Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke wasn’t what I was expecting, which I guess is why you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. I did. The gorgeous black cover looked gloriously spooky and immediately caught my eye when I visited The Book Lounge to spend some birthday vouchers. I loved the assortment of owls, moons, apples, spiderwebs and stars set against the black background. I added it to my Halloween reads pile.
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Halloween is less than a month away. It’s about this time every year that I start frantically Googling horror movies I haven’t seen and listing scary books to read in October. This year I dove into a Halloween read early. Technically, There’s Someone Inside Your House is only being released in October – just in time for the big night – but I was lucky to receive an advance copy.
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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”
The Open Book Festival takes place from 6-10 September at the beautiful Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.
I’ll be hosting a free workshop on short story writing at this year’s festival which is open to anyone, whether you’re a beginner, experienced writer or simply love short stories and want to know more about the craft.
I’ll be giving a brief introduction to short story writing, offering tips and advice, reading excerpts from some of the country’s top storytellers, and inviting attendees to take part in writing exercises designed to sharpen their skills.
I’ve run two previous workshops for the festival, one on Writing for Young Adults with Cat Hellisen and Sarah Lotz and another on Worldbuilding with Cat and Zimkhitha Mlanzeli.
This year I have another special guest lined up.
Continue reading “Open Book Festival: RSVP for my Short Story Workshop”
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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Jomo grips the side of the table as if something horrifying is unfolding before him. I can only imagine his agony because it’s never happened to me. You see, he just played his best card, and I’m about to claim it.
Continue reading “Short story: The Battle”
20 June 2012
The winners of the Media 24 Literary awards were announced earlier this month.
I’m thrilled that my third novel Dark Poppy’s Demise was awarded the M.E.R Prize for youth fiction even though I was convinced that this wasn’t going to be my year. The shortlist included two excellent award winning novels so I definitely felt like the underdog. The judges had this to say about the novel, “The book is wonderfully written and gripping from beginning to end.”
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2 August 2011
Last week Maya Fowler and I launched our new teen titles, Dark Poppy’s Demise and As jy ‘n ster sien verskiet at El Burro in Greenpoint.
Continue reading “Launch of Dark Poppy’s Demise”