My friend Edyth is an author. She writes amazing things.
I met her over breakfast two years ago at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, where we were staying at the same BandB. I was awestruck. She was a real author with books and newspaper columns published and everything. And she was speaking at the Festival. And she was speaking to me. She was my hero.
I tried to act cool when I met her, but inside I was freaking out. She was lovely and generous and gave me advice on my mangy manuscript that wasn’t quite finished yet.
Two years later and she’s talked me down off a ledge a couple of times during the launch of that mangy manuscript that became A Million Miles from Normal, the book. (Which you can buy by clicking on the image of the book to your right, by the way.)
Okay enough nostalgia, here’s what I really wanted to tell you about before I got stuck in a daytime soap opera (mandatory ad break included) and gushed about her for four paragraphs.
Edyth is writing quite a bit of young adult fiction these days. Well they call it young adult fiction, but I’m an old adult and I dig it too, so how does that work? She wrote The Club, which terrified me and then Pops and the Nearly Dead, which charmed me. And more recently Melly, Mrs Ho and Me – which is really fun and clever. The heroine’s name is April-May February, what’s not to like? If you have teens they’ll love her writing, and chances are you’ll get stuck into it too.
But now she’s gone and done something really interesting. She wrote a young adult story called Confessions of a Virgin Loser, that teens can download onto their cell phones for free off the internet. True story. It’s quite smart I think, we need more young people who choose to read.
It’s all the brainchild of The Shuttleworth Foundation, who run a site called Yoza. (Author, Fiona Snyckers wrote an m.novel that is there too and well worth checking out, amongst others.) M.Novel, that’s what they’re called, these cell phone downloadable stories.
Anyway it’s a great way to get kids into reading. Edyth’s story has been phenomenally successful with something like over a 100 000 hits on Yoza.
And now she’s started a blog that details the journey of writing this thing, it’s like being backstage when she wrote it. And every couple of days she posts a new chapter, i think we’re as far as chapter four, so you can still catch up quite easily – each chapter is about 200 words, so it’s nice and easy to read.