A whirlwind tour to Johannesburg

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The SA fiction shelf with the Peculiars in front of it

Last week I travelled to Joburg for the launch of The Peculiarat Love Books in Melville, and for some interviews. I love that space so much – mostly because it has a HUGE shelf of South African fiction, as well as a pleasing selection of feminist texts throughout the store. It was a chilly day, but the store was warm and cosy.

Before the launch I had a great interview with Amy Heydenrych of Bookish. I’ve known Amy online for what feels like ages, and it was great to talk with her about writing, submitting manuscripts, phobias, and book publishing. I also met Pamela Power, author of the great book Ms Conception who is a prolific tweeter if you are looking for someone interesting to follow.

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The launch itself went wonderfully. Much like the Cape Town launch most of the audience was made up of people I know, which is the most relaxing sight to see from up on the chair. (Especially when you have a coughing fit about halfway through the process, and everyone just smiles politely and waits for you). Jennifer Platt of the Sunday Times was in conversation with me and even did a few readings from the book. It was great to hear my book read by someone else, and to talk about the eccentricities of Cape Town weather, love in the time of fear, and mental health. I had a great time, and the questions from the audience were kind and interesting. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it, and to Kate and the team at Love Books for the event. (Oh, and the wine is DELICIOUS – check out Joostenberg family red blend. Yum!)

After the launch I visited The Artisan in Greenside for some tasty food and drinks with friends and family. I was also treated to cupcakes baked in the same style as my cover by my sister’s wonderful boyfriend, and owner of the Artisan. Thanks Matt. You’re a legend.

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Matt the legend’s cupcakes

Friday was a day of interviews. It was a great pleasure to meet with the team from ART-MOVIE-BOOK and talk about The Peculiars. As usual in interviews, we also ended up chatting about a million other things and reflecting on the general state of women’s lives in South Africa. We also talked a bit about my next book, which left me feeling excited that someone else found the plot as exciting as I am finding it!

The second interview of the day was with Kate Sidley, a books columnist for the Sunday Times. Kate and I talked creative writing programs (both of us have completed one), politics, and balancing real life and writing among a host of other things. It was interesting to talk about the different creative writing programs at UCT and Wits and to think about the benefits of having someone else read your work.

I must take the opportunity now to thank Ryno Posthumous of Penguin for organising all of these events and interviews and discussing some of the upcoming books he’ll be promoting with me. Thank you Ryno!!

I am really enjoying this whole ‘being a writer’ thing. Looking forward to the rest of the year.

 

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