This week we had a radio interview on Mix FM with the lovely Lundi “Khoisan” Cavernelis for #ChasingMarian which was supposed to happen on Tuesday in-studio but ended up happening later on in the week over Zoom because poor Lundi fell ill. I was simultaneously supposed to be in a story meeting on Tuesday so it was probably a good thing that I was not trying to listen in to our meeting whilst doing an interview. Yes, our stories are coming along nicely for #TheEstateOn3 and we hope you will enjoy the new season.
During all of this, I had to prepare for the launch of Boiling a Frog Slowly, Cathy Park Kelly’s Memoir published by Karavan Press about “love gone wrong”. It was FANTASTIC and more than a little emotional to be book-launching at Love Books after two years, and it was very exciting to meet Cathy in the flesh as we have only met online. The launch was packed and I saw a couple of familiar faces, including Nicola Cloete who is a former student of mine from WITS (and is now very fancy and much degreed), and her husband who is a former student of Cathy’s (nothing like meeting former students to make you feel seriously MATURE).
The book sold like hotcakes which is always lovely to see, and Cathy has organised for a book box where you can buy an extra copy of the book which then goes to organisations that deal with the survivors of GBV like Kwanele and POWA which I think is WONDERFUL. There are some copies left at Love Books, including signed copies, so hurry up if you want one for yourself or you want to contribute to the book box because I think they will sell out fast.
Authors Sue Nyathi and Gail Schimmel were both at the launch, Gail reminded me that it was exactly five years ago that we launched Delilah Now Trending at Love Books. Shocking that it’s taken me so long to get another book out (and a quarter of a book at that) but I guess it’s been a rather busy five years. Sue, who was Cathy’s editor on the anthology When Secrets Become Stories also got to meet Cathy IRL for the first time which was rather special.
Besides preparing for the launch, Wednesday was spent trying to come up with interesting titles for the panels for the Kingsmead Book Fair. I have so much respect for the people who curate these fairs, it’s really not easy trying to come up with interesting, relevant topics with snappy titles. Luckily, fellow literary advisor Sue Nyathi had some brilliant ideas for this, so I didn’t have to stress too much. I think we have got some FANTASTIC panels. Tickets go on sale NEXT WEEK and I would hurry up and book because we can only fill 50% of the venues.
Yes, even though the State of Disaster has officially ended, there are still restrictions in place. 750 days, dear readers – who the hell would’ve thought this shitshow would’ve lasted so long? We are battered and bruised but still standing. Although my mind goes back to all the horrible things that happened along the way, I also try to remember the good things including the fact that we wrote a group novel. This is my not very subtle cue to remind you of our Exclusive Books do next Tuesday. Lundi (from the radio interview) will be interviewing us and it’s going to be a proper larf. There will be goodie bags and spot prizes so do come along and DON’T FORGET TO RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I tried to watch Slow Horses and We Crashed on Apple TV, but they were both meh. The dialogue in Slow Horses seemed very stilted, like a stage play and was just chockers with cliches and Jared Leto’s performance in We Crashed was just…no. HOWEVER, the great thing is that I saw someone else recommending Slow Horses which, as a writer myself, I always find reassuring. I might hate something, someone else might love it. X might hate my book/show but Y might love it.
What I did find utterly riveting is Worst Roommate Ever on Netflix. My brother and SIL had a very similar experience with a tenant right here in Joburg so it seems that trying to get rid of a psychopath from your home doesn’t seem to be easy where-ever you live. My takeout from all these doccies I’ve been watching about con-men is that if someone tells you they were in the Special Forces – RUN.
I also started reading It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way by Alistair Mackay. Thank you to the lovely Helené Prinsloo and Kwela Books for my copy. I don’t usually pick dystopian novels as the world feels dystopian enuff at this point, however Alistair writes beautifully, plus the novel is a real page-turner and the stuff about the plants communicating is totally MY CUP OF TEA. I went and had a little chat with the ailing oak tree and gave her a big hug after I started reading it.
Which brings me to my next point – as we head into the month of long weekends, try and switch off your phones and get off social media, friends. It’s overwhelming and depressing as hell. Rather go and spend time with your loved ones, hug a tree and read a book. Happy reading! xxx