OWN IT! Interviews: Courttia Newland speaks about his new Novel ‘A RIVER CALLED TIME’, with Jude Yawson.

OWN IT! Interviews: Join Jude Yawson – Author of Stomzy’s Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far – for this absorbing and fascinating interview with the talented Courttia Newland, author of 7 books including his much-lauded debut THE SCHOLAR, to discuss his upcoming Sci-Fi Novel A RIVER CALLED TIME.

An inspirational and empowering conversation any writer should listen to.

. —————— A RIVER CALLED TIME – OUT 7 JANUARY 2021 ——————

Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.

The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth.

Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW HERE

Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. He co-edited The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, and his short stories have featured in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He was shortlisted for the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the 2010 Alfred Fagon Award. In 2016 he was also awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written episodes of Steve McQueen’s 2020 BBC series Small Axe (See more here).

Jude Yawson is a multifaceted writer of essays, articles, poetry and Film Reviews. In 2018 Jude became an author, co-writing and editing Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far with Stormzy and the Merky team. Jude curates his eclectic writing through his website turned Blog House Of Horous, where his entire personal writing journey is hosted.

He has also contributed an essay entitled “Existing as a Black person living in Britain” to SAFE : On Black British Men Reclaiming Space. An anthology edited by Derek Owusu.

Check out more on Jude here + his website here.

Rose Cartwright to screen-write for Netflix’s new sci-fi series from Game of Thrones creators (David Beinoff and D.B. Weiss) and True Blood’s Alex Woo.

Based on Lui Cixin’s enthralling novel series The Three Body Problem, Beinoff and Weiss describe the books as “the most ambitious science-fiction series we’ve read, taking readers on a journey from the 1960s until the end of time.”

The Three-Body problem won the Hugo award for fantasy fiction in 2015 and is the first Chinese science-fiction novel to be translated into English.

Beinoff and Weiss were creators, writers and showrunners of Game of Thrones, adapted from George RR Martin’s hit novels. Whilst Alex Woo, who has worked on a range of television series including True Blood, called it an “elegant and deeply human allegory”.

The Three-Body Problem is the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization, with science, interweaved with fiction, all drawn together by the story of all of humanity vulnerable to the same threat, with insight into how this both unifies and divides us.

With Liu acting as a consulting producer for the series, a talented and thoughtful creative team has been assembled to produce the English-language series adaption, including writer Rose Cartwright, author of Pure (Now a major Channel 4 series) – Cartwright’s memoir on her ten-year struggle with ‘Pure O’, a little-known form of OCD, which causes her to experience intrusive sexual thoughts of shocking intensity. A brave and frequently hilarious account of a woman who refused to give up, despite being undermined at every turn by her obsessions and enduring years of misdiagnosis and failed therapies.

Although Cartwright never imagined she would find herself writing Sci-Fi, she has been drawn to it and forced by the circumstances of her life and mind to question the nature of her reality and what is real. Which in itself, is a key feature of the sci-fi genre.

Cartwright secured the position as a writer for the upcoming series, off the back of a script she wrote about intergenerational trauma, which includes her experience of taking magic mushrooms and trauma work.

Author and consulting producer Lui Cixin commented: “I set out to tell a story that transcends time and the confines of nations, cultures and races; one that compels us to consider the fate of humankind as a whole.”

MRS DEATH MISSES DEATH |by SALENA GODDEN |OUT 28 JANUARY

Pre-order here

“A fantastically imaginative story about life, death and everything in between – a potent reminder that life is short and every second should be cherished”
IDRIS ELBA

Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen.

Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her.

OUT JANUARY 28 – AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

Pre-order here

“Salena Godden’s pin-sharp ability to mine the intricacies of human nature fuels her long-awaited debut novel, a life-affirming and unflinching treatise on death and its stark realities. Always playful, infused with her trademark humour and commitment to truth, Godden reinvents the form while staying true to an emotional honesty that’s as forthright as it is courageous. Mrs Death’s finale is some of the most powerful writing I’ve read in years. Here is necessary, beautiful work. Thank God for Godden”
COURTTIA NEWLAND

Salena Godden is one of the UK’s most iconic poets and performers. An activist, broadcaster, memoirist and essayist, Salena is widely anthologised. She has published several volumes of poetry, including Pessimism is for Lightweights (now a public art piece donated to The Peoples History Museum) and a literary childhood memoir, Springfield Road.

Mrs Death Misses Death is her debut novel. A BBC Radio 4 documentary following Godden’s progress on the novel over twelve months was broadcast in 2018.

For more information visit salenagodden.co.uk

A RIVER CALLED TIME | by COURTTIA NEWLAND | OUT 7 JANUARY.

A monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics and conscience set in parallel Londons

“Courttia Newland’s alternative, decolonised vision of London is a staggering feat of imagination. There’s so much to love here: an everyman hero who discovers he has abilities that are anything but ordinary, parallel cities across a multiverse, African cosmology belief systems, a keep-them-guessing ending . . . An amazing achievement”
NOEL CLARKE

Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.

The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning.

Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew.

PRE-ORDER HERE

OUT 7 JANUARY 2021 – PRE-ORDER NOW

“Gloriously enthralling. An immersive, ambitious reimagining of the city from a formidable British voice. Newland’s magnum opus”
IRENOSEN OKOJIE

Pre-order here

“A masterful reimagining of the African diaspora’s influence on England and on the world. It’s a grand tale and still an intimate portrait of loss and love. What glory and influence would Africa enjoy if colonialism had never occurred? Courttia Newland reshapes our vision of the past, present and future by taking this one question seriously. The result is something truly special. No other way to put it, this book is true Black magic”
VICTOR LAVALLE

Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. He co-edited The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, and his short stories have featured in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He was shortlisted for the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the 2010 Alfred Fagon Award. In 2016 he was also awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written episodes of Steve McQueen’s 2020 BBC series Small Axe (See more here).

LOVERS ROCK

“LOVERS ROCK” & “RED, WHITE AND BLUE” co-written by Steve McQueen and Courttia Newland for Steve McQueen’s five-part anthology series – Small Axe.

Small Axe is a series of 5 films by award-winning director Steve McQueen, which celebrate West Indians In Britain. The five-part anthology series takes its title from a West Indian proverb about collective struggle (“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe”) and encompasses true stories from the late 60s to mid 80s. The films each tell a story involving London’s West Indian community, a celebration of Black joy, beauty, friendship, love, music and food, despite subjection to rampant racism and discrimination.

It is no surprise that our own Courttia Newland is a part of this iconic moment for Black British film and TV, having co-written the screenplay to two of the five films in the anthology series – LOVERS ROCK and RED, WHITE AND BLUE.

LOVERS ROCK tells a fictional story of young love at a Blues party in 1980. The film is an ode to the romantic reggae genre, Lovers Rock, and to the Black youth who found freedom and love in its sound in London house parties when they were unwelcome in white nightclubs. A vital exploration of cultural identity.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE tells the true story of Leroy Logan (John Boyega), a young forensic scientist with a yearning to do more than his solitary laboratory work. When he sees his father assaulted by two policemen, he finds himself driven to revisiting a childhood ambition to become a police officer – an ambition borne from the naïve hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within. Small Axe provides long-overdue representation for viewers of Caribbean descent, opening up a space on television for the celebration of British-Caribbean Culture. These luminous stories are powerful recreations of the history of Black Britain. A landmark moment for British film and television.

Watch the Small Axe series here

Courttia Newland’s forthcoming book A River Called Time is out 7th January 2021.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Pre-order your copy here.