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Alistair The Awesome-ist

I obsess on silly things when I write. Like the finger marks on my walls and whether the trees that were planted for the Soccer World Cup are getting enough water. Things like that. And so it is in that cold week in July when I am writing Confessions of a Virgin Loser for Mr Steve Vosloo from the Shuttleworth Foundation and his cellphone mad young adults that I become obsessed with the dog next door.

Walking the block

Writing a cellphone story isn’t much different to writing any other kind of story. The chapters are just shorter by a couple of thousand words. And getting writer’s block every now and then happens just like it always does. So it is in that cold week in July when I am writing Confessions of a Virgin Loser for Mr Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation. I hit my first block.

In pursuit of wacky backy at the Jah House

It’s been years since I scored weed, so writing Chapter Nine of Confessions of a Virgin Loser was a challenge – I like to be as close to the truth as dammit. When in doubt, I ask my daughters. Thus I found myself one cold week in July with three teenagers on the way to the Jah House.

The unbearable vomiting of teens

I always have a bit of vomiting in my books, thanks to my daughter. She has impressive vomiting tendencies. Because of this, Confessions of a Virgin Loser also got a good chundering.

Confessions of a Virgin Loser – the idea behind the story

When Steve Vosloo from the Shuttleworth Foundation approached me about writing a cellphone story for young adults, I looked to my daughters for an idea. They are always up to something. These “somethings” are usually things that make me bleed from my ears with fear for their safety.

When I moan at them and yell, “Come on, just don’t do that, you’re under age – and it’s stupid,” they have two retorts for me.

The first is, “But you do it, and you’re old. Don’t you know how stupid and uncool you look?”

The other retort comes after we have calmed down and are talking more quietly – usually when I’m driving the car and we can’t make eye contact. They say, “Hey Mom, you just don’t understand the pressure we are under to fit in. It’s so hard to say no.”

It is this on-going conversation about peer pressure that gave me the idea for Confessions of a Virgin Loser. The story about uncool Frank who is challenged by his two friends Silas and Mondli to learn how to party or piss off.

In my blog I talk about the process of writing this cellphone story and where some of the language and incidents that take place come from.

I think cellphone stories are going to take off in a major way in SA. It’s an exciting new way of telling stories and I had a complete joll writing it.