Writing has always been there, lurking in the background and forcing me back to the keyboard. Initially (like all addictions) I thought I could control it by writing a column for Runner’s World. Then came the travelling articles for Leisure Wheels. By that time I should have known I wouldn’t be able to kick the habit.
Choosing to retire at a relatively early age from my Urological practice to feed my addiction, I wrote Facing Surgery With Christ, published by Tate in the USA. In the book I addressed the anxiety of patients with life-threatening diseases. Why? During my time as cancer surgeon I found that doctors don’t tell patients what they need to hear. If somebody tells you that you are going to die, you need something to hold on, at least. It is useless to get lost in medical jargon; you need a realistic and sympathetic approach you can understand. The feedback on Facing Surgery convinced me to keep on writing.
The opportunity arose to explore the personality of one of our extremist politicians and with it the challenge to see if a moderate thinker (like me) could understand the radical mind of Eugene Terre’Blanche. The result was a memoir/biography that was completed a short time before his murder. This book appeared in Afrikaans and was later translated into English.
So, here I am: lost in the world of words and stories. My hobby has become a passion. With two more manuscripts at the publishers I have decided to explore the horizon set by Amazon and Kindle. Imagine: Africa! was surprisingly well received and is available in soft cover as well a e-book format. Then of course, the kind editor of Vrouekeur publishes some of my Afrikaans short stories regularly., which opens yet another avenue to explore. An Australian magazine (Merise) and a local outdoors magazine (Leisure Wheels) are also kind enough to publish stories that originated around the many camp fires I have been privileged to enjoy.
The world of a writer is often filled with disappointment, rejection letters and half-completed stories waiting for a fitting end. There are characters that keep you awake at night in their quest to become heroes or villains. It is a strange world – but never dull. Who knows where this road will lead me to?
I live on the south coast of South Africa where my writing room overlooks the endless Indian Ocean. For company I have a family of mongooses that recycle my kitchen scraps and a pheasant with an attitude. They live the way they should: free to roam in the nature reserve where I stay.
In a way they are just like me: our world knows no boundaries.