Glue Publishing is an alliance-fuelled indie publisher, born out of the shared passion for good books and writing of its team of authors, editors, artists and illustrators. Leyland Perree, Ben Gavan and myself, Katy Krump, were signed to a large indie publisher which sadly went bust. It was heart breaking. Anyone who knows about publishing will understand how hard it is to get a book deal.
Once we’d dusted ourselves off, we decided to stick together and formed GLUE – get it? All of us have been published by traditional publishers and have many years of experience in the book and writing business, ranging from television scripts to educational textbooks, children’s rhyming books, YA sci fi, children’s fantasy, splatter punk (I know!) and horror. GLUE covers many genres and we like it like that. As a group we decided to take back control and to support one another and other authors in our endeavour to publish high quality, well written books for our already well-established fan base. By sticking together we’re an independent publisher with a difference. Imprints include GLUE Kids, GLUE Horror, GLUE Teens, GLUE SciFi amongst other genres, there’s something for everyone. Stick with us and discover an adhesive new world. Our books are our bond.
I write children’s and YA book as Katy Krump, and adult fiction as my real self, K.A. Edwards. I grew up in Pretoria, went to university in Johannesburg and spent two ghastly years teaching in that hive of high society, Secunda. I moved back to Pretoria and carried on teaching English and music. During this time I was in charge of the annual ‘School Concert’ and there wasn’t anything much out there for Primary Schools – once you’ve been hit in the face by shaving cream multiple times by the splurge guns in Bugsy Malone, everything else seems a bit blurgh. My headmaster encouraged me to write something myself, which I did. To my surprise I was approached after a performance by a publisher who went on to publish a number of my children’s musicals.
One day, while snarling at a snotty nosed boy, I realised I was turning into the teacher I’d hated most while at school, and decided to leave before I lost my sense of humour (and mind). I realised I needed to devote herself to the thing I loved most after swimming- writing. I became a full-time television scriptwriter for children, working on the award winning children’s shows, Kideo and a few episodes of Pumpkin Patch. Putting words in a donkey’s mouth was the best fun ever. I entered a nationwide scriptwriting competition and was selected to be on the writing team of the popular soap, Generations. Putting words in the mouths of adult actors was enjoyable too, even though they were then translated into one of the other eleven official South African languages, and not always correctly. This wasn’t as much fun as making Mr Chinwag, the donkey, sing Queen songs.
I’ve worked as an advertising copywriter, wrote radio ads and jingles, educational textbooks and readers…anything writing related to keep the wolf from the door. Basically, I’m constantly writing, books and TV scripts and if not that then plotting, planning and scheming how to take over the world. When this finally happens, I will appoint the donkey as Supreme Ruler of the Universe.
Like Qea, the heroine in the Blue Dust Trilogy, I understand something about being an alien after I embarked on a new journey in 2000, crossing the galaxy to settle on a new planet (England). I’m now the proud possessor of a maroon Intergalactic Wayfarer Permit and have come to love the aliens I mix with daily.
After arriving in the UK, I spent many years sending out books manuscripts and scripts before being offered a four book deal with the previously mentioned, now defunct publisher. One of my books, Drippy Face, was published and gained the attention of CBBC and Nickelodeon for possible adaptation. Sadly it didn’t happen, but I’m waiting by the phone for a call from Stephen Spielberg. Or Disney. Or Pixar. I’m not fussy. Meanwhile I continue writing and have a new aquafit inspired book coming out this year – just in time for the market.
I regularly do school visits and writing workshops (shameless plug- get in touch if you’d like to book me) and talk to assorted groups like the WI and local history and businessmen’s clubs about being an author and growing up during Apartheid. Those years of teaching have stood me good stead. It’s amazing how interested people are in that time in history.
South Africa is where I learned the things I love; swimming and writing. It’s where I discovered and honed my craft and still provides much fodder for my writing. I spent 25 years writing a thriller set in Pretoria, not because it’s the length of War and Peace, but because writing about South Africa was hard. Very hard. I needed time to process everything I’d witnessed and lived while growing up during Apartheid, and it informs my work no matter how hard I try to resist. I know other Immigrant South Africans will understand. Writing When Killers Cry was cathartic and to my surprise is selling very well.
I’ll be honest and admit that for a very long time I suppressed the South African in me as I struggled to fit in to this new world where they don’t always speak the same lekker English as me. Last year’s Celebrate South Africa market really helped me reconnect with the parts I’d stifled. It was emotional and difficult and entirely necessary. Thank you! See you in June.