Have you read the funny, addictive and often hilarious The Youngsters series yet? If not, now’s your chance to get inside the minds of Khaya Dlanga, Anele Mdoda, Danny K, Nik Rabinowitz and Shaka Sisulu! We’re giving away a set of these five pocket books – just fill in your details below to stand a chance of winning.
We got in touch with two of the authors, Anele and Danny K, to find out their thoughts on being writers for The Youngsters.
Hi Anele! What were your initial thoughts when you were asked to write a book?
I was totally excited. That night I broke out into a cold sweat as if they wanted the entire thing the next day!
Your voice comes through very strongly in the book. Was it easy to achieve this?
Yes it was, but I had to read other people’s book after I found out that there is no “writer’s” way to write. You should just write the way you speak.
People love you because you’re a strong, opinionated woman. Did you feel that you could be more – or possibly less – expressive in a format that’s new to you?
I knew that I could be me and that was all that mattered. I would never, ever do something that would require me to pretend, no matter what I’m promised. I have a shocking memory, so I don’t do very well when it comes to storing lies. My hard drive would crash!
What’s your favourite section of your book and why?
I find that the stories from my childhood are really funny and I chuckle whenever I read them.
What was it like writing for the mentoring tone of this book series, considering that you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily conform to common societal views?
Pan Macmillan did well to not want to impose on what we really sounded like. There were times when I was like, “Guys, surely we need to edit that?” and they would say, “And change your voice? Never.”
One might think that it’s easier to write a book when you’re older and presumably wiser – but what are the advantages of writing as a “youngster”?
Julia Roberts recently said she feels sorry for young actors in Hollywood because there wasn’t a big spotlight on her when she was coming up – she had room to make mistakes, as opposed to now. I find that it’s the opposite with writing; your opinion is your opinion at the time and it is allowed to change and progress as long as you present it well. Always know that you are not writing an encyclopedia – what counts is your opinion and not just bare facts. Unless you ARE writing an encyclopedia.
What are you reading at the moment?
50 Shades of Grey and Khaya Dlanga’s In My Arrogant Opinion.
Musician Danny K also gave us the scoop on what it’s like to move from songwriting to putting pen to paper in a different way.
Hi Danny. What makes this pocket book enticing – why should people read it?
I feel it shows a side of me that people don’t know – my personal story told my way, unedited and honest. It’s also a great resource about fame and the entertainment industry.
You give quite a bit of advice in the book. Do you see yourself as quite a caring person?
I got so much help along the way from people who believed in me. The advice in the book is my way of giving back.
What was it like expressing your emotions in book format, compared to the process of expressing yourself through music?
Most of what I’ve ever written has rhymed and has been no longer than five minutes, so this would seem very different. But in the end, it’s quite similar – it’s about telling a story and being entertaining.
If you were to include a few more chapters, which other areas would you consider tackling?
I would like to have gone into more detail about my childhood and what it was like growing up different. I guess that’s all for another book.
Do you see yourself doing any more writing of the non-musical kind in future?
I’ll have to see how this one sells and if I’m rated as a writer.
What’s the most important message for those who have read the book?
Fame must never be the goal and the pursuit must always be excellence.
What are your favourite books?
The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis and Tuesdays with Morrie.
The Youngsters are available at all good bookstores for R85.00 each.