Lee 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:
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.
Alex 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.’
Die skole het gesluit en die Desembervakansie is net om die draai. Jaco Jacobs het vier lekker leesboeke aanbeveel vir die feestyd.
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.
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.
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.
Elma 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’.”
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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:
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.
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.
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 www.poetryforlife.co.za for more information).
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.
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.
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.
OVERSEAS-BASED SOUTH AFRICANS
David Attwell – University of York academic, whose critical biography JM Coetzee and the life of writing, face to face with time is to be published in 2015.
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.
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.)
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.
NEW (TO THE FESTIVAL) LOCAL NAMES TO LOOK OUT FOR
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