Short story: The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

From my research I can safely say that the first mention of the grinning man was in Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, published in 1869. In it, a boy named Gwynplaine was mutilated to such an extent it left him with a permanent grin. The book inspired several films of the same name, the most famous being Conrad Veidt’s eerie portrayal in 1928. His rictus grin shocked the world.

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How to write a YA novel in 3 minutes

13 September 2013

Cat Hellisen, Sarah Lotz and I hosted our first Young Adult masterclass at the Open Book festival on Wednesday 11 September 2013.

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FLF: A writer’s festival

23 May 2013

It’s difficult to come back down to earth after a weekend of non-stop celebration, but that’s what it felt like after this weekend’s Franschhoek Literary Festival. It was a whirlwind of friends, wine, good food and happy memories.

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Sarah and I visit Springfield

2 December 2011

This week superstar author Sarah Lotz and I visited Springfield Convent School in Wynberg to chat about our books, what it’s like to be a writer in South Africa, and in Sarah’s case, the trouble she gave her parents as a teenager.

We started off by chatting about our books, Deadlands and Dark Poppy’s Demise, and how we came about to write them.

Sarah and I both love Stephen King, and the more we talked, the clearer it became that true horror lies in what human beings are capable of doing to each other, which is the reason why my novels are set firmly in the here and now and why Sarah’s horror novel The Mall works on both commercial and literary levels.

The grade ten and eleven girls were abuzz with questions; asking us everything from how to get published; where we get our inspiration from; and how long it takes to write a novel; to what time we wake up in the morning and how old we are.

We ended off our visit with a quick reading from both our books.

Short story: First Date

They were on a date. It was very by the book.
His mother had pressed a crisp one hundred rand note into his hand before she dropped them off at the entrance to the carnival.
To her credit, she kept the embarrassing behaviour to a minimum.
It was a perfect night; not too cold with a cloudless sky ablaze with stars. It was a night where magic could happen.

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My first FLF as a panelist

16 May 2011

I attended the Franschhoek Literary Festival this year as a first-time speaker.

I first attended the festival in 2009 as a guest of my editor Helen Moffett. It was a squeal inducing experience with lots of encounters with my literary heroes (Tom Eaton, Finuala Dowling, Max du Preez etc) and lots of running around in the rain (it was the year that Cape Town experienced that frightening storm to end all storms that managed to blow itself into the winelands).
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Behind-the-scenes of the Dark Poppy book trailer

28 April 2011

Book trailers are neat little things. They’re like film trailers, except instead of trying to get audiences excited about upcoming films based on novels, they showcase the novels themselves.

For my upcoming book, Dark Poppy’s Demise I called up girl power director extraordinaire, Kirby Kruger, to help me out with a trailer.
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Fast Fuse facts


July 8 2009

Some snippets from my interview with Hunter Kennedy from the launch of Fuse last night.

The original name for the novel was going to be Kaboom, after the Marilyn Manson song of the same name. I wanted a direct reference to the controversial singer but at the last minute decided to change it. I still managed to sneak a reference to him in the book, but you’ll have to read it to find it.
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