Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Kim Wainer

Today is the last day of the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, last but certainly not least, we’re welcoming Kim Wainer to the anthology! (Don’t believe what she says about her Instagram – it’s pretty awesome.)

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What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

My favourite genre is fantasy, largely because there’s so much leeway. If you write in the real world, you have to follow the real world’s rules, but in fantasy you can decide on your own rules. There are also so many shades of fantasy, from ‘magical realism’ all the way to out-and-out orcs and dragons stuff. I can neither confirm nor deny that I also like it because it allows me to throw a dragon into the story whenever I get stuck.

Have you published anything else?

No. I’ve edited a recipe book that can be bought in actual shops – does that count?

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

Largely, it’s a waste of time, but if you use it right it can be valuable. I do a lot of work on social media as part of my job, so I’ve seen some of what it can do beyond reminding people of other people’s birthdays and enabling benign (mostly?) stalking. The only platform I use for my own personal purposes is Instagram, but don’t let that fool you into thinking I am somehow cool or, indeed, prone to taking selfies. I mostly use it for my attempts at interesting photographs and humble-bragging about the upper end of my baking adventures.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

Personal has one of my favourite lines in it. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I did enjoy writing For the Want of a Nail, just because it’s a bit silly.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Inspiration doesn’t have a fixed source for me. An idea can pounce on me at any time – usually when I don’t have anything on hand to write it down with. I find that the good ones tend to stick around in my brain anyway.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Of course – and, naturally, I’ve no idea. I’m sure something will turn up before the first. It generally does.

Who is your least favourite book character and why?

Oh dear. Don’t get me started. Let’s just say anyone who always has a solution to any problem, especially if they’ve been lightly garnished with “flaws” that never actually seem to have any negative impact on their life.

Pet peeve as a reader?

Bad grammar and punctuation. Badly-applied commas set my teeth on edge.

Pet peeve as a writer?

When the right word is just on the tip of my tongue, and then it disappears, never to be seen again.

How do you feel about editing?

It’s daunting, but it also seems like something that would be quite satisfying to do. I just have to finish something (just!).

Connect with Kim on Instagram!

 

That’s it for our Author Q&As, but stay tuned, because we’ve arranged a few extra surprises for you while we’re waiting for the release of Jozi Flash 2017

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Nicola Tapson

Every day for the next two days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Nicola Tapson to the anthology! She has the cutest little logo and name for her company – the Inquisitive Hedgehog.

JoziFlashProfile pic

 
What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

My favorite genre to write is romance because I enjoy seeing where my characters go with the story.

Have you published anything else?

I have had a poem published in Reminiscence – a Southern African Poetry Collection – in 2009.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?
I love social media but it can be a time culler if you not careful. I use Instagram the most.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

My favorite story is my fantasy story about Tsohanaoi and Tayanita.

How do you feel about editing?
I think it is very important to ensure that your reader doesn’t get annoyed by typos or incorrectly used words.

Connect with Nicola on InstagramFacebook, or on her blog!

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Nicolette Stephens

Every day for the next three days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming … well, myself! Hi, everyone! I’m Nicolette Stephens! 🙂

Me

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

I love pushing my writing to the limits by playing with every genre. I keep coming back to fantasy, romance, and horror – the last with a bit of dismay as I’m not really an avid reader of the genre.

Have you published anything else?

I published stories in Jozi Flash 2016, but nothing since then.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Part of me loves the useful interactions with like-minded people. The rest of me is meh. I really enjoy Twitter lately, and I’m loving my blog.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

I love Bucket List. It’s a tragedy, which isn’t my favourite genre, but the bittersweet story stayed with me for a long time after writing it.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Lately I find myself inspired by people. How we interact with the world and each other, the dreams and hopes that we thrive on. The successes and failures of plans that don’t always work out as we’d anticipated. In short, I suppose life inspires me.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Yes, I’m attempting plantsing this year. I’m returning to the first book in a fantasy series that I’ve been working on for the last seven years.

How do you feel about editing?

I love editing, particularly when it’s other writers’ stories. There’s a fine line between editing and rewriting, and sometimes I need to step back and ask whether I’m suggesting a change because of the way I would tell the story, or if it’s because I genuinely believe it would make the story better in some way. Depending on my reason, I will either scrap or keep the suggestion, but I always tell people that my edits are only suggestions, and it’s ultimately their choice whether or not to make the change.

Connect with me on TwitterFacebook, or right here, on my blog!

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Liam Oliver Kai Selby

Every day for the next four days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Liam Oliver Kai Selby, the man with many names!

Liam Selby

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

Fantasy… fantasy by far! I have always been fascinated with the worlds that people can create, using only their imaginations. Through fantasy, I have been able to escape to whole new worlds, filled with new kinds of people and animals, and sometimes even plants. I love writing fantasy because I want people to see the worlds I can create and because I hope to give others the same chance I had to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world and see new worlds.

Have you published anything else?

No, I have not published anything before. Except if you count my school newspaper as a publication.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

I have mixed views surrounding social media; it has its pros and cons. I mostly just use Twitter and Reddit as my go-to platforms.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

Ahhhhh… That’s a toughy. I would have to say my favourites are my sci-fi, fantasy and comedy stories. I can’t really choose between those, but I definitely had the most fun writing my comedy story!

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Yes, I am most definitely taking part in NaNoWriMo! Since I learned about it (about 2 years ago) I have tried to participate as much as I can. This year, I am working on a fantasy novel, which is currently titled The Mountaineer.

How do you feel about editing?

I really enjoy editing. Especially when I am editing someone else’s work – I am a freelance editor, after all.

 

Connect with Liam on TwitterFacebook, or on Instagram.

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Nthato Morakabi

Every day for the next five days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Nthato Morakabi, whose prolific writing is second only to his sense of humour!

Nthato Morakabi

 

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

I’ve made my name as a horror writer. This is due to my entire youth spent reading R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Clive Barker and a host of other horror giants. So perhaps before I would have said horror immediately, but now I’m not so sure. I love the fantastical aspect of horror, which is also present in fantasy and sci-fi. Short answer, I don’t have a favourite genre, I have favourite genres.

Have you published anything else?

Yes. This is mostly thanks to my blog, where networking with another blogger got me in touch with a writer working on an anthology. This would become my first international platform where my horror short story The Taxi Driver would feature in Dark Tales. The following year we worked on Dead Tales and my short story The Salesman also featured.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

Social media, like anything else in life, can be amazing but can also ruin people. Personally, it’s thanks to social media that I became a published author. I have met many amazing authors who I can now call friends even though we’ve never met face to face. I spend most of my time between my WordPress blog and Twitter.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

Haha, hard to say. I loved Colours of Freedom. I wrote it as a flowing melody that told a story of love and sacrifice with a touch of African history. Then again Neapolitans was hilarious to write and The Family Recipe was a tribute to my first published horror, which I also wrote in 2nd person.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Everything. Music. Movies. Anime. Books. Random conversations. A single sentence on a billboard. There’s inspiration everywhere, it’s just about how my mind interprets it.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Oh yes, I am definitely taking part in NaNo. This year’s novel is a horror, which, surprisingly, is a genre I haven’t written for NaNo. Ever. The premise is based on regret, and the personal inner darkness we all have to deal with. Intermingled with a supernatural entity of course.

Who is your least favourite book character and why?

Gee, this one is tough. Wait, no it’s not. It’s the entire cast of The Desert Spear, the second book in Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series. It’s like they became new people compared to the first one, and the choices they were making annoyed me.

Pet peeve as a reader?

Bland writing where the narrator/main characters sound like a robot. Just mechanically going through every day things that don’t really do much for the story. I don’t care how you put on trousers unless you explain you have eight legs and four of them are made of jello.

Pet peeve as a writer?

Editing. Nuff said.

How do you feel about editing?

Ha should have known haha. See the previous answer? Okay uhhh editing is a necessary evil and when you have 50 000 unedited words, with grammar issues that could topple a small country … well you can imagine how I feel.

Connect with Nthato on Twitter, on his blog, or on Facebook.

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Elliot P. McGee

Every day for the next six days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Elliot P. McGee, who isn’t a cat, but whose writing has been thoroughly vetted and approved by one!

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What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

Fantasy or sci-fi. Both allow me to explore the world, or any world, as I see it. There are no limits. It is the same reason to hate those genres.

Have you published anything else?

I have not. This will be the first publication I am taking part in.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

Social media is a great marketing tool, as well as a way to keep in touch with fans and other people in this business. I absconded from social media for a while but I am back on Twitter, Facebook, and running a blog.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

This is difficult. I enjoy City of Gears most at the moment because it harkens to something larger. It may become a novella or full novel later.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Everything and anything. There is truth in everything. What better to inspire us than what is around us, what we experience, and taking that to one extreme or another?

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

I am taking part in NaNo. This will be my second year. I will be working on a currently undisclosed novel, not even to myself.

Who is your least favourite book character and why?

Any character that plays no role in expanding on what is already written.

Pet peeve as a reader?

Poor editing.

Pet peeve as a writer?

Poor editing.

How do you feel about editing?

Editing can make or break a story. There are some success stories that break that mould, but most people in this industry will say the same.

Connect with Elliot on Twitter, on his blog, or on Facebook.

Blogger Prompt Chain – A Short Story

blogger-prompt-chain

I was nominated by Nthato over at A Scribe to Describe for this prompt chain waaaay back on the 6th October. Created by A.J. Alexander, it’s designed to create a “chain” of stories, written by bloggers around the world. So, finally, here is my contribution to the chain. Thanks for the nomination, Nthato!

The Rules:

  1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from Nthato’s blog – link above).
  2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
  3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered).
  4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
  5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

The Prompts

The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene.

Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.

At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.

The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.

My choice: At The End of the Rainbow

I was on the highway when I spotted it. The mist-faded colours seeping like washed-out paint from the clouds. Some rainbows were brilliantly coloured, vivid and bright as they arched through the sky. Others; like this one, were barely visible, shimmering through the damp sky as though the artist had thrown his coloured water out after painting the real one.

I smiled to myself, remembering how often Mom and I had gone chasing after the end of rainbows when I was a kid. We weren’t after the pot of gold – we just enjoyed the chase. The breathless race to find the end before the sun dried the sky and the colours faded. We’d never succeeded.

Traffic surrounded my car – nearly at a standstill following the heavy rains. I often joked that drivers in Jo’burg were related to the Wicked Witch of the West – when the rains came, their brains melted and they forgot how to drive.

My phone rang from the console between the seats, but I ignored it. I didn’t touch my phone while driving – a minor bumper bashing I’d caused years ago because of texting while in a traffic jam had cured me of the desire to multi-task behind the wheel.

We’d inched forward maybe two hundred metres when the phone began blasting for the fifth time, each discordant note sounding more frantic than the last. I checked my mirrors, made sure my foot was firmly on the brake, and reached over to pick up the phone.

“I’m driving.” I answered the call impatiently as I pushed speaker.

“D’you see the rainbow?” Caz, my best friend, got straight to the point.

“Yes, Caz. I see it. But I’m driving.”

“Where are you?”

“N12. Just going through Gilloolies. I really can’t talk.”

“You need to get off the highway!” Her voice rose to a panicked screech.

“What? Dude, I’m stuck in bumper to bumper traffic! I’m moving as fast as I can.”

“Use the emergency lane!” I could hear her hyperventilating through the speaker.

“What the hell, Caz? What’s going on?”

“I followed the rainbow, Nat, like we always used to do with your mom. But this time, the end didn’t disappear. It was right there in front of me, but everything under it … it was gone, and oh my god! Nat, it’s following the roads, the major roads. Everyone stuck in traffic, they’re all … You have to get off the highway, Nat! Now!”

Caz was an actress, so she had a tendency for dramatics, but I’d also known her for twenty years and panic wasn’t a state she was prone to. I looked through the windscreen, ignoring the blaring horns of the cars behind me, trying to see the rainbow. There! I couldn’t see the end, but judging by the arc it made in the sky, it was coming down right over Edenvale Hill. And – I watched it carefully – yes! It was definitely moving, coming closer.

“Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” I threw my phone on the passenger seat next to me, slammed the hazards on, and began shoving my car through three lanes of impatient drivers to get to the emergency lane.

“Nat? Nat!” I ignored the muffled yells coming from the phone like I ignored the angry gestures and volatile swearing coming from the cars around me. Swerving into the emergency lane, I looked for the rainbow again. It was much closer, but also… I blinked. People. There were people running through the traffic on the highway, panic mingled with horror on their faces.

I grabbed my phone, my handbag and shut the car off. Leaping out onto the road was contrary to every instinct for self-preservation I’d ever had, but around me, people were also climbing out of their cars, looking bewildered and confused. A man nearby was on his phone, and I saw realisation dawn for him as he stared at the rainbow.

“Get off the road!” I heard someone yelling, realised it was me, yelled again as I ran to the nearest people. “You need to get off the road! It’s following the road! Move! MOVE!” The man understood, shoving his phone into his pocket as he ran to help me.

Together we ran down the line of cars, a few others joined us to help as we went, wrenching car doors open, if the passengers hadn’t already evacuated the vehicles, screaming at them to get out.

Word spread quickly now that the panic had caught, and soon there were people running towards us from the back, and we were all climbing over the metal barriers at the edge of the highway, scrambling down the grassy embankment and running as fast as we could away from the threat.

A safe distance away, we stopped, curiosity and horror mingling as we turned to watch the rainbow sweeping down the tar, leaving only ashes behind.

“Nat? Nat, what’s going on? Oh god, please talk to me? Please be okay.” In the silence left behind by the rainbow’s passing, I heard Caz’s voice coming from my hand. I lifted the phone to my ear.

“Caz?”

“Natalie! Oh thank god! Where are you? Are you okay?”

“I’m okay … I’m next to the highway … I made it out okay, but what the fuck was that, Caz?” My voice rose to a shriek on her name and I started shaking as my knees buckled under me. I sat down hard on the damp grass.

“I don’t know, Nat. I’ve never seen anything like it. The news is spouting something about atmospheric weather conditions and the heat from the roads acting as a target … .”

I looked up at the highway, and as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds again, saw the shimmer of gold against the tar. Heard hysterical giggling. Me, again.

“I guess that’s why we’ve never heard of people who’ve found the end of the rainbow.”

***

I’m tagging the following people:

  1. Elliot P. McGee
  2. John Cordial
  3. Cristina R. Guarino
  4. Dani – Perspective of a Writer
  5. Anyone who feels drawn to tell a story by one of the prompts.

Remember to link me to your site in the comments if you decide to take part. I hope you will! 🙂