Hello, friends and fans!
Welcome to my 79th 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”!
July was a good month for me over all, in terms of publishing, marketing – and the bottom line of course, which is sales.
In spite of the usual obstructions life throws in my way, I still managed to finish and release four items of an informative nature related to two of my series (Galaxii and Quantum), mainly in the nature of technical manuals and a travel brochure to Deanna! Working on these three items was tiring but also rewarding, as it was a lot of fun and involved creativity! I’m happy with the result, and I’m sure you will be too.
On the audiobook side, I have some news for you as well, as the first of the three newly released Quantum novels was released as an audiobook on the 20th. I also created several new reels for Facebook and Instagram – and also posted them on my YouTube channel. All this has been done while shivering at my laptop in chilly winter temperatures, often with the heater on!
That being said, I haven’t been able to do any writing this past month, since my time was taken up with these projects, but it’s all necessary if you take a look at the bigger picture. Anyway, hopefully this coming week will allow me to return to writing again! Whenever I feel like I’m slacking off, I remind myself that it’s just July and I’ve already completed and published FOUR novels and FOUR related books this year! Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to work on any more writing projects for the rest of the year – but I might just take a little time off – and without feeling guilty about it!
I will, as always, keep you updated.
More Of This, Please!
I’m not a Barbie fan, never have been. It always seemed to me like an attempt to sexualize and pigeonhole little girls, a celebration of shallow preoccupation with appearance that led to body shaming and eating disorders… BUT:
After reading up on this new movie and watching the fallout of it on my news feed, I have to say I’m impressed at how it’s receiving praise (and hate) for it’s message of feminism, criticizing patriarchy and reinforcement of positivity for young girls – and also adult women who are old enough to recognize the war being waged on us all by the institution of patriarchy in broader society globally.
This one little movie, brightly clad in pink fur and rhinestones, has made right wing nutters unleash the crazy and lose what little shit they had left. Frustrated “incel” losers and whining conservatives who already hate everything “woke” – probably because it leaves them looking like real twats, are crying about how “feminism will be the death of us all”, supposed adults paying to watch a movie they know they’re going to hate just to write scathing hour-long video reviews of it, and grown, angry men are burning dolls they paid for themselves and having meltdowns on TikTok. I have to say, this will never get old.
Anything that can upset the lunatic fringe this much has to be worth something.
I may not like or watch the Barbie movie, but I will support it and that message. Well done! More please.
A New Series?
Over the past few weeks I’ve contemplated starting a new sci-fi series. I’ve been picking up inspiration here and there for it, and on Saturday night I went to bed thinking about it further, getting some more ideas during the night as I slept and woke up, turning over and thinking further…
So on Sunday, I got up and spent 5 1/2 hours working out a plot for it. It still has no name, but so far I’ve fleshed out five main characters and their profiles, descriptions and skills. I’ve also laid out a functional plot and story arc that should be good for four parts of a novel. Whether or not this will be number one of a series still remains to be seen, but I’m really very excited about it, not to mention wrapped up in it already.
I’ll let you know what happens next
Moving on to other matters:
Quantity AND Quality
The quantity and quality of my work appears to bother some people. I’m not sure if that’s down to jealousy, or what… For example, some seem to think that 47 distinct separate works is a lot of books to have written. Okay, it is a lot – especially to people who’ve only maybe written one, or maybe none. Or perhaps half as many. Granted, they’re not all novels. Some are books about some of my series, and others are novellas and collections of short stories or poetry, and there’s also the non-fiction and academic works I wrote. One or two of my non-fiction works – among my earlier activism-related titles – are out of print, but the number of titles available today is 44! As to quality, I’m good, and fast – and I’m not done yet!
44. It’s quite a number, right? Okay, now I’m getting a big head… moving on…
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).
My most recent new releases in 2023 were “Underground Movement“, “Xanadu“, “The Last Hurrah“, a 1-act play called “The Traitor Loyal” and “Terror In The Outblack“. Also new in July 2023 are three guides offering background in-depth info, that were previously available in earlier forms! They’ve now been formally published for the first time: “The Galaxii Guide To The Terran Space Fleet“, “The Galaxii Guide To Corsairs & The Black Fleet” and “Come To Deanna!“. “Through Technical Spectacles: A Quantum Guide” is a completely new title released on 27 July for the first time, containing 86 illustrations for 26 different topics.
You can view all 20 of my audiobooks here.
Darla Middlebrook, the lady who narrated the Quantum and Panic! Horror In Space series, has been recording the first of the three new Quantum titles. “Underground Movement” – book 7 in the Quantum Series (narrated by Darla Middlebrook), was launched on the 20th July, and is now available on Amazon and Audible. The audiobook is 7 hrs 40 min long.
Feedback & Communication
Let me tell you why the following review is special to me: it’s from an LGBT social/reader’s network! As such, I’m extremely happy with it, and flattered also!
“When you have no idea what to expect, you sometimes end up pleasantly surprised. Black Sunrise is a weird little gem of a story that has elements of satire and parody—a talking plant named Fred, a planetary setting that’s something akin to an old Western, reptilian alien invaders taken out by a vat of sherry—as well as other fantasy and sci-fi aspects.
But there’s also a dry wit and humor wrapped around a serious, heartfelt subject here. Cindy-Mei Winter is a trans woman who was fired from her job for showing up in a dress. She suffered transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and general stupidity from her coworkers and bosses. After her gender affirmation surgery, she takes a galactic cruise and ends up in the middle of major weirdness. So much for a relaxing vacation!
The cast of characters is divine. There’s the bored-off-his-gourd Captain of the vessel that brings Mei to Deanna. Gary Beck the Badfeller is a PI/bounty hunter who got his tough nickname from a stupid childhood stunt. The Gimps aka Ruminarii, reptiles who think being bad is good and typically rise in power and status by killing those above as well as below them in rank and power. And Fred, the Arborian, a talking plant who has spent the last several years hanging out on the rec deck of the freighter that brought Mei to Deanna.
The multiple-points-of-view style the author chose works very well for this story. There is a large cast of characters, and we get to see their thought processes, and often the inner workings of the characters’ strange, minds. The pacing of the story reminds me of the ending of the Clue movie, where Tim Curry runs from place to place explaining what really happened: rapid bursts from the characters, some ironic, some humorous, and some sad and heart-wrenching.
I thoroughly enjoyed this raucous little story. It’s weird and irreverent, but has a deeper, more important message dressed up in a slapstick-comedy tale. I will definitely read more by author Christina Engela.” – Lucy, Queer Sci Fi, 29 July 2023.
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 animated 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:
- A Peek At My Week! #111
- New Release – “Through Technical Spectacles – A Quantum Guide”!
- Coming Soon – “Through Technical Spectacles – A Quantum Guide”!
- A Peek At My Week! #110
- New Release: “Underground Movement” Audiobook
- New Releases For July 2023!
- A Peek At My Week! #109
- A Peek At My Week! #108
- Christina Engela’s Monthly Newsletter: #78 July 2023
In spite of some of my books having been on Amazon since 2005, not one of them has yet reached 50 reviews! I would really appreciate your help on this! Come on, leave a review – it’s free!
Thanks again for all your support, sharing, friendship and interaction!