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Andy Petersen’s Daniel Fox Launched in Cape Town

Andy Petersen, authorAndy Petersen, Gail & Keith Stacey, Matthew Snelling, David & James EmslieDeborah Patta

Young Adult author Andy Petersen is a young adult himself. At 14, this confident young man with a love of books knew what he wanted to read – but couldn’t find it. So he set about writing and just a couple of years on, he has now published his debut novel, Daniel Fox and the Jester’s Legacy, a fantasy about the “capital of the underworld, the great and most noble city of Arison”.

Friends and family and members of the public gathered to celebrate the launch at Exclusive Books, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Teens and tweens, babies and grannies, gathered to hear well-known TV journalist, Deborah Patta, introduced the young author as a family friend whom she has known for most of his life. “I should have known,” she said, “that when Andy said he was writing a book, he really would do it.”

As Patta was heading off to cover the US elections last year, she had asked Andy what he would ask the candidates if he had the chance. His articulate response yielded many useful questions that she was able to take to John McCain and Barack Obama.

Azhar & Haidr BooleyAndy was born in Chicago where his parents were both completing their PhDs. He now goes to school at St. John’s College in Johannesburg where he plays cricket and soccer, is a member of the debating team and in his spare time – how does he fit it all in? – jams in a rock band.

Patta spoke about the orgins of Daniel Fox, which the author started a couple of years ago. “When his mother, Heather, banished him to his room for an hour and a half of homework every day, he opted to write a novel and discovered instead the joys of writing.”

Julyan & Michaela SymonShe said he’d been very secretive about the book and commended him for taking this approach in order to ensure that his highly brainy parents didn’t influence or interfere in the creative process.

When Petersen took up the microphone, he shared the prompt that sparked the writing of Daniel Fox. “I was reading a really boring so-called fantasy book and I thought even kid could write something better than that. I figured I could probably do it. So I made up my mind and did it.”

Author & MomAndy, who has grown up in a home where books were talked about with passion and delight, acknowledged the influence his book-loving parents and siblings had had on his life.

The classics that inspired him included JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and JK Rowlings’ Harry Potter series. When the manuscript was first submitted to Penguin, it was rejected as “lacking depth and texture”. The young author was not deterred. He set about rewriting “every word” of the story, adding the missing elements that improved it and made the book publishable.

What was the key factor that got the book rewritten after the rejection? “Sheer bloodyminded persistence,” said Andy.

Photo Gallery

Matthew & Sharon AtkinsDaniel & Priscilla MeshamSamantha & Elaine Sassman Alison Cameron, Zelda Clarke & Michael HattinghMichael Atkins & Nigel Webster Kate Rethman, Andy Petersen & Andy van ZylAmy, Sue & Nicole Andersen Cindy, Stef, Annabelle & Louisa NaudePaul Bradnum, Margaret Rundle & Glen Bradnum Gail Stacey, Matthew Snelling & James Emslie Shelley Bass, Jean Oosthuizen, Anna Oosthuizen & Michele PerksSeshadari Moodley, Deena Moodley & Revana Moodley Matthew Snelling, Gail & Keith StaceyLeanne Harris & Cheryl Black

Daniel Fox and the Jester’s LegacyBook Details


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    March 5th, 2009 @14:14 #

    Got that right! Sheer bloodyminded persistence -- Andy I salute you, with such an attitude you are sure to go far, you've already achieved something wonderful, and seem bright enough not to let 'living up to yourself' (like in the Margaret Atwood essay 'Encouraging the young') get you down.


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