How To Survive Lockdown

We can all agree that 2020 was an annus horribilis of note – for many reasons, not least of which was a global pandemic that’s forced most of us to stay home.

The Wild Child and I have been in lockdown since February last year – almost a year. We went out to eat once (never again) and took a safe-as-we-could-manage roadtrip to Jeffrey’s Bay to end the year off, just before the beaches were closed, so even there we had to stay indoors.

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Good riddance to 2020 (almost)

Last year I wrote a blog to end off a very difficult year. My father passed away in August and I left a good job to deal with it. It took me a long time to get back to a place where I felt happy and fulfilled, plus I had a new book coming out to look forward to. But as you know, 2020 happened and with it came an avalanche of disasters: a global pandemic, lockdown, cancelled book launches and tours, all culminating in the death of my mother, a year after my father.

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How To Support Local This Christmas

It’s been an insane year, most of it spent under strict lockdown conditions. Local businesses took a huge knock with many small enterprises only managing to hold on.

The local book industry was one of the many sectors hit. If you look past the bigger publishing houses and chain bookstores you’ll see a wide network of independent bookshops, small publishers, authors, freelance designers, editors and proofreaders, and bright young people just starting out their career.

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The Girl Who Chased Otters to be Published by Modjaji

I am beyond thrilled to announce that my seventh novel, The Girl Who Chased Otters, is going to be published by Modjaji Books in 2021.

The book was originally published in Germany by CBJ, an imprint of Random House in 2016. The book is still available on Amazon if you want to read it in German.

Here’s a little more about what to expect.

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Lockdown LEGO Book Reviews

One thing that’s become apparent to me on social media is that lockdown has affected us all differently, especially our sleeping and reading habits.  I’ve been home for more than half a year now and I’ve only just started enjoying reading books again. In the first few months, all I wanted to do was watch Netflix and read graphic novels. I must have read hundreds of them (my poor credit card will vouch for that.) I think it was the nagging anxiety caused by the spreading virus – I didn’t want my attention drawn away for too long.

I have finally found my reading groove again, which I’m sure my new friends on Instagram were partly responsible for.

So here is a roundup of some of my lockdown reads so far.

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Review Roundup

Sea Star Summer has been out in the world for five months. It had a bit of a delayed start due to the pandemic. Books weren’t able to leave the warehouse before lockdown, and review copies were locked away in an office while everyone worked from home. But we got them out in the end, and books soon made their way to readers.

Here is a roundup of all the reviews and press coverage I could find so far.

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The Outcast Hours Nominated For World Fantasy Award

So this morning I found out that The Outcast Hours, edited by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin, is up for a World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology.

The brilliant collection was published by Solaris last year and features stories by authors from across the globe, including myself and fellow South Africans S.L. Grey, Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen, and Sam Beckbessinger.

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Win a copy of Sea Star Summer

It’s giveaway time!

I had to wait for my giveaway copies and bookmarks to be rescued from a locked office, but they’ve finally arrived!

I am giving away a copy of my brand new book, Sea Star Summer. If you love romance, roadtrips, the beach, and dreamy South African coastal towns, then this might be your next read.

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Stay inside, read a book

It’s winter and it’s cold and there’s a pandemic raging. If you, like me, would rather stay inside and nest underneath a fort of fluffy blankets, it helps to be entertained.

I have been stocking up on ebooks and more recently, placing orders for the paperbacks I just have to own. (I just finished My Dark Vanessa and wow – just wow). I also have a book that just came out, but it feels wrong to promote it without mentioning the other amazing local YA titles available to read. Besides, who buys just one book?

So here is a list of South African YA fiction that you can read right this very minute and a few you should definitely pre-order.

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