Posts Tagged ‘novels’

The hardest thing about writing is … writing!


Well don’t be. It is such a common problem. Seriously, I hear it all the time, ‘I want to be a writer. I’m going to write. I will write.’ And each time the excuses become more and more elaborate and more and more creative and in some ways like a story in itself, with plot twists, dramatic scenes, interesting dialogue and a main character with huge obstacles to overcome. But you’re not like that are you?

People like the idea of writing and being published but very few are willing to work at it. Writing is a lonely toil and can be very frustrating. However, it can be therapeutic and fulfilling and an escape into a world that is only yours. Writing is a craft and the only way to learn the craft is to practice it. The answer is to find the time and to find the space and to write every day. There are no short cuts to success.

So, do it. Write for yourself, write because you need to, write because your idea is calling you, and write for your dream.

Remember that writers write and dreamers dream.

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The outside porch light gleamed off his beady eyes and his smile worked hard at masking his guilefulness. The reverend stood upright and tall. For a man over fifty he had not a grey hair in sight. Instead, boasted a perfectly combed mop of brown hair and a perfectly straight set of glowing white teeth. He reached out and shook my hand, his gold watch gleaming with reflected light. Needless to say, I now knew where all the Sunday collection money was going―straight on the reverend’s looks.

‘May I come in?’

‘Yes, of course. Nicole and the girls are already asleep. Do you want me to wake them?’

‘No, no, it’s you I want to speak with.’

‘Great!’ I thought.

The reverend glided past me, his smile still in place, and a waft of heavy cologne left hanging in his trail—his demeanour projecting himself more as a used car salesman than a man of the cloth.

Now, I’m a person who believes in respect and manners and it didn’t seem fit to kick a man of faith out of my own house, especially when his wife played an integral part in helping my daughters live their lives. So I just sat there and indulged him.

We moved into the lounge and I invited him to sit. Of course he took the seat directly opposite me and right in line with the TV so I was obliged to turn it off and keep my eyes focused on him. It was already going bad and we hadn’t even started yet. He placed his briefcase onto the table but still held on tightly to his bible. He regarded me for a long time.

‘Would you like something to eat?’ I asked.

‘I’m fine, thanks. Tracy cooked up a storm in the kitchen tonight. She really outdid herself, so I’m quite comfortable.’ He patted his stomach, which folded over his belt buckle like rising bread dough out of a baking tin. ‘Gosh, I’m a lucky man, Edwin. She’s a truly wonderful person, isn’t she?’ He looked at me expectantly.

‘Drink? Beer?’ I asked, sidestepping his question, hoping, in fact praying, pardon the pun, that he’d accept so that I could have one to take the edge off. God knows I needed  it.

Excerpt (novel) – Insane Truth – Grant Ackermann

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In which book do the catchphrases ‘messing about in boats’ and ‘poop, poop’ feature?

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Mum was always gone to work before I left for school, and returned home around dinner time. I was a lonely child and I remember purposely getting into trouble just to get detention so I had someone to talk to for an hour after school. I did everything wrong―spoke out of turn to the teachers, disturbed the kids during class—you name it, I did it. It was all for attention. Needless to say, I gained a bad reputation for it. I was one of those troublesome kids that parents usually warn their children to stay away from, the one the teachers usually use as an example for the others to stay in line. But in my mind, the detention was worth it. A little bit of company was nice and spared me the loneliness and boredom of being in an empty house for a while. I guess the punishment was more on the teachers, those who drew the unfortunate short straw, grumpily sitting in the detention room with me answering a relentless barrage of questions that came with my bored, enquiring mind, even though they had their own work they planned to catch up on. What could they do to stop my chatter? Give me more detention and themselves more punishment? I think not.

Oh, you might think that the freedom of not having parents around after school would be a dream come true, that you get to do whatever you want—no chores, no homework, just playing or relaxing or watching television. And yes, it was nice on occasion, but I would have traded it all to have Mum at home, and even further still, would have traded my soul to have Dad at home. I wished someone was there to tell me to do my chores or tidy my room or to help me with my homework, to make me feel like a normal child doing normal things. But it wasn’t like that. I had to see to myself, pack my own lunch in the mornings, do my homework without any help in the afternoons and sometimes even wash my dirty uniform if I managed to be too playful in the schoolyard. There wasn’t any point advertising how poor I was by wearing the old scrubby uniform all week because that would only lead to more trouble.

And when Mum arrived home from work, I would run to her like an over-excited, tail-wagging puppy, but she would only acknowledge me by asking for her glass and her bottle of red and to give her space and time to unwind after a hard day, saying that she would spend time with me soon. I’ll give you one guess how that turned out.

And that illusion I had of Dad returning, with that big old smile he usually wore, to wander into the lounge room and scoop me up into his arms and ruffle my hair, to tell me some crazy joke he learned at work about some guy that walked into a bar, soon turned to resentment and then hate as the years passed by and I grew older and my life became harder. All I wanted to do if he was ever to come back into our house again was to tell him exactly how I felt … with my fists.

Excerpt (novel) – Insane Truth – Grant Ackermann


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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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In which book does freelance surveillance agent and researcher Lisbeth Salander feature?

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Definitions for calescent – adjective [kuh-les-uhnt]

  1. growing warm; increasing in heat.

He could feel the calescent vibe of agitation and frustration, a collective drive for vengeance brewing amongst these hooded vigilantes. His stomach turned. Even the truth could not help him now. Blood would be spilled tonight.

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It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

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‘Love can make you go crazy and drive you insane if you let it,’ I said.

She watched me carefully and I casually, tentatively, edged half a step closer.

‘So,’ she straightened her stance, a counter action to my movement. ‘What are you proposing, Edwin?’

My heart pounded. In my head it was easy. I was proposing a lifetime together, a family together, then growing old together, and being happy together … forever. But what came out was awkward and modest, and now that I think of it, a whole lot clumsy. ‘Do you want to get an ice-cream later?’

She giggled, and although she didn’t say it, I knew it was because I offered ice-cream instead of lunch or dinner. But what could I do? That was all I could afford. The three of us had to pool our money together to have enough, even for that small purchase.

‘Okay, I’d like that,’ she said. ‘We’ll meet you down at the shops, say one o’ clock?’ she edged towards the door.

‘Perfect,’ I said, in the calmest voice I could muster. But my heart was beating ferociously. ‘Wait. Nicole.’ She stopped. ‘Can I grab your number, you know … in case I have to call you later or … sometime?’

There was a wolf whistle from behind us, followed by hysterical laughter as Leon and Ray enjoyed the show from across the street. She pulled her hand away, her face turning serious.

‘Why would you have to call me,’ she said, making quotation marks with her fingers. A cool, crisp tone. She didn’t look impressed. ‘It is a dare, isn’t it?’ Her accusation came with such force that I stumbled back a step. Before I could answer, she turned and twisted the doorknob and disappeared inside the house, slamming the door behind her, leaving me stunned and completely embarrassed. I waited but she didn’t come back. I contemplated leaving, but decided against it. Surely it wasn’t ending like this? I lifted my hand to knock on the door again, then thought better of it. I wanted to call out her name, to yell for her to come out so I could explain. But I just stood there on the front porch with the sun on my back and the smell of roses from the garden in my nose.

There was more laughter from Leon and Ray who were loving every minute of their friend’s demise. Shocked and disappointed and standing by the front door like a fool, I turned to leave, wondering if I had completely F’d the whole thing up, when the door suddenly swung open.

‘Edwin.’ Nicole held out her hand with a folded piece of paper between her fingers. ‘Ring me if you have to,’ she said, giggling as she made the inverted commas with her fingers again. I took the piece of paper and she smiled and then laughed a genuine laugh that shook her chest and reached her eyes, and I remember how amazing that sound was to hear. ‘I needed to know how badly you wanted it,’ Nicole said. ‘Most boys would have left by now. But you didn’t. Impressive.’

‘Oh, so you were testing me?’ I said, raising my eyebrows, relief flooding through me.

‘Kind of,’ she teased. ‘The real test comes later today.’

‘So, how do I score?’ I asked, grinning.

‘Mmm! You’ll have to use your imagination,’ she replied, and gently closed the door.

Excerpt (novel)Insane Truth – Grant Ackermann


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Definitions for farouche – adjective [fa-roosh]

  1. sullenly unsociable or shy.

His confidence, brought on by a few jeering mates and few early vodka shots, had propelled him across the busy dance floor in a twirling, hip-swinging gyrate to the presence of this beauty … the woman of his dreams … this Goddess. But now, under the dull, sobering scrutiny of her and her friends, he was suddenly farouche and berating himself for ever leaving his lounge room.

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