Dear Friends

I’m so excited by the engagement I’ve had with you, dear readers, through this newsletter! When we ask you¬†to talk to us, we treasure each and every response, so thank you for taking the time to get in touch.

Last month we showed you the list of our Clockwork readers’ favourite local titles, the best of the best, in the opinions of our community. We asked you: Love? Loathe? Who was missing?

Here’s what you want to add to the list:
Marita Van der Vyver – You lost me
Ms Conception – Pamela Power
Shaida Kazie Ali – Lessons in Husbandary
Rayda Jacobs – Confessions of a Gambler
John van de Ruit – all four Spud titles
Sumayya Lee – Maha
Nadia Davids – An Imperfect Blessing
Shubnum Khan – Onion Tears
Annica Foxcroft – There are ants in my sugar
Steven Robins – Letters of Stone

A reader got in touch to point out a spelling error in the last newsletter. I’m mortified to have made such a mistake, but thank you to Ria Willers for pointing out that TUISLAND is written by Karin Brynard, not Karyn (*dies*).

Congratulations to Khalida Moosa, who won our July competition. Khalida recommended our very own Pamela Power’s Ms Conception, adding ” … I’m still looking for that camera she had to have hidden in my mind :)” This is the single most common response from readers I’ve heard about Pamela’s first novel – a testament to Pamela’s skill in connecting with her readers and knack for succinctly capturing the reality of our lives. Well done to Khalida, and thank you to you all for engaging!

If you’d like to read Ms Conception, check out our Women’s Day Awesome Threesome: More POWER to you! special offer below.

Our competition this month is still about you talking to us, but this time we don’t want to hear about what you’ve read and loved. We want to talk about your next read! Here’s what we’re doing:

Digital bookstores have a drawback: There’s no brick ‘n mortar store for you to wander into and browse around the shelves, maybe chat to someone knowledgeable about the sort of thing you feel like reading and get some suggestions.

I like to think that Clockwork Books can overcome this flaw.

A little further on, you’ll meet Intern Abi. Abi is like a literary pusher – she’ll find you the fix you need! We’d like you to give us a prompt for the next book you’d like to read, like ‘… something fast paced, but not too scary. I love cats, but I’m not too keen on stuff outside the real world, like sci-fi or fantasy.’ Or, ‘I feel like something really light, that I can dip in and out of when I have my coffee breaks at work, but I don’t like swearing and strong language.’

Intern Abi will scour the Clockwork Books virtual shelves to find something that fits your mood and taste. Every response will get a recommendation, but the person whose prompt Abi thinks is most interesting will win a copy of their recommended book for free! So get cracking and send us your requests ūüôā

On the subject of competitions, you have just a few more days to enter our #JozisBBF competition. The prize is a fabulous Clockwork Books hamper worth R680! Find the details below, and be sure to check out the link to the #JozisBBF programme for this coming Sunday. I hope to see you there!

And, as if that isn’t enough, Clockwork Books is celebrating Women’s Day for the whole month of August. Buy Pamela Power’s two most recent novels, Delilah Now Trending and Things Unseen, and you’ll get a copy of Ms Conception (as recommended by Khalida) ABSOLUTELY FREE! Happy Women’s Day to you all <3

Don’t forget that Clockwork Books adds new products to our shelves all the time, so do check out our store here. This month’s new addition is Fletcher by David Horscroft. Get to know David right here, and see what Intern Abi has to say about Fletcher. Be warned, though! Fletcher is not for everyone. David has a real way with words, and Fletcher is bound to get you chuckling with some murderous puns, so writers … don’t miss David’s Top 3 tips for writing puns!

Until next time, happy reading!

Sarah

Getting to know:
David Horscroft

David is a coder and a biotech nerd who spends way too much time self-amusing. They have aspirations towards being Machiavellian but are also terrible at seeing long, evil schemes through to the end.

Other interests include running (away from responsibility), dancing (badly) and trying to convince their friends to drink more vodka.

We asked David about the worlds of their writing:

Sarah: What is your favourite location in the world of Fletcher? 

David:¬†¬†Without hesitation, the Midnight Hour. Ever since high-school, long before I had the slightest idea of Fletcher, I’d imagined a sprawling club filled with dark nooks and crawling places, acoustically separate rooms and hot chocolate on tap. It’s definitely taken on a more mature edge in Fletcher, but I’m a big fan of nightlife in general, so the Midnight Hour has a special place in my mind-heart. It also helps that the scenes with Fletcher in the Midnight Hour, and their interactions with Valerie Gravewood, are probably the times I feel most “in” the character. Party Fletcher is very similar to Party David.

Sarah:  Are you planning any new writing projects at the moment? 

David: I am! I have a short Fletcher flash-series that’s publicly available on my Facebook account (Part 1,¬†Part B). It hasn’t been updated in a while, and there’s no fixed schedule, but it’s a little mini-exploration into a Vincent-Fletcher adventure before the events of¬†Fletcher. I am also working on something quite a bit longer, in the same universe as¬†Fletcher¬†(is it presumptious to call it the Fletcherverse already?), but with a very, very different cast and a very, very different focus. Hardly anyone gets senselessly murdered in this one.

Sarah:¬†¬†What’s the worst pun you’ve ever written down for a book?¬†

David:  Ugh, there are some heady competitors in that category. Some of my slightly-too-bad ones got recycled by the power of Twitter : (There seems to be a popular opposition to murdering people with abandon. How else am I supposed to keep my hair out of my eyes?), but I think my all-time, bad, no-good, terrible, low-energy pun is in the final pages of Fletcher, when something gets thrown off the balcony and their coat follows suit. Awful. Awful, awful, awful. But the fact that Fletcher is still trying to make bad puns at the end has to count for something, right?

Clockwork Books recommends:

Fletcher
by David Horscroft

Cover of Fletcher by David Horscroft

 

Fletcher is a fast-paced first-person roller coaster¬†ride through sci-fi, thriller, and dark comedy. It follows the protagonist, Fletcher, through a world that is as dark, strange, twisted and intriguing¬†as they are, and that will have you splitting your sides (figuratively) as Fletcher’s vast array of victims split theirs (literally).

Abi says:¬†Although this book is very much not for the faint-hearted, or anyone who doesn’t enjoy some psychological horror-comedy with a staggeringly high body count, it’s far from gratuitous, and avoids cheap jump-scares. It rewards the reader who is willing¬†to engage with a charismatic¬†psychopath, with sharp, well-written dialogue, spectacular and sometimes spectacularly¬†bad jokes¬†and a clever and well constructed story that left me with a good deal to think about. I strongly recommend this for readers comfortable with mature themes, violence, gore, mental disturbance and a strong tolerance for puns.

David Horscroft on:
Writing Puns

 

  1. Quality does trump quantity, but quality is also born out of quantity. Be comfortable making bad puns, and you’ll end up stumbling into good ones. As my apartment’s resident Slutty Tequila Spirit might put it: sighs don’t matter.
  2. Subtle puns make for great foreshadowing material, because they often slip by unnoticed until the second read, at which point they act like a little reword [*ahem* РEd] for the reader.
  3. Dark doesn’t mean serious. A lot of the draw of dark humour lies in its ability to take horrific things, and inject unexpected levity into them. Nothing says “whimsical and charismatic” like the Big Bad making jokes while their playthings burn around them. So go ahead: crack open a cold pun with your toys.

Meet the Clockwork Team:
Intern Abi 

Intern Abi for Clockwork Books

Intern Abi is a new member of the Clockwork family and tends to wear many hats. She manifests her presence mostly through the Clockwork newsletter and in scaring up new titles for the Clockwork store. When she can wrestle some free minutes from her days she writes and publishes her own fiction either independently or through the small-press Sera Blue. Her day job has to do with learning to speak city. Intern Abi is likely to be a recurring character in the Clockwork story and is happy to have complaints, compliments and criticisms on the newsletter or other things thrown at her, as long as they are not thrown too hard.

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