Friday, July 31, 2009

Two Months Of Books

When I first started writing this post I titled it "Six Weeks Of Books", which seemed very romantic. Two weeks later, and the post only now finished, I've had to rename it to something that sounds like a calendar appointment.

(I'm very tired. That's my excuse if my spectacular intro above didn't make sense or you found it unmoving and/or derivative.)

It's been a busy two months for me, delving into journalistic areas beyond my normal space of magazine tech writing or posts on all sorts of topics for brainwavez.org.

It started with brainwavez.org preparations for the Cape Town Book Fair in June. I had a number of South African book reviews on my list that I hadn't yet posted or had been struggling to finish, and we made a concerted effort to get some of them up on the site before the fair to get readers in the mood.

If you're interested, here they are:

Going Green By Simon GearPompidou Posse by Sarah LotzIs It Just Me Or Is Everything Still Kak? by Tim Richman and Grant SchreiberJohnny Golightly Comes Home: A Portrait Of Eccentricity by Pat Hopkins






Then it was off to the book fair, itself, and I ended up generating much more coverage than I expected to:

Earth - The Comprehensive World AtlasPhoto Essay And Report: The 2009 Cape Town Book FairPhoto Essay: Authors At The 2009 Cape Town Book FairPhoto Essay: Panel Discussions At The 2009 Cape Town Book Fair






The fair has also sparked off ideas for some other book articles at some point.... Yikes!

Sarah Lotz and Andrew Brown

Above: Sarah Lotz and Andrew Brown talk about Exhibit A and writing crime fiction at The Book Lounge.

Right after the fair there were a number of interesting book launches at The Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Cape Town, for books that had been highlighted at the book fair, so I attended two - the launch of Sarah Lotz's second novel, Exhibit A, in conversation with the fascinating crime writer Andrew Brown, and the launch of SA Partridge's Fuse, also a second novel, in conversation with Fokofpolisiekar and aKing musician Hunter Kennedy, who was a very entertaining guest host.

SA Partridge and Hunter Kennedy

Above: SA Partridge and Hunter Kennedy talk about Fuse and writing books with a teenager's perspective at The Book Lounge.

Next up was spending some time with Book Southern Africa's Ben Williams to learn about the technical goings on behind the scenes of the site, as I am now helping to contribute the occasional news story or add a highlight of someone's review.

The Moxy cake and the doomed pinata

Above: Yummy Moxy cake and the doomed piñata in its final moments of innocence. Book people are surprisingly vicious. Must be latent somethings. Don't know what, though. Would prefer not to ask.

Then, on the weekend of the massive downpours, storms, and floods, when more reasonable people remained in bed (those that still had a bed left), I was invited to attend the official (very brutal) execution of the awesome Moxy piñata, in honour of the UK release of Lauren Beukes' debut novel Moxyland.

[The story of the piñata. | The decimation of the piñata.]

Ben Williams strikes

Above: Ben Williams strikes as the lightning flashes! (Ok, technically, it was someone else's camera flash and my brilliant unexpected timing, but that destroys the atmosphere - there was a storm, remember! Mwahahaha!)

This week I hit a little curveball when I discovered that effort I had put into one of my brainwavez.org Cape Town Book Fair articles was rather ceremoniously utilised by another South African journalist, without acknowledgement of my "assistance", so I wrote a brief rant about it, as one tends to feel the urge to do.

Thankfully, however, my two months have now ended*, spectacularly, with the interview I conducted with Lauren Beukes going live on brainwavez.org. The interview took a year but, as you'll see if you head over to read it, it was worth the effort and the wait. (Thanks Lauren!)

You can understand, then, why it's been a while since I've posted on my blog? I am rather exhausted.

*But, really, the book thing won't be!

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