Chat with Coin
Short background about yourself.
What were you like at school?
I was a nerd through and through – although I didn’t like going to school per se. Insane affinity for mathematics. Diligent, highly inquisitive although I abhorred the construct of “school”. On Wednesdays, Gabsie and I had mini-Saturday – where we’d go to Hatfield to chill and that’s when we discovered absinthe.
Since You write in English, were you good at it?
Yes, but me being me I thought since we’re in an English medium school wasn’t it prerequisite to be an A student in English? No? Ok… But I never thought much of my English until like grade 10 when I’d add a extra A4 3 Quire 288 page hard cover book to my stationery list, which I reserved for writing short stories, scribbles, conversations, bad poetry and the like then when I was done with a piece, I’d give a friend to read – away from me, or I get all weird and nervous, especially when they started crying at the sad parts. That’s when I thought that perhaps I should give this writing thing a go.
Mind you, writing was never on my list of things “to be”- I wanted to be an actuary or a housewife. My dad is an author, so when he used to read my English essays he’d smirk and say “it’s genetic”, I’d vehemently deny ever being one. Guess Bieber was right when he sang “never say never”
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A SALA (South African Literature Award) and some others? *grins*
Which writers inspire you and why?
Doris Lessing, I discovered her books when I was thirteen and going through a “diaries/journal of” phase and was bored with the young adults section of the public library, so I went to the adult section and “Diaries of Jane Somers” caught my attention, only to discover it was fiction (doh) but there was something about Jane, Kate (The Summer Before The Dark) and Anna (The Golden Notebook) that intrigued me. As Lisa Allardice put it, “she helped change the way women are perceived and perceive themselves”
My dad, for choosing to write in Sesotho and like during apartheid when many people would be like “why even bother, it’s not like Sesotho books are the best selling”, but he carried on with the same passion and drive.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m ghost-writing a teen novel series, think high school, peer pressure, girls – can’t say much about that yet and my second book, “The Nights I Can’t Remember and The Friends I Won’t Forget” about friendship dynamics, the secrets that keep us together and those that would tear us apart all in good ol’ Jo’burg.
Why do you write? Like, what made you sit down and actually start writing?
Apart from being bored at school, I write because there are stories in me that feel the need to be told. That and I always seem to find myself in a situation where people end up confiding in me some interesting tales and incidents that inspire me. Sometimes, I feel there’s a sticker on my forehead that says “I’m here to listen”, sometimes I’m not in the mood to listen and I can’t be rude and be like “uhm, not today” but it’s really like in what the author in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” says “People think the writer’s imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes; that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you. And as long as you maintain your ability to look, and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to…seek you out, uh, over your lifetime. To him, who has often told the tales of others, many tales will be told.”
Do you write on typewriter, pc, dictate or by hand?
By hand, and three drafts before I think it’s remotely perfect. Dunno, there’s something cathartic about it but I know I’m due for wrist tendon repair surgery because of this.
Where do your ideas come from?
*phew* I guess day-to-day situations? I’d be sitting somewhere and think “wouldn’t it be interesting if…” and if I’m sitting with someone, I’d run the idea by them, so most of my friends think I’m psycho.
Yeah, so, my ideas follow the phrase “wouldn’t it be interesting if?”
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Most probably, actually sitting down to write, which is why I’m so glad my tv blew up… but the internet and tumblr, especially tumblr.
Do you get writer’s block? How do you get through it?
Yes, I do and when that happens I grab a pen and paper and do some free association writing.
Do you read much? If so, who are your favourite authors?
I do. Mostly Doris Lessing, Jean-Paul Sartre. Bret Easton Ellis, Kgebetli Moele. Chuck Palahnuik, Niq Mhlongo, Roald Dahl and Veronique Tadjo
Which celebrated person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
Doris Lessing, because her books gave me that push to write and Billy Corgan.
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson
The Secret Garden by Agnieszka Holland
1979 – Smashing Pumpkins
You can read all her words HERE