Seeking Beta Readers for “The Curse of Kalaga”

The Curse of Kalaga began as fan fiction in high school. I wrote a vampire screenplay for fun and it grew into a novel. While taking a break from The Moreau Witches, in 2018, I revived the book. It was a simple copy-and-paste job from the old novel and then rearranging the scenes, so they flowed chronologically. From there, the words flowed easily.

That was, however, until I returned to finishing up The Moreau Witches. While writing my debut published novel took only five weeks, the beta reading, editing, and design process took an entire year — and then some. At the time, I said I would return to my vampire novel and have it published by 2020.

However, the pandemic had other plans. I had to focus on keeping my business afloat and client work took over. Still, by the time I started RVing in the summer, the book was already done. I’m finally finishing up that read-through and will provide a beta copy to thirteen readers.

What Is The Curse of Kalaga About?

The Curse of Kalaga began as Alanis, Land of the Undead. Some of you might even remember me referring to the project by that name a few years ago. However, the current book bears almost no resemblance to my eighth-grade script, so it was also time to change the name. Like The Moreau Witches, the book is another attempt to plausibly inject Black people into historical settings we rarely get to occupy in literature.

Misseri is a young conjurer who is cursed with the power of black magic but uses it for good. When her tribe is attacked by vampires, the local priest is convinced she is responsible and instructs the townspeople to banish her into the night.

Misseri survives the winter cold and defends herself against the mindless ghouls that attacked her family. But, she learns the hard way that they are not the only vampires fresh on her heels.

She is blooded by a vampire king who calls the mindless ghouls their common enemy. He assures her he has nothing to do with her family’s massacre, but Misseri is not so sure. To make matters worse, blooding her might have saved her life, but it binds them inextricably and the blood has a mind of its own.

Throughout the novel, Misseri must learn to resist the call of darkness from two sources or risk falling prey to her family curse. But, how does she fight to save her life when taking another’s is precisely what would end her ability to use her powers for good?

What Do Beta Readers Do?

There are four very important things to remember as a beta reader:

  1. The book is confidential and all copyrights belong to the author. You cannot discuss the details of it with anyone but the author.
  2. Beta readers are not editors. If you cannot read a raw script without silencing your inner Grammar Nazi, this is not the project for you.
  3. There are multiple beta readers, so one person’s opinion cannot prevail over all others. I weigh the pros and cons of all input and balance it against my own preferences.
  4. The final novel might look very different from the beta copy you receive. In the last novel, I changed character names, added scenes, and rewrote entire chapters.

How Can You Become My Beta Reader?

If you would like to become a beta reader for my vampire novel, I still have FOUR slots left to fill. Consider your time commitments, the size of your to-be-read pile and whether you are willing to move an unpolished novel to the top of that list. If you don’t have the time to finish the novel within 30 days, please don’t take the spot away from someone who can.

If after considering all of this you would like to take one of the four remaining slots, shoot me a message. Keep in mind that I’m still doing my casual read-through to get my own impressions of what I wrote, so far. The book will be available as soon as I’m done. If you have any questions before deciding whether you’d like to do this, you know how to find me!

UPDATE 3.13.2021: There’s only one spot remaining. It will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis, so shoot me an email ASAP if you’d like to have it.

UPDATE 3.14.2021: There are currently no more spots remaining. Thanks to everyone who reached out to help. I really appreciate it!

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