Growing up, I knew my parents were different to other kids’ parents. They did their own thing. They listened to Black Sabbath and had a collection of vinyl records from the seventies. I used to watch The Muppet Show with my mom. We’d picnic in the park and eat junk food. The garden was my wonderland where I could literally do anything I wanted – dig holes, climb trees, stay out all day. I was so wild sometimes I’d sleep on the ground using the dog’s furry belly as a pillow.
Continue reading “Looking back at being different”
There is something so wonderfully comforting about nostalgia. Obviously, I’m referring to the good parts. The terrible, terrible things of the past can f*ck right off.
Continue reading “In praise of Agatha”
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.
Continue reading “MINE cover reveal and release date”
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.
Continue reading “Notes from my Open Book Short Story Workshop”
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.
Continue reading “Taking it slow on Route 62”
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.
Continue reading “Book review: The Fifth Mrs Brink”
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.
Continue reading “Exploring the Cape”
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.
Continue reading “Trade Secrets”
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.
Continue reading “Dreaming of an island I’ve never seen”
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.
Continue reading “Short story: The Grinning Man”