Monday, February 3, 2014

Author Interview Carlyle Labuschagne

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! In keeping with my Monday posts through June, 2014, I bring you another UtopYA Con 2014 unofficial author interview. Yay! If you haven’t picked up your tickets for the event yet, click the name to grab yours today. It’s being held at the Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, I have with me Ms. Carlyle Labuschagne, author of the award winning novel, Evanescent! Get your coffee on and join us!

Jo: Welcome to the blog, Carlyle!
Carlyle: eeeeek! Absolutely excited to be here! Thank you for having me Jo. I so can’t wait to meet you in person in June, it’s going to be an event of a lifetime!

Jo: Ditto! How fun! I usually go into a hard to answer question first, but this one has been on my mind since I first read your last name. Could you tell us how to pronounce it? I’d hate to get to UtopYA and fudge that one up. *grin*
Carlyle: OH dead this is difficult for Americans to pronounce as the tongue moves different (if that makes sense) I will try my best. Labuschagne -
Pronounce : L uh boo sh c h a g n e
The G is more a sound than the accrual pronunciation of the letter g. I don’t think you can pronounce it the way south Africans do directly from English or American. The e at the end is pronounced more like two ee.

Jo: I shall have to practice until we meet! Now that we have that straight, I’m diving into the good stuff. I did a lot of research on you. Through my hunting, I found out you’re quite the force to be reckoned with there in South Africa. We’re gonna start this out with a bang. Tell me about your Help Build a Library in Africa project. What is it? How did you come up with the idea? Why? Is there any coincidence it came about at the same time you launched your first book (perhaps a little marketing genius of yours in there)? How can we help?
Carlyle: LOL Maybe a marketing ploy? – no it was just the rewards that come with knowing I can make a difference. When I launched my first book The Broken Destiny I did it at my kids school and roped in a few authors to showcase their work too. Book Festivals and the book industry is almost invisible in our country. So by starting off at the foundation of our youth I thought it a great idea to sell tickets and raise money for the school and a charity. All proceeds were equally divided between the two. I worked on the launch party for a few months asking authors to donate books as prizes. The library project only really got born months later. My mom was one of the prize winners who won a prize pack with books and swag worth over $500, which my mother than donated back to the school. Months later the Principal opened the school’s first library and I was so thrilled to see my hard word and the generosity of good people go up on the shelves of their library I decided then and there to open the project and start stacking the empty shelves with more Young adult novels. This year will be the second year and I am currently seeking a rape crisis/trauma center to build a library in. I hope to launch the 2nd annual book drive in March this year. If your readers would like to donate a book to The Help Build a Library In Africa Project you can contact me through my email

Jo: It’s an awesome project and I’m happy to help spread the word. In keeping with that helping hand theme, I read your motto is to help others as you would have them help you. Let me start off by saying I couldn’t agree with you more; however, are you ever dissuaded when you put in a lot of your time and effort into helping someone and it not be returned? How does it feel and what do you do about it?
Carlyle: No I don’t really, in my heart I know what my intention was and I may not directly see rewards, but my blessing come in many forms.

Jo: Understood. I’m very much the same way. What’s your greatest writer fear?
Carlyle: To lose my imagination.

Jo: That would be the worst. What would a writer do without an imagination? I tremble thinking about it. I read you’re a full time marketing consultant. How does that help you in the marketing of your own books? What do you feel have been some unique ideas you’ve come up with to help spread the word?
Carlyle: Marketing is something that comes so naturally to me, I can’t help it. I am one of those people who live by moments, and when the moment strikes me, I can’t hold back – I mean I really can’t, and I will do anything to make it happen. I love the creative world, but what good is it if you can’t share it. They first step to marketing is networking. You help others, and they help you. Always have an exploding catch phrase.
I think I have done a rather good job at the marketing of my books, but I always remember and know I can only do so much. I can’t do it without other authors like you, bloggers, friends and family. And sometimes you have to take a risk and hire someone who has the reach you don’t.

Some of the unique ideas I have come up with (all by accident. Initially anyway.) In both my books I have quoted lyrics from one of our Countries biggest rock stars (Prime Circle) with their written consent. I was so taken back when the deal was that they each get a book in return, which I then asked for a photo op of course!

The Launch party I held, I brought on other authors as guests to celebrate the event and to help spread the word.

Last example is getting in touch with my cover model (The Broken Destiny) This too was purely an accident that one of her model friends connected us. Turns out she was a huge celebrity in her country and more than thrilled to share the news of her face on my book. Here is an interview I did with the talented young woman: Meet the model here.

Jo: Wow. If those weren’t strokes of luck, I don’t know what is! It’s also pure marketing genius. Tell me about your Mentorship program. What do you hope to achieve, how do you feel you can help these youngsters, and where did the idea come from?
Carlyle: As mentioned before our country has plenty of catching up to do in the reading, writing and publishing country. They need motivation. This is how I set out to do this by starting with one school at a time.

This is how the contest is set up:
  • First there will be a creative prompt handed out to the students where they write a short piece with given subject and words.
  • The head mistress of Avalon Private School will then chose the top 10 entrants that will go onto the next round -
  • Writing a short story novella, depending on the grade it will be required to be between 15 - 20 000 words.
  • Grades 5 - 7
  • Genres range from Christian fiction. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure and Paranormal. Or a cross genre of all.
  • The top five students will then be chosen by the head mistress A. de Bruyn
  • I will then pic the winner out of the top five.
-Judging on Creative concept
-Fluency of the story
-emotional portrayal of characters
-Description of surroundings
-Sentence structure

This is a mentor ship program where the children will have a website to go to and pick up some writing tips. There will also be a facebook page where the student can send their queries and ask for advice.
This program will teach the student how to become a published author.
From the first draft, to the second. We will take them through the revision and self editing stage.
They then have to submit a query letter with their entry with a short bio, a picture of themselves and a 200 word synopsis of the story.

  • Ebook package
  • Formatting of the manuscript into various ebook formats like kindle and nook. (Morgan Media)
  • Editing services by Sandra Valente
  • Cover design by Morgan Media
  • The publishing company has not been chosen as yet.
  • Mentor ship by Me via website
  • Press release kit by AlleyCats PR
Jo: That sounds like a lot of work! I wish you luck. You continue to blow me away! Being a pantser (one who writes with no plot) is a difficult thing to bear in the Indie community at times. How do you feel it helps you in your writing and have you “pantsed” since you began at age twelve?
Carlyle: I am a pantser in everyday life, and so am I in my writing. I have tried once to plot out the story, and well I drove myself insane, I went in circles. I can’t do it, I drive myself nuts with details. All my writing since I began at the young age of twelve has been and explosion of a moment.

Jo: That’s me as well. I cannot stick to a plot. LOL! I know how backward English is (and difficult) for people learning to speak it. Your primary language is Afrikaans. I can’t even imagine what you’ve gone through. How hard was writing a book in English? What were your major hurdles?
Carlyle: Luckily for me I am fluent in talking and pretty fair in writing. I have always written in English, I don’t know why, I just have. I thought I was really good at it until – the editor!!! Bwaahahahaa. My first book had two editors (now you know) It is very difficult for me as my sentence structure is topsy turvy as an Afrikaner. Don’t get me started on the tenses. English and Afrikaans cannot be directly translated!!! Spelling is an issue too. Then there is the word that is the same but means two different things, depending on how and where you use it??? I only recently go the difference between effect and affect. They key is to keep reading and keep writing, also having a professional editor (or two) I have learned so much, or is it learnt? See what I mean!

Jo: Good editors will make you a better writer, that’s for sure! I know exactly what you mean. Time for the alien question of the interview! I read there was a UFO convention in South Africa in 2011. Did you know about it? Did you go? What do you think of the theories they had about aliens wanting to steal gold from the Earth as an excuse for their visits? Are there any other cool alien theories we should know about?
Carlyle: hahaha! No I did not go, at the time I was working as a beauty consultant and my busy days were on weekends. I think the theory is possible, why not? Gold is one of the most versatile metals in the world, maybe even the universe. It could even be a unique element of our universe because of our planets composition. You can make the thinnest lightest, yet strongest material out of gold. You forget you are talking to a SF writer here – I can go on for books and books! LOL

As for Alien theories – some say we come from aliens? Some say we will become like aliens. Me, I say I am happy as a curious human.

Jo: I’m a believer. It’s creepy if you think about it, but interesting at the same time. Haha! In other news… Congratulations on your book, Evanescent, winning the Young Adult and Teen Readers (YATR) literary award for the best Sci-Fi book in 2013! When you won the award, how did it make you feel?
Carlyle: It means to the world to me to be able to have this award on my credentials, it’s a major platform booster for me as a South African Author. I want to put SA authors on the map. I want to be an inspiration to show the starving youth of South Africa that a dream is the beginning.

Jo: I have a feeling you’ll be successful in that goal. Quick! What’s your favorite flower?
Carlyle: Cherry blossoms – because they grow on trees.

Jo: Pretty! Favorite thing to eat with chocolate?
Carlyle: White chocolate.

Jo: Perfect answer! LOL! What small press are you with and why did you choose to go that route?
Carlyle: I am with Sensational Publications. Firstly I am a writer, a creator, a career woman, a mom and a wife. I am not a publisher, I would rather spend the little time I have on life.

Jo: I get it, believe me. Wearing too many hats makes the head overly warm. *grin* Tell me about the book festival you plan to hold in Johannesburg in 2015. What will it encompass? What are you hoping to achieve? How many hoops will you have to jump through to make it happen?
Carlyle: When I think about it, I know it is so much work, and this time I will need some assistance. In South Africa there are but a hand full of such festivals that cost an arm and a leg. There are none for independent authors. I hope to make it easier for the readers, youth, bloggers, and mostly for the authors to celebrate, educate, and inspire the nation.

Jo: I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I’m sure it’ll be amazing! You talk a lot about editing and how Indie authors should do it until they want to puke. Who is your editor, how did you find them, and what did you learn from the editing process?
Carlyle: My editor is Sandra Valente, and the story of how she became me editor is a touching one indeed. So here I am two weeks away from release date and I get my proof copy. It is only after I physically read the first 100 pages I decide I want to die from embarrassment, by this time the review ARC’s have gone out to bloggers. (Impatient me) Sandra (bless her soul) was one of those bloggers who started reading it the same night I did. She called me up the next day and we were at that point both in a panic – my book could no way no how go out in that condition, she then offered her services as she was so in love with the story she had to give it the attention it so deserved. Out of the kindness of her heart she immediately began editing my book, and considering the condition it was in – she did and she does always delivers the best. I can not, and will not deliver a product that is half arsed, it can and will make or break the book.

I learned so much from the editing a book. I have improved on sentence structure, flow, attention to certain things. To slow down, to think about the tenses and where my commas go!

Jo: That was completely awesome of her. Gotta love a teaching editor. Time to talk about the featured book! What is it, why did you write it, and what have you learned from the experience?
Carlyle: Evanescent is the second book in The Broken Trilogy. As with the first book it is a story that had to be told, to find live to come out and be born. It’s as much for entertainment purposes as it is for a healing one. With everything I write there is a strong message. I need to touch someone in some way, to make a difference in someone’s life, to illuminate the beauty in the ordinary, in the mistakes, in the person.

Jo: I plan to check it out before UtopYA Con. *grin* Is there anything I didn’t ask/talk about you wish I had?
Carlyle: I think you have covered everything Jo. You’ve been amazing!

Jo: Thank you so much and thanks for joining me here on the blog today, Carlyle! I can’t wait to meet you at UtopYA in June. What a great time we’ll have.
Carlyle: Oh yes, we will. Thank you so much for the opportunity it means the world to me to reach out to your readers! See you in June *whoohooooo!!*

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and meeting Ms. Labuschagne! Here’s the information for her featured book, that’ll be hanging around on the sidebar of the blog for the next two weeks. I urge you to grab a copy!

Title: Evanescent A Broken Novel #2
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Length (print): 380 pages
Purchase Links: Amazon Kindle ~ B&N ~ Indie Bound $3.49

Her fall has just begun. Only his touch can save her from the shift that could destroy it all.

Within my blood runs a thing our kind calls the Shadowing Disease. It shadows over, and bends everything to its will. When the first blood- shift came, it tore through flesh and blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart with its honeyed, seductive poison. It came with vicious intent, moving my thoughts and altering me forever. The shift has caused a rift within me. No one was safe when it entrapped me in its claws of foul lust. But I have the only antidote against the evil that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the spurs of sweet darkness that clung on for dear life. I knew what I had to do; the desperation pulled my mind with the deep determination of a hungry predator. By the time the revelation raised me from the dark dungeon of my bounds – it might have been too late.

While your finger is in the clicking mode, why not give Carlyle a follow on social media?
Facebook: Carlyle Labuschagne
Twitter: @CarlyleL
Pinterest: CarlyleL

This awesome author is doing a giveaway just for y'all! Enter, enter, enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have any questions for Ms. Labuschagne? If yes, drop them into the comments below!

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity Jo Micheals <3 Really cant wait to meet you!

    1. Thank YOU for letting me dig through your life and ask hard questions, Carlyle :) I can't wait to meet you either. We're gonna have so much fun. :)

  2. Wow, I'm impressed! The mentorship program sounds amazing! The series has a very creative premise as well, I like the sound of it and the covers are beautiful.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Hearther!

    2. I was impressed, too, Heather. You should've been the one trying to decide what of her awesome feats to ask about. She's a rock star :) Thanks for the blog love :)

  3. Amazing interview both of you. I'm so impressed with everything you take on Carlyle, you are one hell of an amazing woman. Yell if you need any help.

    1. Thank you Isabella the trick is to not just dream but make it happen! Thank you for the offer xoxo

    2. Isn't she awesome? Thanks for the compliment on my interviewing skills, Isabella, and welcome to the blog! :)

  4. So wish I could go to Utop YA. Thank you for the giveaway

    1. I have to know, Bobbi... What's stopping you from joining us? :) If it's a ticket problem, well, authors get a couple of those... one of us might have an extra one lying around... Welcome to the blog and thank you for the comment :)

  5. Fantastic interview and giveaway!

  6. Wonderful interview and thank you for the giveaway. What if you already have a copy of The Broken Destiny, are you still eligible for the amazon giftcard?

    1. Thanks, Nikki! I had a lot of fun with it. I'm sure you are. Don't know why it would be a problem, especially since you're a fan :) Welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment!


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