Author of The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter & Jam; The West Rand Jive Cats Boxing Club; Cry Baby and a forthcoming title to be released in 2019
Course at Wits Business School
Master of Business Administration, 1999
A defining moment in my career
I used to try candy-coat things, but no longer: giving birth is less painful, less bloody and infinitely quicker than getting your first novel published. If you haven’t been smothered under the avalanche of “Dear Author, Thank you for your submission, but …” slips by the time you find a publisher, you and your manuscript will still have to face the pitiless glint of your editor’s scythe. The ego-pummelling will at least arm you for bad reviews once your novel is published, (akin to eavesdropping on a conversation about yourself in the smoke-room, during which everyone agrees that you suck).
Of course, once you have won a major literary prize, you can use the obscene prize money to bribe someone at Amazon to have those reviewers blocked. Or shot. But even while waiting for that fine day, I gotta say, it’s still worth it: We all cast ourselves as the flawed but gallant – dare I say, sexy? – heroes in our own fictionalised life stories, but writers take it to another level. It might look like I spend my days just sitting, but behind my dull gaze, as my fingers flit across the keyboard, I am no longer living a “stick to the speedlimit in my Volvo” life – instead I’ve opened the throttle on the highway after taking a long, slow pull on a bottle of moonshine.