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Review Leukaemia Unveiled by Chanel Wewege on Health24

 

A South African teenager’s struggle to overcome leukaemia

‘Leukaemia Unveiled’ is the eye-opening, heart-wrenching story of a 17 year-old South African teenager, Chanel Wewege and her struggle to overcome acute myeloid leukaemia.

Leukaemia Unveiled is a heart wrenching, yet eye-opening account of a seventeen year old South African teenager’s battle with leukaemia.

Strange symptoms

Chanel Wewege was just like any other South African teenager. She lived in Port Elizabeth, in grade 11 and enjoyed spending time with her friends. Chanel came from a religious family and was close to her younger brothers and parents.  She first began experiencing strange symptoms whilst on holiday but they became progressively worse over time. It started off with a bit of dizziness but quickly progressed to serious bleeding, bruising and unbearable back pain.

Her parents, sensing that something was seriously wrong with their daughter took Chanel to the hospital where, after extensive testing, it was realised that Chanel was suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML is a type of blood cancer that, without treatment, can quickly become fatal.

Chanel and her family barely had time to process the devastating news before she was rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town to begin treatment.

Chanel spent an entire year at the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and continuous testing – a process that took an extreme toll on her body, whittling her down to a mere 35 to 40 kilograms. The treatment forced her to be isolated from others, as exposure to any germs could potentially overwhelm her severely strained immune system.

Another devastating consequence of her condition was losing her hair. Despite having being warned by her medical team, Chanel found this to be an incredibly hard reality to accept.

Constant fear of death

The psychological side of cancer is usually overlooked by outsiders. Living with a chronic illness is difficult at the best of times but when you are stuck in a hospital bed for a year, facing with the constant fear of death, it is almost impossible to stay strong.

During these dark times, mother stayed by her bedside constantly, acting as a pillar of strength and doing her very best to keep her daughter’s hope alive. Her father was tasked with looking after her two brothers back home in Port Elizabeth.

Leukaemia Unveiled delves deep into both the physical and psychological toll that cancer takes on not only the patient, but the entire family. Chanel’s family pulled together under the toughest of circumstances to overcome one child’s illness whilst trying to provide their other two kids with as normal a life as possible.

Chanel is now 28 years old and has been in remission since 2005. She still lives in Port Elizabeth, has worked as a make-up artist and even auditioned to become a Top Billing presenter in 2012. She is also the lead singer in a rock band called Shackles and Sherry.

You can purchase a copy of Leukaemia Unveiled off the Porcupine Press website for R150.00. You can also like Leukaemia Unveiled on Facebook or visit the website.

 

Find original post on Health24 by Laura Newnham

 

BIG NEWS FOR WRITERS AND SMALL PUBLISHERS

A partnership that could offer important new opportunities for writers, small publishers and book distributors has been launched by African Narratives (AFNA) and the Bookshop Association of South Africa (BASA).

A memorandum of understanding has now been thrashed out between the two organisations and will be signed in May 2015.

AFNA, organisers of the country’s first Indie Book Fair for independent publishers held in Johannesburg in March, is a not-for-profit entity committed to the development of a thriving local literature in SA. BASA is also a not-for-profit entity which already has 173 members including 120 black-owned SME bookshops across the country.

‘You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise the potential of such a partnership,’ says AFNA board chairperson, Gail Robbins.

AFNA is developing a programme that will include membership-based lobbying power for independent writers, small publishers and distributors; NQF-rated training courses; subsidised publishing opportunities in exchange for author involvement in distribution, and a comprehensive national distribution network for small publishers and independent authors.

BASA is seeking a greater share of the book and stationery supply to schools. This will bring greater financial stability to BASA bookshops, thereby generating a retail network in previously under-resourced urban and rural communities that will be of huge value to South Africa’s pursuit of a culture of reading and lifelong learning. It will also greatly improve on current supply systems which are susceptible to abuse and inefficiency

Says Simon Mataboge, spokesperson for BASA and himself a bookshop owner: ‘This partnership is what we have been waiting for. It will greatly strengthen our efforts to place our bookshops at the service of the many communities that have so far been excluded from the massive rewards that books and reading can bring to individual lives.’

Co-operation between the two organisations will take the form of joint proposals to relevant government agencies and a programme aimed at transforming BASA bookshops into exciting cultural centres that will feed into South Africa’s nascent culture of reading and life-long learning.

Samsung S5 - April 2015 1012 small AS

It’s a Partnership! Simon Mataboge of BASA shakes hands with Clare-Rose Julius of AFNA.

Others in the picture (from left) are Bulelwa (BASA), David, (AFNA), Thulani (BASA) and Gail (AFNA).

Getting to know Unravelling author, Susan Rae Fox

Susan Rae Fox’s latest novel, Unravelling is currently available. Fox recently spoke to Media Update about her love of writing, where she gets her ideas and what she is working on next.
News Article Image for 'Getting to know <i>Unravelling</i> author, Susan Rae Fox'
When did you start writing?My love for writing began in high school when I discovered I had a talent which earned me regular doses of praise from an idolised teacher – and the grudging respect of fellow pupils.

I honed my ‘craft’ working as a journalist on a woman’s magazine before being head-hunted as a copywriter by the ad industry.

I loved this job – so much so it became my guiding passion and allowed me to graduate to the position of creative director and, ultimately, managing director of an advertising, promotions and communications company in Durban.

When I was younger, working in journalism, I wrote short stories for a literary agent who sold the stories to UK magazines. The idea of writing a novel never entered my head until I set a date for my retirement and, at that point, plots for novels began buzzing in my brain.


Unravelling is your third novel: what motivated you to write it?
One day, three years ago, the front page of the East Coast Herald was taken up with an intriguing report of a motorist who’d shot randomly at other motorists in the upmarket Walmer area in Port Elizabeth.

By the time the shooter had been captured by the police, he’d killed two innocent motorists and seriously wounded three others.

As I read this article, I imagined a novel beginning with this horrifying scene, gripping the reader and leading her into a compelling story which would bore beneath her skin. I began considering a cast of characters and, among these, two troubled men whose lives were being slowly destroyed by happenstance and ill-fated decisions.

Which of these two men would end up being the killer? Only towards the end of the novel did I finally decide who would be the murderer and who would find redemption.

How different is Unravelling to your first two novels?Based upon the advice of a publisher, my first two books were sold as a series – this was a fundamental mistake. I quickly learned that it is hard enough selling one book without attempting to persuade readers to purchase two books written by an unknown author.

Writing, like anything else, is a learning curve. As a consequence of two books to my credit and feedback from readers, I discovered that, when it comes to writing, your best plan is to follow the KISS principal – ‘keep it simple, stupid’.

My first two books were over-long, clichéd and repetitive. The story line and the characters were good – but I wish I could write these books again, knowing what I know now.

Once I’ve written a manuscript, I now re-write it four or five times before submitting it to a publisher. I slash and burn anything that seems too obvious or repetitive. For me, writing is like riding a bicycle – it does get easier once you’ve picked yourself up after falling on your face a few times.

Who is your favourite character in Unravelling?My favourite character in Unravelling is Ruby – a unique amalgam of models and ‘celebrities’ I met while working on magazines and in advertising.

Ruby is my ‘warrior girl’ – the kind of woman I most admire: deeply flawed yet honest and direct and, above all, strong and confident. We need more gutsy women like Ruby in this world.


You were in advertising at Paton Tupper in Durban. Has this influenced your writing? 

Has it? I’m not sure. My writing during my tenure was confined to ad copy, promotional material, marketing strategies, campaign proposals …I was never able – as I am now – to indulge in complete fantasy which I do every day.

This is by far the best kind of writing. You are given permission to be completely unfettered and free – your hands on the keyboard follow where your mind leads and there’s nothing to curb you other than your own imagination or lack of it.


What do you love about writing?
 

I love everything about writing. New ideas sparking in my head. The challenge of saying something in a way that’s fresh and different. The absolute joy of playing with words. Researching concepts and growing my knowledge. I learn something new every day.

Writing something meaningful which I know will resonate with my readers.I am excited by a determination to constantly improve my writing. When I find a paragraph that’s stiff and awkward, I relish re-writing it until the words are fluid, easier to read and absorb.

Writing is enormous fun. You never know where your story will take you until you find yourself – amazed and delighted – at your destination.

What is your writing routine? 

I write first thing after waking in the morning. I take a cup of coffee to my desk and read over yesterday’s pages. Once I’ve edited these, I write another page or so before showering and dressing. Generally, I write between 10.30 in the morning until 3.00 in the afternoon.Then I resume again between 6.00 and 7.00 in the evening. I am diligent and disciplined and try to cram in between 5-6 hours a day, not always successfully. I cut down to about two hours a day (or less), at the weekend.

Describe a day in your life at present 

I leap onto my computer first thing after waking up when my brain is most alert. Showering and dressing comes next – and then walking.We walk our pack of five rescue dogs on the beach, along the coast and at Cape St Francis. We also walk on our local golf course once the golfers have stopped play in the evenings.

I write when the dogs are tired, break for a light lunch and then carry on with my manuscript until the afternoon.

I am very involved in fund-raising for our local SPCA and attend various meetings during the week. I also have many friends with whom I enjoy spending quality time.

My husband and I (and our dogs), love boating on the canals. I read voraciously whenever I can, and every evening we watch the news and pre-recorded TV programmes until retiring to bed between 11.00 and 11.30.

What inspires you? 

I am inspired by those who’ve overcome adversity through struggle and willpower and go on to carve out successful lives for themselves. I am inspired by women who survive and grow within skewed domestic relationships.I’m inspired by people who make a real difference in the lives of others. I’m inspired by writers who leave me breathless and thrilled.

What are you working on at the moment? 

I am writing a ghost story which flips between 1810 and 2015. The novel is narrated by the voices of 11-year old Plum and her aunt Frith. These two, together with Plum’s father, William, return to South Africa after Frith’s twin sister, Lily, dies after a long illness in England.

They move into a house William purchased on the Internet: North Wind Manor, an ancient, decrepit Edwardian manse situated in Paarl. It’s here, in a locked attic cupboard, that Plum finds the diary of Charlotte Butler who lived in the manor soon after the Boer War.
Plum senses the presence of a ‘spirit’ in the house but does the spirit really exist or is she only the product of this child’s highly active imagination?This novel aims to chart the journey of father, daughter and aunt as they learn to live without their beloved Lily and find the truth in one another. The novel is titled Where the Truth Lies and will be completed within the next few months.

Susan Rae Fox’s latest novel, Unravelling is available at all good book stores nationwide, from www.porcupinepress.co.za and as an eBook from www.amazon.com.
Posted on Media Update

Have a look at these titles….

Diary of a Guji Girl

All that a young Muslimah needs to survive campus life is her headscarf to stay in one place, the perfect lip colour and friends you can rely on. Oh, and WhatsApp messages that get replied on time. That is all.

Amina is a first year student at the University of Johannesburg. Coming from small town Newcastle, this is the freedom that she has been waiting for all through high school.

Between juggling the buzz in her head inspired by the super-cute, popular Moe in his sports car and the growing bond she shares with Sue, she is learning the tricks and trials of being out in the big world. Or is she?

It really is a challenge. If it isn’t about family pressure to get married, and to watch that she isn’t gallivanting, then it’s the feeling of drowning in the crazy world of young people.

Will Amina achieve her Big Houghton Dream? Or is she destined for betrayal?

Follow Amina’s private thoughts as she stumbles through university, her flirtation with the infamous ’Samoosa Run’, fights off loneliness and encounters guys with cracked heels, balding patches and hanging tummies.

ISBN 9780620590877

photo

MENA

Written while the euphoria of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) uprisings was still palpable, this is a collection written by an international mix of respected academics and active political role-players who reflect on the changing face of the MENA region since the end of 2010.

The book examines the theoretical frameworks within which the uprisings and the movements for and towards democracy in the region might be situated; and chronicles and analyses the uprisings in the various countries where they occurred, their causes, the role of external actors, and the impact of the uprisings on the African continent.

Carefully focusing on different countries, while not ignoring the regional tapestry which served as a background for the uprisings, this book presents a fascinating and thoughtful look at one of the most exciting – albeit brief – periods in the MENA region in recent times.

ISBN 9780992199869

Mena

 

New Releases …Get your copy now!

 

Mirror Breaks

This is the first book in a trilogy which tells the story of a young South African woman who is abused both physically and mentally through two marriages and the threat of losing her children in a court of law. In The Mirror Brakes, the story begins with her first encounter with sexual abuse as a child in coercion into a marriage to a man she does not love.

The abuse in this union are described in detail, and the readers are provided with a chilling portrait of male brutality and innocence betrayed, and also of a family protracted denial. Damaged both emotionally and physically and standing at the very gates of hell, she finally finds the courage to extricate herself.

Her escape reads like the pages of a thriller, and the relief is palpable. She has burnt her bridges and has no choice but to move forwards

Take her or leave her, accept her or hate her, but don’t be her judge. She is no less woman, even if she does not fit the conventional idea of what a woman should be. Sometimes it takes the worst kind of pain to bring out the strongest desire of self-determination.

ISBN 9781920609610

The Mirror Breaks_Front Cover

All God’s Stones

In Deuteronomy 30:16 God says to us “For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands”. The Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was first written.

All God’s Stones reveals to us how we can use and apply Scripture in our everyday lives.

By recounting real life stories and incidents that occur every day it reveals to us just how much we are loved by God and highlights the fact that God is concerned about the smallest details of our lives.

We need to know the Scriptures in order to grow in our relationship with God.

All God’s Stones is a two month study guide consisting of eight chapters.  Each chapter ends with a reflection, an exercise to do, a verse to reflect on and a prayer.

It can be used by Churches, Bible Study Groups, youth groups and individuals

ISBN 9781928276135

All God's Stones

Outreach

The William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley is South Africa’s smallest nationally funded gallery. It is also the country’s most dynamic and innovative in terms of its response to the changing socio-political terrain in which it has operated during its 60-year life. From its origins as a typical colonial repository of imported culture, WHAG now holds one of the finest collections of the diverse streams of South African art.

It also runs unique projects which have transformed the gallery from an isolated cultural enclave into the nerve centre for thriving outreach in the most desolate and marginalised – and starkly beautiful – region of the country’s hinterland. The story of this pioneering institution is told through the experiences of a team from the gallery as it journeys thousands of kilometres across the Northern Cape in search of what might constitute the significance of art in human development, and in the lives of frequently impoverished contemporary communities.

This quest for possible answers sheds important light on the role and rationale of an art gallery, and of the arts in general, in a changed and changing South Africa.

ISBN 9781920609528

Outreach Copy

 

 

 

 

Indie Book Fair’s closing cocktail party and Launch of David Robbins book Outreach.

Come join us at the Indie Book Fair’s closing cocktail party and Launch of David Robbins book Outreach.

The William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley is South Africa’s smallest nationally funded gallery. It is also the country’s most dynamic and innovative in terms of its response to the changing socio-political terrain in which it has operated during its 60-year life. From its origins as a typical colonial repository of imported culture, WHAG now holds one of the finest collections of the diverse streams of South African art.

It also runs unique projects which have transformed the gallery from an isolated cultural enclave into the nerve centre for thriving outreach in the most desolate and marginalised – and starkly beautiful – region of the country’s hinterland.

The story of this pioneering institution is told through the experiences of a team from the gallery as it journeys thousands of kilometres across the Northern Cape in search of what might constitute the significance of art in human development, and in the lives of frequently impoverished contemporary communities.

This quest for possible answers sheds important light on the role and rationale of an art gallery, and of the arts in general, in a changed and changing South Africa.

Get your ticket for R100 here: http://online.computicket.com/…/indie_…/902453590/0/64842181

 

Outreach Copy

WHO’S GOING TO WIN THE CRICKET WORLD CUP?

Predict correctly and you could win a free copy of a brand new cricketing novel

THE CURSE AND THE CUP by Gaurav Bhalla has just been published and is being distributed by Porcupine Press

The rules of the competition are simple:

  • Send us an email with your prediction before 19 March 2015, the date of the first quarter finals
  • The first five correct predictions will win a free copy of the book.

This means that the earlier you make your prediction, the more chance you have of winning.

About this ‘outstandingly original novel’ – thus described by Mark Nicholas, well-known cricket commentator

Here’s the plot: A curse is placed by the bereaved mother of a renowned black cricketing family who never represented their country during the dark days of apartheid.  Has this curse been the cause of the Proteas’ failure to win a major cricketing trophy.  As the mother lies dying, she appeals to her grandson to continue her curse. Will he honour her request and support the continuation of the hatred and desire for revenge that underlies the curse, or will he choose forgiveness? Will South Africa win the ICC 2015 World Cup, or will the curse continue its unbroken run?

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER EARLY..

Email your entries to admin@porcupinepress.co.za

curse in the cup

Indie Book Fair announces Keynote Speaker

Indie Book Fair announces Keynote Speaker

Here’s a coup for South Africa’s upcoming Indie Book Fair.

Sarah Taylor, marketing manager at Troubador Publishing and editor of The Self Publishing Magazine, is to deliver the keynote address at 14:00pm on Saturday 21 March 2015. She will speak on ‘the expanding possibilities and freedom of self publishing’.

The Troubador/Matador combination of British publishing imprints enjoys a distinguished international reputation. Troubador is a traditional commercial publishing house while Matador is a high quality self-publishing imprint.

Sarah studied English and Journalism at De Montfort University, Leicester, and has more than seven years of publishing experience. She works with self-publishing authors daily to help them market their books and has given numerous speeches at industry events on a variety of self-publishing topics.

Admission to Sarah’s address is free for people who have paid the basic admission fee of R10 to the Indie Book Fair.

‪#‎IndieBookFair2015‬ ‪#‎Porcupinepress‬ ‪#‎AfricanNarratives‬ ‪#‎SunnysideHotel‬ Matador Self-Publishing

Sarah 2

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