Q:Tell us more about yourself, your background, interests, hobbies…
I was born in Durban and studied journalism at DUT. My parents worked long hours to keep the home fires burning so while they were away I found comfort in reading. Words fascinated me – I read billboards, newspapers, letters that came in the post – everything I could get my hands on. While working at the Independent Newspaper house in Greyville, Durban I realized I was falling in love with words and the seeds to write my very own story was planted then – it was the late 1990s. I am addicted to social media (you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram); I enjoy photography; socializing and I blog at www.daretobedifferentsite.wordpress.com
Q:When did you start writing and having an interest for storytelling?
In 1998 I really wanted to write my own book – not to become famous but to leave a legacy – sure that is a big dream but I persevered – I started writing the words to my debut novel and didn’t do much with it because I was consumed by fear and doubt. Last year I dusted that manuscript off, reworked it into a romantic suspense and voila I self-published DEADLINE in May 2016. I write every day, all the time. I am in love with words and it takes my breath away just to see how they take shape on a blank canvas. I am also fortunate because I work as a Communications Manager in Local Government and produce written pieces on a daily basis. The first book I read was in Grade one and it was the Red Book about Meg, the Hen and the red lorry – that was ages ago. At the end of that year I won a book prize for sterling performance in class – it was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The rest, as they say is history.
Q:What is the inspiration behind BEAUTIFUL CHAOS?
Love – well I have never really been lucky in love. My heart gets broken all the time, but still, I believe. I met a friend on Facebook last year and he represented the ‘ideal’ romance. I didn’t vocalize my affections because we were so mismatched on so many levels. Yes, I met him for coffee twice and let’s just say he rocked my world. I don’t want to mention too much, but Beautiful Chaos is dedicated to him. He inspired me, he made me believe and I will always feel for him, from a distance.
Q:What are you hoping the readers will get from the narrative?
This is not the boy meets girl story we are accustomed to – yes the cover shows a happy couple but that is not how the story goes. It is about finding love and being too scared to pursue it because of fear. My aim here is to encourage people to chase their goals and go after their hearts’ desires. If you love someone – tell them. And life is simple so why do we allow society to mould us into a complicated mess? I want my readers to become part of this story – they must feel the emotions and before it is too late they must find a way to achieve their desires.
Q:Why do you prefer self-publishing?
Traditional publishing does not give you ownership of how you want to see your work take shape. While it may work for some I prefer self-publishing to have full rights of where I want my story to go. Also, I write what most people are afraid to talk about. I write what I know people would like to read and self-publishing gives me the liberty to do just that. I control all rights to my work and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Q:Where do you see yourself and your writing in the future?
My dream was to publish one book; but the bug bit me and I wrote Beautiful Chaos in five weeks. My long-term goal is to encourage people to read and breathe life into their stories. I would love to be the link that connects pre-published writers with seasoned authors; I also see myself as an inspirational speaker because so many people told me I couldn’t do it – but look at me now. I have two self-published books to my name and all this in a matter of two years.
Extract from Beautiful Chaos:
“Everything was moving so fast I could not keep up. I heard voices again—so many but I did not recognise any of them. There was a soft hand on my forehead. That was comforting. It smelled of coco butter. “You’re in good hands, Honey. It’s going to be okay. Just hold on. Don’t give up now!” I wondered who she might be. Will I see her once they fix me up? Am I broken, I wondered. Wish I could take a selfie right now. I mean how do I tell my almost two thousand Facebook friends that I was in a crash? Nah man, jokes aside. That’s how I make memories. Post it on Instagram. Share it on Twitter. Perhaps I should blog how I crashed my car. I wonder how many likes and comments would come in.
“We have a collapsed lung. Weak heartbeat. She’s lost lots of blood. I need a chest tube pronto!” the big lady in green scrubs shouted. Who was she talking to? I wondered where they were taking me and then I saw it—a small room with bright lights. So clinical. I hated hospitals. It reminded me of death and suffering. There are so many people prodding me. I wonder if they know what they are doing? A young doctor rubbed my chest down with some orange stuff and poked a plastic tube thingy in me. He was cute. I know I shouldn’t be looking at him that way because my condition wasn’t looking too good. I couldn’t feel anything. Someone was shining a flashlight in my eye and I did not blink. Can you believe it? “No response. Quick. We must move her to Milpark. She’s critical. We can’t do much for her.”
I heard someone say my family must be informed. Deep in my heart I hoped my situation will reach Seraj. I care so deeply about him. I don’t want him thinking I didn’t want to help with the wedding. Honestly though, that is going to kill me. God give me strength please.
I didn’t know loving Seraj was going to hurt this much.”