Sunday, October 5, 2014

Black Speculative Fiction Month Day 5, Author ValJeanne Jeffers #BSFM

So Im most familiar with the next author we interviewed through our mutual connections. ValJeanne Jeffers has written in multiple Speculative Fiction genres, such as Steampunk, Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, so obviously she has her work cut our for her.
This is her first time on our blog, and what better time than Black Speculative Fiction Month!

Looking at your titles, you've been a very busy author.There seems to be a common theme in
your writings. Most if not all your books fall under the Speculative Fiction Genre. What draws
you to write Speculative Fiction?

Speculative fiction, in my humble opinion, is the most wonderful genre ever created! In what
other motif can you create an alternate universe, give your characters preternatural powers,
and make a statement about the human condition? You're only limited by your imagination.
As an author, I like having that kind of freedom— the freedom of not being constricted by the
laws of our physical universe.

With science fiction you can use your character's “powers” to make statements about
who they are. You can even manufacture the kind of world you'd like to live that is
imagined, but (perhaps) not impossible, such as in the “not-too-distant-future” worlds. After all
40, years ago cell phones and modern computers were science fiction. Two hundred years
ago, so were airplanes.

How long have you know about Black Speculative Fiction Month and what are some ways
you celebrate it?

I found about BSFM in 2013! In 2013 I began to celebrate it by blogging on Tumblr and
Wordpress about awesome speculative fiction novels I’ve read. Here's a link to a blog article I
wrote in 2013.

#BSFM Article 2013

This year I’m celebrating BSFM with a blog series entitled, “Fanastic Books I’ve Edited,”
which will run through October It’s a series which showcases
the fantastic authors and books I’ve had the pleasure of working with as an editor.

Have there been any AA authors you felt really inspired you to write in the Speculative

There have been so many! In my youth, I read a lot of YA SF/fantasy, pulp fiction and African
American literature. I was addicted to the Nancy Drew mystery series and to Marvel comics.

But I also devoured the works of Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and
Chester Himes. I'm the daughter of two English teachers, so AA literature was required
reading in my household. But I didn't enjoy them any less because of this.

I later came to feel that the magic realism of African American literature (especially the novels
of Himes and Wright) had a profound effect upon my evolution as a writer. I mean take
Richard Wright's The Outsider, for instance, in which the protagonist fakes his own death and
recreates himself. This is the classic stuff of pulp and science fiction!

During my last five years as a writer, I believe I was most strongly influenced by Octavia
Butler, Charles Saunders, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, and Steven Barnes.
Of course I have other favorite authors, who I know have impacted me—folks like Carole
McDonnell, Quinton Veal, Ronald Jones, Edward Uzzle, Milton Davis, Joe Bonadonna,
Derrick Ferguson, Balogun Ojetade and B. Sharise Moore.

What are some ways you think people can do to spread more awareness about the event?

Blog, tweet, and tweet some more! I’ve also found facebook to be an excellent venue for
spreading the word about various events. Also, readers can pick up books by their favorite
authors, read them, and review them—even if it’s oly a line ot two. As an author, I can tell you
that fifty percent of what we do is for our readers. So we love getting feedback from them. It
lets us know that folks out there are reading and enjoying our books.

Finally what are some books you'd recommend written by black authors in the Speculative

Well of course I’d recommend my own novels! Readers with a taste for science fiction/fantasy
readers can check out my Immortal series.

For steamfunk/horror aficionados I’ve just released: Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective.

I’ve also written a steamfunk novel entitled The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I and II);
and I’ve just released a space opera entiled: Colony Ascension: An Erotic Space Opera.

Readers can preview or purchase my books at my personal site: http:// and Amazon:

There are so many other AA speculative fiction books that I’ve read and enjoyed! I can’t
possibly name them all! But here are some of my speculative fiction picks. . .

Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed and Imago (series)

Charles Saunders’ Imaro series and Damballa

Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep (series) and The Good House

Edward Uzzle’s RETRO KM: Lord of the Landlords

Derrick Fergsuon’s Dillion and the Voice of Odin and The Adventures of Fortune McCall (both

Milton Davis’s Meji Books I and II (series)

B. Sharise Moore’s Taste: An Erotic Fantasy Series

Geoffrey Thorne’s Truth Metric and Thanks to Captain Go (series)

Ronald Jones’s Warriors of the Four Worlds.

Carole McDonnell’s Wind follower and The Constant Tower.

Balogun Ojetade’s The Chronicles of Harriet and Once Upon A Time in Afrika

Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in The Ring and Midnight Robber

Brandon Massey’s Within the Shadows and In the Dark

Alicia McCalla’s Breaking Free

Rasheedah Phillips’ Recurrence Plot (And Other Time Travel Tales)


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