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Tag Archives: Fiction

The Magical Tree

Finally, after many months of juggling work, writing and life in general, The Magical Tree is available. You can find it on both amazon.com and SmashWords:

The Magical Tree – Kindle Edition

The Magical Tree – SmashWords Edition

The cover was done by my cousin (a few times removed, I’m still not sure how all that works) Jackie Reid, she’s a freelance designer (mostly web stuff) and you can catch her here to see her portfolio.

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Into the Rift in Print!

The print version of Into the Rift can be found on Createspace and on Amazon for only $6.99!

Since my first collection of short stories is, well, short, I never had the intention of getting a POD (Print On Demand) version sorted. However, when I mentioned to friends and family that I’d self-published a book, naturally they started asking where they could get their copy. Followed closely by where they could get the print version, since they didn’t want to read it on a computer.

But…but…it’s only 49 pages? It doesn’t make sense to – oh okay, fine. Fine. So, I went through the process, choosing Createspace as my dedicated POD service, and got it done. The proof copy took ages to arrive, being delivered to South Africa, and it took even more time to have it show up in the Amazon store. It’s there now, however, so what are you waiting for? Go grab one!

Sale!

Smashwords are having a Summer/Winter sale (Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter in the Southern Hemisphere). That means you can pick up Into the Rift free! Check it out here. Simply go to the book at the bottom of the page, and on checkout type in the promo code: SSWSF and it’s yours for free. A sample review for Into the Rift (from Amazon.com):

4/5 stars
“I don’t read short story collections that often, but I’m glad I picked this one up. The stories were simple and easy to read. There was a good variety as well. I enjoyed this collection very much, but wished there were a few more stories. It seemed to end too soon.”

So there you have it. Check it out. You know you want to!

Free read Friday!

Free read Friday! That’s right. In the coming weeks, my next short story will be released as a standalone e-book. It’s a story based on the mystical magical tree that lay, powerful and waiting, in my childhood neighbourhood. The story is first person, told by a boy of perhaps 7 or 8. Sound exciting? You bet! For a bit of a teaser, I’ve put a snippet of the first draft below for a free Friday read:

“Where?” Ty begged, breathless.
“I don’t know, can you see a tree?” I searched, my hand in a salute blocking out the sun.
“What does a magical tree look like anyway?” We craned our necks and scanned their yard for what seemed like hours, when eventually a voice got our attention from below. I looked down: Mothuzi was watching us.
“What are you guys looking at?” He asked. He still had some marmite on his face from lunch.
“Have you heard about the magical tree?” I asked. The look on his face made us clamber down to hear his story. Mothuzi always had a story.

“Do you guys know the truth about the tree?” He looked at us with big, important eyes, and we knew he was about to give us a massive piece of gossip that no-one else knew. Mothuzi knew things: he was Thabang’s older brother, and he had been on K-TV and he could do karate and he had a Sega 16 bit, with the Michael Jackson game on it. “Let me tell you about the tree. Come, let’s go to my house.” We followed Mothuzi reverently; everyone knew he was going to be famous one day. He even knew the answers to those questions on “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”.

He led us into his house and went straight into his bedroom. We waited in the passage outside; nobody went into Mothuzi’s room without him inviting you in. We stood at the door and looked at his TV and Sega 16 bit and the poster of Jurassic Park on his cupboard door, and waited. Eventually he came out and pointed us to the living room, where we sat on the two-seater couch opposite his chair. He didn’t say why he went to his room, and we didn’t ask. You didn’t ask questions like that when you were with Mothuzi; you listened carefully to every word he said so that you could soak up his coolness and maybe one day people would say you were going to be famous.

Enjoy, and share with your friends if you do.

Brett

Trouble Down South

An excerpt from Into the Rift, “The Cloaked Man”, appeared on Katrina Williams’ blog yesterday. Check it out here. If you’re interested, you can also get her book, Trouble Down South and Other Stories by clicking the image below:

Nocturnes

As a boy of eight, I received a much-loved birthday gift from my father. Entitled “Horror stories for thirteen year olds” or something of a similar note, I distinctly recall its green cover, with a black and white sketch of a small boy running amidst spooky trees and long strands of giant hair (by that, I mean the hair of giants, which naturally is giant in itself). I read the book with glee; the kind of childish pleasure that you get not only from doing something forbidden (an eight year old reading scary thirteen year old stories, can you say forbidden!) but also from discovering a delight you have never savoured. It was this delight which would stick with me, ever-changing, but never leaving, throughout my childhood, and until now.

That delight concerns horror stories. Not your slasher type horror story, where humans can act out on their terrible desires and cause harm and terror on whomever they so please. No, the supernatural horror story: ghosts and ghouls and demons, giants and spiders and bats and the undead. Terrifying vampires, lurching zombies, spooky banshees. My fascination for this genre drove me to discover the wonder of the public library, where weekly I would shuffle in and devour any and all horror / supernatural material I could get my hands on. Naturally, this fascination has driven my taste in books, movies and tv shows, and of course my own writing. However, it has been a long time since I’ve stumbled across something that could take me back to that joyous feeling of my childhood – that pleasure in reading a book that is fascinating and terrifying at the same time, that sends shivers up your spine and makes you think twice about wandering around in the dark. I recently had the joy of reading John Connolly’s short story collection, Nocturnes:

Though not all reviewers agree (see some of the reviews left on Amazon.com), I think that this book shows a mastery of the short horror tale by Connolly. Whilst some of the longer pieces in the book are works of art (the Charlie Parker novella at the end is gloriously creepy, and actually freaked me out at one point, late into the night) the shorter pieces are of equal beauty. Tales of giant spiders, humanoid bats, ghosts, strange gods and lurking childhood fears will keep you awake late into the night, even after you’ve finished the book in one sitting. As a fan of horror, of King and Koontz and Barker (among others), I am in love with this book. It lies on my bedside table, awaiting the next read through. If you enjoy horror, do yourself a favour. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed.