Love Your Wine by Cathy Marston

Love Your Wine  Most of us, I would guess, divide wine into these three classes: (a) Eye-wateringly expensive (for wine snobs and oligarchs only); (b) So cheap you’re convinced it would be more suitable in a salad dressing or as a paint remover, or; (c) reasonably priced and tastefully packaged enough so as not to embarrass yourself at the next braai, (the South African word … Continue reading Love Your Wine by Cathy Marston

Constantia and it's neighbours

Constantia And It’s Neighbours by Dr Helen Robinson

The Thursday Club, hosted by Sandy Bailey, is a group of bibliophiles who regularly attend book launches at the Buitenverwagting Wine Farm in Constantia to enjoy delicious food, wonderful wines and to have the honour of meeting authors up close and personal. I have had the pleasure of attending the last three of these launches and I shall be posting articles of the releases. I … Continue reading Constantia And It’s Neighbours by Dr Helen Robinson

I want you dead by peter james

I Want You Dead

I WANT YOU DEAD – By PETER JAMES Peter James was recently in South Africa to launch his crime thriller, I Want You Dead, his latest in a line of 10 best-selling novels featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. As with the previous novels, this thriller also takes place in Brighton, where Peter currently resides for part of the year, his other residence being in Nottinghill, … Continue reading I Want You Dead

Cynic's Guide To Publishing

The Cynic’s Guide To Publishing

Written a book have you? Your first, I hear you say? Well done you! No, truly, congratulations. You’ve spent long, lonely hours banging away on your computer with only your cat (or dog, if you’re of the canine persuasion) for company. Your friends and family think: (a) you’ve emigrated to Outer Borneo; (b) you’re dead; or (c) lost your wifi and/or phone connection (which is as good as being dead anyway). You’ve survived on more caffeine than is healthy for your liver (and other soft tissue organs), nicotine (if you weren’t a smoker before, you’ve most probably flirted with the idea) and dreary ready meals (by the way, how is it that microwaved food can singe the roof of your mouth and freeze your tongue simultaneously?).

Now, if you will, cast your mind back. To the day that you first, (perhaps misguidedly), decided to write the book you always said you would. You thought of an ingenious title and proudly opened a file on your computer. You hunted dementedly online for a cover picture, and then typed those magic words that were going to reinvent your life as an author: “Chapter One”. Your initial enthusiasm may have been somewhat dampened when, diddling around on the internet, you stumbled upon the fact that you needed to write at least 80 000 words to publish a credible novel. However, determined to follow your calling (an overrated idea, if you ask me) you toiled on and on. Word followed word, sentence followed sentence, paragraph followed paragraph etc. (you know the drill) until (after dawdling around a tad aimlessly mid-plot), you typed those words that filled you with unrivaled joy: “The End”. You felt like Cathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. Remember how she typed those words with great satisfaction, then opened a celebratory can of tuna for her cat (and topped it with a spring of parsley, yet?). That feeling.

Aaw bless. Now you’re envisioning thousands of copies of your novel in its snappy cover gracing the shelves of the most illustrious book shops throughout the world – it will, naturally, be translated into 50 languages, including Tagalog (Google that, I had to). You’ve practiced your signature for book signings for your adoring fans, and maybe even dared to go so far as mentally choosing a designer gown/suit for the red carpet on your way to collect your Pulitzer or Oscar (oh, and you’re also eagerly awaiting that call from Steven Spielberg offering you a movie deal). In other words, you’re on the cusp of literary uber-stardom. Step aside Ms Rowling and Mr Ludlum, your successor has been born! Continue reading “The Cynic’s Guide To Publishing”

Oilsome Seagull

Seagulls – beautiful yet wild, mischievous yet fierce, aggressive yet comical, omnipresent yet barely noticed by humans. And when we do notice them it’s normally for the wrong reasons – stealing food, dive-bombing anyone who gets too close to their young, or generally squabbling amongst themselves and making a racket. In short, being a nuisance, one we could do without. However, while their absence may … Continue reading Oilsome Seagull