Review Cheats—Shameful Author Behaviour

Watch out for this scam. I hope Amazon & Co. find some way to block spam-reviewers.

Dionne Lister - Author

Hey, peeps. I haven’t done a ranty post in a while, but ranty Dionne is back! I find getting this stuff out of my system by writing it down helps, and why not educate readers and other authors while I’m at it. Today’s post is all about the wonderful world of authors scamming the Amazon system to trick unwary readers into buying their books.

I must state right out that I may be 43, but I’m naive, to a degree. Whatever I do, I do it honestly, with passion, and to the best of my ability, so it really comes as a shock to me when I discover people scamming the system. Writing has been my biggest passion of all (aside from my family). Ever since I was maybe nine or ten, I knew I wanted to be an author, and I’ve spend a good part of my 30s up…

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Afro Queen

Afro Queen Poem Image
Afro Queen Poem

UPDATE (14/12/2014): this was scooped by some random guy in France via Twitter. I was super stoked to see it! Check it out HERE. Special thanks to @MarkGKirshner for this honor.

On Diversity

I agree with the general direction of the post. Even though diversity is a nice thing, writing will always the reflect the writer.
It’s the “Write what you know” paradigm.
Geeks write geek fiction, funny people write the best humorous fiction etc. It’s the reason why in US sci-fi is American centric and Japanese Anime is Japan-centric.

On that point though, cognisance must be taken of the fact that Japanese Anime, for a country which is clearly less diverse, represents significant character diversity when compared to Western Cartoons (including black and european characters).
It IS true that even for western SFF that is set on a global scale, global representation can be extremely skewed for no good reason.
As a teen I was irritated by Julian May’s Galactic Mileu – So many world cultures and yet the cultural identities with the strongest Psychics (Irish, Polish and French/Franco-American) were all caucasian! Tell me that isn’t skewed.

I think for diverse writing, what we need to look towards is diverse authors and artistic freedom during formative years.
Stereotyping is real and it does affect the type of fiction a budding writer is pushed towards writing. As an African writer I am continually given subtle pressure to write something ‘real’ and political after the nature of great African writers.
Freedom of expression and growth needs to apply to authors as well – even to the extent of crossing over or colouring our work with other genres.

Diversity in writing isn’t an ailment in itself, it’s merely a symptom of a larger social shortcoming.

SEGT: Scene 2 Prewriting

Hello mine underlings of the 9 realms of Yggdrasil ( see the about page for an explanation of that craziness)

Two nights ago I was struck by inspiration at the witching hour, for scene 2 of the Silver eyes golden torcs (SEGT) serial anthology. Read scene 1 on wattpad [here]

Relax. The witching hour is nothing supernatural, it’s just a time frame between 0100 and 0400 where I’m half dreaming and half awake. I borrowed the term from Roald Dahl’s ‘The Big Friendly Giant’.

I got my trusty iPad stylus and jotted down the ideas that came to me. This was one of the concrete ones that developed (Sorry. My handwriting is rather atrocious) :

IMG_0256Translation (for those of you who don’t read Scribblish) – Begin with: Aya, the left half of my heart, the right half of my soul, has left. She didn’t just leave me. She left any hope for an US.

I also scribbled down the format I would take on this scene. I went for a T-minus countdown slash first person journal kind of vibe. See below:IMG_0255Translation: 3 days to go, 2 days to go, 16h 25mins to go. A counter begins in my head… 682 days to go.

I’ll post a preview of scene two on this blog by 1900 GMT…hopefully. The full scene (short story) will only be available on wattpad [search for me on wattpad: @kwesiwoode].

SEGT is a dystopic parody of real world events, even though it is social/political science fiction. I’ll probably post the core, real world event that inspired each scene on this blog as we go along.


WRITING TIP: Pre-write, Speed-write, Post-write and then Edit and Review. This five step process can save a lot time. It’s also a sort of vaccine against major attacks of writers block (the minor ones like the: I-need-a-perfect-word-for-this migraine may still persist. If symptoms persist for more than 3 days, see your Mentor)

I have seen many forms of pre-writing, but ultimately, I believe you have to pick a style of pre-writing that you are comfortable with.

Will talk more about the five step process later…. and now I realize that with just this one post I have created a tall list of blog posts that I have to write (sweatdrop and shivers).




DreamHart Introduction

The following piece is from the introduction of what was supposed to be a writing exercise. The narrative, you may notice, is far more casual and conversational than I usually use in my fiction pieces.

I’m going to start out on the pre-writing for it and see how it goes. If it’s too similar to something I’ve already created, I’ll probably end up scrapping it.

I think I have a problem, but I don’t think I can solve it.

I think I have a problem, but there’s no one I can talk to.

I know it sounds cliché, but I have always known I was different. Not different like in a “Harry Potter, the boy who lived” kind of way. But different in a subtle, don’t fit in with the world way.

Okay, let me be honest. I don’t think I was always this way. Wait. Was I?…

Nope, not if memory serves me right. Childhood memories can be a bit tricky though, so I guess that leaves room for doubt.

Sometimes I have an echo of that dream, it’s a little bit distorted though. Like ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond…

By that dream, I mean the dream that probably marked the point at which I changed.

Maybe that’s why I have an unnatural attachment to comic books and manga. I probably looked to them for explanations, a way to find myself.

Manga are cooler than comics by the way, just in case you think otherwise. If you do think otherwise, you might need a lobotomy. I’m not being mean or anything, don’t get me wrong, fact is fact.

Now, where was I?…Yeah. I said I am different. In a weirdly awesome way though, nothing grossly weird like an extra mini-boob or a teeny penis or anything.

My awesomeness is in four parts, brace yourself…

First, I can see behind myself. Like literally. I only do it when I want to. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like trying to describe how you wiggle your ears (which I can also do, in case you’re wondering).

Let me see… Aha! See like how even when you’re looking forward, you can expand your field and make use of peripheral vision? Ok. My peripheral vision is better. Unless I’m reading or totally focused on something, I am totally un-sneak-up-on-able.

The second and third bits are even better than the first. I can hear for miles and see smells.

I read up on it. The term for ‘cross overs in sensory perception’ is synesthesia. Cool term huh? I think so too.

The super sharp hearing is annoying though. The number of times I’ve had to lie about not knowing a secret? I can’t even begin to count. It helps that I can hold the hearing back. Like how you can focus your sight far away or close up, unless you are far or near sighted.

The final spot of awesomeness is physical. I think my reflexes are ok, well… I haven’t had much of a scale of comparison. But I can run forever. I was the athletics queen of my school, and I didn’t even try. I skipped training like crazy and I spent most of my time indoors, reading or sleeping (that didn’t do wonders for my popularity with the team, trust me).

I aced almost every track and field event I tried: hurdles, sprints, long distance track, high jump and pole vault. I admit that things that need brute strength like discus and javelin were a bit out of my ball park, but besides that I was pretty perfect.

So, my quadrofecta of perfection again, in case you weren’t paying attention the first time: 360º vision (or close enough), synesthesia, ultra hearing and kinesthesia.

I’m not a super hero though. None of that nonsense. I’m not even a hero, much less a super powered one. Before I knew exactly what was different about me, I was just an oddly blessed non-hero type secondary school girl with an extreme affection for Japanese manga.

Ok, I was ordinary until I ended up being the object of a top secret international man hunt. But that would happen later, much later… and it wasn’t my fault. Well , not totally.

My story is like none other that you have heard. It should be, because it’s mine, not some fictionalized something you’d find on a bookshelf somewhere. But I must warn you, if you want to follow my story, you’ll have to do something first. You have to suspend belief. If you can’t do that, I’d advise you stop reading right now.

I will tell you my story, a story linked that of thousands, or possibly millions of FeraSouls not unlike myself, and I’ll let you decide for yourself whether our cause is just.

I will take you on a journey of how I rose from an obscure developing nation at the centre of the world (quite literally at the centre), to the throne of the DreamHart, leader in spiritus of the Faunus Nation.

I will tell you of how being me affected my ambitions to practice medicine and estranged me from family. I will also tell you of loves I gained and lost and lives that slipped away on my journey.

Sometimes my story will be a gripping page turner, and maybe sometimes extremely boring (my life is not necessarily a 24hour action movie).

I am the first DreamHart to become a public figure, so maybe, just maybe, the story of how that happened will be worth your time.

In order to keep this story unbiased, some chapters will be written by my dear lieutenants and allies. Some chapters will also be accounts from the perspective of my detractors and sworn enemies (I have grown to learn that these two groups of people can quite frequently cross ship without so much as a ‘by your leave’ smh).

Before I blow you away with what I, at least, believe is a saga of very epic proportions, I’ll give you a moment to go hang your disbelief out on the line, curl up on a couch and put your phone on silent.

Are you ready? Good. Let’s get this started then.

My name is Desire Dela Anatsui and I am the Primus; Alpha of Alphas of the Fauns and master of six elements. Some call me the Queen of Chaos, some call me the Black Rabbit and some even call me ‘That B*tch”, but you can call me Dela. This is my story.


The Bachelor’s Ballad


Romantic Poetry with a dark, macabre edge. In retrospect, I should have posted this on Halloween. Ah well, better late than never.


Many Loves have I had
More loves have I lost
Many times I have wanted to hang myself up

Dear Ivy
So lovely
Picked up her saw
gifted me with slashes
wide, bloody and raw
and into those wounds
without second thought
deftly she sprinkled both pepper and salt

Many Loves have I had
Many times I’ve been wrought
The seas cannot hold all the tears that I’ve lost

O bright eyes
so stunning
Such a beautiful smile
well she led me on
for a league and a mile
and when I got to her end
with a wink and a grin
she broke me to pieces
then broke me again

Many loves have I had
More memories of pain
Sometimes I am shocked,
that I am not yet insane

O queen of the Volta
she led me astray
took me to heaven
for a year and a day
but when she was through
what did she do?
dropkicked me to Hades
and bid me adieu

Many loves have I had
More roads have I trod
I shifted my faith, to drink and to drugs

Mary J
how she loves me
she lifts up my bones
and Her?
she never let’s me
overburden my soul
and when I am through
dear Bailey so sweet
let’s me hold her tightly
and sets me to sleep

Many times have I loved
so much harm I have brought
My heart is all shattered
and it’s mostly my fault

I have loved many times
but now I must go
too much sorrow,
no sunshine,
so I had to move
and it hurts me to say
I wish I’d never let go
of that perfect, rare diamond
my first, young, true love

The Rising: Scene 1 Now online!

After a lot of thinking and consideration, I decided to publish the first tetrad (set of 4 short story scenes) of ‘The Rising’ on wattpad. Take a look at it here.

I have already done pre-writing for 3 tetrads and initial manuscripts for the first 6 scenes. Check out a preview paragraph from the second scene here.

Will be posting previews, background and commentary only on this blog so… if you like the story, follow me here. Please also follow me on wattpad (@kwesiwoode) [insert puppy dog eyes].

Making my Second Book Cover

Over the last week a friend of mine asked me to do a ‘logo’ for her Christian fellowship. She’s pretty… very pretty, so of course I said yes. This was the first draft, I tried to keep it simple:
TLC 1st Concept

Apparently simple was not the way to go. She said the design was too simple. She needed it to be more ‘busy’: flourishes and florals and stuff. Well, busy isn’t really my thing, but I tried my best. I wasn’t surprised when she rejected the result:


I ended up passing the work over to another dude (I may have lost out on a fine girl’s number in the process. Well…que sera sera).

I repurposed the work for my own book cover:Silver Eyes Cover‘Silver Eyes & Golden Torcs’ is a learning experience for me. It’s dystopian science fiction which doesn’t use most of the elements that I’m used to: no distortions in reality; no deus ex machina; more death; more mature content etc.

You can read the scenes for ‘Silver Eyes & Golden Torcs’ on Wattpad here:

Serializations will be posted only on Wattpad, (maybe FictionPress later on… can’t tell yet) please follow me on Wattpad ( @kwesiwoode ) to receive updates on my work.