Can you stick poetry to a fridge door? If so, then a haiku e-zine called the zen space. would like to hear from you. They are looking for people who can make expressive images, words-and-images, or images-with-words that convey something that is brief and ‘in the moment’. If you reckon you can do that, then why not drop them an email? Find out more here.
Over on the site for the e-zine the zen space (edited by our client Marie Marshall) spring is stirring. What has stirred it is a collection of haiku and ‘short-burst’ poetry by some of the best modern exponents, plus a translation of a classical greek fragment, and a collection of marker-pen mandalas.
Do you write haiku, or any form of short poetry? Would you like to submit something? Marie says “I am always on the lookout for fresh talent.” She told us, “Contributors should email me if they have something for my consideration. Please don’t leave a contribution in a comment box – I have to delete those, I’m afraid, as they don’t go through the editorial process. Anyhow, I tell people be bright, be light, be dark, be profound, but be brief!”
the zen space Spring Showcase may be found here.
The passage is from the story-within-a-story, a translation of a rediscovered, nineteenth-century manuscript said to be the writings of a female vampire-hunter. You will find it embedded in Marie Marshall’s futuristic teen-vampire novel From My Cold, Undead Hand, which now has its own feature page at P’kaboo publishers. Just click the book cover to be taken there. There are extras – text and an audio file from the diary of one of the characters – for a limited number of purchasers. For those of you who would like a paperback version in advance of any domestic print launch, you can get it at Amazon – same goes for a Kindle version.
The author, along with cover illustrator Millie Ho, are offering a couple of wallpapers using the cover artwork. They are available here.
We at the agency are getting very excited about the publication of this teen-vampire novel! As with all titles from P’kaboo Publishers in South Africa, the publisher is keen to find ‘partner’ publishing houses in the UK, the USA, and worldwide who would like to make this novel available to a wider readership. Please contact this agency for further details.
Our client Marie Marshall was asked by her publisher if she could write a teen-vampire novel, and her answer was simply to write one – From My Cold, Undead Hand. She told us:
It’s both an easy and a difficult genre to write in. It’s full of ready-made tropes and pre-existing vampire ‘lore’, and of course it has a cult-genre following of highly critical fans. Basically a writer has two choices: Buffy or Twilight. By that I mean one has to chose between writing about vampire hunters, or teenage romances with vampires. Then one has either to avoid cliché… ahem… like the plague, or embrace the clichés and go nuts with them.
So, which story-line has Marie decided to go down?
Well, I chose the vampire-hunter angle, as it gave me the opportunity to create a strong, young, female protagonist.
Marie is adept at those strong, female protagonists – Jelena and Eunice in Lupa, Angela in The Everywhen Angels, and now Chevonne Kusnetsov, a girl from New York a few decades in our future, in From My Cold, Undead Hand. The novels launches straight into action, with Chevonne in a darkened library, defending her dying mentor from the attack of a powerful vampire ‘sire’. Spiced here and there with hints of ITpunk and steampunk, and complete with a nineteenth-century sub-plot revealed in an old book, the pace of the novel never flags. It shuts with a bang – readers will blink and say “Huh?” – leaving a perfect springboard for the sequel, KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, which is already being written! Ostensibly dealing with the constitutional right of vampires to carry guns, the novel in fact foregrounds how young people are routinely marginalised. So, has she succeeded in avoiding cliché?
I hope so. I’ve tried to be innovative whilst leaving enough there that is familiar.
In fact when we read through the manuscript we noticed some cheeky inter-textual referencing. Readers will be surprised to find out who’s included in Chevonne Kusnetsov’s remote family tree, for example. Readers familiar with, say, Bram Stoker or Stephenie Meyer may spot some ‘Easter-eggs’, though Marie cites as her main influence Joe Aherne’s TV series Ultraviolet.
Adding to the impact of Marie’s prose will be cover art again by Millie Ho, the talented Canadian artist and writer, who provided the cover for The Everywhen Angels. This is a book to watch out for, one not to miss. As soon as there’s a launch date we’ll let you know. Follow the action on Twitter @ColdUndeadHand.
Our client Marie Marshall reports that The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes, the first major anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium is now published. Marie is Deputy Editor of this magnum opus; details can be found here, and will be up-dated as often as necessary. There are still some eBook copies of Marie’s novel Lupa available for free download at P’kaboo Publishers; look for the link which says ‘Winning Title! Limited Free Download’.
Marie also reports that her novel for older children, The Everywhen Angels, is still in the preparation stage. She has finished her new teen-vampire novella, and is in talks not only with her publisher, but also with an illustrator with a view to presenting it as a graphic novel. More news as it is available.
The Aval-Ballan Poetry Competition is long over, but occasionally their web site receives selfies from the prizewinners with their prizes. Here’s one from Sam Smith.
There is a new concern that hosts selected books with an adult content. It goes under the name of HoneyMead Books, and you can find its wed site by clicking the logo at the bottom of this update. It is by no means a come-as-you-please self-publishing site. Ian Rossouw of HoneyMead says that each book they publish as an eBook will be carefully vetted for strong story-lines that must take the forefront. Also all books that go through HoneyMead Books still undergo editing etc. as with every traditional publisher and unlike self-publishing sites. Worth keeping an eye on this publisher if you write adult-themed fiction.
This is a little outside our usual brief, but as I used to trace and deal in out-of-print books I sometimes get asked to research and value antiques and collectables of all types. Most often I refer the enquirer to someone else with greater expertise, sometimes I’m able to track down an obscure reference which has stumped even the experts, and sometimes I am utterly stumped myself. That’s the case with a series of limited edition prints which someone gave me to have a look at. They appear to be from 1986, and you can see the artist’s monogram here to the left. It is familiar – I know I have seen it somewhere, but where? If anyone recognises it, please get in touch. [By the way, I’m doing this piece of research for a charity, so I’m doing it free of charge.]
The long-awaited results of the Aval-Ballan Poetry Competition are now published. Congratulations to the winner and the runners-up. We’ll keep you posted about events relating to this competition (prize-givings, exhibitions, etc), and it would be a good idea to ‘follow’ the competition web site in order to read the winning poems.
Warm sunshine and the Highland Games half a mile away meant that Day 2 of the Opening at Balbirnie was bustling and well-patronised. Added attractions were face-painting, an impromptu poetry-reading, and music on ukelele and guitar.