Happy Birthday, Jassy Mackenzie, born 19 May 1970
- Growing up I read enthusiastically and across all genres. Whatever I found in our house, which was full of books – mostly fiction – I would read.
- Here’s a foolproof recipe. Four cups of reading. Two cups of writing. One cup of rewriting, two tablespoons of feedback from knowledgeable people. A dash of humility, a pinch of optimism, and a sackload of perseverance. Finally, write from your heart, or don’t write at all. Passion fuels the process.
- Writing a first novel is a scary process, almost as frightening as having a gun jammed against your head and being dragged out of your car by your throat. But while an act of violence is committed in a heartbeat, a novel takes much longer. Writing a book takes months. It’s like living with a psychopathic axe murderer whose sanity might snap at any moment. My belief in the story kept me going. I am inspired by the hope that one day I can share the terrifying, exhilarating essence of Johannesburg with readers across the world.
- There’s an amazing generosity and wonderful spirit in the people who are here in South Africa, an unbelievable kindness and friendship that you can be shown by a complete stranger who may actually not even have a job. It shows its faces and facets in so many ways, and yet you have this violent side.
- Jade de Jong is a die-hard Jo’burg woman. Like me, she loves the city despite its flaws. Like me, she’s been a victim of crime herself. The difference is that I stay behind a computer and write, while Jade ventures out onto the streets to investigate crimes and occasionally dispense her own brand of vigilante justice.
- A murder always provides an attention-grabbing start. I personally love reading crime novels where there’s a dead body by the end of chapter one, because it raises the stakes.
- I love thrillers with a strong sense of place, and I’ve always believed that place is an essential aspect of a crime novel because crime is a reflection of society, and society in turn is a product of its environment.
Mackenzie is a South African author. Her Jade de Jong novels include Random Violence, Stolen Lives, The Fallen, and Pale Horses. Buy here books here.