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
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
email@example.com; 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,Zee