By Brian Sammons and Lynne Jamneck
Lots of Hardy Boys books as a kid and a series of Afrikaans books called Trompie and Saartjie, the latter kind of the South African incarnation of Pippie Longstocking (Trompie was the boys’ version). I read Stephen King and Dean Koontz from about the age of 11/12. Used to scare the crap out of myself (“We all float down here!”) but I couldn’t help it. My mom used to give me her adult library cards to get them out, because you only used to get adult cards at about 16. My mom is cool.
When did your love affair with books begin and what led to it?
I’ve always liked my own company; never felt an intense need for having other people around (though I seem to have become more social over the past few years). I just remember always loving books. Here was an object that told a story, and I could interpret that story in whatever way I chose. No-one else could interrupt and say “No, the duck was white, not blue!” What more could you want?
What led you to start creating your own stories and books?
The idea of telling my own stories was terribly exciting. I started seriously considering this around the age of 17. What’s the psychology behind wanting people’s attention like that? Reading a book is a significant commitment. You’re letting yourself be led blindly, and though you can sometimes guess where a story is headed, it’s still kind of no-man’s land, you know? It’s a big risk you’re taking! You might even meet some blue ducks. Something about that sort of commitment appeals to me.