No, the title does not refer to a day in the life of Johannesburg, South Africa but to the wonderful thriller book week, The Bloody Book Week, that Jenny Crwys-Williams has made happen for the past few years, this year 2013 being no exception and what a week it was! Indulgence Cafe was invited to take part in the BBW last year and being the book hungry greedy little creature that I am, I reached out and grabbed the invite with both hands; yes please, we’d love to be a part of it.
This incredible week showcases some of South Africa’s most talented crime writers and journalists who write about some of our most notorious criminals as well as bringing to our shores the most amazing international best selling authors as well. Last year this included Jeffery Deaver and John Connolly. This year the offering was Peter James and Stuart MacBride. Unfortunately Peter James had to pull out because of an injury to his back but Stuart MacBride certainly held his own.
Last year being a newbie I only asked to host two events but this year I tried to host as many of the authors available as possible and was over the moon when I got given all the authors that I had asked for. What an incredible bunch of human beings they were, talented writers with fascinating minds whose work reaches out and touches you, and funny. You would think that people who write about things macabre and twisted would in some way resemble the characters they write about, not unlike how dogs and their owners begin to resemble one another over the years. Alas in this case these writers were all good looking with funny, sunny dispositions so it must be just me who grows to look more and more like my Boerboel, Amiga with the passing years…………short, blonde hair and long in the tooth.
The First of the four events Indulgence hosted with Mtutuzeli Nyoka and Julian Rademeyer. Mtutu had been a guest at Indulgence in 2012 for the Jeffery Deaver and John Connolly and it was my absolute pleasure to welcome him back to Indulgence as an author of a very delightful book, A Hill of Fools. A delightful little read in the style of an African fable with subject matter very relevant to the world in which we live. Tall and shyly good-looking Dr Nyoka told us how he was passionate about writing but his first love was and always will be medicine. Julian Rademeyer of the incredibly beautiful voice and dark good looks spoke of traveling to the east, meeting dark shady characters and receiving death threats. He spoke of the plight of our rhinos, the syndicates involved and of hope, there is always hope. The line that I read in his book, Killing For Profit, that will always stay with me is about the sound that a wounded and dying rhino makes. Just from his describing the cry I hope it is a sound I will never hear from a rhino or any other majestic animal that we have.
The second event we hosted was with one of my favourite South African crime writers, Mike Nicol, who chatted to the new girl on the block, Michele Rowe about her “accidental” trilogy and a bunch of different aspects of trilogy writing. Mike who has been around the trilogy block with his Revenge Trilogy (Payback, Killer Country, Black Heart) has just the right knack of drawing people out and the chat was both funny and engaging whilst at the same time being incredibly informative. One of the aspects discussed was the killing off of main characters and baddies, a very annoying habit of George RR Martin, author of Game of Thrones; beware you don’t get too attached to anyone particular character as they may lose their head on the next page. It was a really delightful evening
Our third event on the very sunny Saturday morning was by far the most gruesome of the four we hosted, made even more so because we were talking about real crimes close to home. With two of 702’s rising star journalists, Alex Eliseev and Barry Bateman, both of whom speak beautifully and who are still young enough to be enthusiastic with their choice of work. They held their audience spellbound for over an hour with the stories they told of murder and lies, death and deception. We chatted mostly about fallen hero to the whole world, Oscar Pistorius and the 13-year-old cold case of murdered waitress Betty Ketani. Both very emotive topics and up for very heated debate. Both Alex and Barry will have books out in time for next year’s BBW. I promise we will get them back here because those stories are far from over.
We also had a lovely surprise on the morning when Jenny Crwys-Williams surprised us with her company as well and we able to introduce the two journos with far more aplomb than I ever could
Our Bloody Book Week ended with a Sunday morning brunch with one of SA’s top female crime writers Margie Orford chatting the Scottish author, Stuart MacBride. I have thus far only read one of Stuart’s books, Cold Granite and I have to admit it was gripping and I honestly didn’t know who the bad guy was until all was revealed in the end. Margie was her charming, wonderful self and she really got as much out of the wacky, red takkied, Stuart as possible. Getting him to read a short excerpt from his book was like trying to pull teeth out of a mule without an anesthetic but he read beautifully in the end. He is incredibly funny and very entertaining for one who writes such twisted tales, they both are in fact. It was their last event in a seriously jam-packed week and they really were a superb finish to a wonderful week for us. Stuart told us some interesting tidbits about writing in the nip (nude), can’t for the life of me think that he does that in winter in the heart of Scotland; one would need a magnifying glass to see the… ermmmm… control key. Am looking forward to reading Close to the Bone his latest book and Margie Orford’s latest offering Water Music which are waiting patiently on my book shelf at home
All I can say in summing up was that it was truly amazing event to be a part of, thank you to all who took part, all who attended and all who were subjected to my amateur interviewing skills.
Thank you publishers, thank you Jenny Crwys-Williams for making it happen, Thank you Jonathan for taking such wonderful pictures and thank YOU the public for spending the time with us at Indulgence Cafe or reading this blog post
Until next time
Love ‘n Lollipops