There are altogether six books: two buried, two published and two awaiting publication.
Camouflage and Separate Ways were earlier attempts at formula writing. I call them my exercise books since they taught me discipline and strengthened my expressive ability. They were the necessary sand play preceding lasting construction. I am glad they were never published.
The fate of Kites of Good Fortune was embedded in its title. After the first two novels I decided to write something for my own satisfaction and as information to my family and friends. The story would be built around the facts about my ancestors but their imagined lives would contain much of my own views and interests. I wanted a kind of word portrait my children could show their children. Vanity prompted my resistance to vanity publishing and for a couple of years I unsuccessfully ran the gamut of supplication and submission in the dismal world of publishing. For comfort I sought out the biographies of so many others who finally succeeded. I was in far-off Jakarta when, through cyber space, good fortune favoured me in the form of a contract from David Philip in Cape Town. The book was appropriately launched in August 2004 at Groot Constantia, the farm that once belonged to the ancestral couple, Olof Bergh and Anna de Koning.
In 2005 Kites was translated by Almarie Freidberg into Afrikaans under the title Anna, Dogter van Engela van Bengale. I collaborated in the translation but many of my comments, preferences and suggestions were ignored in the final editing. I did not want a descriptive title and see the use Engela instead of Angela – the real name of the historical personage- as a major faux pas. Despite its flaws in translation the book has gathered an appreciative readership.
A Google book search will tell where to find these books in a library. A title and author search reveals many pages of worldwide online availability.
Bluestocking was completed in February 2008. A table of contents and sample chapters are posted on the Bluestocking page.
The Layered Life of Tok-Tokkie was already viable in 2008 when I received the grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in March to sustain me while I complete it. Preview some of my favourite stories on Bits & Pieces.