I am a Wrestler of the Muse
These are My Notes On Wrestling The Muse
I write fiction and poetry.
My stories dance the fine wire line between horror and psychological thriller hanging over the knife-edge blurred between the normal and the paranormal. Evil walks around with a mask of normal.
I am not afraid to look into the face of darkness. A life-long fascination of psychology, the surreal and an innate psychic 6th sense influences all of my writing.
When I hear about a terrible act, I ask the questions: Why? What lead that person down that path? What makes that person different from me? In just the same way. What makes a person a hero/heroine? Why do heroes/heroines seem to be able to act, to engage, to change? What makes a person – villain or hero/heroine extraordinary? I don’t believe villains or heroes are that different from you or I? I believe that “normal” hides “truth”. This is what is the true voice of all my writing. This is what I’ll never stop questioning…
Face to Face with Evil
I am the sum of my experiences. As a young adolescent girl in South Africa I grew up in fear of a sadistic paedophile serial killer who hunted young girls my age in the late 80s. Seven girls were abducted from all over the country and killed by this man and their faces on milk cartons haunted my life. It was only at the close of this case, after this killer took his own life and that of his accomplice, when all the information about this killer came to light that I realised to my horror that I had met this man. He had stopped a friend and I asking for directions. What struck me about the man was not his appearance which was relatively non-descript and bland but his eyes. He locked eyes with me for a moment and I knew I was looking evil in the eye. My friend and I ran away and thankfully we got away unharmed. A few years later I realised the same time I came to face to face with a man with evil eyes was months before the first victim disappeared.
Pathologist, Criminal Psychologist or Author…
This experience shaped me into the person I am today and why I write the stories I do. I have never forgotten that ordinary face with evil eyes or how close to danger I came. Ever since then I have wanted to know what makes people turn to the darkness and how can you tell pure evil from seeming normality. This is what inspires the heart of my stories.
Wanting to be either a pathologist or a criminal psychologist, life took me on a few twists and turns while studying journalism. After a couple of meandering career offshoots that did not involve fiction and did involve immigration to New Zealand. Fiction finally chose me when I was asked to write a short story for a NZ anthology (which was a National Award Winner).
Chasing the Elixir of Poetry…
Poetry is my first love and my painkiller. I have written poetry since I was a child and it is still the lens through which I observe the world, understand my experiences and exorcise my emotions.
You can find my Poetry Portfolio here.
My motherland of South Africa inspired me with her rich story telling history and inspired me to become a storyteller. From the majestic dragon back peaks of The Drakensburg Mountain Range to the crashing waves against the rocky cliffs of Cape Town , from the lush verdant natural bush of the Natal coasts to the blooming deserts of Namaqualand, from the warm, inviting waters of the Indian Ocean to the coolly invigourating waters of the Atlantic Ocean. South Africa will always have my heart and always be my inspiration. I carry this wild and untamed land within my bones and blood wherever I end up.
I now live on the beautiful East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island and I am lucky enough to call the Pacific Ocean my backyard. I can often be found wandering the cliff tops above the crashing ocean and walking through the lush farmlands that surround the area. But with a heart caught between two lands, the sunburned, ancient, wild Africa and the lush, green islands of New Zealand, I find my true home within the white pages covered in ink.
I really do see ghosts and my loved ones believe ghosts and extreme weather phenomenon follow me around. I grew up spending holidays and weekends at my grandparents’ large old farm homestead which had a hidden wing that was haunted. These early experiences with haunted homes ignited my imagination and started a spark that made me question what else is out there that we couldn’t see, what is around us observing us? Why could I see these ghosts/spirits and many others couldn’t? The spark was lit and the stories started coming as fast as I could write them down and they still keep coming.
Jeffrey Deaver, Thomas Harris, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, David Lindsey, Lynda la Plante, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen.
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Here are some more insights into who I am and why I write what I write for inquiring minds who want to know more…