Dit gebeur min dat mens vandag ’n vertelling teëkom wat oorspronklik gepen is deur iemand wat dáár was, wat geweet het hoe ’n Mauser in sy hande voel, die eensaamheid van ballingskap ervaar het en wat noodgedwonge ná die oorlog weer van voor af moes begin.
Never Let Go by Gareth Crocker was published earlier this year and Reader’s Digest has already expressed an interest in it for their international Pegasus Programme, which condenses fiction titles for the Select Editions volumes.
Crocker’s first novel, Finding Jack, was published in seven Reader’s Digest volumes, making him the second South African, after Alan Paton, to have his work selected by them.
Crocker’s agent in London is also in negotiations with “a top Hollywood producer” who is interested in adapting both Never Let Go and Finding Jack.
As South African author, Gareth Crocker, continues to launch Never Let Go (Penguin 2013) around the country, the novel has already attracted interest from both Hollywood and publishing giants, Reader’s Digest International.
The novel, a high-octane thriller, tells the story of a famous American novelist who loses his young daughter in a botched kidnapping. Following her death, the author is on the verge of taking his own life when a stranger arrives at his gate, promising the impossible: to bring his daughter back.
Never Let Go has just been released by Penguin South Africa and has already and attracted interest from Reader’s Digest’s international Pegasus Programme. The programme selects what it believes are among the hottest fiction titles from around the globe which are then condensed for their various Select Editions volumes in territories such as the United States, Australia, Asia and The United Kingdom. Crocker became only the second South African author (after Alan Paton) to have his work selected by Reader’s Digest when his first novel, Finding Jack, was signed to Reader’s Digest in 2009. On that occasion, Gareth’s novel appeared in seven different volumes together with the likes of Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Jeffrey Archer and James Patterson.
In addition to this, Gareth’s London agent is currently in negotiations with attorneys on behalf of a top Hollywood producer who wants to make films out of both Never Let Go and Finding Jack.
‘It’s all been quite overwhelming,’ Gareth explains. ‘While you hope your work will be well received, it really is quite something when it attracts this sort of attention. I’m thrilled that Reader’s Digest have expressed an interest in condensing another one of my novels and am even more excited by the interest from Hollywood. The producer concerned has put together films that have been nominated for multiple Oscars and currently works with some of the biggest names in the industry.’
Crocker is unfortunately unable to reveal the producer’s name until the contracts have been finalised.
‘While there are never any guarantees in Hollywood, I’m just grateful that my work is being considered for production,’ says Crocker. ‘I’m desperate to play a driver or a pizza delivery guy in the films, just for a laugh.’
Books LIVE editor Carolyn Meads attended the “Three writers walk into a book deal…” session at the Franschhoek Literary Festival and filmed Helen Moffett reading a passage from the choose-your-own-adventure erotic novel, A Girl Walks into a Bar, which Moffett co-authored as Helena S Paige, along with Paige Nick and Sarah Lotz.
Nick discussed her writing process and the difficulty of naming body parts in sex scenes on the Get Your Book Published site:
1. From first draft, to published book, how much editing do you do?
I do zero editing when I’m writing the first draft of anything. In fact I try to read back as little as possible. There’s that thing where you hear your own recorded voice played back to you, and it sounds awful and you hate it. Well I have the same feeling when I read back something I’ve just written. The trick with a first draft is to get the story out of my head and down onto the page as fast as possible, and then I spend ages crafting and rewriting and editing at a later stage.
Kwela Books, an imprint of NB Publishers, is delighted to announce that they will be publishing a new novel from acclaimed author Zakes Mda later this year.
The Sculptors of Mapungubwe, Mda’s first novel since 2009, will be published in October 2013. The narrative centres on the timeless kingdom of Mapungubwe where the royal sculptor has two heirs, Chata and Rendani. As they grow, their rivalry intensifies and this enmity underpins an irresistibly rich fable of love and family.
Zakes Mda, notable South African novelist, poet and playwright of more than 20 works, has won numerous literary awards in South Africa and the United States of America. He has studied in Lesotho, South Africa and the USA and is a founding member of the African Writers Trust, an initiative that aims to bring together African writers.
Mda, who is based in the United States, where he is currently Professor of English at Ohio University, said: “I feel greatly honored that my next novel, The Sculptors of Mapungubwe, has found a home with Kwela, a publishing house that has been at the forefront of promoting South African writing in the last twenty years.”
Kwela Books specialises in African writing and has a publishing stable of award-winning authors, including Finuala Dowling, winner of the 2012 MNet Award, Sifiso Mzobe, Anne Landsman and Rayda Jacobs – all Sunday Times Literary Award winners.
James Woodhouse, Publisher at Kwela, said: “We are, of course, delighted that Zakes Mda has chosen to publish The Sculptors of Mapungubwe with us here at Kwela. The novel is an extraordinary work of imagination, which will resonate with readers of all of ages – a simply wonderful piece of work from one of the guiding lights of South African literature.”
Seagull Books will be publishing in English outside of South Africa.
Image courtesy The New Age
Playwright and novelist Damon Galgut’s next novel will be published in South Africa by Umuzi, an imprint of Random House Struik.
Galgut has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, first in 2003 for The Good Doctor, and again in 2010 for his most recent novel, In a Strange Room. Other novels include A Sinless Season, Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry and The Impostor.
Galgut’s new novel will be titled Arctic Summer, is scheduled for publication in 2014, and will be edited by Alison Lowry. Galgut says: “I’m delighted to be with Umuzi, which has a fine literary list and is publishing some of the most interesting writing in South Africa at the moment.”
Fourie Botha, Publisher of Umuzi, says: “Publishing a book by Damon Galgut is a tremendous honour. In a Strange Room moved me in a way few other books had done. We are great admirers of his work and I’m hugely excited about Arctic Summer.”
Steve Connolly, Managing Director of Random House Struik, says: “There are, occasionally, days in one’s career where you smile foolishly and feel a warm glow of both contentment and anticipation upon hearing wonderful news. Today has been such a day. I am so, so happy that Damon Galgut has agreed to publish his next novel with Umuzi. We are a young literary imprint, but with some remarkable experienced and debut authors. Having a writer of Damon’s talent and stature join us has created a buzz of excitement here that we are delighted to share.”
Tony Peake from Peake Associates brokered the deal. Peake says: “In Arctic Summer, Damon has, with his customary brilliance and insight, conjured a time and a place that will be new to his readers. It’s wonderfully appropriate, therefore, and very exciting all round, that for this new novel he is joining forces with a new publisher.”
We had a great time liveblogging the 2013 Franschhoek Literary Festival – thanks for tuning in! Our regular coverage of all things SA Lit resumes tomorrow.
If you missed our coverage of the festival, catch up here: