MINE cover reveal and release date

I’m super excited about this. My new novel, Mine, has gone to print and is scheduled for release 10 February 2018, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Notes from my Open Book Short Story Workshop

I hosted a workshop on short story writing at this year’s Open Book Festival. Some of the greatest writers in the world are known for their short stories – Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nadine Gordimer – and South Africa is home to some of the best.

I love short stories, writing and reading them, and wanted to share some tips for aspiring writers.

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Taking it slow on Route 62

Working full time is tough. Not only do I have less time to write fiction, it also means getting up super early every day to the same alarm tone, sitting in traffic, and working long hours that often eats into my personal time. The next thing I know, there’s three or four hours left to make dinner, shower, catch the latest episode of something and then its bedtime.

Free nights and weekends become a game of Roulette. Is the dice going to land on writing, spending time with friends, catching up on chores or taking work home yet again? It can wear you down.

A long weekend away is the perfect antidote.

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Book review: The Fifth Mrs Brink

The Fifth Mrs Brink is the memoir of writer and academic Karina Szczurek, the fifth wife of author Andre P Brink.

The book describes their romance and happy marriage, but it also offers a portrait of the woman behind the title. Karina writes that to know her, you must visit the places close to her heart, and in this book she shares some of the moments that have defined her.
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Exploring the Cape

Living in Cape Town means you don’t have to venture out very far to see breathtaking scenery. It’s a permanent backdrop.

As someone who doesn’t enjoy summer very much (this pale complexion takes years of avoiding the sun) winter is my favourite time to explore The Cape of Storms. The world comes alive, like a dog shaking off its wet fur. Just look outside to see how vivid green the grass has become as it waits expectantly for the rumbling black clouds to release more rain; how the skies are never anything less than dramatic.

It’s so wonderfully gloomy.

Here are some of my favourite places to go when it’s cold outside.

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Trade Secrets

It was such an honour to make the shortlist for the Short Sharp Story Award, and even more so to be included in the anthology. I learned a lot from the editor, Joanne, and I can honestly say my future work will benefit richly from the experience.
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Dreaming of an island I’ve never seen

I’ve spoken to a few of my friends about my unusual ancestry, usually during a lengthy evening chat over a glass or two of wine. I’m even writing a book about it.

Recently, I’ve started to obsess about it.

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Short story: The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

From my research I can safely say that the first mention of the grinning man was in Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, published in 1869. In it, a boy named Gwynplaine was mutilated to such an extent it left him with a permanent grin. The book inspired several films of the same name, the most famous being Conrad Veidt’s eerie portrayal in 1928. His rictus grin shocked the world.

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Two Hearts in a Goldfish Bowl

I absolutely adore the cover of my new novel out now in Germany, Zwei Herzen im Goldfischglas. (It translates as Two Hearts in a Goldfish Bowl).

It’s about a kid who uses his amazing observational skills and logic to help the girl of his dreams become popular.

It’s a quirky love story that tackles some tough topics, like Autism and rape culture (especially pertinent now with the Stanford rape case dominating the headlines.)

What do you think of the cover?