I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1951.
I spent my early years in Linbro Park, a suburb of Johannesburg, on a small holding of peach trees, asparagus and rhubarb, exploring the long disused next-door cemetery, avoiding snakes and grandpa's beady eyes. (And they were eyes that missed nothing).
From there the family relocated to a farm in Chingola, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia).
Given the farm was carved out of virgin forest, it was back to avoiding snakes and other denizens of the thick bush - but all good learning curves.
From Zambia the family relocated to Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) and from there I attended university in South Africa.
Somehow it seemed that all of my school years were spent at isolated boarding schools, buried deep in the bush in both Northern Rhodesia and Rhodesia, which may account for a lot of my quirks.
After the bush war, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, I emigrated back to South Africa where I now live in Cape Town.
Q1. When did you start writing?
My first Word manuscript save was one evening on 14 June 2016
Q2. What makes writing your passion?
I have always been an avid reader and walker. I spent long hours walking through the nature reserve behind our suburb in Cape Town thinking about writing a book - for some strange reason. Once I started writing, it has been difficult to stop. I find myself thinking of ideas constantly and I become restless.
Q3. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Q4. What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was ecstatic, thinking about how the world would flock to my book. It was only later that I realised the book on Amazon was simply the start of the journey.
Q5. What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
In this series, When the Sun Blinked, the bulk of my characters are based, sometimes loosely, others more prominently, on people I knew or have met in my life.
Q6. What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I don't think anything really annoys me about writing. I wasn't prepared for how hard it is to get out there, but that's more disappointment, I guess, rather than annoyance.
Q7. How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
If I am battling in one of my books at a certain point, I jump forward, continue with the story and then come back and fill in the gap(s). I also do my best thinking first thing in the morning while taking my two dogs for their daily walk. That usually clears away the fog.
Q8. We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I keep going because I'm now hooked on it. I guess it is like nicotine to smokers.
Any advice to new authors would be. It is hard, hard work, but never give up.
Q9. If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Slow down on your expectations. Like the seed you plant and nurture, it takes time for the tree to grow.
Q10. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I've not really had to deal with that - yet. I guess when it happens I'll be temporarily crushed. But everyone has their own views of what they read. I've often downloaded books onto my kindle because they've had excellent reviews and once I'm reading, I'll wonder if they were talking about the same book.
Q11. What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Hope and happiness.
Q12. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes. My series When the Sun Blinked incorporated a personal disaster in my life. I am one of the characters and everything I eventually open up about to my fellow survivors in the book is true.
Q13. Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I am one of my characters in the series.
Q14. What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Covers are important yes. But what is art to one person is not to someone else. I've seen famous authors with great covers and famous authors with plain covers. The saying does hold true in many, not all, instances -"Don't judge a book by its cover."
Q15. Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
An area I have to work on. I'm a very introverted person in many ways so I find it hard.
Q16. How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Q17. Who is your favorite author? Why?
John Sandford. I love how he brings his characters to life and weaves them so seamlessly into the stories.
Q18. What’s the dream? Who would you like to be as big as?
Yes, I'd like to be big, but to be happy is better.
Q19. Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I don't think so. I'm happy with them.
Q20. If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I'm sorry. I have no answer here.
Q21. What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
That's life. They're out there and it is always going to happen.
Q22. What would you say to your readers?
Please give my series a chance. I have tried to unfold my story through the current three books by walking in their shoes and seeing through their eyes. Something terrible happened to them when their aircraft crashed. But like the rest of us - we do our best to make it.
Thank you for sharing! Now, could share something a little more personal!
Q23. Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Cape Town, well Hout Bay actually, a suburb of Cape Town, on the Atlantic Seaboard. I'm married and have two sons of my own and three step-daughters.
Q24. What is your day job if you have one?
My day job is weekend work of analysing training data.
Q25. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Walk my dogs, read and write. Some would say that's a pretty boring life, but I'm happy with it.
Q26. Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes. I grew up on a farm which had literally been carved out of thick Southern African forest. On holidays, I spent most of my time in the forest exploring. Beautiful memories of what was a beautiful land.
Q27. Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Yes. Several years after a personal disaster. I initially wanted to write about it as a way of finding peace, but eventually, I rather let my story unfold as one of the characters.
Q28. Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I have one unfinished book. It is the sixth in another series about a drug empire in Cape Town and on an on-going low-intensity war between the cartel and a family in Hout Bay. Sort of on my doorstep so to speak.
Q29. What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Too much rigidity in old teaching methodologies and subject matter. The world has changed dramatically. Our education systems need to reflect that.
Q30. If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
Health, happiness and long lives for my children.
Q31. What is your favorite music?
Rock music from the 70's and 80's. Also certain individual artists such as Adele, Elton John, Billy Joes, Chris de Burgh.
Q32. Share a secret with us 🙂
I'm scared of failure.