speculative fiction

My Life As A Panelist or Bocas Lit Fest 2015

So last week was my birthday, and the day after I went to my first literary festival as a panelist. This was all new to me, and I was nervous at first, but lucky me, I had some really lovely people at my side to keep me grounded and help me feel confident. I got to do two readings, exchange ideas and chat with Nalo Hopkinson, Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell, and best of all, got to meet young writers and talk to them about Caribbean speculative fiction. It was very inspiring to be in a room full of people who love reading and writing and want to do nothing else but talk about it.

All in all, the festival ran smoothly and I think I did pretty well. One bookseller ran out of my books and another appeared to have good sales. I gave a couple of autographs. Made some connections. But best of all, I met some great people I think I’ll be corresponding with in the future, and hung out with new friends.

Here are some pics of me being a real writer:

With Tobias and Karen!

All of us at a fiction masterclass.

I have a few others with me on the actual panels where we talked about our books and the history and future of Caribbean speculative fiction, but I will spare you those.

No need to thank me.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Guest Blog: Limits of the Imagination

I have a new guest blog post up on my friend Tonya’s awesome Spec Fic Genre Love website.

You can check out the Limits of the Imagination by clicking here.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Happy New Year! Time to Start Writing Now.

Yep. We had a great time eating the food and drinking the drink. Marathon watching TV shows on Netflix and going to the cinema to cheer for the final chapter of The Hobbit. So we are all refreshed now and should be ready for what comes next.

A year of great storytelling.

We will be writing until we are done, my friends. So get a good chair, crack your knuckles and be sure to check back here three times a week to see how you and I have done. Feel free to leave your word count, page count or sentence count when you visit. I’ll be happy to know I’m not the only one down in the salt mines. I’m giving you today off because it’s New Year’s Day and we know what you did last night. But no mercy tomorrow.

And weekends count for extra. Or you can just leave them for your family and fun, as I plan too. I have to recharge often, and weekends do that for me. I have too much to do in those two days, so I’d rather use my spare time to get ready for the rest of the week.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, lots of writing and plenty of online friends (me included!) to share your trials and tribulations, successes and achievements with.

Welcome to 2015!!

And just for fun, here’s how a writer’s mind works most of the times…

LEX TALIONIS – An Article About My Appearance At The Bocas Lit Festival South

Heh.

Look, Ma, I’m famous.

The Trinidad Guardian wrote a small article on my panel at the Bocas Lit Festival last week Sunday. 

They mentioned me and everything.

Good job succes nailed it reaction gifs

It’s a proud day, I tell you.

I had a marvelous time at that Festival, mostly because I got to hang out with KAREN LORD!

You heard me. You can totally be jealous now. I can take it.

More about that and pics to illustrate later this week. For now, getting back into the work groove and catching up on what needs to be done.

A girl’s got to eat after all.

I Have Upcoming Appearances for LEX TALIONIS So Come Join Me!

If you are from Trinidad and Tobago, or you’ll be in Trinidad on October 27th 2014, feel free to come on down to the Carnegie Library in San Fernando on Library Corner. I’ll be holding a Meet and Greet session for Library Week from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. There will be other local authors there and the event is free and open to the public, so please come out and support if you can.

Even more exciting, I will be on a speculative fiction panel with award-winning spec fic writer, Karen Lord, on November 9th 2014. We will be at the NGC Bocas South Lit Festival at the Southern Academy of the Performing Arts, UTT campus, from 11:00am. Both of us will be reading from our books and there will be a question and answer session. Again, this event is free and open to the public. Copies of LEX TALIONIS will also be available for sale.

Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to autograph copies of my book for colleagues so here’s a few pictures of me doing the author thing for real. A dream come true, being able to autograph my own book!

Here’s my book on a co-worker’s shelf.

IMG-20141017-WA0000

And here’s me autographing a couple of copies.

IMG-20141016-WA0003

IMG-20141016-WA0001

IMG-20141016-WA0005

Stay thirsty, my friends!

LEX TALIONIS by R.S.A. Garcia – A Talk With a Book Club And An Actual Signing!

So last Monday I had my first ever public speaking event. I went to the Carnegie Library in San Fernando and spoke with the library’s book club. I took my sister and cousin along with me to record the events and for moral support.

It turns out transport to the South city from our capital of Port-of-Spain is surprisingly difficult, even in the middle of the work day, and the weather turned bad on us as well, so I was horrifyingly late–40 minutes. Me. I’m never late for anything! Lucky for me, the lovely senior librarian had actually scheduled me for early in the session and I was able to just talk for the second half. Plus, in typical Trinidad fashion I wasn’t the only one who arrived late, and no one seemed to mind that much because…well…time is a bit more elastic here lol.

As so often happens, almost no one had finished the book, but one person had and it was amazing to sit and answer probing questions from someone who had obviously enjoyed it. I think the members of the club were surprised to learn that Caribbean authors are doing speculative fiction, and some of them wrote down the names I mentioned–Tobias Buckell, Karen Lord and Nalo Hopkinson, to name a few. I got to show them my book in print and one person told me she’d bought it. I was so pleased she’d gone that far, even though she accidentally confessed to my sister it wasn’t really her thing and she regretted buying it.

I think I became aware of just how many people in Trinidad think scifi and speculative fiction is just not for Caribbean people. It’s a cordoning off of who they are and who they can be in the literary world for no apparent reason other than they are suspicious of science fiction and ignorant of what it’s really about. I think they feel it’s not a space people of colour–and people from small islands–belong in. I just wish I could shout from the rooftops, why would we NOT be part of the future? Do you expect that having had such a complicated past and a difficult present, our future is but a mist-filled nothingness?

Whatever the future brings, whatever technologies we develop, whatever mankind becomes, the Caribbean will be right there in it. Not just the Caribbean, but the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands and every other part of this world that some countries literally don’t think about. There are writers all over the world, not only thinking and dreaming about the future, but writing one that we are all part of.

It’s really an exciting time to be a writer, especially one from the Caribbean who wants to present a diverse cast and a different point of view. I’m so happy I get to be a part of this amazing new age.

Greg Byrne Got One Hell of a Publishers Weekly Review For His Debut Novel Nine Planets!

Greg’s a wonderful old friend from Australia and we met on the OWW years ago where we supported each other as we crept toward our goal of being decent writers some day and shared our love of all things cricket.

Greg wrote this amazing, emotional, dystopic yet almost urban fantasy book called ‘Nine Planets’ that really didn’t fit any labels and defied conventions to tell a universal story. It took my publisher, Dragonwell Publishing to see the story for what it was. Something special.

So today we are all very proud, excited and over the moon to see that Publishers Weekly agreed with us.

Congratulations, Greg!!

Nine Planets - Click Image to Close

I Got Mentioned in The New Watershed Article by Cheryl Morgan!

I’m so excited.

Cheryl Morgan wrote an amazing article about Afrofuturist writers in scifi…and she mentioned me!

Sure, I’m ‘the newest kid on the Caribbean block’, but my interview is on there and everything. And I got mentioned in the same breath as Samuel R. Delaney, Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell. That definitely counts for a lot!

Go read it. It’s a great article about the way non-white writers from Africa, France, the Caribbean, the Middle East and more are expanding the genre in new and interesting ways. I’ve certainly added to my reading list.

*Does the happy dance*

Dancing reaction gifs

Interview about LEX TALIONIS with Cheryl Morgan on Salon Futura

I have a new interview up on Salon Futura!

Originally done for Ujima Radio of Bristol, UK, I chat with the wonderful Cheryl Morgan about myself, writing, growing up in the Caribbean and of course, my book, LEX TALIONIS.

You can listen to the interview here.

And yes, it was loads of fun.

Rad reaction gifs

LEX TALIONIS is Top Twenty in Holland on the American Book Center’s Staff Recommendation List!

Just realised I’m No. 16 on the list of 43 staff recommended scifi and fantasy books at The American Book Centre in Holland!

They carry over 7 million books, so I think being top twenty is something worth celebrating.

I also think it matters a lot when bookstore staff likes you. Those are the guys who really love books and readers and their support means a lot to me.

I sure hope people use the lists. They have some good books on there. I’m in great company!