Living in South Africa is an amazing privilege. I get to enjoy wide blue skies and year round sunshine. I love the people and I love the lifestyle. But at heart I’m an Anglophile. My mother is an English teacher with a passion for Shakespeare and English history, and she passed on to me the the idea that the British Isles was a mystical, magical place.
At the tender age of 23 I travelled to England for the first time. 20th century London didn’t disappoint. When you come from a city where the oldest building is 100 years old, London with its thousand years of tangible history is truly spell-binding. The architecture, the theatre shows, the diversity of people, and above all the stories that abound behind every door. Long before I ever thought of becoming a writer, those stories bewitched me.
Over the years, I’ve re-visited the UK many times, and every time I feel that magic.
So on Saturday, when my flight touched down at Heathrow, I didn’t expect it to feel like just another day. I was almost saddened that sitting on the tube, then on a train out into Essex, I didn’t feel the usual magic.
It was only on Sunday night, while sitting in my friends’ living room watching the telly, that the magic rekindled. And all it took to light the spark was a simple TV advert. An ad for a book.
TV advertising is expensive. In South Africa I think I can safely say we’ve never had a TV ad for a book. Then this morning, the local breakfast TV show featured an interview with an author.
TV ads for books, authors interviewed on TV ... this is Utopia!
It is so easy to be sucked into the doom and gloom. Book sales are down! The eBook market is flooded! Book stores are closing! Libraries are closing! It’s the end of the world!
I’m here to tell you now that this is the best time to be a writer, and the future is GOLDEN. Books are alive, and people are reading.
Let’s feel the magic.