Hamjambo (Hello):

I recently stumbled on to a sci-fi / fantasy contest being sponsored by the NERDIST and being hosted by INKSHARES, a company dedicated to reader-interest driven, neo-traditional publication. Despite having self-published a collection of predominately speculative fiction poetry, Dues for the Repose: From Words Much Like Poetry, I found myself hesitant to do so with the novel that I've been penning for over a decade.

As H. Wolfgang Porter mention in his discussion 10 Hard Truths About Self-Publishing...., self-publishing is often a hard and disappointing road. The collection I self-published was drawn from a number of poems that I'd made readily available in their older forms on my blog, Words Much Like Poetry, and because of it, didn't feel hard pressed to publish the work in traditional manner. My novel on the other hand is a different animal entirely.

While an excerpt of an earlier version of my manuscript was published in Lune Wing as Otherworld Case No. 2249 (In Legends: Realm of the Elementals), all else of it has been kind of like a closely guarded secret. That is not to say that I have not had friends and family members read bits and pieces of it over the years, but they aren't the broader audience. They can't properly gauge its readability. Its marketability. And this is a body of work that I would want well marketed.

Like many other sci-fi / fantasy writers, I have my influences, stellar voices that have helped to mold and shape my writing. I never thought to borrow their troubles. By which I mean to say, that I've undertaken mythopoeia in the style of the greats -- Tolkien and the like. In the last four years, what began as nothing more than a romance set against the backdrop of a fictional world became something far more grand, far more sweeping. It became a coming of age story interspersed with dark, invented folklore that was drawn from uncommon sources and a subversive kind of social commentary.

Where the contest is concerned, I purchased an e-mail blast advert through the BSFS site in the hopes of finding support in my endeavor. I would like to win, but even if I don't, what reader interest I can garner will push me further along in my goal. So, this is an honest appeal from one writer to others who are trying to pioneer and / or reinvent the way Black / ethnic writers and characters are viewed.

Yes, there are women characters to be found in high fantasy works. Yes, a greater number of Black / ethnic female authors are penning high fantasy works whose main characters are Black or ethnic, but works regarded as mythopoeia... Almost singularly written by male writers who are predominately white.

You can find, at present, two full chapters of my manuscript under its working title here. If you like what you see, please register for free with the site and follow along or pre-order with the monetary like credits the site provides when you comment on or recommend a body of work.

Blessed be,


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