I just received the best Friday surprise. The Sunday Times Books section has chosen an excerpt from Sea Star Summer for their Fiction Friday segment!
Sea Star Summer is officially out today. I say officially, but in reality, I have to wait till the end of lockdown before I can get my hands on a copy. So in a way, it’s more of an un-book-birthday or a book un-birthday.
My new book, Sea Star Summer, officially lands 20 April – right in the middle of lockdown!
I recorded a short video to tell you all about it. There’s going to be an ebook and a virtual launch and an incredible giveaway. So even though we can’t celebrate together in person, there’s still loads to look forward to.
Please send me any questions you have about the book and I’ll answer them all at the virtual launch.
You can register to join the virtual launch webinar here.
Date: 28 April 2020
Harley Quinn has been on my mind a lot recently. Even though I’m a fan of both Marvel and DC, she is, without a doubt, my favourite comic book character. There is a huge neon poster of her above my bed, and on the opposite wall, a signed poster by cover artist Laura Braga.
To mentally prepare myself for the Birds of Prey movie, I decided to haul out all my Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad, DC Bombshells, and Harley & Ivy comics to get into character, so to speak.
My new book comes out next month! And it’s set in my favourite place in the whole world – Jeffreys Bay, in the Eastern Cape. The Wild Child and I visit as many times as we can manage. Our current record is four road trips in one year.
We recently snuck away for an unplanned holiday in February. I was taking a much-needed break and he had some leave days available, so we thought, why not?
I’ve always wanted to write a book about the ocean. Not the blue sky and sunshine kind, but a gloomy one that evokes that timeless, haunted feel only the sea can conjure – of countless wrecks and lost souls, of buried secrets and quiet, solemn knowledge.
So naturally, when I find a book that ticks all these boxes, I’m one very happy reader.
In 2007, a friend told me I should read St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, a short story anthology by American writer Karen Russell. It was the type of book that took you to Neverland, she said. So I bought a copy, and was passed the baton as Russell’s next evangelist, telling as many people as I could about the magical, dreamlike stories hidden inside that much-loved paperback. (Another friend went on to emigrate with my copy.)
2020 is here and I can finally reveal the cover of my upcoming YA novel, Sea Star Summer, published by Human & Rousseau.
All sixteen-year-old Naomi wants to do over December is read books and enjoy a drama-free holiday – but Jeffreys Bay has other ideas…
Set over the December school holidays, Sea Star Summer is a coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery in the surfing capital of South Africa, Jeffreys Bay.
Jeffreys Bay is a place very close to my heart. It is a place of raging waves, electric skies and wild shores. It is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in South Africa and my absolute favourite road-trip destination.
I think the cover captures the essence perfectly.
The year is all but over and I have much to celebrate and be thankful for.
I won two literary awards – the MER Prize for Best Youth Novel and the SALA for Youth Fiction. I signed the contract for my sixth novel, coming out in April next year, and I signed with a literary agent who is so enthusiastic about the project we’re working on that I can’t help but feel positive about the future.
It sounds like a lot of good things happened, but for the most part, it was a very difficult year.
For me, the festive season means two things – time to buy presents for my nearest and dearest, and having quality time to catch up on reading. To help you do both, I’ve put together a list of books by some of South Africa’s best female authors that were published this year.
Please do yourself a favour and visit The Book Lounge in Cape Town or Love Books in Jozi and ask for their personal recommendations. There were so many good books published this year that deserve to be taken home. (I cheated and mentioned a few more at the bottom.)