The publication date for “Alice”, my new psychological drama set in Cape Town, South Africa, really could not be any more fitting. I couldn’t have planned this better if I’d tried, and believe me I did try! I had great ideas about how I was going to publish “Alice” towards the end of 2017. But, no matter how much effort and sheer will and determination I mustered, I could not, for some reason, get “Alice” to progress any faster than it has. And that has been a good thing too, because now publishing “Alice” can coincide with and mark the momentous occasion of my 20 year anniversary of leaving South Africa – to go backpacking in Europe and get a bar job in London!
I never intended to leave South Africa permanently on that day, all those years ago. I was just going on a round-the-world trip abroad, to see what the world outside SA was like. So my reason for not having returned yet…? Well, I’m still looking for that bar job and unless I find an agent or a publisher soon, I will have to redouble my efforts in that regard!
Despite having been away for two decades, my heart has never really left South Africa. It is a beautiful country with so much to offer despite its troubles and challenges of the past, present and near future. Every few years I return gladly, to visit my friends and family and relish in the familiar landscape, sunshine, and fresh sea breeze – a pet hate from when I was young and living in the path of the brisk South Easter.
And when I now have the pleasure of meeting a fellow South African abroad, regardless of how long they have been out of the country, there is an instant, unbreakable, visceral bond because they know, they feel and understand in their bones what it means to be South African — something impossible to explain.
The one thing that saddens me when I return to the UK is that I’m unable to share my beautiful country and all that is has given me with my foreign friends. If I won the lottery, that is what I would do: take all my friends on an extended trip to Cape Town, Camps Bay, up the garden route, through game parks, to Victoria Falls, peep in at Kimberly, stop off at Bloemfontein, and venture up to Namaqualand….
In many ways, writing and publishing “Alice” is an attempt to do just that in the smallest, humblest of ways. By telling a story set in Cape Town, Camps Bay and the Cape Flats I hope to give my friends and readers a tantalising glimpse of my beautiful and complex country and what it’s like to live there.
Although the characters, businesses, organisations and legal entities in my book are entirely fictional, most of the locations are based on and inspired by existing places. Later, I aim to write a post giving a little insight into my research trip to Cape Town last year, with some photographs and images that inspired the fiction.
So, until then, be sure to get your copy of “Alice” here: >> http://Dukebox.life/Alice
Awesome read – read it in one go – congratulations on amazing thriller and your anniversary.