Windgat - an interview with Dugald Macdonald 1

Windgat – an interview with Dugald Macdonald

In a wonderfully frank interview that’s not at all windgat, Dugald talks about getting the idea for his book, researching it, writing it, and watching it become a bestseller. Most importantly, he’s got interesting things to say about the writing process. So Dugald, after being turned down by five publishers you have gone on to …

Windgat – an interview with Dugald Macdonald Read More »

Searching for Sarah 2

Searching for Sarah

Lawyer, writer, blogger. Dominique Malherbe is a name to be reckoned with. I’ve known her for a number of years and watched her reputation grow. And now comes her biography/memoir, Searching for Sarah (from Tafelberg). It’s her third book, following two memoirs  – From Courtrooms to Cupcakes and Somewhere in Between. But memoirs are one …

Searching for Sarah Read More »

The writing process 4 3

The writing process 4

The writing process can get off to a slow start. You might wander around for hours, days, weeks, trying to find a way into your story. So, with the Writing Reality course a week away, a good topic is the agony of the beginning. Let’s assume you’ve done the research, transcribed your voice recordings, organised …

The writing process 4 Read More »

The writing process 3 4

The writing process 3

Two weeks ago (in The Writing process 1), I quoted extensively from John McPhee’s excellent book, Draft No. 4 , about the writing process in general. This week, for those keen to join the WriteOnline Writing Reality course on 29 March, I thought it an especially good time to tap the brain of John McPhee …

The writing process 3 Read More »

Goodbye 2020 5

Goodbye 2020

Goodbye 2020: it is certainly one year I’m not sorry to see the end of. Although it is probably going to be a year with a long reach into the new year and beyond. What will be interesting is to see the books – novels and memoirs – that this year will produce. From what …

Goodbye 2020 Read More »

Imagine 6


Imagine. Remember John Lennon’s brilliant song? He said people called him a dreamer because he could imagine a world without hunger or greed. And he said making this imaginative leap was easy if you tried. Fair enough. But as any novelist will tell you, sometimes the imagination needs a little push and a shove. We’ve …

Imagine Read More »

Writing as therapy 7

Writing as therapy

All my life I have never thought of writing as therapy. I’ve always thought of writing as a job. Something you sat down to during the day and worked at for as many hours as you could afford. It was a seven days a week job and it had nothing to do with my emotional …

Writing as therapy Read More »

Writing a memoir 9

Writing a memoir

Writing a memoir, especially when it involves the famous, friends, family or foes, can be tricky. Do you get legal advice before you start? Do you write it all down and worry about the consequences afterwards? How are publishers going to react to a manuscript that could bring with it suits of defamation? I recently …

Writing a memoir Read More »

When celebrities are fair game 10

When celebrities are fair game

Last week there was a brief spat in the media about the reissue of an updated biography of the Springbok rugby captain, Siya Kolisi. In an Instagram post, Rachel Kolisi (his wife) claimed that publication was a case of ‘white men benefiting off the back of a black man’. She asked for publication to be …

When celebrities are fair game Read More »