Books LIVE’s Erin Devenish recently met with Alex van Tonder to speak about her debut novel This One Time, which deals with the way stories and social media impact reality.
"I found out about more about the author’s own social media engagement: what makes her happy, what makes her rant on Twitter, and which emoji best suits her personality. During the conversation, I also discovered a little bit more about how stories and media interact with her work as both author and fashion copywriter."
"Readers, who are in the mood for a proper mind-fuck as far as psychological thrillers are concerned, will find solace in Alex van Tonder’s This One Time. The writing flows well, the pacing is good, and the plot is downright terrifying." - extract from a review by Killer Aphrodite
"I took inspiration from the real world of blogging and Instagram Fame and reality TV and the shadier world of revenge-porn, but he is no one person. He’s a complicated character in that he’s a blogger who projects a bad boy lifestyle of womanizing and parties, and he leads a life many men know isn’t necessarily in the best interest of feminism or equal rights but it still holds attraction. So he has this massive, worldwide following and therefore a lot of power, and it allows him to get away with doing whatever he pleases. He has control. Or so he thinks. Jacob ends up grappling under the weight of this persona, because even though it’s not real it’s taken over his life and is starting to get in the way of his success and his relationships, so he tries to escape it by fleeing New York to for Alaska. Of course, it is not that easy for him to escape the monster he has created."
Read the full interview here
I answered a few questions for Kelly from It's a Book Thing Blog, who had the (dubious?) honour of being the first person at my book launch in Jozi. And I answered them to the camera of my mac. Excuse my hair.
I had such a fun morning work Katlego and the Expresso team. And their frenchies, of course! Thanks so much for having me on.
I write in:
Bed, in the early mornings, with a cup of coffee and my laptop. Preferably before 6am.
The best advice anyone gave me about writing:
Write the book you want to read. Also: Have a lot of snacks within reaching distance.
To read the full Q&A click here...
Q: This One Time's protagonist can be seen as a sort of anti hero was it at all difficult for you to write from his point of view, especially when it comes to his views of women?
A: It was very difficult. I call it coming to terms with the character, you have an idea about what you want to write about and the story you want to tell but then in order for it to be true and for it to make sense to the reader and to make sense to you, you kind of have to come to terms with the fact that if it's going to play out like this he probably isn't a very nice person and he probably has some negative views. It was difficult to write on the one hand because I am a feminist and I believe in equality for men and women and I'm very aware of the weird white male thing happening on the internet at the moment but, in a way it was also quite therapeutic to write because you kind of realize that he is a product of society. It's not actually weird that he is this way he is because he has just taken something that was already there and now he's riding the crest of it.
To read the full interview, click here.
Zahrah from Voice of the Cape Radio station chats to Alex about how she researched a novel set in Alaska, as well as what it was like to write such a difficult male character, and whether it was satisfying to have a female antagonist take revenge on him.
Gareth Cliff chats to Alex van Tonder about all sorts of things including her debut novel, social media thriller This One Time.
Featured as an up-coming South African author to watch in 2015 by the Sunday Times, the article reads:
"Known for her satirical blogs, such as My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl, Alex van Tonder's debut novel This One Time (Pan Macmillan) is due out in May. It features an unlikeable multimillionaire trying to recover from writer's block in an Alaskan hunting lodge. His mistake is opening the door to a pretty girl harbouring a Misery persona. Lauren Beukes' shout: 'Alex van Tonder has a straight razor on the pulse of pop culture. Scathing, witty and incisive.'"