Jan 142019
 
Happy New Year for 2019

Happy New Year for 2019Here is wishing you a fantastic 2019, wherein all your dreams come true and you go on many adventures both in person and in good stories.

First, I give you my round up of 2018:

Last year was a cracking year for me. I deliberately use the word cracking and as the word suggests, there were both positives and negatives.

On the downside, reality bit in the form of a number of health scares, both for myself and a couple of people very close to me. That anxiety and stress is not something I would wish to go through again and I really hope that with the dawn of the New Year we will rise to happier and healthier times. Thank you to my lovely close friends and family for your support during those difficult days.

On the upside…

In the early summer, I spent a delightful long weekend at “Camping Out” in the beautiful Devon countryside. Such good fun among really friendly people and definitely an experience I can recommend. I was there last year, flogging my wares and enjoying light-hearted conversation in some pretty good UK sunshine. Look out for me and my books in the market on the last day again this year.

The middle of the year was marked by the usual LFEST weekend shenanigans, this time in Llandudno, Wales. Sadly, last year there were no author panels to be seen, but I have it on good authority that the good lesbian authors of the UK will be back in 2019, reading from their latest novels, signing books and partaking in this wonderful weekend’s activities, once more to be in Wales.

LFEST coincided with the publication of my third Sam Skyborne novel — a psychological thriller called “Alice” (http://Dukebox.life/Alice). This is the second of my PI Toni Mendez adventures and is set in the lovely Cape Town. I am very proud of this novel. The feedback and reviews I have had and its reception by you, my lovely readers, has really wowed me. Thank you!

At the end of August, I had the privilege of participating in my first EllCon (European Lesbian Literary Conference), held in Bristol. What a fantastic event! It was well attended by a number of the best lesbian writers, who I had the honour of meeting and appearing with on a few panels. They were all were absolutely fantastic – so helpful and supportive of new writers. This is truly a community that I am proud to be part of.

From Ellcon, I flew out to Lesvos, to spend a few weeks in the sun in beautiful Skala Eressos while I crunched out the first draft of my next book. It was a truly wonderful few weeks of early rises and hard but fruitful work, followed by a rewarding swim in the crystal Aegean and a couple of hours of basking in the glorious sunshine. During the Sappho International Women’s Festival I had the privilege of reading at the wonderful Karolina’s fantastic Wine Women and Word evening – always a fabulous experience.

On my return, I was proud to participate in the first Lesbian Author Panel at Tower Hamlet’s Idea Store’s WriteIdea Festival — another very memorable and rewarding experience – shared with talented authors Clare Lydon and Veronica Fearon: so there was a little bit of everything for the lovely lesbian fiction audience.

Each one of these events has been a complicated and enriching mixture of fun, laughs, effort and most importantly lessons learnt. All, I hope, helping to make me a better author and a better indie “authorpreneur”.

In the autumn, I also had the great good fortune of having all three of my books win awards in the (New York City) NYC Big Book Award and in addition, Risk also took a finalist award in the National Indie Excellence (NIEA) Awards. I have been shy of submitting my books for any awards or competitions before this. I guess we all have our insecurities and my worry that they might not be good enough held me back. Now, however, I am absolutely delighted with this recognition for my stories!

I want to send a very big thank you to everyone, in particular my readers, who have advised, supported and in their own way contributed to helping me along on this exciting journey. I think it is worth it, and I appreciate every comment and every suggestion.

Finally, once again, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or with feedback on my books, my website or my blogs. I really look forward to hearing from you.

And, if you are not already on my mailing list, and you’d like to hear about any promotions and news, then please subscribe here: http://Dukebox.life/Subscribe

I hope you have a truly fabulous 2019 and may all the stories you read be good ones!

Kind regards,

Sam Skyborne x

 

Nov 102018
 

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#Selfie Saturday. Me on Hout Bay Beach doing research for my book “Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom” Find out more at SamSkyborne.com .. Related Blog posts coming soon.

 

Oct 102018
 

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The publication date for “Alice”, my new psychological drama set in Cape Town, South Africa, really could not be any more fitting. I couldn’t have planned this better if I’d tried, and believe me I did try! I had great ideas about how I was going to publish “Alice” towards the end of 2017. But, no matter how much effort and sheer will and determination I mustered, I could not, for some reason, get “Alice” to progress any faster than it has. And that has been a good thing too, because now publishing “Alice” can coincide with and mark the momentous occasion of my 20 year anniversary of leaving South Africa – to go backpacking in Europe and get a bar job in London!

I never intended to leave South Africa permanently on that day, all those years ago. I was just going on a round-the-world trip abroad, to see what the world outside SA was like. So my reason for not having returned yet…? Well, I’m still looking for that bar job and unless I find an agent or a publisher soon, I will have to redouble my efforts in that regard!

Despite having been away for two decades, my heart has never really left South Africa. It is a beautiful country with so much to offer despite its troubles and challenges of the past, present and near future. Every few years I return gladly, to visit my friends and family and relish in the familiar landscape, sunshine, and fresh sea breeze – a pet hate from when I was young and living in the path of the brisk South Easter.

And when I now have the pleasure of meeting a fellow South African abroad, regardless of how long they have been out of the country, there is an instant, unbreakable, visceral bond because they know, they feel and understand in their bones what it means to be South African — something impossible to explain.

The one thing that saddens me when I return to the UK is that I’m unable to share my beautiful country and all that is has given me with my foreign friends. If I won the lottery, that is what I would do: take all my friends on an extended trip to Cape Town, Camps Bay, up the garden route, through game parks, to Victoria Falls, peep in at Kimberly, stop off at Bloemfontein, and venture up to Namaqualand….

In many ways, writing and publishing “Alice” is an attempt to do just that in the smallest, humblest of ways. By telling a story set in Cape Town, Camps Bay and the Cape Flats I hope to give my friends and readers a tantalising glimpse of my beautiful and complex country and what it’s like to live there.

Although the characters, businesses, organisations and legal entities in my book are entirely fictional, most of the locations are based on and inspired by existing places. Later, I aim to write a post giving a little insight into my research trip to Cape Town last year, with some photographs and images that inspired the fiction.

So, until then, be sure to get your copy of “Alice” here: >> http://Dukebox.life/Alice

 

 

Aug 012018
 

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“Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom”, my latests psychological drama is out today! Hurray! It has taken a long time to get here, but it was one hell of a journey! A very big THANK YOU to all those lovely people who have helped me get here!
You can find out more and get a copy of the ebook, paperback or LARGE print here: >> http://Dukebox.life/Alice

If possible, please share and help spread the word and sign up to my mailing list to hear more news and get updates on special promotions and reading events.

 

 

Feb 172018
 

Wollie Rainbow Planet Nation Bio Pic

I recently had the honour of being interviewed by Planet Nation. I had to dig deep to answer some interesting and probing questions. I have just been told that the the interview is now live on the Planet Nation website. Wow!

You can read it here. 🙊 
Sam Skyborne author profile on Planet Nation.

Jan 282018
 

Kenric Drop in 26 Jan 2018!
Friday evening I was invited to read at the Kenric Drop in at London Friend. The event saw an amazing turnout despite the cold and the wet London weather and the usual London transport difficulties. I felt very honoured. Needless to say I did my best to entertain and reward my audience for all their effort.

I read an extract from one of my first forays into writing, a book very dear to my heart, called High Rack: The story of an unlikely friendship between a fox and a baby chick. The idea for the story was born from real life events, in Catford, one late autumn. I had hoped, and still do, to one day see High Rack as an animation film or a graphic novel. The invitation stands… If anyone can draw or animate and would like to collaborate on this dream.. DO LET ME KNOW!! 🙂

Thereafter we got down to business which was reading from my latest novel RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice. It was recently described very aptly by a reviewer as “a sexy coming out crime thriller”. My reading went down a storm and I managed to hold my audience’s attention despite a few unruly dream catcher’s interference, 😉 which proved very amusing.

However, the meaty bit of the evening was undoubtedly the unrelenting probing by my very astute and formidable host, the lovely Anny Knight (@AnnyPoet). She holds no prisoners and would not allow an ounce of prevarication on my part.

Anny, it was once again an honour! Thank you! And thank you to Kenric (@KenricUK) and all you wonderful ladies for coming to see me. It was nice to meet some of you as well as catch up with some old friends. A big thank you especially to those who were there to support me behind the scenes. I could not do it without you!

Hope to see you all again soon!