Friday, July 27, 2012

Author's Pie: Edyth Bulbring

During the winter months, pie is the be all and end all in my life.  The steamy, wholesome goodness in each mouthful... *shivers with delight* So I give you another installment of Author's Pie

This week we have Edyth Bulbring is the author of The Summer of Toffie and Grummer, Cornelia Button and the Globe of Gamagion, The ClubPops and the Nearly Dead, Melly, Mrs Ho and Me, and Melly, Fatty and Me.  Edyth is a former journalist and lives in Johannesburg.

A huge bookey pie Thank You to Edyth for taking part in this week's Author's Pie!

1. What is the one book that sparked a love of reading for you as a child?
My love of reading was not sparked by one particular book, it was newspapers that did it. Every morning I used to lie in bed between my mother and father while they read the newspapers. And I would point to some photo and ask my father what the story was. And he would tell me all about it. It was really special. Actually I lie, he used to say: For crying in a bucket, I’m trying to read my newspaper; give me some peace. I couldn’t wait to be able to read the stories behind the pictures for myself. That’s what sparked my love for reading.

2. Who is your favourite young adult writer (local and international)?
I don’t read young adult fiction unless I have to. But the one author I really like who writes for both adults and teens is Philip Pullman. I loved His Dark Materials Trilogy. They are cross-over books which I think are the best sort of novels. I also like Roald Dahl. I didn’t mind reading his books to my children too much.

3. What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

4. Tell us about Melly.
Melly, Mrs Ho and Me and Melly, Fatty and Me are two books in a series published by Penguin. The books are about a girl called April-May February (she is known as the calendar girl) who wins a bursary to a posh private school and meets a girl called Melly who breaths through her mouth. She gets up to all sorts of nonsense. They are books for teenagers but some adults seem to enjoy them too. They are being taught in some SA schools, so I suppose my name is rubbish among lots of poor students who are being forced to read them. The rights have been bought by a UK publisher and they are going to be published in the UK next year.
5. Which of your characters do you hate/love writing?
That’s a bit like asking me which one of my children I love most. But I have loved writing the Melly books as I like April-May February. She reminds me of my daughter Sophie who is an original soul who makes my life both hell and heaven. I wouldn’t have a character in one of my books that I didn’t enjoy writing about. That would be like eating bad food. I even enjoy writing about the mean and ugly people. I particularly liked writing Pops and The Nearly Dead which is a book about a teenage boy who spends three months with his grandfather in a retirement village. A lot of the book comes from true stories about my mother’s retirement village – as well as some of the rather disturbing things that happened to my father before he died. I enjoyed being able to take real people and events and give them different histories and endings. In a sense, I loved the fact that I had the power to rewrite history and make it all better.

Edyth's Books

Pops and The Nearly Dead
When I told my two best friends that I'd be spending three months with my grandfather at a retirement village in Port Elizabeth, they said there was no ways I'd survive the boredom. Not in a million years. Themba said it sounded worse than being sentenced to life in a monastery without his stash of naughty mags. And Buster said that even James Bond couldn't have survived this kind of torture - and we all know what happened to his goolies in Casino Royale. X a trillion. But Themba and Buster didn't know anything about my crazy grandfather Pops - who isn't boring at all - or the weird stuff that was going to happen to him. And they hadn't met Regina Versagel - a girl who may or may not wear black knickers. In fact, looking back, the only thing that Themba and Buster did get right was that surviving three months at Nelson Mandela Gardens with Pops and a bunch of nearly dead people was going to be a whole lot harder than I could ever have imagined ...

The Club
To outsiders, St Patrick's High School in Johannesburg is a model of excellence, producing well-balanced young adults equipped to claim their inheritance as the new leaders of the fledgling democracy. But behind this facade lies a dark secret: the school is dominated by 'The Club', a powerful group of senior students who have adopted the values of the business and political elite of a post-Mandela South Africa - pride and its six deadly offspring: greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Bright, privileged and utterly ruthless, they manipulate the school for their own gain, their antics invisible behind the polished exterior of the exclusive institution. It is 2007 and senior member Mammuso Mazibuko is hot favourite to become the next chairman of The Club. Life could not be better. But when her naive younger brother Jacob attracts the attention of a brutish fellow Club member, Mammuso is drawn into a sinister and increasingly desperate battle of wits to protect him. With wonderfully drawn characters and a riveting plot, Bulbring paints an extraordinary and often chilling portrait of the life of the young elite in Johannesburg today.

The Summer of Toffie and Grummer
Roll on holiday from hell! It sucks that I have to spend my summer break with Grummer, my boring old grandmother. And the fat loser down the road, Toffie Appel (what a name - get it?), won't stop bugging me. Staying sane is the goal. Bring on my secret mission: to find a new husband for Grummer. FOCUS! First action point: target places where suitable old wrinklies might hang out. Ka-ching!
Techno-savvy and full of attitude, Beatrice Wellbeloved discovers that all is not what it seems, and the best laid plans can go wrong

Cornelia Button and the Globe of Gamagion
Cornelia Button and the Globe of Gamagion is a story about three children living in Johannesburg. Cornelia's dream is to be a famous singer, but she can't sing for toffee. Her sister Maude is furious about the birth of her baby brother and wants to be a gypsy princess so that she can cast spells and make him disappear. And their friend Zwelabo Maluleke wants to be a brave hero like his mysterious, absent father. Cornelia's Aunty Hilda tells her that she can be anything she wants to be if she can imagine it. The secret to realising their dreams is their father's globe, which has special qualities. So the children spin Mr Button's globe which opens the doorway to the Kingdom of Gamagion. Everything is perfect until Gamagion comes under attack from the Master of Evil, Darko Drogbarl. Cornelia is tasked by the King of Gamagion to find the weapon to destroy this monster and bring peace to the divided Kingdom.

Melly, Mrs Ho and Me
April-May February hates: Her name, Her new school -- Trinity College, Her new teacher -- Mrs Ho. That she doesn't have a cellphone, That her mum now lives with a guy called Sarel/ Sarel's wig/ Sarel. April-May February doesn't really care about: Frogs, Not having a proper school uniform, The mouth-breather Melly, Mrs Ho's son -- Sam Ho, Two-minute noodles, April-May February loves: Stephenie Meyer, Fluffy -- her dad, Doors that lock, That Sarel is allergic to chillies, Sebastian.

Melly, Fatty and Me
April-May February's New Year's resolutions: Not get expelled from Trinity College; Get along with Mrs Ho -- even though she's moving into Chez Matchbox; Help Fluffy snare a cash-rich soccer tourist; Avoid Sebastian (if possible); Not talk to Mom. April-May February's New Year's wish list: A laptop and the Interweb; That Melly gets to breathe like a normal person (in this lifetime); To bump into Sebastian (if possible); A decent cellphone -- one that wasn't built before the Ark; That Mom will stop calling. April-May February's New Year's hit list: That annoying boy-troll Sam Ho; That new bursary kid -- aka Fatty; Tiffany, Britney, Courtney and Stephney and all the rest of the mean-girl gang; Mr Gainsborough -- the school shrink; Mom.

Edyth's books are published by a variety of publishers in South Africa but you can find her books online at Amazon or at your nearest Exclusive Books.


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