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Thoughts about Writing

Thoughts about Writing

When you think about starting your story, it's easy to imagine you're like a Magician, pulling rabbits from hats. Because we're pulling thoughts from imaginations, from thin air, from wherever. But the Magician knows the rabbit is in one place. We create our story by trying to weave magic from dozens of places, all thought of and scripted in our minds. But our world becomes so much more difficult when you think of who it is you're hoping to bring the wow factor to. The Magician knows - they're in the audience. We try to find our niche audience. Is it fantasy, young adult, romance, fiction, poetry or stories for small children? A rabbit is a rabbit and a hat is a hat. A book is so much more, because it is the sum of a hundred, a thousand, parts. And don't you just love it when you do your first edit and you look at a chapter somewhere in the book and say to yourself. Who on earth wrote that???? Surely that did NOT come from me? And we realize the complete disconnect between our brain and our fingers, because sometimes the bridge connecting the two fell into the river.


I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1951.

I spent my early years in Linbro Park, a suburb of Johannesburg, on a small holding of peach trees, asparagus and rhubarb, exploring the long disused next-door cemetery with my two brothers and avoiding snakes and our Grandfather’s beady eyes.

From there the family relocated to a farm in Chingola, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia).
Given the farm was carved out of virgin forest, it was back to avoiding snakes and other inhabitants of the thick bush – I often look back and wonder how I survived all my carefree cavorting in the bush and forests and encounters with some of Africa’s most poisonous snakes.

From Zambia we relocated to Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) where I finished my schooling and then attended university in South Africa.

After completing my degree, I spent the best part of the following five years in the Rhodesian border war, eventually leaving Rhodesia when the war ended and relocated back to South Africa.

Somehow it seemed that all of my school years were spent at isolated boarding schools, buried deep in the bush in both Northern Rhodesia and Rhodesia learning a deep and abiding love for Africa and wild life.