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.@TheFolioPrize 2015 Longlist Revealed, Including Damon Galgut, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and @dinawmengestu:

Fiction Friday: Excerpt from Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse by Lee Herrmann

A Journal of a South African Zombie ApocalypseLee Herrmann’s new book Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse is our Fiction Friday this week.

Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse follows the story of 16-year-old Kon, his brother and his father as they flee zombie-infested Pretoria and make their way to Robben Island, a reported safe haven.

Read the excerpt, in which the family collect together weapons and gardening tools to fight the zombie apocalypse:

Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse

About the book

A mysterious virus breaks out and suddenly it turns ordinary people into flesh eating zombies. The police and army are powerless to stop its spread and soon the entire country is consumed.

This might read like a scene from a Hollywood flick and you might think you have heard it or seen it all before. The only difference is that the outbreak happens in South Africa, right on your doorstep. The beautiful landmarks you know, some with their manicured gardens and beautiful architecture, are lying desolate and derelict. Once busy towns like Johannesburg with their dense population and noise are quiet and have virtually become ghost town. The Government has fallen. The army and the police have failed. And now half dead infected people roam the streets converging on any survivors and savagely tearing into them.

After running out of supplies 16-year-old Kon, his brother and father leave their Pretoria home and embark on a journey across the country to Robben Island, a reputed safe haven. Along the way they befriend other survivors, and face an unrecognisable new world filled with new unpredictable dangers.

Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse, a chronicle of Kon and his family in a South Africa that has become a zombie-infested and volatile country, is the newest by Pretoria author Lee Herrmann. This is the second novel by Herrmann and a departure from the light-hearted mystery tale he penned in 2011.

Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse is a coming-of-age story in a very different South Africa, and chronicles one family’s fight for survival against the undead. The book, a light read of 180 pages, will have you turning page after page as you are enthralled with the journey and survival of the survivors as they make their way to the island of hope. Oh, and there’s lots and lots of zombies.

“Not only am I a zombie fan but I’ve always debated what would happen if an outbreak happened in South Africa and so it made sense to turn it into a book,” Herrmann says.
Book details

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.’

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Vier boeke vir die jongspan se kerskous: Jaco Jacobs beveel vakansieleesstof aan

Die skole het gesluit en die Desembervakansie is net om die draai. Jaco Jacobs het vier lekker leesboeke aanbeveel vir die feestyd.

Gevaarlike lopiesMy ouma is 'n rock-sterDuskant die doodlyn

Jacobs, outeur van onder meer Gevaarlike lopies, My ouma is ’n rock-ster en Duskant die doodlyn, skryf op Wêreldwyd: “Een boek wat Kersvader vanjaar in jou kind se Kerskous móét sit, is Wendy Maartens se splinternuwe storieboek, Vertel vir my ’n storie.”

Jacobs hoop ook dat Kersvader nie die volgende drie boeke sal vergeet nie: Plons deur Fanie Viljoen, Die coolste ouma op aarde deur Marita van der Vyver en vir ouer tieners en volwassenes, As ek val deur Jenny Downham, vertaal deur Lydia du Plessis.

Vertel vir my ’n storiePlonsDie coolste ouma op aardeAs ek val

Lees die artikel om uit te vind waarom Jacobs so opgewonde is oor hierdie vier boeke:

Die Desembervakansie is hier – en dit beteken somer, see, son … en kinders wat kla omdat hulle verveeld is! Of julle nou vanjaar met Jan Tuisbly se karretjie gaan ry of die langpad na ’n luilekker vakansiebestemming gaan aanpak, maak seker die jongklomp het genoeg leesstof vir die rit. LAPA Uitgewers publiseer elke jaar meer as 50 splinternuwe boeke vir jong lesers – van prettige prenteboeke vir pikkies tot boeke wat tienertone sal laat omkrul van lekkerkry. Hier is ’n paar blinknuwe boeke wat pas verskyn het.


Pat Schwartz Reviews A Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse by Lee Herrmann

A Journal of a South African Zombie ApocalypseVerdict: carrot

Friendships are made, difficulties are encountered and sometimes overcome and, in the end, the surviving members of the small band reach their destination. It is a well-told tale.

Book Details

Video: Naòmi Morgan gesels oor haar vertaling van Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt se werk

Oskar en die pienk tannieMonsieur Ibrahim en die blomme van die KoranElma Smith het onlangs met professor Naòmi Morgan gesels oor haar vertaling van Monsieur Ibrahim en die blomme van die Koran deur Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Hierdie is Morgan se tweede vertaling uit Schmitt se werk, sy het ook verlede jaar Oskar en die pienk tannie van Frans na Afrikaans vertaal.

“Ek dink as mens eers een werk van ’n skrywer vertaal het, jy het verwys na Oskar en die pienk tannie, dan as ’n vertaler klim ’n mens bietjie in die skrywer se kop in, want jy gaan eintlik in sy kreatiewe laboratorium in,” vertel Morgan. Sy sê dat Monsieur Ibrahim en die blomme van die Koran en Oskar en die pienk tannie deel vorm van dieselfde siklus wat uit ses tekste bestaan, naamlik die “Siklus van die onsigbare”.

“Dit het vir my gevoel dis nie genoeg om net een teks te vertaal nie, net Oskar nie, wants ek probeer ook verstaan, wat is die onsigbare?” Morgan vermoed dat die titel van die siklus verwys na die Die klein prinsie deur Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. “Een van die wonderlikste tonele is waar die jakkals vir die klein prinsie sê, ‘Dit was belangrik is, dit wat essensieel is, is onsigbaar vir die menslike oog’.”

Kyk na die video:

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Confirmed List of Local and International Authors for 2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival - So Far

FLF 2015

Alert! Books LIVE can reveal the list of international and local authors confirmed to attend next year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival.

Although a number of authors have committed to the festival, the list is expected to grow a little longer. Keep an eye on Books LIVE in January for the final schedule.

Festival director Ann Donald says: “There will, of course, be many other familiar names from previous festivals, plus a host of new names still to be confirmed.”

The festival will take place from Friday, 15 May, to Sunday, 17 May 2015.

Have a look at the authors involved:


A History of LonelinessThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas

John Boyne (Ireland) – whose latest novel is A History of Loneliness. Boyne will also be at the Book Week for Young Readers with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

GamerBodyguardThe Way of the Warrior

Chris Bradford (England) – author, professional musician and black belt martial artist, here for the Book Week for Young Readers programme, and an event for schools at the main festival, on Friday.

Adoption PapersTrumpet

Jackie Kay (Scotland/England) – award-winning poet and novelist, with Nigerian heritage, who will judge the Poetry for Life finals, to be held at the FLF (see for more information).

HomesickWorld Cup WishesNeuland

Eshkol Nevo (Israel) – author of Book Publishers Association Gold Prize and the FFI-Raymond Wallier Prize-winning novel Homesick, as well as World Cup Wishes, and most recently Neuland.

Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe

Romain Puertolas (France) – a few months ago Puertolas was still a French border guard, but then he wrote the smash hit The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe.

Tipping the VelvetThe Night WatchFingersmithThe Paying Guests

Sarah Waters (Wales) – award-winning, bestselling author of six novels, often dealing with Victorian society and lesbian relationships. Waters’ most recent novel is The Paying Guests.

JM CoetzeeDoubling the Point

David AttwellUniversity of York academic, whose critical biography JM Coetzee and the life of writing, face to face with time is to be published in 2015.

Finders KeepersRubberneckerBlacklandsThe Facts of Life and Death

Belinda Bauer – South African-born, UK-based CWA 2010 Gold Dagger Award-winning crime novelist, whose latest book is The Facts of Life and Death.

Charlotte BrontëTS EliotDivided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and Daughter

Lyndall Gordon – Cape Town-born award-winning biographer of Emily Dickinson, TS Eliot, Charlotte Brontë and Mary Wollstone, among others, has recently published a memoir Divided Lives. (She may also be presenting a life-writing masterclass/workshop.)

Somerkos in ProvenceSummer Food in ProvenceWinterkos in ProvenceWinter Food in Provence

Marita van der Vyver – France-based novelist and recipe book author. The English translation of her cookbook and a memoir, A Fountain in France, will be published in 2015.

GG Alcock, author of Third World Child

Ekow Duker, author of Dying in New York and White Wahala

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, author of A Human Being Died that Night and Dare We Hope?

Daisy Jones, winner of the Sunday Times Best Cookbook of the Year Award for Star Fish

Zelda la Grange, author of the bestselling memoir, Good Morning, Mr Mandela/Goeiemore, Mnr. Mandela

Bongani Madondo, journalist and author of I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life + Style and Politics of Brenda Fassie

Thando Mgqolozana, author of A Man Who is Not a Man, Hear Me Alone and Unimportance

Emma Sadleir & Tamsyn de Beer (latter still to be confirmed), authors of the vital guide to social media, Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex

Jaco van Schalkwyk, artist and author of The Alibi Club/Die Alibi Klub

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