02 NOV 2017: – Now that I have my first collection of short stories available on Kindle, I’ll endeavour to get a few Q&A sessions going! Why not, maybe I become famous one day and you can boast that you once asked me a question. Mind you, you’ll most likely become famous way before me… then I’ll have proof that we once had a few second’s dialogue!
OK… here’s the link to the first collection…
I eagerly await the first questions!
03 NOV 2017: – The first question is in but I’ll get to that shortly. First, here’s the link to the original post about beginning the Q&A sessions.
I’ll include a wee snippet of that post, just to set the tone…
I tell the tale, usually when there’s a party on the go and I feel like generating odd looks among strangers, of the occupants of a small family saloon occupying the insides of my head. That means, at any given time, I have between three and five adults up there. Yes, you must see the looks! Then, when I really want to wind them up, I divulge that the driver is a hot redhead beauty. A bit of a slapper, as they say here in Ireland. A bold girl… as my South African friends would say, ‘n lekker los stuk!
OK… on to the first question –
Q: You seem to me a very upbeat person, so do your stories always have a happy ending?
To answer iAMsafari –
A: NO! Most of my stories end up in flashes of light or death, even jail! It’s not often a happy ending. I mean… that would be boring. That would be the engineer’s way of doing things, surely? And YES, I am really a very upbeat person. Life’s philosophy… getting just one person to smile per day makes the day worthwhile! Faith too, has a large influence on my upbeat attitude!
Q: Where in the world is the most interesting place you have lived? I am sure there have been a few.
So asks Joan. Now, I know Joan lived in Southern Africa and I know she knows I’m from there… so, here goes!
A: The Western Cape, South Africa. It has been called many things but the most quoted one is the Fairest Cape of ALL! (Sir Francis Drake, 1580). An uncle of mine used to say… 52 weekends a year is never enough to visit a different place each time! Cape Town itself is special… I can go on and on. I’ll go visit again one day. The thought of enjoying a good Pinotage atop Table Mountain is just too enticing to ignore!
17 Nov 2017 – Hester made my Friday morning with this whopper!
Q: I have a double-barrelled question for you: Do you like reading and who is your favourite writer?
A: OK… where do I begin? I don’t like reading! But, I love doing research for my stories and just for the sake of learning stuff!
The reason I don’t like reading is that I’m slightly lysdexic… and as a kid at school I was confused by the pressure of trying to read and understand what I was supposed to be seeing.
However, I worked out the reading thing eventually and really began reading in my first few years in the air force. Long days of guard duty and being far away from home! (I used to sell my body and do other people’s weekend duties for payment – that allowed me the chance to fly home about every 6 weeks…)
I loved all the action writers of the 60’s/ 70’s/ 80’s. Loved Louis L’Amour’s westerns! Who doesn’t remember Dusty Fog?
James A Kitchener – so many good ones… Hawaii, The Drifters, The Covenant…
Leon Uris – Exodus!
Sir Jeffrey Archer – A Quiver Full Of Arrows – I was going to title my first collection of short stories “A Quiver Half Full” … in honour of Sir JA. After hearing a radio interview where he said he’s a storyteller, not an author, I decided to put my pride in my pocket and write… tell my stories!
A certain Mr Hemingway… massive influence on my style and how I see things! I’ve said it before… if one is only half as good in life as he was you’ll be a success!
OH, never ever forget Wilbur, our own Wilbur! I’ve read them all! Up to A Sparrow Falls! His imagery… his Africa, it lives in so many minds!
The internet is my library… I don’t know how I would research if it wasn’t for the internet! However, there are always books around in the house. Mostly books I buy are nonfiction. Proteas, Birds of Southern Africa, SA Fish… the list goes on! Now its European Birds, plants and butterflies…
Then, last but not least… the Bible, KJV – I grew up on the stories of King David!
There will always be books about. I want to build a book wall one day, when we build our own cottage! Books… books, and more books!
Onthou jy Micro? Lafras Kuiper! Hulle was my Afrikaanse helde!
Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow… a friend, over on the other side of the island, asked me the following question a while ago.
Q: As a South African, what do you think of us Irish as a race?
A: Not an easy one to answer. We’ve been living in Ireland for almost 17 years so I think I I’ve been given sufficient time to find an answer. The Irish in the workplace are great. Innovative, driven to succeed. In that lies a bit of a problem. They don’t like competition, especially from outsiders. No need to tell you then that it’s difficult to play when the goalposts move continuously… and the field is tilted so I have to run uphill all the time.
The Irish are very welcoming! Yep, song and dance is an Irish invention! However, they will happily share in the gaiety but only down at the pub. You won’t be likely to get an invite to their homes. Closed society rings a bell? Fair play to them… that’s their prerogative.
I’ve made a few friends who will occasionally call around to our house. We’ve long realised they don’t want to call around because they think that will force them to invite you to their domain. Not on. I stick to myself. Joviality at work and that’s that. I don’t really do the pub-culture thing so just about every friend I have is at work. So, when you move from job to job as is the way of contracting you say goodbye and keep in touch via email. Until one day you don’t get a reply. Friendship over!
I can go on. I’ve made friends on Twitter. Folk who I’d really want to meet up with in the future. Like minded… artists, writers, brewers and small farmers. Common interests! When we lived inland I got involved with a few of the inland boatmen who own barges. They welcomed me into their boats. I still maintain a long distance friendship with Joe. He respects me for who I am. Thanks Joe!
I’m a bit of a loner so it doesn’t bother me to keep my own company. I don’t suffer fools kindly so maybe it’s best I keep my own company. OK… I’ll stop now! Square peg and all those kinds of thing. On that note… it could be my fault that I’m not accepted. I’m reminded of something a boatman once shared. He has worked all over the world and understands the Irish psyche…
“The Irish are renowned worldwide for getting the job done. It doesn’t matter how or how good, just get it done!”
Me – as a South African? We did the job too, to the best of our ability, striving for perfection, pride in your work was instilled from very early! Yes, that’s the fundamental difference and maybe that’s why we are seen as a threat in the workplace!
A slightly more in-depth interview I completed for the Expat’s Blog can be found here…
Here’s another post completed about the Art of Writing…