Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Into Action With Thrilling Author Interview and Huge Contest!

above:  Roger Smith, author of DUST DEVILS and novella,  ISHMAEL TOFFEE

"One secret to good noir is keeping the beauty and the dread in perfect tension so the reader is attracted and repelled at the same time. Smith does it." PETER ROZOVSKY - DETECTIVES BEYOND BORDERS 

Yes, I've been away for a few weeks, first absorbed with some re-writes and edits for my mansucript, THE DEATH BROKERS,  then gone on a four day adventure trekking through northeast Florida and south Georgia, but folks I'm back and with a vengeance.  Like a thriller writer could come back any other way right?

Let me make up for the time lost with two tempting literary adventures I've designed just for you.  First, I am going to introduce to you Roger Smith, an amazing thriller writer and if you haven't already become a fan of his after reading DUST DEVILS, or MIXED BLOOD,  then you most certainly will become one after reading his latest work, ISHMAEL TOFFEE.

I would sincerely like to thank Mr. Smith, who will be taking time away from his busy schedule to stop by Soul and Sweet Tea to answer a few questions and introduce us to his world, which is half a world away from mine.

I must admit, I have had a curious obsession with South Africa ever since my brother in law spent several weeks there.  He showed me photos of a hauntingly beautiful countryside and told me stories of resilience, hope, and rebirth along with bloody tales from his big game hunts.  His pictures took my breath away, and I wanted to learn more, and then I found the works of Roger Smith, which only fueled more intrigue.  I must also confess dear readers, that I get the same almost-out-of-breath feeling after reading ISHMAEL TOFFEE.  As an author, Roger is just.that.damn.good.  He brings to life stories that are gritty but filled with emotion.

Many of you know of my penchant for thrillers artfully infused with emotion, and know that here and on twitter I get on my virtual soapbox from time to time preaching about how there simply aren't enough writers who are brave enough to bare their souls and inject raw emotion and feeling into their work, but Roger Smith knows how to do it, and gets the job done quite well if I must say so.  The ability to do this is truly an art form, and an almost forgotten one in today's sea of almost meaningless paperback thrillers.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa but now residing in Cape Town, he's been making huge waves in the thriller genre which have been felt around the world, much like a literary tsunami.  His debut, MIXED BLOOD (published in 2009 and translated into six languages) was the recipient of the German Crime Prize (the Deutscher Krimi Pries) and his follow-up hit, WAKE UP DEAD, is to be made into a feature film. Just a few of the many accolades for DUST DEVILS include the Ten Best Lists of the Barnes and Noble Book Club, Grift Magazine, Detectives Beyond Borders, The Drowning Machine, and African Book Club, and CrimeFictionLover chose DUST DEVILS as their book of the year in 2011.

Less than one month ago, Roger was nominated for the Spinetingler Magazine Award for Best Novel-New Voice. I am expecting even more awards to come his way with the novella, ISHMAEL TOFFEE, available on Amazon for only $2.99!


Check out the background story of ISHMAEL TOFFEE:

It is truly amazing to be able to read the words of a gifted author, but the chance to get to know such an amazing writer is a fantastic experience.  I hope you will join us for this candid, online interview with Mr. Smith, who is genuinely a wonderful person, and one of the best thriller writers today.

But wait...we're not done yet!

This weekend I'll also be announcing the "Spring Into Action" Writing Contest which will get your heart pumping as you get to create a work of flash fiction in 200 words or less!  Here's a huge hint:  you will create your work based upon some fantastic photographs I snapped along the highways and waterways of northeast Florida and south Georgia.

Just like my writing style, you see the beauty but almost miss
 the danger lurking beneath the surface, unless you look carefully at the whole picture.
(photo taken by me, Joey Francisco)

The rules will be simple and all you will do is pick a photograph from one of the four I will have up on the blog and then write your story.  There will be one winner and two honorable mentions.  The winner will receive a wonderful prize package and I will feature their work here on my blog along with the two runners up.  Winners will be chosen by both a secret celebrity author and another secret celeb writer/blog author!

So sharpen your literary blades my friends, we're about to kick things up a notch here on Soul and Sweet Tea!

Good nite y'all.

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