Ian was born in Durban, South Africa in 1973 but grew up in Zululand and loved it. Thereafter, he got himself a degree, a wife and a child (in that order). He’s lived and died several times in the UK and now he and his family are back in KZN, where they belong.
He can play squash but he can’t kite-surf; he can make beer but not biltong.
He owes his love of writing to four great English teachers from his school days…
“Mrs Hills – the craziest, most hypnotically captivating, certifiably unhinged teacher in the world. (Standards 4 & 5)
Miss Parker – razor fine, always enthusiastic, easy to listen to and easy on the eye; did I mention she was hotter than a beach bonfire. (Standard 6)
Miss Bruigom – sardonic, sardonic, sardonic. (Standard 7)
Mrs Zietsmann – the cool voice of reason, of intellectual scrutiny, of challenge, acceptance and gentle provocation. (Standards 8, 9 & 10)
Collectively, they gave me seven years of their teaching lives. I owe them a debt that will run for the rest of mine; that compounds daily and for which I have only just made my first installment!
This Blog is an attempt to rectify that as I tread the path to becoming an established author.
In hindsight I guess I was always a closet blogger of sorts. A decade ago, before we could all spell blog, I hosted a monthly email newsletter for the diaspora of my mates, scattered across the globe. It was called the Natal Nitwits, on account of the audience. Circulation didn’t quite rival the Natal Witness but it was close and was pretty popular among the mates with most of them contributing snippets at one time or another. Some even had photos! It was good fun and destined for greatness. And then some snot-nose called Zuckerman or something pipped me at the post…and I was forced from the international stage and into corporate exile.
Now I’m back… Tan, tan, Tarahhh!”
Ian’s opinions on writerly stuff:
“Greatest living writer – Stephen King. Nobody writes characters like Stevo. To those ‘not into Horror fiction’ I say ‘take away the Horrorscope and you’ll find characters that kick and claw their way out the page.
Try ‘The Long Walk’, ‘Rage’ or ‘The Running Man’, all written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman and you’ll see what I mean.
Best book I’ve read in the last ten years – ‘Shantaram’. Brilliant story of an incredible life, effortlessly told.
Greatest Book on planet earth – Lord of the Flies. I was fourteen. I had a physical reaction (not that type you sicko’s) when I read this book. Sweaty palms, a pounding heart and a very real fear of what I might find on the next page. It encapsulated human nature so terrifyingly accurately I almost hated it. No other book has come close to evoking that depth of emotion in me.
Greatest expired writer – Tricky. Some authors write brilliantly in one book and disappoint in another, but, for sheer originality and beauty of prose, without question, Ray Bradbury – ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ is his finest in my eyes.”