Friday, November 30, 2012

Author's Pie: Rosamund Kendal

Welcome to the final Author's Pie for the year.  CHRISTMAS PIE! So as the aroma envelopes you and the Christmas carols swell in the background; crack those crackers and let's get this pie served up ...
Part writer, part doctor Rosamund Kendal decided, after six years of studying medicine, that she wanted to tap into her creative side.  Author of three books, Karma Suture, The Angina Monologues and The Murder of Norman Ware.

So let's welcome Rosamund to the pie plate ...

1) When/What was the crowning moment when you decided you wanted to be a writer?
We had to write a short story when I was in Standard 3. I remember sitting down to write and completely losing track of anything and everything around me. It was the most incredible experience. The final product was ten pages long, a decent effort for a 9yr old. I handed my finished product in and declared that I wanted to be a writer. My teacher read the short story and made some very gentle and valid criticisms about the ending (She woke up and it had all been a dream!) and, in a fit of despondency, I crumpled up the manuscript and threw it away, swearing never to write again. But I think the seed had been planted.

2) Name one guilty pleasure?
Just one?! Single Malt Whisky. Or watching repeat episodes of The Mentalist. That probably comes a close second.

3) What is your favourite thing about writing?
Writing is the way I make sense of my life. It's my therapy. I'd probably have been admitted to a psychiatric unit long ago if I didn't write. My favourite part of writing is the final editing. I love it when the story is in place and I can play around with the language.

4) Do you watch medical shows on TV?
Yes, but selectively. I only like The Green Wing and Scrubs. I'd rather hammer a nail very slowly into my head that watch Grey's ... which is ironic, I know, since my first two novels have been described as Grey's Anatomy in SA.

5) Your new book is very different to your other works, tell us about it?
It's a murder mystery set in a luxurious eco-estate on the KZN North Coast. The story line is based around the chain of events, circumstances and characters that lead to the murder of Advocate Norman Ware. The novel is populated by some bizarre characters: a BEE business tycoon who has styled himself on the American mafia; a philandering plastic surgeon; a serial killer with a penchant for teenage girls; a witch doctor and a harvester of body parts. These characters and their relationships form the background against which the murder takes place. The novel is very cheeky, quite dark and a little bit twisted. It provides a discrete but piercing social commentary, while remaining an easy read. Because I had no plans initially to publish the novel, I could play around with the language, story line and characters and the result was that I thoroughly enjoyed writing "The Murder of Norman Ware'. I think that this comes across in the novel. I believe that it's my best work yet and I hope that my fans will feel the same way.
Rosamund's Books
Sue Carey is a driven, twenty-something doctor struggling to preserve her sanity, sobriety and humanity in the corridors of one of Cape Town's biggest public hospitals. Finding imaginative ways of saving patients is her life's work. Finding a man who wants more than a one-night stand would be nice as well. Sue's journey of self-discovery is both harrowing and hilarious. The Karma Suture visits the bedsides of the patients who make her weep and the men who make her weak. She discovers that all she ever wanted is waiting for her ...if only she can learn to see beyond the hard science into the mysteries of the heart.
See my review here
In The Angina Monologues three female medical interns from vastly different backgrounds are sent to a rural KZN hospital where gang assassinations and rogue snakes are facts of life and AIDS simply does not exist.
Life in the San le Mer golfing eco-estate on the KZN north coast seems idyllic. With its diplomatic-level security, smarmy country club and resort-style pools and restaurants, it is home to the rich, famous and infamous. But beneath the luxurious and well-manicured surface, corruption, lechery, evil and debauchery seethe. It is in this rotten stew that a series of seemingly random and coincidental events leads to the murder of one of the estate's most respected residents: Advocate Norman Ware.
As Detective De Villiers sifts through the witnesses and suspects - a philandering plastic surgeon, a harvester of body parts, a BEE property tycoon, a serial killer with a penchant for teenage girls, a recluse with ophidiophobia, and a queer, cross-dressing homophobe - the pillars of lies and deceit upon which the exclusive estate residents' lives have been built start collapsing. Who is the killer? Is Norman Ware really an innocent victim? And what is the link between all the different players? The Murder of Norman Ware is an essentially South African novel, twisted around the outrageous inequalities that exist in this socially, economically and culturally diverse country. It plays with the ideas of fate and of action and consequence. It's clever. It's macabre. And it's very, very black.
Don't forget to check out Rosamund's books at your nearest Exclusive Books
Have a great Christmas pie slice!


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