Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Black Speculative Fiction Month, Day 15:Author Alicia McCalla's Thoughts on #BSFM

 So we've been a bit taken back after KidLitCon. We're slowly gaining back momentum, after just a day of being back from California. 

To keep the ball rolling, we're featuring another author today. She's been on our blog before during our first annual Diversity Month event, and it probably wont be the last time she shows back up.
Her book "Breaking Free" will have made our list for best Black Speculative Fiction Month books in the YA catergory by the month's end(still figuring out , out of the pile of many, that we want to skim it down to) but in the meantime, here are author Alicia McCalla's thoughts on Black Speculative Fiction Month!

How did you learn about BSFM? What were your initial responses to the event?
Two of my ATL Black SciFi group members got the ball rolling and put their minds together to develop Black Speculative Fiction month.  It began last year and has blossomed into an opportunity to share diverse stories. Here’s the blog post that discusses the launching of the idea: Balogun Ojetade and Black Spec Fic Month
How do you define Speculative Fiction? Do you think it changes when you add diversity to the genre?

Speculative Fiction is any story that falls “out of the norm” and into SciFi, Fantasy, Paranormal, or Futuristic.  Adding diversity to speculative fiction, gives it added depth. 
How have you celebrated BSFM so far? Do you do anything differently for the event than other online events? Last year, I hosted guest bloggers and had interviews on my blog.  This year, we’d hoped to launch a larger event with Black Cos Players and such at one of our local mall’s in Atlanta but weren’t able to pull it together. Hopefully, we can arrange an event next year.
During October, Alien Encounters is hosted by the Auburn Research Library, it’s a great event and brings Black authors of Speculative Fiction to the Atlanta area to discuss the genre. 

 Who are some of your favorite black speculative fiction authors and why?
Recently, I really enjoyed Qwantu Amaru’s One Blood. It was an amazing horror story spanning history and touched upon issues such as Pan Africanism and Civil Rights.  It was an excellent read.
 Qwantu Amaru Official Site
I also really enjoyed Recurrence Plot by Rasheedah Phillips.  She wrote an awesome set of speculative fiction shorts the detailed the intergenerational poverty of teenaged black mothers using “cursed objects.” Very moving and very telling.
 Rasheedah Guest Post
My writing buddy, AD Koboah has an Urban Fantasy series that is “to die for.”  I’m all tangled up in the world that she’s created. Again, she mixes the painful history of slavery in Mississippi with a dark paranormal twist.  The love story keeps you engaged.  Something for that discriminating reader: AD Koboah Official Site
AD and I had a great laugh. She lives in London and writes about Mississippi but her family is originally from West Africa.  I live in Atlanta and write about West Africa but I’m originally from Detroit. Gotta love it!
There are so many great Black Speculative Fiction authors that I hate only sharing three. Usually, I open my blog to other authors as interviewees and/or as guest bloggers.  The stories are very interesting and add a layer of depth that is not usually experienced in traditional or main stream speculative fiction. I enjoy those stories that have a foundation in Africana history or traditions.  It’s also one of the elements that I add to my own writing.

Why is BSFM important to you?
BSFM is very important to me.  I can see the month growing. It’d be nice to have a BSFM Reader Con or event that brings all of these authors together to discuss the foundation of the genre.  I can see panel discussions, Cosplayers, author signings, Oh MY! 
This month, I’m hosting two authors. Readers are free to stop by and leave comments. Maybe there will be a giveaway or two.  
Also, if they’d like to read about other authors, just visit my blog Alicia's Official Site and search Guest.  They will pull up a treasure trove of authors with neat stories to share. 
I’m currently in the middle of preparing my next book in the Soul Eater series.  I’ve mixed African and Norse mythology.  If your readers enjoy supernatural thrillers, urban fantasy or horror but want to dig deep into Africana history as well as issues of race, class, and gender, they are in for a treat. Soul Eaters Link.
Thanks for hosting me! You all are awesome and I so appreciate the work that you do! 
Alicia is a native Detroiter who currently resides in metro Atlanta.  She works as a media specialist or school librarian in a local school district. Alicia enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
Her first book for new adults, Breaking Free, is available in print or for immediate download. She has an adult series that mixes African-American women's fiction with dark urban fantasy. Check out the Soul Eater series.  Sign-up  on for e-updates, sneak peeks, and coupons.


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