Holy… SH*T… “’10 Steps to a Whole New You’ by Tonya Liburd “This story left me breathless. Broken into ten parts, it progresses through the arrival of a suspicious new neighbour to an intense rebirth. It’s as sharp as a wolf’s bite and as unforgiving as death. I don’t even know how else to explain it other than to say it must be read.” *faints* https://www.tor.com/2021/03/09/must-read-speculative-short-fiction-february-2021/
My reprint, “The Ace Of Knives”, is reprinted in Apex magazine! I’ve had the honour of having both Nisi Shawl use it in her Writing The Other workshops, and Tananarive Due has used it as well, in her Black Horror course in UCLA. In both cases my story was used as an example of code-switching.
I have Rachel Nussbaum to thank, for if it wasn’t for her asking to interview me for an interview series she was doing on he Facebook page, Maurice Broaddus’ attention wouldn’t have been caught, and I wouldn’t have been reprinted.
Speaking of code-switching, I had originally conceived of “10 Steps To A Whole New You” walking back from rescuing an injured starling and handing it in to The Humane Society, near Queen and Broadview, around the middle of December last year, and had planned to do this story as an assignment to turn in as part of Richard Thomas’ Short Story Mechanics class. Based on how the course was designed, that didn’t work out. But I still wanted to work on it, seeing as I had never done a story in this way before. Writing a story in complete Patois had been done; heck, I’d spearheaded the way for SFF stories written in complete Patois, which is basically an English creole unique to the Caribbean, and it varies distinctly from island to island. Writing small segments of a story in Patois I’d done in The Ace Of Knives, for example. But actively switching between standard English and Patois? I hadn’t seen that done yet. So I’m assuming that’s how it got started, because I’m always striving to do something I hadn’t done previously in my work.
My first ever published short story, “The Ace Of Knives”, will be reprinted in the relaunch issue of Apex Magazine Issue 121, next year in 2021! My, but does this story have legs. Nisi Shawl uses it in her Writing The Other workshops as an example of code switching. Same for Tananarive Due, when she was using it in her UCLA Black Horror course. I can say that Jordan Peele crashed one lecture, and it became a Twitter Moment. He also guest lectured. Wee!