Hello, friends and fans!
Welcome to my 68th monthly newsletter! Pull up a chair, let’s chat! In this month’s newsletter: updates on publishing, reviews and news. Let’s take a look at this months’ “stuff”!
Some General News
Over the last few months I’ve been fighting an uphill struggle with Amazon’s KDP subsidiary to get several of my books republished after the tragic death of my friend and publisher, Brandon Mullins (CEO of Moon Books Publishing). There has been progress on some fronts, and new setbacks arising, but what can one do but keep up the fight?
Aside from all that, there’ve been some advances too – in May I published the long-awaited fourth book in Galaxii, “Sentinel” – and most recently on the 27th of July, I published “We All Fall Down”, the third and longest volume in Panic! Horror In Space!
There are also a few other nice extras to show you this month – including a wonderful mention from an international sci-fi database that I’m very proud of, and also some odds and ends I got up to DIY’ing at home.
News About Writing & Publishing:
Carrying On Writing, Regardless
This is the current state of things:
- I was sent the letter I mentioned previously on 26 July, as promised, returning the rights to all my titles published through Moon Books Publishing’s KDP account. I sent the letter to KDP in connection with one title that was being held on “pending” since May due to duplication issues. This was still not good enough for KDP however, and I had to ask my former publisher for another letter, this time bearing MBP’s logo. This I received again on the 29th and sent to KDP’s A.I. “help” desk the same morning. I am still currently awaiting feedback.
- In the meantime, KDP has hit me with another obstacle: according to them, my banking details are incorrect and need to be “updated” – even though it all worked perfectly last month! After all, if they were faulty, how could I have received my royalty payments last month?! Worse still, how would updating them help if they’re already correct? I’ll keep you posted on this one as well.
- The process for the removal of these titles from MBP’s KDP account has yet to begin, as I have just this past week been asked to confirm that I have copies of all the work files (images, covers, manuscripts etc.). Hopefully this will take place soon.
- MBP royalty payments for the period February 2022 to the present are still outstanding.
Another update on the audiobooks for the “Panic! Horror In Space” series: last week I reported that my favorite narrator, Darla Middlebrook was experiencing problems with her mailbox in receiving the manuscripts. It appeared that only emails without attachments were getting through to her mailbox. We have resolved this issue in the last few days, and Darla has received all three manuscripts for the series! She’s very eager to get started and has me looking forward to hearing the first samples!
I’ll update you about this as soon as there’s any developments.
Geoff King wrote “South African SF and Fantasy Literature” for Sci-Fi Fantasy Network on March 30, 2022 (I only saw it during July, hence why I’m sharing it now). I’m only mentioned in a short paragraph, but it’s from an international sci-fi website listing South African authors of sci-fi, and I was so pleased to see that I received a mention!
Even though I was mentioned last in the list of 7 writers from SA, and Lauren Beukes (arguably the most famous writer on the list) was mentioned second to last, the detail that I appeared alongside a more widely publicized writer like Lauren Beukes sufficiently mitigates being Tail-end Charlie! Not that such a fine point matters terribly much in the grand scheme of things. The article really made me smile -it made me feel appreciated – which for a writer struggling to get her feet in the door, is always nice.
Here’s a relevant excerpt from the article below:
“Poet, artist, D.I.Y.er, human rights activist, editor and prolific author, Christina Engela, hails from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In addition to her fifteen horror, fantasy and sci-fi novels, she has published novellas, short stories, children’s stories and non-fiction (How does she find the time?). The three-part Galaxii series (2006 – 2019) is an epic sci-fi space opera with pirates, adventurers and rogues. The six-part Quantum series begins with Black Sunrise (2019) which boasts action, adventure, gender dysphoria and a walking, talking alien plant called Fred. How can you resist? Part six, High Steaks (2019) concludes the series on a grand scale in a weird world portrayed with humour, thought-provoking concepts and peopled by strange unforgettable characters.
Panic! Horror in Space (2019 – 2020) is Engela’s series of satirical, parody, horror misadventures.
I’d like to mention that since the article was published, Galaxii gained a fourth title, “Sentinel“. Quantum is also not just a 6 part series, there are at least 3 more titles already in process. Lastly, I really enjoyed Geoff’s remark “How does she find the time?” Believe it or not, looking back (and even looking forward) I often wonder the same thing! But, well, it helps to have friends at the Time Saving Agency, Geoff!
Currently Available Titles:
My books are available as eBooks, Paperbacks, and Audiobooks, and you can find them everywhere. Click the links in the slideshow below to view titles available in these formats.
If you’re still wondering where to find them in the format of your choice, you should read “Where To Get My Books – Specially For My South African Readers!” (recently updated).
These are recent titles published in 2022 (some are re-releases) via Smashwords and my new KDP account:
Sentinel – Book 4 in the Galaxii Series:
The starship I.S.S. Munray is a ship crewed by a lot of ill-disciplined misfits barely one step away from another court-martial – and the Captain’s the worst of the lot! When the opportunity presents itself for Vice-Admiral Beens to rid himself of the troublesome, malingering Wynne Polluk, he jumps at the chance to introduce a new broom, in the form of one Sonia La Belle.
In order to meet the deadline, she must deal with all the obstacles in her path; an old rundown ship whose engines lie disassembled, an uncooperative senior staff, and negative hopeless crewmembers who’d probably be more at home in the stockade than running a starship! The Munray and her crew resume their life of routine space patrol – which is soon interrupted when the ship is diverted to pursue a pair of dangerous fugitives who’ve escaped from a max-security facility – one that was supposed to be escape-proof! This turns out to be an exercise which will push ship and crew – and the Captain – to their limits!
Can they overcome all the obstacles they face, track down the Corsair fugitives, and do so in time to prevent the destruction of Earth?
…Ashes To Ashes…
Stuart Flane, Captain of the starship Mercury is called in unwillingly, kicking and screaming, to investigate the mystery of the ghost-ship Amundsen, which has just pitched up out of the black after being missing for 63 years. On top of that, Flane must also race to a mining colony where strange preternatural fuckery has resulted in six missing children and a series of inexplicable related events had left the subterranean city in a state of panic. What dark, aberrant secret lay behind the tangible terror of Caverna?
How would Flane’s skeptical superiors react to his next report – and above all, how would he word it? The word “carefully” always came to mind. What was he supposed to do – lie? Well, if he didn’t use apparent trigger words like “ghost”, “haunted” or “undead”, that’s pretty much what he’d have to do! Trouble was, some high-ups at Fleet HQ were starting to ask pointed questions about his reports – and sooner or later, Flane worried, someone was going to turn up demanding answers.
The astute Captain’s fears are realized when the Mercury is ordered to Starbase 43, where Commodore Link is waiting to ask a few questions about Flane’s reports. The Commodore, a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic and heavy-handed disciplinarian, makes it his business to interrogate and intimidate crewmembers referenced in Flane’s reports – at least, the ones who aren’t dead yet. Flane grumbles as Link’s investigation progressively turns his life into a bit of a miserable hell. Then, as if by coincidence, the Mercury is redirected to a nearby industrial colony to investigate disturbances at what – much to Flane’s acute embarrassment, turns out to be one of the most haunted hotels in the outblack.
You can view my audiobooks here.
Last time I mentioned that Darla Middlebrook, the lady who narrated my Quantum series and “Opsaal” is keen to narrate the Panic! Horror in Space series as well. This month I’m overjoyed to report that Darla has finally received the manuscripts for the series and has set to work on the first one almost immediately! When complete, these next three audiobooks will be released via Spoken Realms. Darla is already a registered narrator with them, and recording of the Panic! series should begin shortly! It will take a while, and I’ll still need to create covers for the audiobooks, so I’ll keep you updated about that!
Feedback & Communication
You can see all my previous reviews here.
I have no new interviews to show you this time, but all my interviews are linked to from this page.
What The Readers Say:
All my reader comments are linked to from this page.
You’re welcome to browse through the videos on my YouTube video channel! I’m not really the performing seal type, but I do my best! There’s also a 13 minute movie on there, called “Bang, Splat!“, based on characters and settings from “The Time Saving Agency“.
Below are links to a few of my most recent posts or articles since my previous newsletter:
- New Release: We All Fall Down
- A Peek At My Week! #62
- A Peek At My Week! #61
- A Peek At My Week! #60
- A Peek At My Week! #59
- Christina Engela’s Monthly Newsletter: #67 July 2022
A Little Other News
I did manage to get a little work on the house done on a few weekends this past month. Below are a few galleries of the things I got up to: In the first one, you can see a light fitting I got from a scrap dealer, refurbished and revamped completely and put up in our library/sewing room/guest bedroom/gym! Hmm… perhaps I should call it “the Den” instead! There was also an old desk lamp that, after a little TLC, made a wonderful addition to my writing corner!
I’d been wanting to replace the crappy 80’s light fitting in our bedroom for some time, and I finally got around to it! Another trip to our local scrap dealer resulted in this beautifully revamped and repurposed old Victorian style light fitting!
I think these projects turned out really nice – what do you think?
Until next time.
Thanks again for all your support, sharing, friendship and interaction!
Catch me on social media!
All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2022.