Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Penguin SA

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Cover revealed for Marita van der Vyver’s new novel to be published early 2017

Marita van der Vyver’s new novel to be published early 2017Marita van der Vyver’s new novel to be published early 2017
Swemlesse vir 'n meerminA Fountain in FranceOlinosters op die dakDie coolste ouma op aardeWinter Food in ProvenceWinterkos in Provence

Penguin Random House will be publishing Marita van der Vyver’s 13th novel, You Lost Me, early in 2017 in English and Afrikaans.

The author, who lives in France, will be in South Africa to promote the novel in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria in March and May 2017. Readers will also have the opportunity to see her in Stellenbosch during Woordfees, and at the Franschhoek Literary Festival.

You Lost Me is the story of Willem Prins, a disillusioned South African writer who, after little success, finds himself in Paris to promote an erotic novel he wrote under a pseudonym – to his great embarrassment. It’s here that he meets Jackie, a young South African who works in the city as au pair. The two of them happen to be together on the night that the Paris terror attacks strike.

You Lost Me is contemporary and thrilling; wickedly funny yet poignant. The novel reinforces Van der Vyver’s position as one of the country’s best-loved writers since the publication of her first novel, Entertaining Angels.

Related stories:

Photograph by Robert Hamblin for Vrouekeur

Book details

» read article

Watter lesse het die Britse jeugboekskrywer Chris Bradford in die Bosveld geleer?

Bodyguard: AmbushChris Bradford is die jong Britse jeugboekskrywer wat vanjaar ‘n draai gemaak het in Suid-Afrika by die Franschhoek Literêre Fees en die Kingsmead Book Fair.

Hoezit, die “pretwerf met breinkrag” vir jongmense, geskep deur Fanie Viljoen en Jaco Jacobs, het met die Bodyguard: Ambush-outeur gesels oor sy Young Samurai-reeks.

Bradford vertel meer oor waar hy sy inspirasie vandaan kry, hoe om opwindende spanningslyne te skep en waarom navorsing so belangrik is. Hy deel ook sy skryfwenke en verklap watter lesse hy in Suid-Afrika en Zimbabwe geleer het.

Lees die artikel:

Hoe het jy navorsing vir Bodyguard: Ambush gedoen?

Chris: Ek het Afrika (en Suid-Afrika) al ‘n paar keer besoek, so ek ken die Bosveld ‘n bietjie. Ek het ook vir drie maande in wildreservate in Zimbabwe gewerk, dit het baie kennis bygedra. En ek het belangrike oorlewingstegnieke geleer: hoe om water te vind, watter kos jy kan eet ensovoorts.


» read article

"I'd Like to See More South African Science Fiction and Fantasy" – Charlie Human

Apocalypse Now NowKill BaxterNadine Maritz recently interviewed Cape Town-based author Charlie Human about his first two novels, Apocalypse Now Now and Kill Baxter.

In the interview, Human shares the story behind the magical and mystical creatures and unique characters in both these books, chats about the harder parts of writing fantasy and reveals what his fans can expect from him next.

In answer to the question, “As an author published locally, what would you like to see for authors in South Africa?”, Humans says: “I’d like to see more South African science fiction and fantasy. More writing based in our own culture, mythology and history.”

Read the article for more about the man behind the Baxter Zevcenko series:

What gave you the ideas for your magical and mystical creatures?

A lot of the creatures are based on African mythology. I research magic and mythology from across the continent and founds things that would fit within the story.

Why call your character Baxter?

I honestly can’t remember how the name Baxter Zevcenko came to me. It’s almost as if he just appeared.

Book details

» read article

Don’t Miss the Launch of Bodyguard: Ambush by Chris Bradford in Johannesburg

Bodyguard invite

Bodyguard: AmbushPenguin Books and Love Books would like to invite you to the launch of Bodyguard: Ambush by British author Chris Bradford.

Bodyguard: Ambush is the third book in Bradford’s Bodyguard series. In this novel, teenage martial arts Connor Reeves is tasked with protecting a foreign ambassador’s family on an African safari. None of his previous adventures could have prepared Connor for the flee through the wilds he is forced into.

The launch takes place at Love Books at 5 for 5:30 PM on Wednesday, 20 May.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2015
  • Time: 5 PM for 5:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books
    The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre
    53 Rustenburg Road
    Melville | Map
  • RSVP:, 011 726 7408

Book Details

» read article

Charlie Human Dishes on the Harry Potter In-jokes and Dark, Twisted References in Kill Baxter (Video)

Apocalypse Now NowKill BaxterApocalypse Now Now author Charlie Human joined Jennifer Sanasie in the News24 studio to discuss his new book Kill Baxter, the sequel to his debut novel.

Human shares why he decided to write this second book, dishes on the Harry Potter in-jokes he wrote in both books and offers ideas for which actors would be best suited to play in an imagined film adaptation of his books. He also shares what readers can expect from this second book in the series.

“To me Harry Potter always seemed very chaste for the kind of age that they were, you know, so I thought, okay, that’s not what 16-year-olds are doing and thinking about. So Kill Baxter sort of reflects that a bit,” Human tells Sanasie. He also discusses Ronin, Baxter’s supernatural bounty hunter side-kick.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Human also told Sanasie how he, a generally cheery and lighthearted person, writes such dark and twisted stories and says that people often seem surprised when they get to know him.

“Maybe it is just kind of channelling those darker parts that everybody has that gives me an excuse to say all the sarcastic and bitter things that one cannot say in normal life; it all goes through the lens of Baxter,” says Human. He also shares which was his favourite scene to write for Kill Baxter:

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details

» read article

Alex Smith and Andrew Salomon on Being a Literary Couple: "There's Never Any Explaining Necessary"

Devilskein and DearloveTokoloshe SongLocal author and academic Karina M Szczurek has started a new series on her blog in which she plans to interview literary couples – a topic close to her heart as she is married to award-winning author André Brink.

The first couple she has interviewed is Devilskein and Dearlove author Alex Smith and Andrew Salomon, author of Tokoloshe Song. Szczurek asked them to describe their partner’s creative process, if they are each other’s first readers, what their favourite piece written by the other is and all about the reality of sharing life with a fellow writer.

“The best aspect is that you share your life with someone who understands the deep desire to write, to tell a story. So there’s never any explaining necessary about the need for time and space to do this, and we support each other in creating that time and place,” Salomon says.

Read the article:

Are you each other’s first readers?
Andrew: Definitely, I know I can count on Alex to be truthful in her assessment, but also kind in the way she delivers it.

What is your favourite piece written by your partner?
Andrew: Alex’s latest novel, Devilskein and Dearlove is a wonderful read, and I am also a big fan of the book that came from her experiences living and working in China, Drinking from The Dragon’s Well – it’s a book that depicts her experiences very truthfully and that also paints an intriguing picture of a place caught in extremely rapid change, so rapid that now it could probably serve as an historical snapshot.

Book details

» read article

Devilskein and Dearlove Tours England: Dates and Venues for Events Promoting Alex Smith's Book

Devilskein and DearloveArachne Press, the British publisher of Alex Smith‘s CILIP Carnegie Medal-nominated youth novel Devilskein and Dearlove, is taking the book on a short but sweet tour, stopping in Brentwood, London and Lewisham.

Unfortunately Smith will not be able to join in the fun as she has duties to fulfil on home soil. However, Arachne Press have come up with a creative solution: Smith will answer questions sent in by readers on a video filmed specially for the three events. On the respective days Greg Page, the voice heard on the trailer for this riveting YA book, will read from Devilskein and Dearlove, after which the video interview will be screened and Cherry Potts, UK publisher, will discuss the industry at large.

If you find yourself in the UK on 21 or 22 January, or 5 February, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to support South African fiction!

More details:

Brentwood Theatre
15 Shenfield Road,
CM15 8AG
(in partnership with Chicken & Frog Bookshop)
Wednesday 21st January 2015 13:30

With Greg Page (who voices Mr Devilskein on our animated trailer) reading. We will show the trailer, together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) and Cherry Potts, Arachne Press owner will talk a little about publishing.
£10 including a copy of the book

Book details

» read article

Five Writing Tips from Alex Smith and Maire Fisher: "The Main Thing is to Enjoy the Process"

Devilskein and DearloveBirdseyeAlex Smith, author of the adventure-filled Young Adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove, and Máire Fisher, author of Birdseye, a debut novel “brimming with quiet confidence“, recently sat down with Catriona Ross to share their top five writing tips.

Both Smith and Fisher agree that inspiration can come from anywhere – you just have to be open to it. They advise against using a busy schedule as an excuse, saying that you can always find a gap to write. Their third tip is to “be prepared to change course” and allow your characters to take the story forward as it evolves. Both authors say it is important to find “a friendly first reader” who could offer constructive criticism and, as a final tip, they stress: “The main thing is to enjoy the process”.

Read the article:

It was exactly the sort of event I love: two authors in conversation in a coffee shop on a balmy weekday evening. Alex Smith, author of the young adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove, and Maire Fisher, author of Birdseye, dispensed writing wisdom:

The inspiration for a novel can come from anywhere – a moment, a name, an intriguing item. For Alex, her interest in antique keys was a catalyst: ‘I knew my heroine ended up with a bunch of keys, and that meant she’d opened a series of doors.’

Book details

» read article

Ariane de Lannoy: Young Voters Want to Know How Their Lives Will Change (Podcast)

After FreedomAriane de Lannoy spoke to Azania Mosaka on Power FM about the youth’s participation in democracy. De Lannoy is a senior researcher at the Children’s Institute and the author of After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa.

“I think a lot of young people are fairly doubtful about this process of democratisation,” De Lannoy said, adding that young people in their late or even early twenties will have some memory of the past and they know how high those hopes were for a different kind of life. De Lannoy believes there is a strong disconnect between what young people are trying to say – “but our lives haven’t changed” – and what the politicians are hearing.

Mosaka asked De Lannoy about the ANC’s tendency to try to engage young voters by reminding them of the past. “It makes no difference for young people to keep on pointing back to the past,” De Lannoy said, “they are grateful for that but what is going to change right now?”

Listen to the podcast:

Book details

» read article

Watch the Book Trailer for Alex Smith's Carnegie Medal-Nominated Devilskein and Dearlove

Devilskein and DearloveWatch the trailer for Alex Smith‘s Young Adult novel Devilskein and Dearlove, which was recently nominated for a 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal.

The Carnegie Medal is the oldest and most prestigious children’s book award in the United Kingdom, and is awarded annually. The nominations are put forward by CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), while the longlist will be announced on Tuesday, 10 February, 2015, the shortlist in March and the winners in June.

Devilskein and Dearlove is a sinister, quirky tale, following the story of 13-year-old Erin Dearlove, who has a dark secret, and her friendship with a neighbour, Mr Devilskein, who also has something to hide.

Watch the book trailer:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details

» read article