Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Decadent Publishing's New Ubuntu Line!!

I'm so excited!

Decadent Publishing is on the Fantasy Floozies to tell us about their

new African Romance line named UBUNTU! Welcome!

Hey everyone! Thanks for having me over – pleasure to be here

today with ye all.

Why did you decide to open this line?

I actually came on board this project when the idea was pretty

much a completed puzzle – as Lisa and Heather, the co-owners at

Decadent Publishing, and the brains behind this line, said back

then, I was the last piece of this puzzle to fall into place.

Lisa and Heather had been talking about the potential of

showcasing the African continent in romance stories, and they’d

been picking up on cues from African authors bemoaning the lack

of prospects to find a publisher that caters for African stories.

And like we mentioned in the spec sheet, it’s easy for the world at

 large to imagine Africa as a big Serengeti plain where there’s a

safari path crossing right in your backyard. *grin* So far from

reality, truth be told! These ladies wanted to do Africa justice, and

it so happened at that point that they found out I hailed from


One thing leading to the other, we got to talking and they asked me

 (in what I thought was an informal exchange of emails!) about the

 potential for African romance and whether there could be a niche

 market for this. I candidly replied that I totally saw a market for

 this genre... and a couple of weeks later, we had the Ubuntu line

 dreamed up into existence and I was on board as the managing

editor (yes, dreams do come true, lol).

But seriously, the purpose of the Ubuntu line is to bring African

 romance to the romance-reading public at large. African romance

 doesn’t simply mean romance between characters with dark skin –

 it’s romance that takes place in Africa, with its mores, cultures, its

 particular atmosphere and way of life, its wide spectrum of races

 and religions that populate this continent and parts of the Indian

 Ocean that are included in sub-Saharan Africa. It is romance from

another part of the world, a perspective not often viewed or given

 the chance to be showcased, especially in the romance and popular

 fiction spheres.

What type of plotlines are you looking for?

Basically romance. If you have that in, then anything else can fly.


I’ll admit we’re looking for tried-and-tested romance storylines

, and why not, category tropes – whether the boss and the

 employee, secret baby plot, Alpha CEO hero and sassy heroine

, marriages of convenience, medical romance. Writers can take all

 of these and spin them within the African context.

What if the medical romance happened in a refugee camp between

 two doctors who work for an organization like Doctors Without

 Borders? What if the Alpha CEO is an expat and finds himself

clashing with the employees in the company he is taking over on

 African soil, and the native, smart and sassy heroine has to come

to his rescue?

IR/MC romance is also on our hit-list. The drama of falling in love

with someone from a different culture, race, and/or religion;

parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles even twice removed all

 butting in to sabotage this love story.

We’re also open to the idea of crossover storylines between

 Ubuntu and the other ongoing lines at Decadent Publishing. For

 example, the Honor Guard line is about military men – what if the

 hero is a military man as per the Honor Guard guidelines, and the

 story takes place in Africa? Not to mention the Foodie Romance

 category we also have going at Decadent – can you imagine the

 sheer scope of cuisines and food on the African continent? Why

 not merge Foodie and Africa together to give us a sweet or fiery


And my personal favorite, I’ll confess, is that I’m looking for the

African Bridget Jones. I’ll be a very happy editor the day an author

 sends this story through my inbox. *grin*

Have you signed any authors yet and can you

 give us a sneak peak on their books?

No actual signatures yet – we only rolled out the prospect of this

line a couple of months ago, and as such, it’s only been a few

 weeks since we sent out our call for submissions

That being said, though I can’t name names yet, we are talking to a

 few authors who have pitched their stories; we’re expecting to see

 those submissions around November.

To give you an idea, we have an IR/MC romance/women’s fiction

 trilogy spanning ten years in the lives of three sisters. A more

 literary-feel romance on the backdrop of the expat scene in Kenya.

An exotic IR/MC office romance between an expat and a local in

 Kenya again. A modern and passionate, sweep-you-off-your-feet

 romance in South Africa. Another best-friends-to-lovers

heartwarming romance again set in South Africa.

A sweeping romance in Rwanda between a woman on a quest to

 find a missing girl and an expat doctor who comes to her help.

If anyone reading this has such a story, too, then please do not

 hesitate to get in touch in case you think the idea’s already been

 taken. No two authors can write a story the same way, even if the

 basic idea is similar.

What is the submission process?

Real easy! Request a submission form from; fill it in, attach to an email

along with your completed ms, and send to the same Submissions

address, with a small query-style letter featuring your blurb and a

 little about you in the body of the message – and did I mention:

 NO need for a synopsis!

Our submissions maven, Valerie, will then make sure I receive the

 whole package ASAP. Typical wait time on this line right now is

 between 2-4 weeks to hear back from me.

What is some good advice to writers that want

 to submit to this line?

What I will say might sound contradictory, but I will say it anyway.

1 – Know your world/setting/culture. Don’t write a story about

Africa based on how you ‘think’ Africa to be. Research your

location, know your topic well, and write around this.

2 – It’s a romance, after all. We don’t need encyclopedia-style

knowledge and information about the location and culture.

All to say – Keep in mind to have a good balance between the

world/setting/context and the romance, plot, and characterization.

What we’re looking for is escapism, exotic locales, a different

reality that is pretty much unknown to the world outside of Africa –

give us a story we can lose ourselves into.

And also, don’t be afraid if you don’t know that much about Africa

but want to try your hand at a story set in such a location. Anytime

someone has an idea and would want to discuss it with me, I am

only an email away at Nothing says that

you cannot write an Ubuntu story about, say, a couple who meet on

vacation while in Cape Town, South Africa. This then would imply

that they are both on the tourist circuit – information about which

can be easily found on the Internet, in guide books, and on


As long as your romance has something of Africa in it, we want to

see it. *grin*

Thank you again, ladies, for having me here today and this chance

 to tell the world more about Ubuntu through your very interesting


Peeps, thanks for taking a look at this interview. You can check out

 the spec sheet for Ubuntu, along with all the other Decadent

Publishing lines and categories, over at the

From Mauritius with love,


  1. I'm actually considering writing a novel for the line just because you've gotton me so excited about it!

    thanks for coming on!

  2. Lol, Kenya! I think my task is accomplished, then :) Seriously, we'd love to see something from you, so do not hesitate to sub to the Ubuntu line. :)

    Thanks again to you and Alicia for welcoming me over today - it's been delightful to answer those very pertinent questions.


    1. I have to finish revising a novel and then I plan to work on somthing for the Ubuntu line. I'm truly hyped whether it gets accepted or not. There really is a need for a wider range of romance novels in ethnic culture. The fact that you all are taking readers on a romantic tour of Africa is outstanding!!

      PS-- I rented Briget Jones this weekend for research!

    2. Lol, Kenya! Will you answer my plea and give me that chick-lit I've been searching for? :)

      Really looking forward to receiving a submission from you. I am terribly excited about this line, too. Ubuntu will be a boon for ethnic romance.


  3. Kenya, it would be terrific to get something from you for the Unbuntu line! Zee would love to be very busy, and I think she will be when this line begins getting noticed.

    Thanks for hosting Decadent Publishing on your blog today.

    Heather Bennett
    Decadent Publishing

    1. Heather,

      This was an awesome opportunity to have you all here. Please feel free to come back and tell us more about new lines or upcoming books!


    2. :) I would love to chime in again once we have a few books on hand and some amazing covers to reveal - thanks for the offer, Kenya!