Featured Author: Marlon James

For black history month this year I wanted to try something that spoke to the blog itself while still shedding light on fantasy and writers of color. Each Friday for the rest of 358fdd0c873707ea62162bf8d0c0184345167563636023847.jpgFebruary. I’ll be sharing another talented author and their body of work.

This week I discovered an author whom I actually already had on my TBR. While doing a bookstore browse many years ago. At that time the distinctive cover showed a woman who’s skin was a striking contrast to the paleness of the background surrounding her.

The Book of Night Women. tells the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. At her birth, the slave 64f0abdf369633633bfb407331e9052a6281915892799790816.jpgwomen around her recognize a dark power that they and she will come to both revere and fear. 

Marlon James, born in Kingston, Jamaica left Jamaica to escape homophobic violence and economic conditions that he felt would mean career stagnation, he received a master’s degree in creative writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes7884e152a061d4850cf1e4f61cccd7d84859259759275158337.jpg Barre, PA. 

His first novel, John Crow’s Devil was rejected 70 times before being accepted for publication in 2005. James has taught English and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, since 2007.  He is also a faculty lecturer at St. Francis College’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.

In February 2019, James gave the seventh annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford.  He has published four novels: John Crow’s Devil, The Book of Night Women, A Brief History of Seven Killings which was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf. He is now living in Minneapolis. 

 

Which of the Marlon James Novels Have You Read? Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

Featured Author: L. A. Banks

For black history month this year I wanted to try something that spoke to the blog itself while still shedding light on fantasy and writers of color. Each Friday for the rest of February. I’ll be sharing another talented author and their body of work.

ec3eab148b2944dfd84495eb900e8a8a3355255612623085561.jpgThis week I have the special pleasure of highlighting not only an amazing, award winning author, but also a legendary Philadelphia native whose body of work crossed genres.

I’m describing none of other than author Leslie Ann Esdaile Banks. She has written under the pen name Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks and L. A. Banks. With the latter penning at least 19 books in the dark fantasy/horror.

Inspired by her life experiences and the abnormal intensity of crime and political injustice in the city. She created a world where she could express her political views and cultural experiences to the world. A world where the CEOs of major companies were vampires draining the life’s blood from African American youth. 

Born in 1959, Leslie has won numerous awards but is most noted for snagging the 2008 87a26fba2e588539f7ed1f528bf5dd847992586320228627.jpgEssence Storyteller of the Year literary award.  As L. A. Banks she wrote The Vampire Huntress, Crimson Moon, Dark Avengers and The Dark series. However she has written in multiple genres, including African-American literature, romance, women’s fiction, crime suspense, dark fantasy/horror and non-fiction.exploring different nationalities and cultures within her work. 

I recall hearing the name but never actually read anything from her. I honestly wouldn’t have known about her if I wasn’t actively looking for authors of color who wrote in the fantasy genre. She lived in Philly this entire time! 

Sadly Mrs. Banks passed away from cancer on August 2, 2011, at the age of 51. She left behind a daughter, Helena Esdaile and a literary catalog to make any book-lover drool. That’s what makes L. A. Banks this week’s featured author. I’ve already added Bad Blood and Minion to my TBR. 

 

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Have You Read The Vampire Huntress Legend or Crimson Moon series? Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

Check out this video of the late, great Ms. L. A. Banks Queen of the Vampires, tamer of Shadow wolves. 

Be Expo 2018: Children’s Books for Kids of Color

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My weekend was one to remember for sure!

A few weeks ago when I was obsessed with the flower show! I should’ve been researching and getting my hustle on for the 2018 Be Expo! I was fortunate enough to grab a ticket, even scored me some expo swag. 20180317_1711011066486878.jpg

The BeExpo was sponsored by Radio One Philadelphia, and is one of THE largest expose catered towards promoting diversity and empowerment in the city. The vendors were local, some were faces you may have seen at others festivals.

I have a weird relationship with crowds; as more people flooded the convention center’s walking space, I realized that it would soon be time to leave. Just before we ended our day however, I was able to snag a peek at the cover of a book. It was Pinnochio, and I didn’t actually by that book. Instead I purchased, The Adventures of Jahloni & Jahbril,  a story about two Rastafarian boys who become superheroes after finding a magical ancient book hidden under their parents bed. The book sends them 20180317_1717121960211158.jpginto another universe filled with Dinosaurs and new adventures. The Adventures of Jahloni & Jahbril is best suited for ages 6 to 9. Urban Toons will be expanding into the world of apps for kids, but started remixing common beloved fairy tales, and setting them in a locale that children from different backgrounds would be familiar with. Urban Toons is also based in Philadelphia, so I’m even more happy to show support.

 

The other hidden find of the expo was a booth I’d walked right by when we walked into the event. A circle of20180317_190439909092533.jpg people crowded my view and I wasn’t able to get a look at what was being sold. Luckily as we were leaving I was able to catch another author selling his children’s book. There was a series called “Aron’s Adventures” also featuring an african american as the main character.screenshot_20180322-1956041630791066.jpg

The author Nahjee Grant was kind enough to speak with me briefly about his series. He is also the creator and host of the children’s TV reading show Really Exciting and Delightful Stories and travels to various schools as a motivational speaker. His Cool Smart Kid books, are geared towards people of color and at risk youth.

My day at the BeExpo was one for the books, I met many more authors, but that’s for another post. If you missed out, be sure to grab your tickets early next year. The event featured workshops, panel discussions, health screenings, and shopping at vendor’s booths.

 

What’s Your Favorite Children’s Story?

Leave A Comment Below!

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

My 2016 Reading Challenge!!!

Earlier this year I wanted to really commit to making myself a better writer. As my high school writing teacher would say writers –write, and therefore to become better writers you must read and then write some more. Who knew that while i was rolling my eyes then I’d be going back to those words now. In the thick of writing my very first trilogy I find myself grasping at anything not a research book to read. My imagination was truly becoming depleted. It was then that I decided to go back to the list of books I wanted to read. Initially I compiled the list for research. When deciding to write a book you have to decide on a genre and my genre is Urban Fantasy. I jumped in head first adding any book that seemed remotely interesting. Some titles sounded familiar though I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading them. They went on the list. Other novels i’d never heard of an hadn’t known they even existed. They also went on the list. I spent a large portion of time looking into Mythic Fiction. As my sub-genre it’s good to know the competition and what ideas have already been tried. At one point my boyfriend the afro-centric individual that he is commented about a lack of African American representation in my genre which sent me down a path to find not only black characters but black authors as well. The effort was definitely worth it. When i finished i’d collected more than 50 books in which to read this year. My 2016 goal is still 50 books of the Urban Fantasy genre. At present I’m starting with Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”.  I’m attempting to read at least two books a month. Wish me luck!

 

Feel free to start on this list where ever you choose!

 

50 books I want to read over the next year.

 

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol
    1. Through the looking glass (sequel)
  2. Moon Called:Mercy Thomspon  Book #1- Patricia Briggs
  3. Dead Witch Walking: The Hollows Book #1 – Kim Harrison
  4. American Gods #1 – Neil Gaimen
  5. Mistborn:The Final Empire
  6. The lies of Locke Lamora:Gentleman Bastard Book 1 – Scott Lynch
  7. Vampire Kisses:Book 1 – Ellen Schraiber
  8. Sister Sable: The Mad Queen #1 –
  9. The Magicians – Lev Grossman
  10. Modern Faierie Tales – Holly Black
  11. Iron Thorn – Caitlyn Kittredge
  12. The Name in the Wind – Patrick Rothfus
  13. Practical Magic – Alicia Hoffman
  14. Courting Darkness – Yasmine Galenorn
  15. Something Wicked – Catherine Mulvany
  16. Divine by Mistake – PC Cast
  17. Woven – Michael Jensen and David Powers
  18. The Mephisto Covenant – Trinity Faegan
  19. Dancer’s Lament – Ian C Esslemont
  20. Age of Myth – (Book One of the First Empire Series) – Michael J Sullivan
  21. The Cainsville series Book#1- Kelly Armstrong
  22. The Conjure Woman – Charles Chestnutt
  23. Kindred – Octavia Butler (Showed up on various sites)
  24. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
  25. Who Fears Death – Nnedi Okorafor
  26. The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
  27. Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings
  28. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
  29. Vampire Huntress  – L.A. Banks
  30. Amber and the Hidden City by Milton Davis
  31. Knights of Breton Court (series) by Maurice Broaddus
  32. Brookwater’s Curse (series) by Steven Van Patten
  33. Immortal (series) by Valjeanne Jeffers
  34. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  35. Taurus Moon (series) by D.K. (Keith) Gaston
  36. The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan by Zig Zag Claybourne
  37. Redeemer: The Cross Chronicles by Balogun Ojetade
  38. African Immortals Series – Tananarive Due
  39. My Soul to Keep – Tananarive Due
  40. So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy
  41. Mindscape – Andrea Hairston
  42. Filter House – Nisi Shawl
  43. The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
  44. Shards and Ashes – Anthology (Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong etc.)
  45. The testing – Joel Charbonneau
  46. Superhuman – Michael Carroll
  47. Vampyres of Hollywood – Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Scott
  48. Etruscans: Beloved of the Gods – Morgan Llywelyn, Michael Scott
  49. The drafter – Kim Harrison
  50. Undead and Unwed:A Queen Betsy Novel – Mary Janice Davidson
  51. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Series
  52. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wait For You
  53. Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster
  54. Colleen Hoover’s Slammed
  55. Cora Carmack’s Losing It.