Monday, June 30, 2014

Witchbound Book Three Cover Reveal: Smolder by Kelbian Noel





Calida Cevallos has never been special. In fact, as far as she’s concerned, there isn’t an exceptional bone in her body. But, this summer, she’ll discover extraordinary literally runs through her veins.

I’ve always been a burden. The girl people put up with, the one they tolerated. When I finally found someone who actually wanted me around, I couldn’t have be happier. But lately something’s been bubbling at the surface. Something wants to break free…and I’m afraid it’s me.

I love him. And, for a time, I thought I needed him. Now I’m not so sure. These days, I get the feeling I’m the one who’s needed. By whom? I’m about to find out.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Interview: Wi-Moto Nyoka of Hero How To

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you're enjoying what the prelude to summer :) 

Today we have a special guest, Wi-Moto Nyoka the creator of a very interesting project: Hero How To. You're going to love this and if you're in or near Brooklyn, New York this month (June 4th, 6th, 8th & 14th) you're going to want to see it. So sit back and learn a little more about what inspired the one act staged motion comic. 

Enjoy! And in case you're already interested you can purchase tickets at www.bricktheater.com


DP: Welcome to Diverse Pages, Wi-Moto. We're all about diversity in this part of the web (obviously! :P). What does diversity mean to you?

Wi-Moto: At this point, diversity has come down to writing about the world around me. So long as I continue speak of the things that occur in my environments I am, without really trying, expressing and creating diversity. When I started this project, like any rookie writer, I began with what I know. This series is what I've experienced both in the US and in my time abroad. I enjoy re-creating that range of culture, religion, and class, while discussing how all these things fit together or fight against one another. 

DP: Why is it important to you?

Wi-Moto:  If I'm honest, in the beginning I never really thought about why it might be important. I was just an artist who had to tell a story and occupy herself creatively. Now, I feel it is necessary and to do otherwise is not only detrimental to our collective identities, but also aggressively boring. 

DP: Please, tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you consider yourself a diversity advocate?

Wi-Moto:  It's hard to talk about yourself even though I'm an actor (ha). The short version is that I was a music theater performer who moved into music composition, only to come back around and combine all the things she loves into one big-complicated-multi-versed-thingus. The whole thing started with me hating every musical I went to audition for due to the narrow frame of characters provided. I figured I should stop complaining (because I can't stand people like that) and do something about it. Once I crossed that line, advocacy was right there on the other side. Every choice becomes a statement whether you like it or not. I never realized how powerful storytelling is. 

DP: Do you think there is enough diversity in science fiction and fantasy, whether on television or in books? No.


DP: I was so excited to hear about Hero How To. It sounds like an amazing project. Where did you get the idea?

Wi-Moto:  It was a domino effect. It started as an alter-ego I used at freestyle sessions. Then I thought it could be an interactive website. That lead to the idea of a motion comic series, so I wrote a pilot and somehow got that made through cookies and compliments. Then I made a digital concept album to go with it. At this point I began to develop a world for the character, which lead to more characters. Eventually we realized animation is expensive and it was Tommy Turnstyles (head of sound and music for the project) who came up with the rule "when they are heroes, it's motion comics but when they are not it's regular film."  I thought that was brilliant and we began casting and shooting. I worked out the whole story and threw in some live theater because I love theater. Then a friend mentioned my idea to a theater company and I was forced to begin a rough draft. Now, here we are, seven webisodes later and a concert reading at The Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival.

DP: What do you see in your future? Anymore similar projects up your sleeve? 

Wi-Moto:  This project is intended to have six seasons on the web (ten webisodes each) and two live productions. After that I have some ideas of spin-offs.  I want Kartika to be a place folks can inhabit, a whole world to play in, with it's characters being new archetypes for us to love or hate. I'd also like to make work for young audiences, haven't quite figured out how that will work. 

DP: How can people get ahold of you? And where can they learn more about Hero How To?

Wi-Moto: I can be reached at info@duskydiana.com and folks can check out our site www.duskydiana.com and our channel vimeo.com/channels/ldok. We are also part of the line up on couchtvnetwork.com. Folks can check the festival schedule and purchase Hero How To tix at www.bricktheater.com.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Author Interview: Benjanun Sriduangkaew @bees_ja


We missed out on our Author Interview yesterday, but here it is! Please welcome Benjanun Sriduangkaew to the blog!

About the Author

Benjanun Sriduangkaew writes soldiers, strange cities, and space opera. A finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Phantasm Japan, Dangerous GamesSolaris Rising 3, various Mammoth Books and best of the year collections. Her contemporary fantasy novella Scale-Bright is forthcoming from Immersion Press. She can be found on twitter as @bees_ja

DP: Please, tell us a little about what you write.

Benjanun: My novella Scale-Bright - out from Immersion Press later this year - is a contemporary fantasy, heavy on Chinese myth and interstitial cities. Here's roughly what it is about.

Julienne's aunts are the archer who shot down the suns and the woman who lives on the moon. They teach her that there's more to the city of her birth than meets the eye - that beneath the modern chrome and glass of Hong Kong there are demons, gods, and the seethe of ancient feuds. As a mortal Julienne is to give them wide berth, for unlike her divine aunts she is painfully vulnerable, and choice prey for any demon. 

Until one day, she comes across a wounded, bleeding woman no one else can see, and is drawn into an old, old story of love, snake women, and the deathless monk who hunts them.

Otherwise, I write short fiction, fantasy and science fiction leaning toward military space opera with a post-colonial bend. My characters both in the novella and short stories are generally queer women or non-binary.


DPWhere do you get the inspiration to write? Who, if anyone, inspires your characters?

Benjanun: Erm, this one's tricky. But no, I don't at all base my characters on anybody; I can't imagine doing that, actually! My inspiration otherwise comes from all sorts of things, as little as an image - an odd photograph, a single line that comes to mind when I'm getting grocery. 

DPHow long have you been writing?

Benjanun: Since late 2011, so that's going on three years. 

DPHave you always written about characters of color? What challenges (if any) have you faced in doing so?

Benjanun: Always! No, I haven't faced any challenges, both editors and reviewers have been very lovely about things. Any exceptions in reception are outliers by and large. If you mean challenges during the writing process, no, not that either. It's the most natural thing in the world to write.

DPDo you think the publishing industry is doing enough to promote books like yours (with main characters of color)?

Benjanun: Speaking as a primarily short fiction writer, there's a lot of interest in what authors like Aliette de Bodard, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu and Sofia Samatar (whose debut novel A Stranger in Olondria has been collecting a delightful avalanche of awards, nominations and critical attention) write. The slate for this year's Campbell Award for Best New Writer (administered along with the Hugo Awards) is four-fifth people of color - Sofia Samatar, Ramez Naam, Wesley Chu and myself. Some of the genere's most feted publications like Clarkesworld, Tor.com and Strange Horizons consistently publish writers of color, so from where I stand things are looking optimistic. But with so many books published every year, it can be hard to get heard or noticed.

DPMany of us are familiar with the cover controversy surrounding novels like "Liar" and "Magic Under Glass". What are your plans for your cover? 

Benjanun: My publisher's in charge of my cover, but I've been consulted for it and I couldn't be happier! It doesn't have a person on it, but it does feature several things pertinent to the story, including a piece of traditional architecture. 

DPWhat does diversity mean to you?

Benjanun: That's an interesting, and not uncomplicated question! For me it means wider perspectives, especially a more global one, where writers like Lavie Tidhar, Xia Jia, Chen Qiufan, Haruki Murakami and many other international names are the norm. And where, as well, complicated, interesting examinations of gender like those in the works of Ann Leckie and Kameron Hurley are not exceptions.

Thanks for your time, and for having me!

And thanks for stopping by! We're looking forward to the release of Scale-Bright, Benjanun. Be sure to keep us posted!

Find out more about Benjanun at http://beekian.wordpress.com

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spotlight: Beth Bowland




Beth Bowland, a native Ohioan, has always enjoyed reading and creating stories of her own. As a child she devoured every book she could get her hands on and spent numerous hours at the library each week. She loves writing stories for tweens and young teens and is now the author of three novels. Her characters are often described as quirky and fun, but always relatable. When she's not writing, she loves watching HGTV. She has one daughter and resides in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Phillip.

Beth is the author of the Middle Grade Fantasy SEVEN SHADES OF LUMINOSITY



When 13-year-old Ralph and his two friends enter a magical world called Norwaeja, they find themselves on an unexpected quest for seven keys, each of which leads them closer to a dark and dangerous kingdom. Ralph thought he was an ordinary kid, just trying to become the junior fencing champion in his state. Shortly after being chased into Norwaeja he learns of the prophecy declaring him the warrior that will lead the Great Army into battle against Apep, the evil one. Epic battles against Trolls, dangerous treks through kingdoms, and one pesky, egotistical meerkat will pit friend against friend while Ralph discovers just who he really is and what he is capable of achieving in a world that he is not a part of. Or is he?

Find Beth ONLINE:


Blog
Facebook




Monday, May 19, 2014

Raffle Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered the A to Z Raffle! I hope you had fun over the month of April, learning about new authors and books. We plan to bring you plenty more. If you see your name listed below, we hope we've made your day! ;)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hero How To. A Graphic Musical presented by The Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival!

If you live in or near Brooklyn, New York or will be visiting during the month of June, you'll want to check this out!!

Purchase your tickets at: http://bricktheater.com/


Dusky Projects playwright and librettist Wi-Moto Nyoka, will premiere the one act concert reading Hero How To from The Last Days of Kartika . The concert reading is set to open on June 4th-14th ,2014, at the The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival, located at 579 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Hero How To, had its first workshop performance at Tanzhaus NRW (Germany). What started as merely a super hero alter ego expressed through music performance, and a stand alone motion comic, soon blossomed into an innovative blend of theater, Hip Hop, and illustration. A form of storytelling that glides through disciplines with ease and grace, The Last Days of Kartika is a web series whose purpose is to manifest as a live theatrical happening. An online graphic musical whose culmination is the staged motion comic, Hero How To.

Ms. Nyoka states,”Through travel and collaboration with different nationalities, ethnic groups, and ages, it has become evident that these elements- Hip Hop music and comic book art -have deeply impacted the communities that feel marginalized. It provides a platform, a construct, for their expression and sometimes the only haven for their voices to be heard.” With her debut as a playwright and librettist, Ms. Nyoka examines how class and national/ethnic identity can deeply affect our ability to define who is good and who is evil, what is right and what is wrong. Hero How To from The Last Days of Kartika, introduces new archetypes, fashioned for the current times, nuanced, complicated, and defiant.

The piece will have its world premiere at The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival on June 4th, 6th, 8th, and 14th, 2014. Tickets are $18 and show times vary according to festival schedule. For more information regarding the schedule and purchasing tickets please go to www.bricktheater.com. Tickets may also be purchased through Theatermania at 866-811-4111.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Feature and Author Interview with Thelonious Legend! @TheLegendBooks

Whew! What a month April was? Unseasonably cold and unusually busy thanks to the A to Z Challenge. But we're excited to get back to regularly scheduled blogging. If you haven't checked out the latest book review posted by Rae you definitely should!

Today we're introducing Thelonious Legend author of Sins of the Father!


Welcome to Diverse Pages Thelonious!



DP: Please, tell us a little about what your write.

Thelonious: I write a YA Sci-Fi series centered on girls of color and the day to day problems they encounter such, as body image, homework, and popularity while dealing with their newly discovered super-powers.

DP: Where does your inspiration come from? Who, if anyone, inspired the main character?

Thelonious: My inspiration for the book and characters is twofold. First from my daughters. My daughters love to read the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian genres but none of the heroes or protagonist look like them. So I thought about that famous quote from Toni Morrison "If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written you must write it." Second the from a lack of complexity of strong female characters in pop culture. It seems like most female heroes are one dimensional and written by fan-boys ie Lara Croft, or are tomboys who can't seem to balance beauty and strength.

DP: How long have you been writing?

Thelonious: I have been writing creatively for the last three years or so.

DP: Have you always written about characters of color? What challenges (if any) have you faced in doing so?

Thelonious:  The easy answer would be yes I have always written about characters of color. You have to write you know or write to your strengths and that's what I did. I would like to eventually venture out my comfort zone but not for my first book.

DP: Do you think the publishing industry is doing enough to promote books like yours (with main characters of color)?

Thelonious: If they are it is the best kept secret on the Internet.

DP: Many of us are familiar with the cover controversy surrounding novels like "Liar" and "Magic Under Glass". How do you feel about your cover? Is it what you imagined and is it relevant enough for you, as the author?

Thelonious: Yes I think it is very relevant. I'm a minimalist but I wanted girls of color to identify with the cover as far as body type and hairstyle. Also I love the paintings/prints of Annie Lee so she heavily influenced my cover.

DP: What is your favorite book featuring Diverse characters?

Thelonious: I would have to say Lord Of The Rings. It would be hard pressed to get more diverse then dwarves, elves, hobbits and humans.

DP: What does Diversity mean to you?

Thelonious: Diversity means a wide spectrum of opinions, experiences, and cultures.

DP: What type of changes do you hope to see in publishing in the next ten years?

Thelonious: I'm a big super hero fan so I would like to see more diverse heroes portrayed on the big screen. And I would like the source content to come from people of color.


Thanks for joining us today, Thelonious. It was great getting to know you and we wish you the best of luck with your writing endeavors!

You can find out more about Thelonious here:



Don't forget to check out his novel, Sins of the Father below!



This was going to be a special year for the Parker sisters. Eve was going to dominate in the classroom and on the basketball court. Gwen was going to make the starting five and go down in history as the greatest prankster ever. Ana was going to do as little as possible. But without warning, all three sisters gain extraordinary abilities that defy science… powers that come with a cost. Now all they want to do is make it through the school year without drawing any undue attention, while racing to find a cure before the side effects of their new abilities kill them. Eve’s temperament, Gwen’s fondness for pranks, and Ana’s predilection for money, however, are challenges they must overcome to achieve their goals. Because if they can’t, they’re dead…