Sunday, May 21, 2017

Africa Online Book Fair- Interview with Joanne MacGregor

The Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books is a weekend event, featuring 12 authors and 1 interview with an aspiring romance author. Each day will have a certain amount of authors that will showcase their books and who they are.

The online book fair takes place on Facebook. Here's a link to the event page.

Readers, you can come and go as you please since you don’t have to pay a ticket to enter or register. So come and meet your next favorite author! We’ll have discounted and free books, play games, you can win Amazon Gift Cards. Get a little bit closer to authors you want to chat with in real time and generally see what Africa’s got to offer for your romance taste buds.

There will be a Scavenger Hunt that you can enter and stand a chance to win a prize. You’ll have to go to every author’s post (“booth”) at the event and hunt for the number each author has “hidden” in one of their posts. At the end of the weekend you need to add up the amount and inbox co-host Kathy Bosman with your answer and she’ll draw a winner.

We are also running a sign up for our Newsletters competition that will start running with the Africa Online Book Fair blog tour from 17 to 31 May. You could win a 20$ Amazon Gift Card.

Sign up for as many newsletter as you want, each one is an entry:

The Winner will be announced after the fair.

Attending the online book fair and how it works is straightforward, especially for readers who’ve attended Facebook book parties. But also for readers who use the social network site daily.

All you need to do is go to our Event and click 'Going'. It's that easy!

The online book fair is for romance authors who are from Africa and authors who write romances set in Africa.

And don't forget to invite your friends! Also join the group if you want updates on future book fairs from us.

Hope you have lots of fun and discover awesome reads.

Interview with Author Joanne MacGregor
 Joanne stopped by to to chat with us a bit and hopefully get you excited for the book fair!

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
When not writing books, Joanne Macgregor is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice and deals mainly with victims of crime and trauma. She consults and writes on alternate days, and in completely different head-spaces and physical environments. She started her professional life as a high school English Teacher, but has also worked as an IT trainer, a theatre dogsbody, and management consultant. Also as a waitress, an in-store frozen vegetable demonstrator, a model, and a make-up artist! Although she lives in the frenetic adrenaline-rush that is the city of Joburg, Joanne has always been in love with nature, and escapes into the mountains and the bush whenever she can. She’s a pretty good cook, grows vegetables, and is addicted to chilies, bulletproof coffee and Harry Potter.

First published at the age of seven, when The Star newspaper, a Johannesburg daily, printed one of her poems, Joanne is a bird of many feathers and enjoys writing for different ages. She is the author of several books for young adults including The Recoil Trilogy (YA dystopian romance); Scarred and Hushed (YA contemporary romance); and the eco-warrior series for younger YA readers. Her dark psychological thriller for adults Dark Whispers has been translated into Afrikaans as Skadustemme. She has also written two books for younger readers in the Jemima Jones series.

Q. What do you enjoy about being an author?

I enjoy that it allows me to combines so many aspects and activities that I love – being creative, doing research and learning so many new things, sweating the words out in wordsmithery, connecting with readers and my tribe of other writers, marketing, and leaving some kind of a legacy in the world in the form of my books. I also enjoy working independently rather than in the 9-5 corporate environment. Plus there’s the fact that on writing days, I can work in my pajamas!

Q. What type of romance stories do you write? And why?

I write Young Adult romances, which I think are read mostly by adults who are young at heart. I love the freshness and intensity of first love, first kiss, first heartbreak. YA fiction delivers a unique writing style – fast-paced, punchy, emotionally powerful, without too much waffling about the birds in the trees or the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. As both a reader and writer, I am not a great fan of the “literary” fiction genre. Romances are an entertaining way to escape the pressures of the world. As a reader, I find them immersive and escapist in the best possible sense. And they offer ways of exploring deep human themes.

Q. Favorite place in Africa? 

You’re asking me to choose between my beloveds! 

My soul places are the uKhahlamaba Drakensberg, and the bushveld, specifically in the Waterberg region,

(where I draw close to my totem animal, the leopard).
Both bring me closer to nature, allowing me to find inspiration, a connection with God, and the type of beauty that fills my tank.

Q. Why do you think African romance authors and stories set on the continent are important?
I think we suffer from a hangover that local writing is inferior or boring in some way, or that only the books dealing with heavy political issues like apartheid, colonialism, The Struggle, etc., are “valid” or worth reading. There are many great and wonderful books that deal with these important issues, but I don’t think they encourage reading for pure pleasure. We simply do not have enough readers on this continent, and we need to get people (especially young people) addicted to reading. I believe the best way to do that is to provide books that readers can relate to, and which offer a fun reading experience. Worldwide, romances dominate the market because this is what they do, and Africa should not be different. If we don’t make it possible for writers to earn a living with books set in Africa and written for readers on this continent, then writers will set their novels elsewhere to tap into the international market (as I have done with some of mine), or simply give up writing. And that’s a shame, because we have stunning settings, magnificent stories and wonderful characters on this here continent!

Q. Do you think romance stories set in Africa & Africans vital to the publishing industry? If yes/no, why do you say so?

See my answered above. :)

Q. What traditional food do you love, that one can only find in Africa?

So many — milktart, koeksisters, bunny chows, Amarula Don Pedros, and waterblommetjie bredie (waterlily lamb stew) — but I guess my favourite is biltong!

Author links:
Africa Online Book Fair Links:
Facebook Group Page:
Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr
Instagram: @africaonlinebookfair

1 comment :

  1. Great interview. I'm also a crazy Harry Potter fan and hate literary fiction. :) Congrats on your awesome success, Joanne.