I am a South African living in Germany. Having earned my living as a writer since leaving university, it still took a big leap of faith to start writing a novel. However, I had a burning urge and I was tired of reading crime fiction that centred on the mutilated bodies of beautiful young women. Surely a crime novel could be intriguing and thrilling without any women having to be naked and dead?
I started my project in 2008, signed with my agent Michaela Roell of the Eggers Agency, Berlin, in 2010 and signed a deal with a publisher in 2012. Tucked into those milestones were 14 full-book revisions – three with my agent, three with her co-agent in London and one with my publisher. I had learned how to write a novel by writing a novel. And still no women were naked and dead.
Balthasar’s Gift has been published by Argument Verlag mit Ariadne, a Hamburg publisher that focuses on crime fiction by women, as Balthasars Vermaechtnis. It is now also available as an e-book, published by Culturbooks. The English version will be published in June 2014 by South Africa’s Modjaji Books.
I blog here and take my coffee breaks on Twitter (@charlwrites). Please feel free to visit me at either and join in the conversation. I am working on the second book in the series – an eco-conspiracy called Karkloof Blue.
In my other life, I am a corporate hack, mother of three, reader, traveller, feminist and optimist. I am happily married to the love of my life.
Here are some things I love:
- Reading in the bath
- Journeys to places new
- Kissing my children
- Chocolate for breakfast
- Yoga, particularly the tree pose
- Silence and being alone
- Where I am from
- Where I am going
And here are some things I loathe:
- The patriarchy
- Victim mentality
- Unsolicited advice
- Hearing “you should”
- Being bored by people who lack the edit gene
- Feeling trapped
- Excess (though not of champagne)