It’s been an exciting year for me, as a writer. I got shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and then longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa. I’ve heard two books out in print, and two short stories to appear in anthologies, one is already out, the other coming in December. Busy, busy year, and I expect next year will be even busier. Which unfortunately might mean less blogging :((
So here are the books. They went up on amazon at nearly the same time, the first being in September and two this month. The Terminal Move. A novelette, written in a genre I loved so much as a boy, and which I still think is my niche. It’s basically a zombie tale, but set in Africa from way back in time, before the nations as we know them today were formed. Which makes it a fantasy as well. Take a peak at an interview I did for the publisher here.
And here is the blurb for the novelette.
For years the Jolabong people have wandered across the world, looking for a new home. Torn apart by war and famine, they have all but given up. But it is in the fiery motivation of Laceng, a rebellious youth of the tribe, that the delicate future of the Jolabong is poised. Together with his band of insurgents, Laceng marches into a valley of plenty – but what he finds there is worse than any threat his tribe has ever faced.
In this gripping tale of death, life and reins of power, Dilman Dila delivers a narrative reminiscent of the ancient oral traditions of Africa. A Commonwealth Short Story 2013 shortlisted author, Dila delivers yet again in the poignant and exquisitely crafted THE TERMINAL MOVE.
Cranes Crest at Sunset.
I surprised myself with writing this one. It was an experiment in romance. I’d never written in that genre before, but shortly after returning from Nepal, with my head still full of the love stories that I had gathered while making my first feature documentary, Untouchable Love, and with my heart growing fond of a Filipino bombshell, I just had to write a love story. Shortly after I finished it, I saw a call for manuscripts from a Kenyan publisher. They want to start an East African version of Mills and Boon. I submitted, wondering if my little story would fit their criteria, and it surprisingly did. So here it is, available on kindle.
Kabita, a beautiful Nepali doctor escapes from an arranged marriage to serve in a remote village in rural Uganda. In this village, she hopes to put to rest the haunting memories of her forbidden love and shattered past. But the peace she so desperately seeks seems elusive now, as she finds herself falling in love with Steven, a handsome African herdsman. Is she foolish to reject the advances of a fellow doctor for an idle herdsman painter? And is Steven really what he seems to be? Should she follow her heart or mind? Will Kabita finally find joy or will her dreams be shattered again? This is an intense love story set in rural Uganda
The third is in a collection of short stories, called the African Roar 2013. It’s another horror fantasy story, about a puppeteer I used to know in my hometown when I was a little kid. Not that the puppeteer was evil. He was a great guy, but my childhood imagination fed me all sorts of crap about him, and when I became a writer I just had to write that story. We used to hear all sorts of stuff concerning the guy, he was a mystery, no one knew where he came from and some people claimed he walked from Kinshasha to Mombasa dragging his cart, staging shows. Such urban legend stuff became the spine of this story. The Puppets of Maramudhu. I should write more about him later.
Well, so here they are, three stories from Uganda, from some of the finest publishers in Africa today. It’s not often that you find Ugandan fiction on Amazon, and I’ve heard of many foreigners in the country looking for something Ugandan to read, and not finding anything. This should be a start. Hopefully many other Ugandan writers will pick tips and have their works put up on Amazon.