Seminar – Practical Advice About Publishing

For writers who have ambitions to see their work published in one format or another – or indeed several different formats, from traditional print, to, to downloadable pdf files – the route to publication can be something of a minefield.

Alison Lowry and Tracey McDonald, both of whom have many years of experience in the publishing industry, launched Get Your Book Published a few months ago, where they give writers some useful tools to help them navigate their way through that minefield by offering seminars, workshops, events and consultations on practical advice about publishing.


Whether writers are hoping for a commercial book publishing contract or are pondering the pros and cons of self-publishing, Alison and Tracey’s separate and combined guidance and expertise, and a thorough understanding of how the book world works, will give them invaluable insight to how best to go about this.

In today’s tough commercial world, there are many routes to market available to aspiring authors, but the first and most important way to have the best chance of getting there is, firstly, identifying and understanding what your own hopes and expectations are and, secondly, getting your manuscript into the best possible shape before you launch it into the world, whatever its destination.

Suitcase - 01

The date for the next seminar, The Suitcase Under the Bed – Practical Advice about Publishing for Aspirant Writers, has been set for Saturday, 21 September 2013 – click HERE for more information.


Jan Braai’s new cookbook RED HOT

The weather is heating up and it’s time to brave the outdoors and start braaing again! And just in time for the warmer weather is a new cookbook from Jan Braai called RED HOT.

Red Hot by Jan Braai

South Africa celebrates National Braai Day on 24 September every year. A day for all the citizens of South Africa to unite around braai fires with family and friends. The driving force behind this initiative is a man known as Jan Braai. In his second book, Red Hot, Jan moves beyond instructions for braaing steak, chops and wors, he challenges us to try various curry potjies, soups, chicken mayo braaibroodjies and even malva pudding and apple tart, all cooked on a fire! The recipes are new but the book has the same fantastic photos, clear and easy-to-follow recipes and Jan’s characteristic touches of braai humour.

His Jan Braai TV show is currently airing on DStv and the season runs until December ‘13.

Jan Braai - Photo

His real name is Jan Scannell and he lives to braai. He started the National Braai Day initiative in 2005 and his aim is to create a national day of celebration centred around the one activity all South Africans have in common, regardless of race, language, gender or wealth, cooking over a fire.

Jan has braaied with a wide variety of people in every corner, nook and cranny of South Africa and has travelled extensity around the world gathering knowledge and techniques for cooking great food on an open fire. For more about Jan Braai visit

‘I like T-Bone steaks, because they are in the shape of Africa.’ – Desmond Tutu, Patron of National Braai Day.

The English edition is published by Pan Macmillan SA – ISBN: 9781920434502

And it is also available in Afrikaans as Vuurwarm (published by Human & Rousseau) – ISBN: 9780798162760

Vuurwarm - Jan Braai


Etienne van Heerden’s In Love’s Place

This month Penguin Books SA releases In Love’s Place by internationally acclaimed author Etienne van Heerden. It’s been translated by Leon de Kock and is a tour de force that promises to intrigue and enchant readers.

In Love's Place by Etienne van Heerden

After his heart bypass operation, former champion-athlete Christian Lemmer needs to take stock. When a Cape Flats gang begins to target him, this becomes vitally important.

Christian commutes between Johannesburg and Stellenbosch, where he returns at weekends to his amnesiac wife Christine and his confrontational son Siebert. But he also has a hideaway that no one knows about, a flat in Sea Point where his drug dealer meets him, and a Swazi prostitute becomes his confidante.

And in Matjiesfontein the staff of the Lord Milner Hotel and the local pigeon breeders are in a state of excitement with the approach of the Southern Cross Derby – the most important event in the Karoo’s pigeon racing calendar.

But other things are afoot in Matjiesfontein as well, things in which the lives of the Lemmers are soon to become involved, from the arrival of the Piss-Man to the disappearance of prodigy Snaartjie Windvogel who, it is said, bewitches her father’s pigeons with her violin playing. The Lemmers come to the village to try to unravel one mystery, only to find themselves caught up in another.

This novel was originally published in Afrikaans as In stede van die liefde.

Etienne van HeerdenEtienne van Heerden is an internationally acclaimed South African writer whose books have been published in thirteen languages. He is the founding editor of LitNet and Hofmeyr Professor in the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Cape Town. Visit Etienne’s website at or find him on Facebook at


The Zuma Years by Richard Calland

What goes on in Jacob Zuma’s cabinet meetings? What tensions exist between the ANC and its alliance partners? How does the future look for opposition parties? What influence does business have on politics in South Africa? In The Zuma Years, Richard Calland answers these and other questions, as he presents a vivid, up-to-date picture of the workings of power in Jacob Zuma’s South Africa.


It is people who make politics, and this is a book about personalities as well as the institutions they belong to. Discussing topics such as the presidency, the cabinet and the directors-general, the opposition parties, the parliamentary committees and the ANC alliance partners, Calland takes the reader along the corridors of power, mixing vivid anecdotes with solid research. The result is an accessible yet authoritative account of who, today, runs South Africa, and how. It provides a fly-on-the-wall, insider’s approach to the people who control the power that affects us all.

About the author

Author1372918380Richard Calland is one of South Africa’s most incisive and independent political analysts. He led Idasa’s governance-monitoring and transparency campaigns for over a decade, he is a founder member of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), and he is now Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town, where he teaches Constitutional Law and heads the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit.

A regular commentator in the press and on TV and radio, his column ‘Contretemps’ in the Mail & Guardian is highly regarded for its original take on politics, based on an extensive range of contacts built up carefully over the years – a reservoir of inside knowledge from which he draws extensively in his books. Earlier publications include Thabo Mbeki’s World: The Politics and Ideology of the South African President, which was hailed by the Sowetan as a tour de force, and Anatomy of South Africa.

Published by Zebra Press (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781770220881

Steven Boykey Sidley signed by French publishing house Belfond

Photo - Steven Boykey SidleyPan Macmillan South Africa today announced that Steven Boykey Sidley, award-winning author of Entanglement and Stepping Out, has been signed to the prestigious French publishing house Belfond, which will be translating both books into French for sale in francophone countries. (Belfond is the publisher of French translations of Lionel Shriver, Douglas Kennedy, Shalom Auslander, Woody Allen, Kafka and other notable authors.)                                                

‘The arrival of Steven Boykey Sidley on the South African literary scene has been incredibly exciting with a Sunday Times fiction shortlist and the UJ Debut Award for Entanglement. It was only a matter of time before international publishers started to take notice, and Pan Macmillan is absolutely delighted that a publisher of the stature of Belfond has bought the French rights to both Entanglement and Sidley’s second novel Stepping Out.’ TERRY MORRIS, Managing Director of Pan Macmillan South Africa

Click HERE to visit Steven’s website.


Into the River of Life – A Biography of Ian Player by Graham Linscott

This is the story of Ian Player, internationally recognised environmentalist and conservationist. But Ian is a man of many facets and contradictions, not just a ranger: a man of culture and the arts, a deep thinker and Jungian, an irascible campaigner and a maverick. He is a writer, a lecturer and international diplomat and a deeply committed man to all he believes in.


Born in Johannesburg in 1927 and educated at St John’s College, he served with the South African forces in Italy in World War II and returned to South Africa at age 19 in 1946 with no idea of what he wanted to do with his life. When he pioneered the Duzi Canoe Marathon in 1950 he expected to see an abundance of wildlife along the river bank. To his dismay, he saw almost none. And so began an epic journey to fight for nature conservation.

He joined the Natal Parks Board in 1952 and spearheaded two initiatives. With his team they pioneered Operation Rhino, which succeeded in saving the white rhino from extinction and obtained protected status for the Umfolozi and St Lucia Wilderness areas – a first in South Africa and on the African continent. He also founded the Wilderness Leadership School during the troubled days of apartheid, a multi-racial and experiential program, which was to spawn a global network of conservationists committed to saving wilderness and wildlife throughout the world.

His work has been recognised globally and among his numerous accolades he has been awarded Knight of the Order of the Golden Ark and the Decoration for Meritorious Service, the highest civilian decoration in this country. He is also the recipient of two honorary doctorates – Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa from the University of Natal and Doctor of Laws (LLD) (h.c) from Rhodes University. He lives with his wife near Howick in Natal and is the brother of golfing legend Gary Player.

About the author

Graham Linscott is a freelance writer based in Durban, who has worked in eleven African countries and developed a strong interest in conservation and the environment. He has known Ian Player for more than 30 years.

Published by Jonathan Ball

ISBN 9781868425464

500 Common Bird Calls in Southern Africa by Doug Newman


Identify bird calls with this handy guide and CD, which together feature 500 distinctive southern African species. The CD gives the best-known song or call of each species; the book provides clear and accessible text, with a brief account for each species, including a description of the song, associated behaviour, similar-sounding species, the bird’s favoured habitat type, and a distribution map.

The introduction describes interesting aspects of bird vocalisations, the differences between true songbirds and non-songbirds and why calls often change with the seasons and time of day.

About Doug Newman

Doug Newman is an electrical engineer with a keen interest in birds, particularly bird calls. He is co-founder of the SimplyBirding website, and author of the highly successful Bird Calls for Beginners, More Bird Calls for Beginners and LBJs made Simple.

Published by Struik Nature

ISBN: 9781431701209

Learner Husband Book Launch Show – Gauteng


The king of relationship comedy is back! After years of touring his hit show Learner Husband – the definitive guide for confused husbands – and fielding countless requests to write a book on the subject, comedian Stuart Taylor has finally relented and put together the book Learner Husband – A handy guide for avoiding collisions with your wife. It’s the unofficial guide to marriage that every couple should read.

He launches the book with a comedy tour. A combo of the book plus two tickets is available for only R300 (and there will be book signings after the show).

Don’t miss out on this brand new show guaranteed to have everyone rolling in the aisles. If you’re married, dating or even single, make sure you book your tickets to find out for yourself why Taylor is fast becoming one of the most prolific touring comics, not only in SA, but abroad as well.

Date: 9 Aug – 10 Aug 2013 @ 19h00

Price: R120 – R305

Venue: The Lyric Theatre Gold Reef City Casino

133 Northern Parkway Road

Ormonde, Johannesburg

About the book


The unofficial guide to marriage by the King of Relationship Comedy will have you and your partner in hysterics, as you K53 your way around the dreaded “D” word. It promises a 4-step technique to avoid unnecessary crashes with your partner and 16 essential guideposts for marriage, and includes the things they never tell you before you get married, mind-reading 101 for men and managing the ‘Pressure Cooker’. It’s not all about men though, Stuart also guides the ladies as to why their men may appear stubborn, but are really just confused. All of this is personally researched and tested by this degreed zoologist – and he sure knows his mammals!

Booking Information
0861 915 8000

View Stuart’s website HERE

View the book’s Facebook page HERE and follow Stuart on Twitter HERE

Of Cops & Robbers by Mike Nicol

Dawn light on the mountains, a two metre swell coming off False Bay. PI Fish Pescado – lithe, blond-haired, six-pack – is surfing. To Fish this is paradise. Except, he has no work, and a diminishing bank balance. Until a young surfer paddles up: ‘Hey, Fish, there’s a pretty chick looking for you.’ The pretty chick is Vicki Kahn, poker addict by night, lawyer by day. She’s bright, sharp, lovely. The best woman he’s ever had. And she’s got a job for him: find the murderous bastard who wiped out a bystander at an illegal drag race.


If only it were that easy. Thing is that the drag racer has connections high up. Really high up, right to the police commissioner. Thing is the police commis­sioner has his eye on Vicki Kahn. Thing is the police commissioner has a past, a nasty past. A past that has something to do with hit squads, assassinations, rhino horns and the kind of information that no one wants uncovered. The kind of information that involves lots of money, gold bullion in fact. The commissioner’s also got a taste for the lush life. A taste that is ruthless, savage. Before long, Fish and Vicki can’t tell who’s a cop and who’s a robber. Or who’s gunning for them.

Ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans. 

About the author


Mike Nicol is a full-time writer. His novels are published here, in the United Kingdom and the States, and have been translated into several languages. He lives in Cape Town.

The author’s published works include:

* The Powers That Be (Bloomsbury, 1989)
* This Day and Age (Bloomsbury, 1991)
* Horseman (Bloomsbury, 1993)
* The Ibis Tapestry (Knopf, 1998)
* Out to Score (with Joanne Hichens, Umuzi, 2006)
* Payback (Umuzi, 2008)
* Killer Country (Umuzi, 2010)
* Black Heart (Umuzi, 2011)

* A Good-Looking Corpse (Secker & Warburg, 1990)
* The Waiting Country (Gollancz, 1995)
* The Invisible Line (Random House SA & Kwela, 1998)
* Sea Mountain, Fire City (Kwela, 2001)
* The Firm: A Biography of Webber Wentzel Bowens (Random House SA, 2006)
* Mandela: the Authorised Portrait (Wild Dog, 2007) with Tim Couzens, Rosalind Coward, and Amina Frense
* Monkey Business: The Murder of Anni Dewani: the facts, the fiction, the spin (Umuzi, 2011)

Among the Souvenirs (Ravan Press, 1978)
* This Sad Place (Snailpress, 1993)

Follow Mike on Twitter HERE and like his page on Facebook HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415203767

Black Widow Society by Angela Makholwa

In 1994 when South Africans were finally seeing the light of freedom and independence, three well-respected businesswomen – Talullah Ntuli, Edna Whithead and Nkosazana Dlamini – formed the Black Widow Society, a secret organisation aimed at liberating women trapped in emotionally and physically abusive relationships by assisting in ‘eliminating’ their errant husbands.


For fifteen years the Black Widow Society operated undetected, impeccably run by The Triumvirate with the help of their suave and mysterious hired gun, Mzwakhe Khuzwayo, a slick ex-convict meticulous in his responsibilities.

But as the secret organisation recruits more members, the wheels of this well-oiled machine threaten to fall off. Will Talullah’s controlling streak or Nkosazana’s unfettered material aspirations jeopardise the future of the Black Widow Society? Or perhaps one of the new recruits, unsettled by the reality of the elimination of her former husband, will lose her nerve and expose the workings of the group after all this time?

As the tension mounts, Black Widow Society builds to a chilling and bloody climax that will keep you guessing and riveted until the very last page.

About the author


Angela Makholwa lives and works in Johannesburg. Her debut novel, Red Ink (2007), is a gripping psychological thriller. This was followed by the entertaining escapades and sexual misadventures of modern women in The 30th Candle (2009). Black Widow Society marks a return to a thrilling, crime-ridden world.


Red Ink has everything that makes a crime thriller smoke: strong sexy characters, jazzy settings … It has suspense, violence, murder …  Makholwa has written a crime thriller that is going to keep the lights in Sandton’s suburbs burning way into the night.  And elsewhere in the country too, for that matter. Red Ink is one of those novels you can’t put down.’ – Mike Nicol, Sunday Independent

Published by Pan Macmillan SA

ISBN: 9781770103122