasing the series soon. Her adult series mixes African-American women’s fiction with dark fantasy. Check out the African Elemental series.  Sign-up  on www.aliciamccalla.com for free downloads, e-updates, sneak peeks, and coupons.

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #21

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS SUMIKO SAULSON!

 

Sumiko SaulsonSumiko Saulson’s blog “Things That Go Bump In My Head” focuses on horror fiction writing and features author interviews, writing advice, short stories and editorial pieces. She is the author of three novels in the science fiction, horror and dark fantasy genres, “Solitude,” “Warmth”, and “The Moon Cried Blood”. She is also the author of a short story anthology by the same name as her blog. A published poet and writer of short stories and editorials, she was once profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle article about up-and-coming poets in the beatnik tradition. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish American parents, she is a native Californian, and was born and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, moving to Hawaii, where she spent her teen years, at the age of 12. She has spent most of her adult life living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://sumikosaulson.com/books/

COMICS

http://sumikosaulson.com/comics/

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #20

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS SHAWNTELLE MADISON!

ShawntelleMadisonShawntelle Madison is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detasseling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all. On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

About Me: Shawntelle is the urban fantasy author of the Coveted series featuring Natalya Stravinsky, the charmingly neurotic werewolf from South Toms River, New Jersey. The first book, COVETED, was named a Barnes and Noble Romance Pick for the month of May.

The Natalya Stravinsky trilogy will conclude with COMPELLED, which will release in May 2014. Additional series are planned in the Coveted universe.

She is also the author of the romantic horror series called Hadley Werewolves.

You can find Shawntelle on her website, Twitter, and Facebook. She has a variety of helpful author tools on her website:

http://www.shawntellemadison.com/

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL CREATOR & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #15

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS LINDA ADDISON!

Linda Addison (photo attached, photo credit Brian J. Addison, my son)

Linda Addison
(photo attached, photo credit Brian J. Addison, my son)

Linda D. Addison grew up in Philadelphia and began weaving stories at an early age. She moved to New York after receiving a bachelor of science in mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University and has published over 280 poems, stories and articles. Ms Addison is the author of “How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend” short stories and poetry collection which won her a third Bram Stoker Award(R) (Necon E-Books, 2011) and the first African-American recipient of the world renowned Bram Stoker Award(R). “Dark Duet” (Necon E-Books, 2012), a collaborative book of poetry written with Stephen M. Wilson, was a finalist for HWA Bram Stoker Awards(R).

She was published in “Four Elements”, a collection of prose and poetry published in 2013 by Bad Moon Books, which has four sections, each written by a HWA Bram Stoker winner (Linda Addison, Marge Simon, Rain Graves, and Charlee Jacob).

Ms Addison is the only author with fiction in three landmark anthologies that celebrate African-Americans speculative writers: the award-winning anthology Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction (Warner Aspect), Dark Dreams (Kensington), and Dark Thirst (Pocket Book).  Her work has made frequent appearances over the years on the honorable mention list for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and Year’s Best Science-Fiction.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Linda Addison Summary Bibliography

290 Total Publications (246 poems, 23 fiction, 21 non-fiction)

 BOOKS (4)

1-“How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend”

Short stories and poetry (Necon E-Books, 2011) (How) -received HWA Bram Stoker award® 2011

2-“Being Full of Light, Insubstantial”, 100 poems (Space & Time, 2007) -received HWA Bram Stoker award® 2007

3-“Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes”, poetry (Space & Time, 2001) -received HWA Bram Stoker award® 2001

4-“Animated Objects”, sf, fantasy, horror poetry & short stories (Space & Time, 1997) (AO)

 Books with others:

5-“Dark Duet” collaborative poetry collection with Stephen M. Wilson (Necon eBooks, 2012); HWA Bram Stoker finalist 2012

6-”The Four Elements” poetry/prose collection with Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob and Marge Simon (Bad Moon Books, 2013)

 POETRY (246) published in (summarized list, see Linda’s site (www.lindaddisonpoet.com for details)

-Magazines: Essence, Asimov’s SF, Star*Line, African Voices, Doorways, Abyss & Apex, Eye to the Telescope

-Anthologies: Dead Cat Bouncing, The Big Book of Necon, Dark Faith, High Stakes (2013)

FICTION (23)

1.            “Night of the Living and Dead”; Outer Darkness mag.

2.            “Little Red in the Hood” (Tomorrow magazine)

3.            “Am I Repeating Myself?” (Outer Darkness magazine)

4.            “Dust to Dust”, (Poison Apple)

5.            “Boo”, (Going Postal anthology, Space & Time)

6.            “One Night At Sheri-Too-Long’s Popcorn Bar”,(AO)

7.            “Just Passing Through”; (AO)

8.            “The Box”; (AO)

9.            “The Christmas Ghost”; Dark Matter magazine

10.          “Homecoming”; More Monsters in Memphis, collaboration with Beecher Smith

11.          “Twice, At Once, Separated”; Sheree Thomas’ Dark Matter anthology, Warner Books

12.          “Excerpts from The Unabridged Traveler’s Guide as UFOs in Galaxy A.G.2” (Scars anthology)

13.          “The Power”; Dark Dreams I (Kensington Publishing Corp)

14.          “Whispers During Still Moments”; Dark Thirst (Pocket Book)

15.          “Milez To Go”; Voices From The Other Side, Dark Dreams II (Kensington Publishing Corp)

16.   “When We Dream Together”; Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction (Graves Sheffield Publishing)

17.  ” 369 Gates of Hell”, (How)

18.   “Future, Past, Imperfect”, (How)

19    “Artificial Unintelligence”, (How)

20.   “Working Up the Corporate Ladder”, (How)

21.   “Live and Let Live”, (How); 2013 reprinted in Mothership Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond

22.   “Unrequited”, (How); reprinted in

23.   “Heart Throb”; Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books)

NON-FICTION (21)

1.            Nancy Kress interview, (Pirate Writings)

2.            Painfreak by G. Houarner book review, (Pirate Writings)

3.            Painfreak by G. Houarner book review, (Poison Apple)

4.            Pirates of the Universe by T. Bisson book review, (Pirate Writings)

5.            The Orange Cat Bistro by Nancy Linde book review, (Pirate Writings)

6.            Terry Bisson interview, (Pirate Writings)

7.            HWA Stoker Weekend article w/G. Houarner (Hellnotes)

8.            NECON 17 convention article (Hellnotes)

9.            The Wings of Honneamise, video review w/Brian Addison (Space & Time)

10.          Inside the Works by G.Houarner/T.Piccirilli/E.Lee review; (Pirate Writings)

11.          Barry Malzberg interview, (Pirate Writings)

12.          Going Postal review, (Pirate Writings)

13.          KeeneCon 2000 report (DarkEcho)

14.          The Cell movie review, www.feoamante.com

15.          “Never Consumed, Never Reduced” article, Jobs In Hell online

16.          History & My Writing essay, TheAngryBlackWoman blog

17.   Introduction to poetry section in book on Neil Gaiman

18.    Recognizing Demons and Angels” article, HWA newsletter, Blood & Spades column

19.   The Inner Circle, From the Trenches article for HWA Newsletter

20.    Keeping Up, From the Trenches article the HWA Newsletter

21.    How Geek Girls Will Rule the World, interview

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL WRITER & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #11

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS TANANARIVE DUE!

Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due is an American author and educator born in Tallahassee, Florida. She is the oldest of three daughters of civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due and civil rights lawyer John D. Due Jr. Tananarive was named her after the French name for Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. She went on to earn a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English literature, with an emphasis on Nigerian literature, from the University of Leeds. While studying at Northwestern, Due lived in the Communications Residential College.

Tananarive serves as the Cosby Chair for the Humanities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia where she resides. She has written a dozen supernatural suspense novels, including the African Immortals series that began with “My Soul to Keep.”  Tananarive won an American Book Award for her supernatural thriller “The Living Blood”, and along with her husband, science fiction author, Steven Barnes, won an NAACP Image Award for the mystery novel “In the Night of the Heat.” Barnes was co-author of the novel and they both worked in collaboration with actor Blair Underwood.

Due worked as a journalist/columnist for the  Miami Herald when she wrote her first novel, The Between,” in 1995. This, like many of her subsequent books, was part of the supernatural genre. Due has also written The Black Rose”, historical fiction about Madame C. J. Walker (based in part on research conducted by legendary author, Alex Haley (prior to his death) and “Freedom in the Family”, a non-fiction work about the civil rights struggle she co-authored with her mother, Patricia Stephens Due.

She also was one of the contributors to the humor novel, “Naked Came The Manatee”, in which various Miami area authors each contributed chapters to a mystery/thriller parody. Due is also the author of the “African Immortals” novel series and the Tennyson Hardwick novels.

Tananarive is a member of the affiliate faculty in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Speculative fiction novels

  • The Between (1995)
  • The Good House (2003)
  • Joplin’s Ghost (2005)

African Immortals Series

  • My Soul to Keep (1997)
  • The Living Blood (2001)
  • Blood Colony (2008)
  • My Soul To Take (2011)

Mysteries

  • Naked Came the Manatee (1996) (contributor)

The Tenneyson Hardwick novels

  • Casanegra (2007; with Steven Barnes & Blair Underwood)
  • In the Night of the Heat (2008; Steven Barnes & Blair Underwood)
  • From Cape Town with Love (2010; Steven Barnes & Blair Underwood)
  • South by Southeast (2012; Steven Barnes & Blair Underwood)

Short Stories

  • “Like Daughter”, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000)
  • “Patient Zero”, The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Eighteenth Annual Collection (2001)
  • “Trial Day”, Mojo: Conjure Stories (2003)
  • “Afternoon”, Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2004)
  • “Senora Suerte”, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (September 2006)

Other works

  • The Black Rose, historical fiction featuring Madam C.J. Walker (2000)
  • Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights (2003) (with Patricia Stephens Due)

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL WRITER & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #9

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS CAROLE MCDONNELL!

Carole McDonnell

Carole McDonnell

Carole McDonnell holds a BA degree in Literature from SUNY Purchase and is a writer of Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her writings appear in various anthologies including “So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonialism in science fiction,” edited by Nalo Hopkinson and published by Arsenal Pulp Press; “Jigsaw Nation” published by Spyre publications, and other publications. Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites. She is a columnist for several Christian and African-American magazines. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two sons, and their pets. Her first novel, Wind Follower was published by Juno Books in September 2007. Her second novel, The Constant Tower, was published in June 2013

Her Published Fiction and Essays include:

— “Oreo Blues”– Essay in LIFENOTES: Personal Writings By Contemporary Black Women, edited by Patricia Bell-Scott. Published by W.W. Norton.

— “Homecoming” – Short story. Won first prize in New Mass Media’s Annual contest and was a third place winner in the annual national Contemporary Western Fiction contest.

— “Lingua Franca” – Short story. So Long Been Dreaming: Post-Colonialism in Science Fiction — Arsenal Pulp Press – October 2004.

— “Black is the color of my true love’s hair,” – Short story. Fantastic Visions III – Fantasist Enterprises – August 2005.

— “The Australians”– Essay in LIFE SPICES from Seasoned Sistahs: Writings By Mature Women of color, Published by Nubian Images Publications.

— Homecoming at the Borderlands Cafe – Short story to be published in Jigsaw Nation anthology – DNA Publications March 2006

— “The Cat Came Back” – Nudges from God anthology.

— “That Smile” – “Then an angel came along” anthology.

— Additional devotionals appear in Christian print magazines and websites.

The Gleaners — in Black Faery anthology

So Far — in Black Science Fiction Society anthology

Changeling — in Griots edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders

Housewarming — in When the Morning Stars Sang anthology edited by Lyn Perry

A Cry For Hire – Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, edited by Warren Lapine

Her stories are included in her short story collection, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction ebook – http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Fruit-Collected-Speculative-ebook/dp/B0069VMX22
FOR THIS WEEK, CAROLE HAS MADE THE SHORT STORIES FREE ON KINDLE!!!
BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL WRITER & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #5

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS VALJEANNE JEFFERS

VALJEANNE JEFFERS

VALJEANNE JEFFERS

Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, and the steampunk novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books 1 and 2).

Valjeanne’s fiction has appeared in Steamfunk!, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, LuneWing, PurpleMag, Genesis Science Fiction Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, and Griots II: Sisters of the Spear (in press). She works as an editor for Mocha Memoirs Press and is also co-owner of Q and V Affordable editing.

Her two latest novels: Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective and Colony: Ascension will be released later this year.

Preview or purchase her novels at:

http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com

Contact Q & V Affordable Editing at:  http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Valjeanne blogs regularly at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com

She has a podcast as “Crystal Temptress” (with co-host Quinton Veal as “Loyal Fang”) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vjeffersandqveal

 

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL WRITER & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!