Looking back and looking forward: To the Stars and Beyond…

I always say that writing is the only thing in the world that simultaneously kills me and keeps me alive. A lot of people frown when they hear this, probably writing me off in their heads as just another crazy, ‘creative’, writer. This is what I say when they, albeit seldom, ask me to explain myself:

Writing, to me, has always been like having an ambiguous mistress. It’s both physically and emotionally exhausting and can cause a lot of stress and frustration. However, there are moments of such immense pleasure, such indescribable joy and such pure satisfaction that it makes it all worth the while. The act of writing might kill me, but those wondrous moments are all that keeps me alive. I cannot live without it, but it might just be the thing that destroys me in the end. A beautiful problem, isn’t it?

Writing To the Stars was exactly this experience. Though since it was my first, a lot of this knowledge I now have at the end of it, was all muddled up confusion, doubt, frustration and all those other words writers dread so much. But, it was all worth it and I think that what came out of that dark birth canal is something beautiful. At least to me.

It took me nine months to write the first draft and another four to edit, proofread, edit and proofread again. The idea of the book came much easier. I was watching those set of channels that everyone uses to lull themselves to sleep, and I use to make myself feel smart. A documentary came on about all the different possibilities in which Earth could meet its doom and how humanity could go about saving themselves or at least the species. And there, BOOOM! The idea of To the Stars exploded into my head like the Big Bang! Less dramatic, though.

I’ve always read books in the genres of Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy. My bookshelves overflow with books like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, Christopher Poalini’s Inheritance series, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and all the like. I absolutely love them. So naturally, the first book I would attempt would end up being in that genre. And, I fear, a lot of my books that follow will also be.

The idea for the dystopian world of the book came as I fleshed out my initial idea over a good few weeks. Writing little notebooks to their deaths. Though I think that my fascination with the notion of a single man or group controlling the masses for the ‘good of them all’ was what prompted me in this direction. History is full of examples of how this could go badly, but my interest lie in the questions: Is it always a bad idea? Or are there scenarios and moments in humanities existence (past or future) that would need this?

The title came as part of the book’s story. It is derived from the slogan of the Last Empire of Earth in the book. Ad Astra Imus, which is Latin for To the Stars we go. See?

The characters, like I think is the same for most writers, drew their traits and personalities from the people in my life. From my sister and my father to a third grade teacher with a permanent nasty mood. There are even traits of myself embedded in one of the lead characters, Noah. A son with a lot of pressure on his shoulders from his father. I think that’s maybe why he might just be my favorite, if I could choose favorites. He reminds me of myself, which is also why he irritates me the most.

Though it has been a hard process writing my first novel and a huge, and I mean ginormous, learning curve, it has also been immensely satisfying. My next endeavor will then of course be another book. I’m currently almost done with the first book in a three-part series. The title is still a heart’s secret, but it will also be in the young adult realm, mixing science fiction with fantasy adventure and throwing in a little bit of Greek mythology for good luck. I can’t wait for it to see the light of day beyond my cramped little office. Also, one of my dystopian flash fiction pieces is out now, published in a spectacular anthology called Baby Shoes: a flash fiction anthology.

This might be cliché beyond apology, but I have to say it: Watch this space. There’s a lot more words in this ‘creative’ person.




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About Us and Other Stories: An anthology of student writings.


About us  COVER JPEG1

Telling stories: In my view, this is what makes us human. From the bad gossip we told each other in school, to the things we tell our moms. From the stories our ancestors told around campfires, to the ones we tell each other around the braai now. Telling stories is what make us human. It’s how we define ourselves, how we place ourselves in this world we try to call home, how we navigate through it, how we make friends, how we find love. Without stories, what are we?

Because of this, this anthology can’t be of more importance. Less so to the people who read it, or were forced to buy it by the very persistent teenagers that has filled these pages with their words. (Good job on the selling guys!).

The importance of this anthology lies in the fact that it got a couple of teenagers to tell their stories, and even got a few people to listen.

This is not about how good these stories are, though they are magnificent in my eyes, it is about the fact that the writers got a chance to practice, fail and succeed, but above all to actually, physically tell their stories.

It was Phillip Pullman who said: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Stories are how we keep ourselves alive as a species. They are what we leave those who are still to come. Love and lessons and heartache and sadness and success and failure and life wrapped up in letters.

So please support the writing talent of the future.

All proceeds go to the development of the participating writers.








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BABY SHOES: An anthology is live and available!

Baby Shoes Anthology

“100 Stories. 100 Authors. Under 1,000 words. No holds barred.

What began as a worldwide call for authors became a collection of short, gripping stories from every genre you can imagine. Spend a minute each with one hundred minds, with literary slices from noir detective, to holiday heartwarmer to serial killer thrill, flight of fantasy or erotica.

One of the first flash fiction anthologies of its kind, “Baby Shoes” follows the literary tradition of its namesake — a 6-word tale by Ernest Hemingway reportedly written to win a bar bet. Join literary greats like Joe R. Lansdale, Linda Needham and Walter Jon Williams along with talents from every stage of literary career.”

Click here to purchase at AMAZON!

This is one for the shelves people! Don’t go on living without it! (That may be a bit dramatic, but still true!)

This is really an amazing anthology and project. 100 stories, quick and intriguing reads in all genres. How is that not something you want on your kindle?

Sitting in the loo? Need a quick read? – GET THIS!

Waiting for the doctor? Read all the magazines already? – GET THIS!

Want to read before going to bed? Just awake enough for something under a thousand words? – GET THIS!

Need to read something I wrote, because you’re just craving it so much? – GET THIS! My story, “Rubble” is in there too.

I can go on and on and on. The amount of stories in this anthology also goes on and on (in the best way!)

So don’t waste any more time. Support the writers of this world you call a home. Invest in some great stories!

Here’s the link again:

BABY SHOES: 100 Stories by 100 Authors.





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For the love of books… Special Valentine’s Day Promotion on TO THE STARS Ebook?


Who doesn’t love books?! And who doesn’t love them even more when they are FREE!

Today only, on this Valentine’s Day 2015, my debut novel To the Stars will be free over at SMASHWORDS. And what’s even cooler is that you can download it in almost every format!

This is all for the love of SciFi, the love of Young Adult Fiction and the love of FREE Ebooks!

Take advantage of this offer, cause what can be a better fit for Valentine’s Day than Forbidden Love, Deadly Secrets and the Apocalypse.  All in To the Stars!

Here’s the link:

Also, don’t forget to go leave a review, bad or good, over on GoodReads, Amazon and Smashwords once you’ve read it!

Ad Astra Imus…

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Baby Shoes: a flash fiction anthology!

It is no secret or debatable idea that the literary industry is changing, now even more than ever can be said. We are moving into an age where readers are evolving and craving new experiences. Flash fiction is personally, as a reader and a writer, one of my favorite solutions that this change has brought out. Very short, sometimes not longer than a sentence, tales that when it’s done right can encompass the richness of a full length novel.

One of the best examples of this is a piece of flash fiction, exactly six words long, by Hemingway. He writes, ‘For sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.’
Just in those six words Hemingway has managed to create a story so rich that you can get lost in it, wonder through its subtext for eternity.

This is what Jason Brick, author and entrepreneur, is looking to celebrate in a collection of the best flash fiction pieces from talented authors and writers around the world. And I am so privileged and excited to say that I too have been asked to add to this collection.

I think that this is an amazing project! And it needs your help. Yes, you, the hopefully passionate reader and new-age consumer reading this. We need your help. This project will go live in January on Kickstarter where it has already gathered an impressive amount of support over December. But it still needs a final jolt of support if this is going to see the light. And you don’t get nothing for what you put in too.

This is an exciting endeavor and I hope you share in our excitement!

I’ll post some more detail and links closer to the time a well as a press release for your reading enjoyment. You can go to the Kickstarter page of the project too. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, go click on the “Where to get it…” tab on this website to browse through some of the numerous places where you can get To the Stars for a great holiday read!

Ad Astra Imus and Merry Christmas!
Tiaan L.

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First Review!

So we’ve reached this milestone- first review! And this also marks the start of many more!

So if you have been wondering if you should buy To the Stars and if it’s worth it, this is what you should go read to help you decide.

“Highly suspenseful, and an engaging read.” – Majanka Verstraete, I heart Reading.





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Jozi Book Fair – 26 to 27 September!


The Jozi Book Fair is having its sixth annual exhibitions at the Central Johannesburg College (Ellis Park Campus) from tomorrow the 26th to the 27th of September with a line-up consisting out of book launches, talks by authors, seminars and a lot more from special guest Zakes Mda, internationally acclaimed author.

TML Books will also be there with Tiaan Lubbe’s debut novel, To the Stars. Plus they’re throwing a party on the 27th to celebrate its release. Please come by and if you would like to attend the party contact TML Books at tmlbooks@outlook.com.

TML Imprint Logo

See you all there!

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To the Stars Blog Tour – Day 1

Yesterday went great! In fact it went amazing and I can’t believe 2 years of work actually finally amounted to this. I can only hope and pray for the further success of my debut novel and hopefully you enjoy reading it. I’ll put some photos of the launch up soon!


Today is the first day of the To the Stars BLOG TOUR and we’re starting at Majanka Verstraete’s wonderful blog, I Heart Reading. So go visit it and see what we’re up to!

Here’s the rest of the tour running for two weeks:

September 24th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

September 25th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

September 26th: Guest Post @ Mythical Books

September 28th: Book Excerpt @ The Readers Hollow

September 30th: Author Interview @ Blissful Books

October 1st: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

October 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper

October 4th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

October 5th: Book Review @ Apocalypse Booked

October 7th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

October 8th: Book Review, Promo and Author Interview @ For the Love of Books

Be sure to tune in everyday and not to miss this.

And Remember, you can get To the Stars at all your leading online stores. Links will be up soon. Write to me on GoodReads and on my Amazon Author Page. Let your voice be heard…

Ad Astra Imus.

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It’s 23rd September! Release day! And we have a PARTY…

Tiaan Lubbe - Poster

Happy 23rd of September! A special day in history or at least this year. Today we welcome into the world of literature a book called To the Stars and hopefully it’ll feel right at home. So look out for it and let it take you along on a journey. I’m excited to hear from everyone so don’t forget to go visit my GoodReads page or Amazon Author Page to leave a review.


Go visit all of these blogs today to see what they are doing to join the party…

Bookaholic Ramblings

Editor Charlene’s Blog

I Heart Reading

Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

I’m an Eclectic Reader

Bookish Madness

Forever Book Lover

The Book Daily

Endazzled Reading

Hollow Readers

And from Tomorrow on, and going for two weeks, there will be a BLOG TOUR with interviews, reviews, guest posts, excerpts and lots more. So keep your eyes here for all the details or go to www.enchantedbookpromotions.com

Connect with me on Facebook And Twitter for all the updates and more!!

Ad Astra Imus (Soon you’ll all know what this is…)


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Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

It’s only a day away…(Get the reference?)

Anyway, Yes! Tomorrow is the world release date for my debut novel and I am more than excited. Once I reach Shakespeare status I’ll be making up a new word fro how I feel right now.

My whole life so far has led up to this week. It’s seeing one of my biggest dreams being realised and I am proud to say that I have stuck to my motto in life- To make my biggest dreams look small…

I can’t wait to see what the next few years hold and I can’t even think about the years after that because that feeling will need a new word too. Thank you all for the support!

Tomorrow you’ll know where to get To the Stars. In the meantime, go check out my GoodReads page.1409683124753

Keep watching this space.

As always,


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