Now here’s something you probably haven’t seen in Cape Town recently – a niche, indie publishing house that’s not afraid to take chances and even less afraid of having a bit of character. I spoke to Marius from Fox & Raven Publishing, a brand new startup publishing house, to find out what the fox and the raven has in store for the South African book scene.
I’ll be reviewing some short stories published by Fox & Raven in the future, doing mini profiles on the authors too. Seeing as I love books to bits, I thought it apt to promote a bit of local talent.
1. What Fox & Raven Publishing is all about?
In a sentence or two, Fox & Raven is about providing a trove of beautiful, well-written books that don’t necessarily conform to the commercialist ideals of most big publishing houses. It’s also about drinking Earl Grey tea (we live for bergamot) and consuming Seville orange marmalade while reading.
2. How long have you guys been out there?
We’ve been through many metamorphoses throughout the years. I suppose our roots can be traced back to the advent of Myspace (we were only in our teens, we swear! Stop judging!). Since then, we’ve been a blog, a forum, another start-up publisher-that-wasn’t, and now finally we’re here. In our current incarnation, we’ve been alive for only a few months!
3. It says on your Facebook page that you specialise in speculative fiction.
Please explain what this is exactly and why you chose this as your number one field.
Speculative fiction is the umbrella corporation/term (Resident Evil, anyone?) for more fantastical fiction genres. The main players are fantasy, science-fiction and horror, but it can be way more specific – think of post-apocalyptic demons trying to take over a steampunk world that can only be saved by High Elves travelling through space in primordial interstellar ships. You get the picture.
Why did we choose it? Because we love it, and there aren’t enough South African writers published in these genres!
4. Are you planning to publish other genres as well in the future?
Definitely. The idea is to expand, slowly but surely, into a publishing house that has a finger in many proverbial pies. Our first foray into a different genre will be announced in a couple of months – but we’re already working on it!
5. I see you’re jumping straight in with some short stories from local authors. Any specific reason?
Short stories are a great way to get people interested – in both the company and new authors. It’s also a good way for the publishing house to interact with a large pool of potential authors. We’re on a mission to find the coolest, most eclectic writers SA (and the rest of the world, fear not!) has to offer.
6. Any other publications in the pipeline? I heard speak of a full-length novel…
We can’t give you any details yet, but we’re in negotiations for not one, but two full-length novels! We plan on having them in the shops by Christmas.
7. Fox & Raven is a pretty rad name for a publishing house. Any specific reason?
Thanks, we love it too! It’s based on one of Aesop’s Fables (The fox and the raven). The fox represents the fun, fiction side of the company. The raven represents the more serious, non-fiction side (which we haven’t explored yet – that’s why it’s always the fox jabbering away on Facebook!).
8. What is the last book you’ve read?
I’m busy with Foundling by D.M. Cornish and The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I’ve had to learn to read many things at once. The last thing I read to completion is actually Equinox by Rhys Shannon, an upcoming short story we’re publishing!
9. If you could have the life of any book character ever, who’s would it be?
I’d have to go with Ringil Eskiath from the A Land Fit for Heroes series by Richard K. Morgan. He has a cool sword, does magic, kills dragons. Oh yes, he is bad-ass! Can I say that? [off course you can! -Ed]
10. Where can we get hold of you?
Our website is currently under construction, but you’ll be able to find it at www.foxandraven.co.za once it’s up and running (check back towards the middle of July).
Sjoe! That’s a mouthful!
Thanks for chatting with us. See you around!