Friday, December 9, 2022
Duffy’s Zankli Chronicles Series Receives Science Fiction Literary Award
By Daniella Masterson, Contributing Writer
Published May 12, 2022

Award-winning author shares tips on how to succeed as a self-published writer.

M.J. Duffy (Courtesy photo)

M.J. Duffy’s sizzling page-turner titled “Defiant Love – Zankli Chronicle” from her well-received series has won the 2021 Best Paranormal, Supernatural, and Sci-Fi Fantasy Romance Novel Emma Awards.

”Receiving a literary award is one of the most honorable recognitions an author can receive,” said Duffy.

RSJ holds the Emma Awards at an annual conference. Founded in 1995, RSJ seeks to promote multicultural authors of books with stories that depict diversity and inclusion, limiting characters written from stereotypical perspectives on romance and women’s fiction. RSJ is accepting submissions from authors for its 2022 event in July. For more information, visit


“There are at least four judges who read and score the books based on ten questions,” said Bonita A. Thornton, the chair of RSJ. “M.J.’s had the top score in the paranormal judge category.”

Thornton said the RSJ conference is one of the few platforms that recognize stories and writers of color. RSJ announced the 2021 winners late last year, but Duffy recently received the Emma Award trophy and certificate.

“After seventeen years of imagining the exploits of the Zanklis, it is beyond exhilarating to receive an accolade for the third book in the Zankli Chronicles,” said Duffy about her self-published tome.

“Defiant Love” is Duffy’s most recent book that follows the eponymous Zankli species. The Zanklis appear to be humans but are paranormal descendants of Indigenous Africans and extraterrestrials called Seraphs. The Zanklis are protectors of mankind and guardians of good on Earth. They are incapable of evil. “Defiant Love” is a romantic fantasy that highlights the passionate love between two Zanklis whose powers are permanently enhanced when they mate so they can excel in their mission.

Duffy began writing science fiction in 2007, long before many of us had ever heard of “Panther.” Although she said she never read or heard about the Marvel comic-book hero, there are many similarities between her fictionalized Zanklis and the Wakandans.

Black fantasy, horror, and science fiction can be traced back to the 19th century. Earlier forms of Black speculative fiction usually dealt with themes of racial oppression paired with an investment in social change or a utopian society free of racism.
By the 20th century, masters like Octavia E. Butler and Samuel R. Delany’s groundbreaking books opened the door for African Americans.  Today, from box-office hits like “Panther” and “Get Out” to television shows like “Love Craft” to groundbreaking books like Duffy’s Zankli trilogy and N.K. Jemison’s critically acclaimed trilogy, “Broken Earth,” Black science fiction creators are demonstrating that they don’t want to polish the glass ceiling; they want to break it and eliminate the old barriers to diversity in the genre.


“The market for Black stories and Black authors is improving, “said Duffy. “Black book clubs are the fastest growing reading groups in the USA. Also, the African Diaspora has a huge readership.

“Africans are extremely interested in books about themselves. Moreover, there is an inherent curiosity by all ethnic or racial groups about African culture and history,” she said. Duffy added that Zankli fans can expect a fourth book titled  “Immortal Love” at the end of the year.

There is growing interest in self-publishing. But self-publishing is a long game that takes planning to earn a profit or just breaking even, said Duffy. Also a writing coach, Duffy has developed strategies on how to succeed in the publishing business.

–    Make sure you identify “on-demand publishing” resources like Amazon and their publishing networks and links.

–      Develop a business and marketing plan. Know sales, pricing, and media resources for your genre and book.

–      Research the most successful authors in your genre.

–      Know your genre.

–      Research the various literary awards and fellowships.

–      Researching traditional and indie platforms of distribution and contests for authors.

–      Develop or acquire lists of book clubs, blogs, and podcasts that read your genre of literature such as fiction, and romance.

–      Join a club that promotes, encourages, and endorses writers.

“Defiant Love” can be ordered at in paperback or e-book. “Immortal Love” can be pre-ordered starting September 1, 2022. For more information on M.J. Duffy and the series, visit


Categories: Entertainment | News (Entertainment)
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