Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Relentless

Thought I’d share a bit of poetry with you. The ebook is free anyway:). I hope you have nothing vs. verses or feelings. Here is a poem from Versus Verses – Feel.

        Relentless

My devils are obstinate,

My devils are mean.

I think I have conquered,

But here they begin.

They sneak up within me,

They gnaw and annoy,

And the more they torture,

The more they enjoy.

‘Just stop, go away,’

I chase them and plead.

Won’t let them control me

Or let them take lead.

The battle goes on,

More bitter or less.

They’ll never give up,

I’ll stay relentless.

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CROOKED INTERVIEW with MARK FINE

The CROOKED TALES is another bountiful reader feast prepared for you by Readers Circle of Avenue Park and 15 extraordinary authors from around the globe. It contains 15 short stories on deception and revenge from all genres and walks of life, and is now available in kindle and paperback. It gives me a mixture of pride and humbleness to state that my story Beneath is also featured.

This spring I have an amazing treat for you as these superbusy authors have agreed to be my blog guests and do an interview. Crooked Tales inspiring my crookedness, I have also given them a task – in the second half of the interview they have to interview themselves:). 

To open this series of Crooked Interviews, here is MARK FINE, a man whose autobiography alone would make for a stunning movie. Thank you, Mr Fine!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Fine [Mark of the Hyena], a self-confessed, tone-deaf music executive, was born in South Africa, However, now Los Angeles is his home. There with his two sons—and Charlie, an affectionate neighbor’s dog—Mark wrote his historical fiction novel, The Zebra Affaire—the story of a mixed race couple and their struggle to survive under the racist regime’s oppressive 1970’s apartheid policies. Mark also takes a broader look at the travails of greater Africa; a topic that concerns him greatly. A charming aspect of Mark’s writing is how he looks to nature—Africa’s animals and wildlife—for inspiration and a solution to human shortcomings. In the process of telling the truth via the freedom fiction provides, a reviewer said, “Mark Fine has been brave like William Faulkner in his journey of truth telling – he has simply done it with a much different kind of Southern accent.”  For further info on Mark, check out these links— Website: finebooks.co Blog: Fine Ruminations~ or you’re welcome to connect on Facebook and Twitter: @MarkFine_author

THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story  (Paperback)

THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE  (Kindle Edition) 

INTERVIEW

– What is your Crooked tale about and what inspired it?

MARK OF THE HYENA: ‘Fish out of water’ stories intrique me. The set up of an elite academic from New York City stranded in the Kalahari desert with a tribe of San Bushmen as his only means of survival was too tempting to ignore. In the telling we learn of hubris wrapped in first world arrogance, and simple grace in respecting nature’s lore. 

– What do you like writing and/or reading best? 

I now have so many stories within me to tell, I’ve shifted my focus to short stories. This permits me the time to write them, and affords busy readers the time to read them.

– What else do you do in life apart from writing?

I mentor aspiring talent in both the music world, especially songwriters, and print publishing. It is the joy of collaboration that finally motivates me.


– What are you currently working on?

An historical fiction/suspense novel based in sub-Sahara Africa. It is based on a true story, and has the tantalizing title, “THE CULTURED SPY”.

CROOKED INTERVIEW

Conversation with myself: The whys and wherefores that shaped author Mark Fine’s novel, “The Zebra Affaire”

Mark Fine: What was the genesis of Zebra Affaire? Was it a grueling process or did it write itself?

Myself: More complex, more a creative evolution. I originally wanted to write a biography about my father. But, despite his accomplishments, he remained a modest man. I began to sense that the notion of a biography would be awkward for him. So I scrapped the idea. However, a great deal of research I’d already completed about his life and times. Subliminally, my mind must have churned away at this problem, because one day—a true kismet moment—the idea of courageous love story between a white woman and black man in the land of apartheid manifested itself. Only then did The Zebra Affaire ‘write itself’.

Mark Fine: Did you find that, as the characters developed, they changed the trajectory of the story from the original vision of the book?

Myself: The arc of the story remained surprisingly consistent. Probably because I wrote the end of my novel first. Seems counterintuitive, but it made sense to have a final destination as a guidepost. Kind of like a closing argument in a legal trial, I instinctively focused on the book’s conclusion when I began. Of course, as characters assumed a life of their own, the ending was constantly revisited, and refined.

Speaking about characters, I enjoyed adding the animal world and their instinctive code-of-honor into the story. As allegories to the foibles of human behavior, the natural behavior of these creatures was rather instructive. I’m thrilled I found a place for Africa’s wildlife in the book. It makes the experience all the more authentic for the reader, and foreshadows the human narrative at the heart of the story in a fresh way.

Mark Fine:  Which of the characters, if any, did I shape from personal experiences?

Myself:  The patriarch, the DGF character, typifies the decent people that tried to make a difference within the discriminatory apartheid system. Despite onerous job restriction laws that prohibited people of color from any management position, the real DGF did in fact hire and mentor a black man as a senior executive for a public company—despite such a hiring being illegal.

Due to the real DGF’s mentorship and ‘civil disobedience’, Rupert Bopape became a legendary music producer and label chief. DGF’s philosophy was simple in a complicated color-shaped society: merit is the only sustainable litmus test, and surpasses all other things that divide, such as race, tribe, gender, and faith. 

In the context of the times, DGF was quietly brave. Now for a confession, my late father David Gabriel Fine inspired the DGF character. Fittingly, by weaving his memoire within the tapestry of my historical fiction story I was finally able to pay tribute to a wonderful man, and terrific dad.

Mark Fine:  Your Zebra Affaire story deals with many areas of history and diverse ethnic groups. How much of the final work was a result of inspiration or research?

Myself: The schism between the various races and tribes was my motivation to write the novel, as it remains a cautionary tale. I felt the world tends to adopt a simplistic ‘bumper-sticker’ view of what in reality is a more complicated state of affairs. Things are invariably seen in stark black and white, when in fact it’s anything but immutable. For example, in South Africa the white clans hated each other (English speakers versus the Afrikaners from Dutch heritage), as do the various native tribes (Zulu, Sotho, Venda, Xhosa and others). It’s ironic that South Africa’s motto was “Unity is Strength” when it was such an intensely balkanized society.

But the challenge as a writer was to humanize this constantly shifting tide of societal unrest, and so the context—shocking for that time and place—of an illicit interracial romance. As such, the arcana of South Africa’s convoluted legal code needed thorough research.

However, my main goal is to entertain the reader. It’s the thrilling fusion of romance and suspense set against a canvas that’s vividly authentic and powerfully provocative that makes The Zebra Affairestory worth writing, and reading. This is about the courageous love story of Elsa and Stanwell, the two of them on a collision course with the mighty racist regime, which is the compelling narrative that draws the reader through the book’s pages. If the reader becomes better informed in the process, well, that’s an added bonus.

Mark Fine: If you could return to post-apartheid South Africa and make sweeping changes, what would they be?

Myself: Out with the men! The women of Africa are saints. That image of a humble woman walking miles in the heat of day, barefoot, with a five gallon bucket of water balanced on her head—and with a baby wrapped in a blanket bound to her back, is for me the essence of selfless sacrifice. Unless there is another Nelson Mandela, these women should represent the true voice of Africa. Tireless and dedicated they may be, yet sadly they remain marginalized, underappreciated, due to gender discrimination and patriarchal tradition. I believe it is time for an authentic, nurturing, honest African woman to become the next president of South Africa! Maybe this will become the topic of my next book…

MARK FINE’S QUESTIONS for other Crooked Tales authors

Do you find a silver lining in a bad review? If so, please give an example.

What percentage of the research you do for a novel actually lands up on the printed page?

Do you have an author you admire? If so, why?

Could the Crooked Tales authors please reply to this kind gentleman in the comments below? Other authors also welcome:)

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The World of Poetry

Celebrate #WorldPoetryDay with a #free #ebook

#kindle #feel #inspirationalwomen 

Versus Verses -Feel

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Still…

Just finished editing the 1st chapter of The Forest of Trees. It is clear to me now why I delayed. Those people and creatures in that book… they are so alive to me. Some still hurt, some bring joy…

But on the editing upside, time has finally given me enough detachment from the words to be able to cut out the superfluous and add what the characters and story need. I will do right by them all.

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Who’s afraid of a little poetry?

So excited my first poetry book has reached all major book purchase sites and it is #free! Now on Amazon, too!

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Have you smiled today?

I thought you might enjoy this sneak peek into a funny romantic comedy I wrote.

Ocean waves gently caress the sandy shore as I remove the immaculate, semi-trasparent curtains from the wall-to-wall windows.
I hear his breathing change. His husky voice calls to me.

‘Good morning, Mrs Bronson!’

I turn around, proud and in love, my bare feet savouring the deep, fluffy white carpet. 

Oh what a heavenly man! And all mine.

He stretches like a powerful tiger across the white sheets and his naked body makes me tremble. The mischief in his eyes is irresistible! My lips quiver and my knees feel like jelly. My thumb strokes the wedding ring from the inside of my palm.

I smile, conveying to him everything he already knows and feels himself, and more. My throat goes dry as I feel myself pulled to his muscular torso like a magnet. 

He taps the bed gently. My tongue draws a wet layer over my lips. 

I can’t wait. I step forward and…

***

‘Thump,’ I fell from the tram seat, my face gluing itself flat on the floor, next to a set of smelly, overworn sneakers, my hands too busy clutching on to my purse instead of protecting the face.

Reality check! A major one! 

I spit the filth and drool from my mouth, and struggled to unglue my forehead from the floor.

   The chewing gum, which had been there for just enough time to get that semi-dry quality, had obviously been waiting to serve this particular purpose. I got up, mercilessly removing the gum from my skin, and it resisted my efforts, sneaking underneath my nails. Cheeky sod! Wet wipes helped, I hoped. 

I fixed my hair and adjusted my clothes, mumbling something like ‘low blood sugar’ to save face, deluded into thinking anyone in the tram cared. 

Gotta love cities – full of warm, caring people! Come to think of it, if anyone had tried to help, I might have gone to second base with them, mistaking them for my dream doctor.

#Read yourself into a #fun, #relaxing and #romantic #Sunday!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/anita-kovacevic/id911847279?mt=11

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Why authors♡ their characters

This has truly turned out to be an interesting series, with some more authors still to come by the 28th of February. I am grateful to all my guests and their readers fans who are quirky enough, just like I am, to love (and hate) book characters as if they were real. Well, they are, right;)?

Why I love…

There is a work in progress which has been lying in my writing cupboard for a while now. It only needs the final edits, but it is has taken such a large chunk of my life while writing it, and when it was finished, and read by several beta readers, I realized it is such a highly unusual blend of a children’s fairytale and adult horror that it might not be publishable. So I set it aside. 

However, the more it waits, the more convinced I am that it is meant to be what it is, just as it is. What is more, several beta readers have asked me about it, my loved and hated characters from it visit me from time to time, and too many things in all areas of my activity pop out unexpectedly to remind me of this novel. 

Therefore, this spring might finally bring The Forest of Trees to light. It has been the most intense book I have worked on so far and I live so many characters in there, even the trees. Especially the trees. And the children, each bearing the burden of their upbringing and character. Their parents – oh boy, how I love some of them. And all the people in that little town of Tillsworth. Well, not the Jacksons, at least not all of them. And the…

Yes. It is time to enter the Forest again. Absolutely.

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Poetry at last!

Never thought I would, but here it is – my first poetry book is available on Lulu.com as of today, with other retailers soon to follow. The ebook is free, whereas the paperback is also available (printing fees necessary).

So if you feel inclined to some poetic meditation, the highs and lows of my emotional and linguistic playfulness, here is the link.

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Anita Kovacevic

The Threshold is definitely not a romantic story. It blends reality TV, horror, urban legend and old-style literature; at least that’s what I’ve been told. Despite the eerie role of the threshold in the story, and the villains dominating it, there is a lady in that story who I really love. She only appears in the last two parts, and yet she is one of those characters who you can never quite peg for a side character, or a leading one. Still, Sally Jenkins links the entire story together. She is the reality.

Why I love Sally Jenkins?

Let me introduce her with an excerpt…

“Sally Jenkins was a 32-year-old divorced mum and ambitious producer. She didn’t mind being divorced at all. She had entered her marriage too immature, a complete mess of a person, a work in progress. During the marriage, she felt like moist washing powder tossed carelessly into the washing machine shaft, and sucked into the fast and noisy tumble-dryer. By the end of the marriage, she felt like leftover traces of that powder mash, splattered undissolved all over clothes like a proper nuisance, not really having done what it was supposed to have done, but still sort of there. Her 6-year-old son was her only secret treasure, bounced around on the rollercoaster of her love, her own mum’s care, the kindergarten and the occasional glimpses of the boy’s father, her distant ex-husband, passing through town. She had been working as a producer for a couple of years, but this reality show was her first really big break. Providing ratings were good, Sally was promised a nice bonus and even a considerable steady raise, and it would be so nice not to have to blush in the principal’s office because her ex failed to pay another monthly fee for their son’s preschool.”
Sally, unlike many characters in the story, knows pride and vanity, including her own, but they do not drive her. She respects authority, but without blind adoration. There is no ambition in her, no greed or hunger, although the dreams are still there. Her driving force, which turns her into a compromising survivor, are her motherly instincts. Both feet on the ground, she knows what she wants for her son, but still knows right from wrong. Still young, but touched by bitterness of disappointment and disillusion, she steers through life as best she can, biding her time and not giving in.

I would love to see what happens to her next, and I’d love to see her happy, not just surviving. I can envision her tender moments with her son, and I know he makes her laugh with his sense of humour and endless questions. I’d love to see her chat with Mrs Poole, the quaint old lady from the first part. That would indeed be an interesting conversation! 

Sally is one of the few people who I don’t want to cross the threshold – she has seen herself through thick and thin, and suffered enough. But she’s too smart for that, my Sally is. She has no desire to cross it, to prove anything to anyone, to conquer the demons. She’s lived with her own demons long enough to know how to respect them.

The Threshold on Amazon and Lulu

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New story…

​Just laid out the chapters’ plan for a new story… So exciting. I hope I finish by autumn. Fingers crossed! Illustrations prepared, storyline done, tuning it to verse… Not sure yet if I will use the rhyme version or the common narrative, but there will definitely be some mind puzzles as follow-up. 

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