Ok, so a few people have been asking me “who is Nhakira?” And, “where does her name come from?”
Let’s start in the birthing canal of a character… Sorry, that was a vivid metaphor… but fitting. As writer, I believe in writing with honesty. I want to create characters that say something I believe in – or stand against. I deliver a message, opinion or question inside my characters, and wrap it all up inside a cloak of fantasy, overdose of imagination, and trickery of magic…
So let’s strip away all the newness of my fantasy world, all the magic and spells, crystal staffs and evil bad guys…
Nhakira can be you. She is anyone who is ‘stuck’ in life and want change. She is everyone who wants to ‘break out’ and be who they really are. She hides what she feels, underneath. She is the person fighting for liberty and equality. She’s the girl experiencing ‘first love’. She is the leader of a group that has to ensure success, and every person who has to face life’s challenges. She is the ambitious guy in a new job that has to outsmart others who have been in the game much longer. She is every person who has been discriminated against. She is the one that rises up against all odds to fight back.
Her universe is filled with magic, adventure, dark sorcery, rising of the dead, amazing creatures, demons, prophecies, secrets and enchanted kingdoms. But, her world is also a metaphor for our world. Everything in Nhakira’s story is a symbol that can be related right back to your world. Yes, as reader I want you to escape into her world and get away from your reality. Though, remember, her challenges are much more similar to your real challenges than you might think… But she overcomes them all through friendship, courage, love – and loads upon loads of ass-kicking!
“But she’s a slave, and I’m not a slave,” you’ll say. In some form or another, we’re all slaves to something, are we not? Some are slaves to their husbands and children. Quite a few are slaves to love – or the seeking of it. Many are slaves to work. I’m a slave to my passion and determination to write. Too many are slaves to materialism and money. And a precious few are slaves to bringing ‘good’ into this world… We’re all slaves to something. It’s both a negative and positive term, relative to application and interpretation.
Where does her name come from? Well… She gave it to me. Or rather, that subconscious corner of my brain that created her, made her whisper her name to me one night… Why exactly “Nhakira”… Not even I know. All I know for sure – is that Nhakira came with a unique message for everyone. Every reader will find a message, answer or inspiration they’re looking for in Nhakira’s story. Whether it’s just the seeking of fantasy, magic and fun – you’ll find it! If you want a darker side of fantasy, oh yes, my characters Mathus and Rothgylde will give you plenty of evil and even torture… Or, if you wish to find a few life lessons to ignite your thoughts, you will most definitely receive it through Nhakira, or Sal the Dreamcharmer – and especially through Lady Lalaigne, the ruler of a hidden kingdom…
Who did I write Nhakira for? Easy… I wrote her for YOU. The person reading my words, right here, right now… Nhakira has magic inside her, as do all of us, and she will remind you to rekindle your magic – and create a little for others around you too.
Enjoy her, and her journey. But I must apologize for Nhakira’s behavior through most of the trilogy in advance… She is sarcastic, complex, misunderstood, irrational and very stubborn! She has to be, because how else will we learn? 😉
Now, go experience her for yourself.
Much magic to you all!
Nhakira on Goodreads.com http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16003185-nhakira
US Kindle for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
UK Kindle for Amzon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
Being a creative person, i.e artist and writer, I’m the first to admit: being talented can be tough. It’s a privileged blessing and fun first and foremost! And I would choose to be a creative again in my next lifetime. But, to rise above so many other talents and be seen by a very large world of art and book buyers – is tough.
The highs of selling the first art piece or book is often very quickly followed by the lows of sustaining sales – or even just getting a foot in the door, or a little bit of recognition. Almost every artist, illustrator, designer, writer, author – any creative person – will agree to this.
In my world, the one person who has kicked my creative butt out the ‘this is tough gutter’ – is my mom. Yes of course friends and siblings have done the same. But moms just know how to make you knock that ‘tortured artist’ hat right off! Moms know exactly when to have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to a sorry sod artist, or when to be completely sympathetic when a writing block hits.
The first person to see my art or a new book, is my mom. Not because I seek approval, quite the opposite. My mom can be brutally honest! Recently I read a book summary to her… and she yawned! Rude? No, not really. Honest. That yawn alone saved me from posting a boring summary! I wrote a new summary that same night, and guess what? Sales went up.
Moms, we creatives need you. We won’t always say it, but we do. Many of us are complicated beings who see the world from very different perspectives. In fact, we create whole new realities! My mom keeps my escapist behind firmly on the ground. Her advice is worldly, and I apply it in my business, books and art clients. Her common sense very often adds reality to my ambitious dreamscapes.
All you moms with artists and writers as children – your kids are architects of new universes. We bring new worlds, thoughts and experiences to the readers and art buyers of the world. And that’s quite a job, being such an architect. We often times hit the ‘weird’ button or do something completely inexplicable. But, that’s why we have our maternal units – to just smile and accept us. Or, maybe pull us back in line (I for one sometimes need that! ;)).
So! Mothers of the world (especially my own) – I salute you! This blog post is totally dedicated to every mother who loves her creative child! Even though you may sometimes wonder what alien pod we crawled from… 😉
Many hugs and thanks to you all!
I thought I’d share a few pages to allow readers the opportunity to “peek inside” more than what’s viewable on Amazon 🙂 I want to share Nhakira with the world, and one way of doing so is to allow readers to ‘meet’ her!
Below I’m giving you an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 29. Enjoy!
Something awful was coming into the room along with the evening breeze.
“No… Please no.” Nhakira could only whisper.
Fear had taken her voice.
Although she couldn’t see anything except for a disturbance in the air, she recognized the evil and predatory presence.
The demons were there, directly in front of her. One by one their bodies took shape and it was the most terrifying countenance she’d ever witnessed. If she was ever to see death’s face, this was it. The four Seeker Demons didn’t materialize instantly.
Their bodies sculpted themselves with their intricately shaped skeletons materializing first. Long tails swayed threateningly as the elongated spine and smaller bones twitched and clicked into place.
The whole scene resembled a macabre marionette show. The rest of their frightening bodies took shape; first the veins, arteries and organs slithered over bone. Muscle materialized, swiftly covering their legs all the way up to their heads.
Reptilian skin completed the horrifying pack of Seeker Demons, flexing claws and hissing out deathly breaths. They were huge and towered above Nhakira. Their high-pitched sound was earsplitting loud and made her cringe.
Complete silence fell over the barn.
The Seeker Demons stood perfectly still and poised in predatory positions. One of the Seekers bent forward and opened its snake-like jaw right in front of Nhakira’s face. A long, smooth and shiny black tongue flickered out. It licked her face probingly around her brow, cheek and neck. Nhakira gagged and bit back a scream of revulsion. She could smell decay and death on its foul breath.
The first demon’s head snapped back. It opened its jaw further with a vicious hiss and Nhakira could see at least four rows of razor sharp teeth receding into its throat. It was going to attack. The demon hissed again and Nhakira watched as its jaw opened further. Pungent saliva dripped on her face in thick blobs, and its tongue flicked excitedly when its head dove down straight at her.
The last thing Nhakira saw before closing her eyes was the Seeker’s open mouth right in front of her face with the horrible smell of death engulfing her.
But before the Seeker Demon could bite into Nhakira’s face, a blinding blue bolt struck the demon and drove it through the wall next to her. The other Seeker Demons turned around to see where the attack had come from. Nhakira also peered between their long legs.
A black silhouette stood in the hole through which the Seeker Demons had entered. He was aiming a glowing staff from the shoulder, ready for another blast.
The remaining three Seekers hissed and growled, tongues flicking anxiously. They broke up and started approaching the Dreamcharmer from the front and sides. Jaws opened and horrible snarls escaped the demonic beasts.
Nhakira got up from where she’d been cowering. She couldn’t let the Dreamcharmer get hurt, or worse, die because of her. She had to do something to help him, even if it meant poking one of the bastards with the Srekaw Guard staff.
As if reading her mind, one of the Seeker Demons turned back and growled fiercely. When it lunged for her, another bolt hit the Seeker, blasting it through the same wall as the previous demon. The other two attackers hesitated. They were shaking their heads, communicating. Nhakira could ‘hear’ their sounds again and she sensed they were discussing the best plan of attack, unsure of the Dreamcharmer’s power.
One of them insisted that they attack simultaneously, but the other disagreed saying they should attack from opposite sides as not to give their intended prey a chance to escape. One thing was clear; they intended to butcher both her and the Dreamcharmer.
Nhakira listened to them. Panic and fear mixed to become a disturbing turmoil in her stomach. She had to do something right now, even if it meant sacrificing her life in order to save the Dreamcharmer. He was special, a magical creature who obviously harbored a good, pure heart.
At least her soul would leave this world knowing she’d saved another being. Her stubbornness had brought the Dreamcharmer here to this death trap.
At that exact moment, something shifted inside her. A sensation of power surged through her entire body in a warm sizzling rush. It flowed into every limb and filled her with a force so strong that she felt lightheaded.
Ever wondered what goes on inside a writer’s mind when we cannot focus on the actual work we’re supposed to be writing?
It starts off with ‘The Stare’. Can be at a PC/laptop/tablet/phone screen, or even a typewriter or notebook. ‘The stare’ is just a glass-eyeball stare, quite vacant, reminiscent of a freshly botoxed face. Then the eyes slide sideways…
This sideways slide is the exact moment when it all begins…
Here I am… I can feel my eyeballs sliding. I blink at the tremendous ‘nothing’ going on inside my cranial cavity even though I spent the whole day yesterday moaning over the fact that I couldn’t write. My moan was duly heard in a combination of four-letter words. And not nice words either… #theshame
Eyeballs are still sliding like two recon hovercrafts. Roving, searching, scanning… [insert UFO sounds]
The hovercrafts reach the large windows… YES! Gateways to an outside world! A blip pings on the radar… [searching…searching…]
It is stirring in the Cape Town winter chill *stir…stir* (dramatic)
I Tweet about this exciting LEAF. My fellow writer and weird-minded genius, Whelan, Tweets back that a whole civilization of Groats might be living on this leaf! I agree and I hypothesize that these Groats must in fact exist because the leaf looks vibrant, and I feel soooo anthropological and excited at this discovery!
I decide I shall name the first Groat I meet “Zorgg”. Even if it is a female Groat. I’ll quickly impress them with my beliefs on equality. That goes for androgynous name-giving too…
Groats also enjoy social activities like meeting at a local GroatVeeda for black liquid substances topped with goat foam. They too doodle thoughts onto their moleskins while sipping GroatVeeda liquid. But these are REAL dried moles’ skins, you see. Because Groats have not yet developed ‘book binding’. This is a developmental gift I as superior homo-sapien shall impart onto them. And then they will celebrate The Day of The Jen every 31st July…so proud…
12pm every day, Groats grab their lances and briefs to partake in a folk dance to celebrate multi-color polka dots that were given to them by the Groat god Santa Marchenkievitzitz. They then consume cupcakes – because cupcakes make them tipsy and rowdy, but happy.
…And this is the point where I realize I need coffee. Stat!
Which I shall do… Now. While I Tweet absolute nonsensical nonsensicalness to @whelanism… Hey – writers need Twitter! It’s a healthy inspiration pool where we can be weird AND creative AND it’s completely normal at the same time. Of this I am convinced!
What a paradox 🙂
Join me in the Twitter Paradox…
(I now like saying ‘paradox’)
…really? You’re still scrolling? ;p
NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:
Why do I say that?
Until very recently, when any writer self-published, it was looked upon as ‘vanity publishing’ or the burning label of ‘not good enough’ was firmly smacked onto the writer’s book with a resounding echo of FAIL. Bookstores would pull up their noses as if the self-published book was made out of bison mucus.
The stink and stigma of self-publishing has been as suffocating to writers as a gag that’s been forced into your mouth.
But that gag is coming out.
Thanks to Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc. Yeah sure I am not going to laud them in this blog. I AM however going to say that e-book distributors are paving the way for amazing talents to finally be read. YOU as indie publisher/writer, or even if you’re a reader and supporter of independent writers and publishers – you’re awesome and part of something huge.
Because with every e-book you download, or every self-published book you buy – you are placing a brick in a whole new playing field. And this is a very fair playing field where the game is becoming expediently equal, and in some cases, even tipping in our favor.
The publishing industry is the only industry where “doing it yourself” has been stigmatized. Did you know that? In ANY other industry, when you start up your own business – you’re an entrepreneur. A ‘leader’ even! But in publishing when you self publish – which is basically like opening your own business – you are stigmatized as ‘vain’ or ‘desperate’… How does that even work? It doesn’t. That false label is quickly fading.
THANK YOU to every reader who chooses to download, support or promote independent writers and publishers! You ROCK!!!
Much love –
Nhakira “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:
Yeah OK first of all – do not go and kick someone’s car right this minute. Just hear me out first because I’m going to tell you how…
If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, you have every reason in the world to kick someone’s car! But only on paper though. Unless someone’s car kicked you first. Then the gloves come off dude! You take that sucker down!
We live in a society where we’re taught to be nice – and that’s good. Nice is good. Nice makes things nice… (wow that’s such a NOT very impressive linguistic sentence *slaps wrist*). Anyway! Every so often, we come across a not-Nice person. Whether it’s in a grocery store and there’s this big jerk HOVERING behind you as if his deep mucus-rattling breathing in your neck is going to make the queue go faster! That’s not nice. OR drivers… I cannot begin to count the amount of no-Nice driving I’ve encountered. Especially living here in Cape Town!
And that is when I kick cars. C’mon, we all get frustrated. Does not matter whether you’re the nicest human on this planet – you will have days where you’re frustrated, or tired, or angry, or sad or just in a friggin’ mood. You’ve had that, right? And we can go into “The Law of Attraction” here and actually see why, when you’re in a bad mood, will you attract scumbags in grocery stores and dumbass drivers. But we wont. Not for this blog.
What we will do is justify your imagination. And we’ll justify using your imagination to feel better about a particularly frustrating or enraging situation. And we’ll kick cars together! All on paper… Or like me right now, sitting in a coffee shop with my Macbook. I’m about to write violent things while having a flat white coffee… Somehow that sounds pathological…. Moving on!
When you’re having a conversation with someone…let’s say an arrogant or pompous someone – and this someone says something that either makes you feel infuriated or embarrassed. What do we normally do? Some of us might have a quip at the guy (or girl). But most of us will internalize and walk away, replaying the pompous someone’s meanness and feel unsettled… Now what you should do as a writer is to rewind that conversation. Go back to the exact moment when the pompous someone said the offending thing: now picture exactly what you would’ve done or said…DO IT! DON’T HOLD BACK! (I think 99% of what you’re thinking right now – will be considered criminal. So luckily you won’t physically do it. But WRITE IT.)
You as a writer have the power to be at least a version of a psychologist for yourself. You have the most cathartic tool in the world: the power to transform thought and energy into words and communication. You can take all that negative energy that arises from time to time – and shape the energy into a character, action, scene, message or story. Like a sculptor using clay, you use energy to make new things out of the energy inside you, or energies sent your way. Bad or good.
So even if someone sends you really crappy energy – YOU change it into an awesome literally and figuratively ass kicking scene… I have 3 books coming out between now and September. It’s a trilogy – but I promise you, there are things I write in that book I would’ve loved to do in real life – but Nhakira does them, and she does it well, I’m proud of my girl… Some of its plain scary and I admit it too…
Thus, to summarize – when someone makes you angry… Don’t suppress the anger! Think up a scene in your writer-brain where you act out exactly what you would’ve liked to do!
With your writing abilities – you can change everyday annoyances, frustrations and enraging situations into tangible scenes on paper. That’s powerful stuff. Your readers WILL relate to those scenes, because those scenes will be things THEY thought of too and they will love you for verbalizing their desires… See what I’m driving towards here?
And yes, obviously the same goes for happiness, and happy thoughts! But we’re not writing about happy thoughts right now. No, we thinking about kicking cars and growing huge mech-warrior arms with which to pick up scumbags in grocery stores and shake them upside down until they cry and promise to wear stilettos! And we like it!
…Hey, I feel good for having written that whole mech-arm thing! This writer is officially frustration and headache free… 🙂
Stay awesome you reader you! 🙂