Friday, April 19, 2013

Author's Pie: Lauren Beukes



I am extremely excited to present this week's Author's Pie, a twist of fantasy and international acclaim, I give you the South African publishing's Charlize Theron and a readers hot ticket; Lauren Beukes. Scriptwriter, award-winning author, director, comic book writer, blogger, and mother; Lauren has broken the mould of all SA fiction writers with three novels (many man anthologies) under her belt - today I am incredibly excited to have her on Author's Pie.  Follow Lauren on twitter or find her on tumblr, facebook and her website.

© Lauren Beukes 2013
Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post to win a copy of Lauren's new crime thriller The Shining Girls with Exclusive Books.

1) Three books (and many anthologies) in a market where ‘local’ fiction writers tend to struggle. Can you give any advice to wannabee writers who are firstly starting out in the SA publishing scene or wanting to get published?

Don’t go in with crazy high expectations (like I did) of cracking the international market with your first book and becoming the next JK Rowling overnight. It takes years of hard work and perseverance and honing your craft and developing rejection-coping skills to make it. Write for the love, write what you love, send it out only when it’s really, really ready (rewrite, polish, rewrite again) and do your research online about how to approach editors and agents and build your career. Be cheeky in asking for what you want, but be nice.

2) What is next for local fiction in SA?

There’s a major genre explosion brewing, from Sarah Lotz to Charlie Human, Deon Meyer and Margie Orford, who are making waves internationally in a big way. I think more local authors will continue to do so and I think we’ll hopefully soon see a rise in young black authors cracking the overseas market. 

3) Which author influences your work?

There’s no way I can make that a singular. I have major influences (David Mitchell, Alan Moore, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, fairytales and mythology in general) but I’m also influenced by whatever I’m reading at the moment. I try to read really, really good books that will push me to try and live up to that in my own writing. Most recently that’s been Jennifer Egan, Glen Duncan and Studs Terkel.

4) If were Harper Curtis in your new novel of THE SHINING GIRLS how would you stage the perfect murder?

Harper doesn’t think that far. He has a time-travelling house; he doesn’t have to worry too much about the particulars.

5) What is your favourite fruit? And why?

Dragon fruit, because the folded over pink scales of the skin makes it look like it came straight out of Game of Thrones, even if the taste is a little bland.

Lauren's Books
The acclaimed debut novel from the Arthur C Clarke Award winning author of Zoo City. In the near future, an art-school dropout, and AIDS baby, a tech-activist and an RPG-obsessed blogger live in a world where your online identity is at least as important as your physical one. Getting disconnected is a punishment worse than imprisonment.
Zinzi has a talent for finding lost things. To save herself, she has to find the hardest thing of all...the truth. Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a client turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she's forced to take on her least favourite kind of job -- missing persons. Being hired by famously reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass, marked by their animals, live in the shadow of the undertow. Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the underbelly of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she'll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives -- including her own. Set in a wildly re-imagined Johannesburg, it swirls refugees, crime, the music industry, African magic and the nature of sin together into a heady brew.
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.


You can find other Author's Pie segments here
Happy Pi-day!

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