It has been such a warm experience, having one’s novel finally coming to life, and appearing in real life, with a great cover design, and all the official things like ISBN number etc.
So many people have already asked me how long it took, and now what? Are you writing a second one?
To answer the first question, Cry of the Rocks has been a long time in gestation. The idea came to me years ago when I was going underground in various mines, working as an editor and communications consultant. They were exciting times, and I found myself talking to men deep in the new works of mines, as well as attending celebrations such as when there had been production milestones passed, as well as sad occasions when people died from accidents underground. It is a world not often seen as a complex whole by an outsider.
On the coal mines I got to watch blasts being set and coal being hauled out from the depths, travelling miles on conveyor belts to the washing plants. And on gold mines I sank miles into some of the deepest mines in the world; the platinum mines with their huge complexity of associated platinum group metals were a maze of modern and old, a mix of people from many countries in Africa and it was here that my novel finally emerged.
Then it was a case of actually putting it down. How I admire those writers who say they can sit down and write in a disciplined way for a number of set hours every day. My days simply never worked like that; there were too many other things that needed to be done. When I attended a writing course given by Anne Schuster in Cape Town, it was Anne who said to us all, ‘just get it down’. Wise words indeed.
As she said you can correct the grammar later, just get the words down first.
As to the second question, the answer is yes. There are always stories rattling around and some of them seem to wanting to find a way to be put down on paper.