Literary Birthday – 19 May – Jassy Mackenzie


Seven Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Read our Interview with Jassy Mackenzie and visit Jassy’s website for more advice on writing.

Mackenzie is a South African author. Her Jade de Jong novels include Random ViolenceStolen LivesThe Fallen, and Pale Horses. Buy here books here.

by Amanda Patterson

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