As someone who grew up on a farm outside of Molteno in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, I sometimes think that I will always be a small town girl at heart. I live in the “big city” of Port Elizabeth these days but going home is always (ok sometimes) a welcome treat. Lately my travelbug-bitten self longs to be in Phuket which has severely skewed my current concept of “home”. Is it the writer in me that makes me so flighty?
All my life I have wanted to be a writer. I’ve always had a bit of a love-affair with words and the obsession has grown over the years. I used to write poems and stories all the time as a kid and I plan to continue to do so for a long time. It’s only recently that I’ve become brazen enough to actually call myself a writer – you know how it is! I guess with age comes the bravery we need to actually be true to the things that we love.
After dabbling in a few not-quite-the-right-fit career options I have finally settled down and made the decision to start writing full time. My first novel, Coffee at Little Angels, was released in September 2011 and I am currently working on my new novel called (surprise surprise) The Tequila Thursday Writing Club – which by the way has nothing to do with the actual live group. I am also an avid blogger of random nonsense – book reviews, cooking adventures, poetry, thoughts and all sorts. Of course none of that equates to an actual income so I tend to offer my services as a copywriter on an almost-regular basis as well.
In my real life I am a home schooling mom, a stepmom and a wife. I spend my days doing laundry, wondering what to make for supper and thinking about cupcakes.
In my fantasy life I am Celia Bowen…
Random Bits About Me
- My all time favorite movie is “The Goonies” – they played it for us at school once when I was in Sub A and I got into trouble later for quoting Chunk saying “oh shit” in the classroom. Maybe I have a thing for pirates and buried treasure, or maybe it’s just a ridiculous love for a good underdog adventure with a happy ending, but that movie gets me every single time I watch it.
- Contrary to what anyone who knows me might think, I’m actually a very shy person. Social situations kill me sometimes and I can get deathly uncomfortable. People often mistake this for supreme snobbery on my part but it really isn’t. It can just take a little while for me to warm to crowds of people that I don’t know sometimes.
- I swear WAY too much. It’s ridiculous. Although anyone who knows me probably already knows this.
- I am so ridiculously afraid of snakes that I have to give myself a pep talk when attempting to walk through any kind of snake park. I start to panic if I can’t find a snake in it’s cage and start looking around on the ground for it – just in case. I have nightmares about them at least two or three times a month.
- I have never known love like the love I feel for my son. When I was pregnant my best friend told me “if you think you love him now, just wait until he is born!” – and I thought she was crazy! How could I possibly love this kid anymore than I already did? But every cliché you hear about having kids is true. How they change your lives. All of it. Yes some of it is exhausting and stressful, and sometimes you think that your protective mother bear instincts are going to kill you, but my God when that little guy smiles at me it’s like everything is right with the world.
- I cry in almost every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. This is pathetic I know, but I can’t help it. I have watched the first two seasons five times I think. It possibly caters to my slightly masochistic streak – a nice little personality trait leftover from a past relationship (how that happened I have no idea but I swear it wasn’t there before I started dating the guy!) I am quite tempted to have nothing to do with the 5th series simply because I feel that the 4th ended so perfectly – but I think my love of pain might very well overrule that decision and force me back into the Meredith/McDreamy torture circle again. I know everyone hates Meredith and it makes sense to since she’s a bit of a trainwreck – but I think I might actually BE her…
- I can’t stand seafood. Even the smell makes me gag.
- I hate liars with a possibly unreasonable passion. Want to see my rage? Lie to me.
- It’s my ultimate pet peeve when people say “no offense” in that condescending bitchy way that makes whatever they say following their little “no offense” preamble seem just that much worse. Please. Screw “no offense” – just don’t be offensive! Or at the very least own the fact that you’re a bit of a bitch and let’s not pretend that saying “no offence” makes you a “nice” person.
- Pick up lines never fail to make me laugh. I love them. For one – they’re flattering. Someone is trying to pick you up. Just because you have no intention of BEING picked up doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch about it. And come on – there are some damn entertaining pick up lines out there. “Eat me! I’m a muffin!” – now that’s some funny shit!
- My ultimate comfort food is mashed potatoes.
- I have a hip bone fetish. On girls or guys…they just… oh boy!
- Writing is the only thing that makes me happy. I know that sounds trite and ridiculous. And I’ve told myself a million times that it doesn’t count. It’s “just a hobby” blah blah. But it kind of makes the world go away for me. There is something so cathartic and soul stroking about saying what you want to say, no matter the forum. And the great thing about fiction especially is that no one can get mad at you for believing and saying the things that you do. My biggest fantasy includes a loft office where I can sit quietly writing the things I have to say, with the world safely tucked on the other side of the door, just waiting for me to come out and join it again. Or a shack-type cocktail bar on a beach somewhere works too.
- I love my family. And not just because I have to but because my parents and siblings are truly four of the finest people I know. It can be bad though because I am quite content to just hang out with them instead of making effort with people outside of my family.
- I absolutely HATE the words moist, lube and probe. They freak me out.
- I devour crime fiction novels like your average housewife devours Mills and Boon and Maryanne Keyes.
- I never knew the colour of my eyes until I met the father of my child.
- I am petrified of the sea. I think it’s a combination of not wanting to be eaten by a shark and really not taking to being dunked by waves very well.
- I have a huge claustrophobia issue – which probably contributes to the getting dunked by waves issue.
- I really regret that I don’t know my American family at all. From what I can tell they are really great people and I would be better for knowing them the way one should know all their family members.
- My book collection is my pride and joy. I feel happy just looking at it.
- The actions I regret the most are the ones where someone else got hurt. I can handle my own pain but I can’t handle seeing someone else in pain.
- I don’t deal with death well. I know most people don’t, but I seem to have a bit of a block about it. I can get pretty angry and hysterical and self loathing.
- I’m way too hard on myself. I know this, but knowing it doesn’t really help. I find it really hard to forgive myself for mistakes that I’ve made, but forgive others way too easily for the same mistakes.
- I wish I was a redhead.
- I always take make up with me when I go out at night but I never ever use it.
- My favourite words are: hallelujah, bizarre and brazen.
- Listening to the song “Kiss the Rain” by Billy Myers always gives me goosebumps. Which I’m not entirely sure says much for my psychological well-being considering it’s really about a woman begging her man not to cheat on her.
- I can’t stand vague plans. There’s nothing worse than when someone says, “I’ll pop by later” – and for some reason because it’s not a definitive plan they think they can blow you off without as much as a phone call or a text. I find it ridiculously unsettling and blood boiling when this happens to me and it kind of makes me want to disown people a bit. I just find nothing worse than sitting around waiting for someone who might pitch up or might call. And I know it’s nuts and that I should just get over it (especially living in Port Elizabeth where this kind of behaviour seems to be the norm) but it drives me absolutely stark raving crazy! It’s like giving your time to someone who hasn’t even bothered to pitch up and take it.
- I’m addicted to Twitter and Facebook. A rather insane addiction I admit and it does put me square in the geek box for sure but I can’t get over the absolutely yummy communication elements of it. I do honestly think that the people I communicate with regularly on facebook are of the few people who actually really know me. Lame yes, but quite true.
- That said I used to be addicted to IRC, and I’ve actually met a lot of people that way. Some of them I’ve remained pretty close with, two I’ve dated , and many of them have gotten me through quite a few tough times.
- I definitely have a thing for older men. Although I don’t actually know any older men that I have a thing for. But lock me in a room with Hugh Laurie, Matthew Fox, David Duchovney, Robert Downy Jr and Jeffrey Dean Morgan(my god how did you create such a perfect human being!) and I won’t ever have to worry about needing a happy place again…
- A professor from NMMMU once sent me an photograph of his penis on Skype. Probably one of the most random things that has ever happened to me.
- I’m a little bit attracted to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory but I can’t figure out why. It’s totally not a sex thing. Could be the intelligence thing though because I find James Spader to be a huge non-sexual turn on too. No. I’m lying. I would totally have sex with James Spader.
- I wanted to be a marine biologist or a vet when I was younger. No idea how that was going to ever work since I’m terrified of the sea.
- My son makes me broody.
- The only literary character I have ever been attracted to is Jeffrey Tolliver from a set of mystery novels by Karin Slaughter. She killed him off eventually and ruined my holiday. I understand Stephen King’s “Misery” on a very personal level now.
- Sex in books turns me on more than sex on tv. But I don’t read trashy romance novels! There has to be a bit of substance to a book for me to get hooked on it. A well written sex scene is usually just a bonus (Karin Slaughter and Tami Hoag manage this particularly well).
- I love orca whales so much that I get all tingly just watching the Free Willy movies.
- My cousin Steve won The Weakest Link once. Never in my life have I ever been so happy for another person. I was glowing for a week.
- It drives me nuts when someone pronounces it “eXpresso” – it’s eSpresso!