Author's Blog and Latest News

Thursday
Oct052017

The words are gathering again...

Yesterday, I started writing a new book. By "writing", I mean I mooched about the house, muttering what-if's and maybe''s by the dozen. Today I continued this process, which is grandly known as plotting or outlining. It breaks my brain. For every idea I get, I can see a bunch of reasons why that's not feasible, wouldn't work, is unrealistic. (I am cursed with a VERY realistic, logical, analytical brain.)

Today I continued this process. Couldn't come up with whodunnit or why. Tried showering - ideas are supposed to fall on (into?) your head in the shower, right? No luck.

Tried writing in a purrty notebook, In soft pencil. Some ideas, but no shabang.

I told myself I could just start writing, without knowing what happens, and see what happens. I know there are authors who write into the void, not knowing who the murderer is when they start their books, but... but ... HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!

Eventually, I took to my car. Driving the ring road around my city while muttering hypothetical situations and motivations to myself tends to loosen the cogs in my brain for some reason, and it worked again today - oh, happy day!

Now I just need to do some research to see if what I imagined is even possible. Reality is such a drag.

Anyway, gentle reader, the cogs have begun to turn.

Saturday
Sep092017

New Book Release!

Woohoo - The Law of Tall Girls is live!

I am so excited to share the launch of my latest novel with you!

You've shared my writing highs and editing lows, the trials and tribulations of my cover design (I am totally in love with the final design!), and finally my book baby is born :)

This is a special book to me, because I put a lot that's personal into it. Not only am I a tall girl, but I felt different and like I just didn't fit in during much of my teen years. And not just because I was tall, and had a bigger head (literally), hands, feet than those around me, lol!

But as I've grown up, chatted to oodles of people, taught teenagers, studied and practised psychology, and listened to thousands of teens (and once-were-teens, lol), I've discovered an amazing secret: we ALL felt that way! Even the ones who looked like they had it all together were struggling on the inside.

Every single one of us had - or still has - something about us that makes us feel like a freak or a misfit in some way.

So that's really what this book is about. And I hope you love it!

(And if you do, please leave a review so I can sell a few, and afford the time to write another.)

 You can buy it here, or read more (plus an excerpt!) here.

Tuesday
Aug292017

Cover reveal!

I'm so delighted with the way the cover for my new book turned out! I can't wait for you to read it :)

(Just a couple of weeks now!)

Thursday
Jun292017

HOW I WRITE

One of the things I like to do when writing a book, is write in different layers.

Sometimes this means that I imply something for a more mature audience that would go over the head of a much younger reader. Often, it means that I’m writing something that can be read two ways. A character that you thought was one type of person (a goodie, say, or a baddy) turns out to be the complete opposite. Or there’s a grand misunderstanding happening, and while two characters think they’re talking about the same thing, they’re most certainly not! Or there may be a double-meaning, or a warning in my chapter title. Or you might assume a character is referencing one thing, when really, she’s meaning something else entirely, hehe.

It talks serious skull-sweat to write this way. Sometimes I have to wrangle for hours over the exact wording of a sentence so that it holds true for both character X (who is talking/thinking/imagining one scenario) AND character Y (who is thinking, fearing, dealing with a whole different set of thoughts, feelings and issues).
I’m aware that many (most?) readers rushing through the book won’t see this and won’t do a reread. But as a reader, I get such a kick of reading a book for a second or twentieth time (looking at you, Harry Potter) and noticing all the hints, double-meanings and multiple layers that I didn’t, or couldn’t, pick up on a first read.

So, if you’re one of those gems who races through a book, and then decides to read it again, more slowly and observantly, to understand and appreciate more fully (now with the benefit of 0-20 hindsight) exactly what was going on in this or that scene, just know that I love you. And that I deliberately write for YOU!

(And if you were to guess that I’d written this post after a day spent of double-meanings and misdirections in my next book, you’d be 100% right!)

Why the pic of Severus Snape? Because he's a character who, for 6 entire books, was written as  and bad, and fans still argue about whether he turned out to be one, the other, or both! (At that Harry Potter conference I described in an earlier post, one of the best-selling items was a T-shirt printed on both sides. On the front, it read: Snape is good! And on the back, it read: Snape is a very bad man!)

Monday
Jun262017

Harry Potter turns 20! 

Twenty short years ago, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone was published. A particular kind of magic was unleashed into the world, and we haven't been the same since!

I'd never been a great reader of fantasy, and when I heard “Dragons, wizards, magic!” I thought ... meh, not for me. How wrong I was!

When I finally came to the books (only after the second movie was released, if I remember correctly), I still wasn't immediately won over. The first book is really written for younger readers and while I thought it was fun, it was only when I started reading through the succeeding books, that I realized how magnificent Rowling's world, her characters and her intricately interconnected plots were. By the release of the fifth book, Goblet of Fire (my second favorite in the series), I was standing in line beside my kids outside the book store, waiting for the midnight release, as keen a fan as ever there was.

I joined the HP fandom, and reveled in it!  My favorite online sites podcasts were The Leaky Cauldron (I still miss Melissa, Sue and Jon) and Pottercast. A highlight was attending 2007's Phoenix Rising fan conference in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and finally finding my tribe. I presented a paper on the psychology of Harry and his world, called Harry on the Couch, (which just last month I delivered again at The Franschhoek Literary Festival in South Africa). Three days of Wizard Rock concerts in Bourbon street, wizard duels in the hotel (beside the accountant delegates and military bigwigs from two other conferences held at the same time), quizzes and competitions, midnights screenings of the movies while snuggled up in squashy purple sleeping bags, and immersing myself deeper in HP - from the perspectives of experts in genetics, politics, feminism, cinematic arts, music, alchemy, botany and literary theory - it was fantastic in every way!

These magical books, their themes and stories, their fans around the globe - have gotten me through some tough times. They still provide me with joy, and with inspiration in my own journey as a writer, because having seen the impact of Harry Potter on my own and others' lives, I will NEVER discount the importance of writing and reading for the purposes of sheer entertainment and escapism. At its best, it's holy, noble work.

So when some or other ignorant asks (as they inevitably do), “Harry Potter? Still? After all this time?” I reply, “Always.”

Of course it has mostly been all in my head, but on earth should that mean it’s not real?