BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #25

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS BALOGUN OJETADE!

1014308_10151651562099253_183144284_nBalogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.

He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.

He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the science fiction gangster saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika and contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. He is also co-creator of the soon-to-be-released role-playing game, Ki-Khanga™: The Sword & Soul RPG.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once Upon A Time In Afrika

 

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Balogun can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Baba_Balogun.

 

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

AUTHOR RJ SULLIVAN INTERVIEWED BY IVORY BLAQUE FOR HIS VIRTUAL BLUE BLOG TOUR!

Welcome to the latest installment of my friend and fellow Seventh Star Press author, RJ Sullivan’s Virtual Blue Tour, this stop features an interview with RJ conducted by none other than Ivory Blaque!

Ivory: Thanks for agreeing to this interview Mr. Sullivan.

RJ: No problem, thanks for having me.

Ivory: So I hear that you’re a male writer whose stories tend to feature strong female protagonists (sounds like someone else I know), what motivates you to use them?

RJ: Well it’s kinda complicated…I suppose it started with the female 80’s Rock stars such as Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benetar, Joan Jett and the band Heart. I saw that those women from MTV were so much more dramatic and in charge. A lot of that carried over into my writing because I found those figures very interesting. When I sat down to write my first novel, I wanted the challenge of writing outside of myself and you certainly can’t get more outside of yourself than by writing from the perspective of the opposite gender.

Ivory: I heard that your character Rebecca Burton is an investigator of the supernatural? I myself am employed with policing the things that go bump in the night. What inspired you to write about a character who explored those types of issues?

RJ: I was tasked with writing a series by Seventh Star Press. I wanted the freedom of writing standalone stories, while making them part of the series. So, making the continuing character an investigator seemed to be the solution to that. I went back to Columbo and Perry Mason for inspiration to tell standalone stories, where the story is the guest star. In Virtual Blue, the main story is about Blue Shaefer and Chip Farren, while Rebecca is kinda the background guest star. I also wanted to have a character who would remain somewhat a mystery. I didn’t want it to be where the reader learned all there was to know about Rebecca Burton in one story, to be followed with stories where she was just doing her shtick over and over again. I wanted there to be layers of her character that we would be exposing over the course of several adventures, that way there would be more of a reason for her to be present. The reader would learn something new about her with each story. You know a lot more about Rebecca Burton by the end of Virtual Blue than you did from the end of Haunting Obsession. The reader learns more about the organization she works for and there’s plenty more to be uncovered as the series progresses. I like having the flexibility to tell a different kind of story each time, feature her in the story and reveal more about her as a character. I’m sure we don’t know everything about you, do we?

Ivory: Seeing as though my life is one big adventure after another, to coin a phrase from someone we both know, “The Best Is Yet To Come.”

Moving right along, I particularly like the character of Blue Shaefer. This punkish girl has a lot of spunk and flava, she reminds me of a younger version of myself. What prompted you to bring Blue and Rebecca together?

RJ: Haunting Blue was my homage to The Hardy Boys. I wanted to do a Hardy Boys type of story for big kids that turns dark. I started with two male characters, but couldn’t make them gel. So I changed the gender of one of the characters and added sexual tension, which gave me much more to play with. At that point, one of the characters became Blue, who took over the story and pushed Chip into the background. There’s still the Hardy Boys tradition of two kids going off and getting into trouble and encountering a mystery, but soon the story turned out to be more about Blue.

When writing Haunting Obsession, I realized I needed a paranormal investigator and immediately Rebecca Burton came to mind.

Ivory: In Virtual Blue, you explore the themes of the occult and technology, to blend them into the perfect threat. Is this something that you intend to explore in later works or is this a one-shot deal?

RJ: I indicate that there are other events that happen simultaneously to the events in Virtual Blue. I think that there are some other stories to be told, so I may have another short story or two that touches upon the Techno Magic aspects sometime in the future.

Ivory: In creating a protagonist like Rebecca was it important that she live in Indianapolis or that the setting be Indianapolis?

RJ: Yes, mainly because it’s what I know. Rebecca Burton is definitely transportable and has federal status with no jurisdiction, even though her base of operations is Indy. I set this up in that way so that she can travel broadly if necessary.

Ivory: In writing Virtual Blue, what do you want fans of your work to take from this novel? How do the events in this novel set them up for future works?

RJ: Haunting Blue is not widely available yet, but in a couple of months it will be. I wanted to challenge myself to get to the crisis more quickly. There’s a lot of lead time in Haunting Blue that I didn’t need to address in Virtual Blue. I wanted to tie up things from Haunting Blue and then jump right into the story. I wanted to up the ante a bit with Virtual Blue, but still have it tied to Haunting Blue in some way. My intention was to give my readers a direct sequel, but also something very different than before. My thoughts were in writing a sequel, to make it as fresh as possible.

Ivory: I know that our mutual friend, Mr. Allen tends to procrastinate when it comes to penning my adventures. How did you handle the writing of Virtual Blue? Was it something you just sat down and got done or did you have starts and stops along the way?

RJ: I started Virtual Blue right after Haunting Blue, but got sidelined with Haunting Obsession, which actually started out as flash fiction. It was then that Haunting Obsession took over my life for the next six months. I wanted Virtual Blue to be my longest and most intensive offering to date. I generally work on one project at a time.

Ivory: How have your fans/readers reacted to Rebecca Burton in regards to the series? Have they given you any feedback as to what they want to see in the future?

RJ: I listen to my readers. They’re very passionate about seeing more of Blue. I will include her in future stories, but Rebecca will be the main protagonist moving forward. Virtual Blue serves as a passing of the baton so to speak. I want future stories to feature Rebecca as I wanted a more professional, adult protagonist that I can better relate to. I try to meet the expectations of my readers, but also continue to surprise them. I think that the joys of reading any series is the surprise and discovery one experiences while reading the stories. In order to do this, I want to explore introducing new genres into the Rebecca-verse.

Ivory: I guess we’ll conclude this interview with one last question which your readers and I are dying to learn about. What is in the future for Blue and Rebecca?

RJ: I’m currently experimenting with a Sci-Fi series (Red Lotus). The next Rebecca Burton story will have her as a supporting character exploring male issues. I’m going to really be digging into the things that males deal with.

Ivory: Thank you for allowing this interview Mr. Sullivan.

RJ: You’re welcome Ivory, it was my pleasure.

Ivory: Your pal Mr. Allen and I had a long talk about him exploring new exciting things. Hopefully someday in the near future I may cross paths with Rebecca Burton and Blue Shaefer, who knows…it’s a small world filled with infinite possibilities.

RJ: Indeed it is!

RJSullivanTourBadge450About the Author: R. J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella in 2012 and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale, in 2013. Seventh Star will release a new edition of Haunting Blue in early 2014. R. J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction novelettes for readers of all ages. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. Check in regularly to learn the latest about the projects of R. J. Sullivan.    

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Book Synopsis: Did you ever wish you could escape to a virtual world? What if you could…but then couldn’t get out? Two years after her deadly clash with a vengeful ghost, Fiona “Blue” Shaefer still can’t shake off the trauma of that night. Moving to New York with her father didn’t help. Neither did absorbing herself in her college classes. Not even her poetry provided the solace it once did. She convinces herself that ending her relationship with Eugene “Chip” Farren, her long-distance boyfriend and final tie to the horrors of that night, might bring the closure she needs. Blue travels to Bloomington to break the news to Chip in person, but her timing couldn’t be any worse. The Sisters of Baalina, vengeful cultists who practice a new form of “techno-magic,” have targeted Chip’s multi-player videogame as the perfect environment to cast a dangerous spell to free a demoness from the very pits of hell. In the process, their plan may trap Blue in a prison of the mind with no locks, no bars, and no escape.

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Author Links:
Website: http://rjsullivanfiction.com/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/R.J.SullivanAuthor
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5199299.R_J_Sullivan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjsullivanauthr

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Tour Schedule and Activities:

October 28 Jess Resides Here Contest  
October 28 Jorie Loves a Story Review
October 28 Come Selahway With Me Guest Post  
October 29 Sheila Deeth Blog Character Interview w/ Blue  
October 30 Armand Rosamilia Guest Post  
October 30 A Haunted Head Special Post Tba  
October 30 Deal Sharing Aunt Review  
October 30 Word to Dreams Promo Spotlight  
October 31 John F. Allen Ivory Blaque Interview of RJ!
October 31 Spellbindings Character Post with Rebecca Burton  
October 31 Library Girl Reads and Reviews Character Interview of Rebecca Burton  
November 1 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
November 1 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post  
November 2 Azure Dwarf Guest Post  
November 3 Angela Meadon Review  

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Where to buy Virtual Blue:

Amazon Print Versionhttp://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Blue-R-J-Sullivan/dp/1937929329  
Kindle Versionhttp://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Blue-ebook/dp/B00EVIX1A8  

Other eBook Links
Nookhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtual-blue-rj-sullivan/1116802948?ean=2940148624493
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/virtual-blue  
iBookstorehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtual-blue/id696653418?mt=11

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #24

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS WAYNE RILEY!

allknightzteamWayne Riley is the brainchild behind All Knightz, a team of animators, graphic designers, illustrators and writers who are together most notably responsible for the animated series known as ‘Hard Wired’. Their aim is to give you a whole new fresh take on how you view comic books and cartoons by giving you a different kind of character that you and your children will always remember as well as a new way of story telling that will encourage you to look deeper into the stories from our African history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 #23

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION SPOTLIGHT IS MILTON DAVIS!

 

 

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Milton Davis works as a full time chemist and a part time writer. He is finally fulfilling my dream of writing by self publishing his novels and stories. His publishing company is MVmedia Publishing and Beyond.

 

 

 

 

Some of his titles include:

  • Meji: Vol 1 & 2
  • Changa’s Safari:  Vol 1 & 2

Anthologies he’s published and had work appear in:

  • Griots: A Sword & Soul Anthology
  • The Steamfunk Anthology

MEJI VOL 1 BOOK COVER

GriotsWoman of the WoodsSteamfunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn about other titles and purchase copies of his work(s) visit the company website @: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/

Check out his blog Wagadu @: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/

 

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 #22

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION SPOTLIGHT IS HASANI CLAXTON!

Hasani Claxton

Hasani Claxton

Hasani Claxton was raised on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. He studied Business Management at Morehouse College (1999) and Law at Columbia University (2003). While serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, he began taking evening classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. In 2005, he decided to pursue his passion full time, enrolling in Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009 and later that year attended the Illustration Master Class at Amherst College.

His commissions have included book illustrations, album covers, a mural for an installation at the Carolina Children’s Museum in Puerto Rico, as well as private portraits. In 2012, his work was selected as the People’s Choice for the Black Art In America Juried Art Exhibition and displayed at the Harlem Fine Arts Show. He was a semifinalist in the 2013 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Knights of the Savana 30 X 40 oil on linen

Knights of the Savana (30 X 40 oil on linen)

The Fall of the Witch King oil on panel

The Fall of the Witch King (oil on panel)

Ivory Blaque

Ivory Blaque

For a more extensive look at Hasani’s artwork, visit his website @: http://www.hasaniclaxton.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 #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!!!