Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2nd Meeting of the Mahalapye Writers' Club!!!!

This Saturday is the second meeting of the Mahalapye Writers' Club. We'll be meeting at the Mahalapye Brigades (formerly Mahalapye Development Trust) along the Shoshong Road opposite Tamocha Primary School at 2 pm.

Venue: Mahalapye Brigades along the Shoshong Road
Time: 2 pm
Date: Saturday 20th May

See you there!! 
(any questions you can email me at or phone 71327525)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kingsmead Book Fair- Johannesburg!

Next Saturday the 13th of May I'll be in Johannesburg for the Kingsmead Book Fair!
The first event will be about The Scattering with Yewande Omotoso:

Indomitable Spirits (at the Music Centre)
Yewande Omotoso (The Woman Next Door), introduces three unforgettable books about courage and the will to survive at all costs, with Sean Christie (Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard), Lauri Kubuitsile (The Scattering) and Unathi Magubeni (Nwelezelanga: The Star Child).

Later in the day I'll be with Ros Haden talking teen romance! We'll be in the Teen Studio 2 at 15:00. I'll be talking about my two Aunt Lulu books: Signed, Hopelessly in Love and Signed, the Secret Keeper.

Here is the complete programme. I hope to see everybody there!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Literary Crossroads Goethe-Institut Windhoek

On the Monday after Easter I am off to Windhoek Namibia to be part of the Goethe-Institut's Literary Crossroads. The programme sets out to connect writers around Africa for interesting discussions around those places where their writing crosses paths. The main event will be a panel discussion between me (discussing my most recent historical fiction writing) and Namibian author and publisher Jane Katjavivi. I read Jane's wonderful memoir, Undisciplined Heart (Modjaji Books) when it came out in 2010. Below is her bio:

  Undisciplined Heart: When Jane Katjavivi becomes involved in London in support of change in Southern Africa, she meets and marries a Namibian activist in exile. Moving with him to Namibia at the time of Independence in 1990, she faces a new life in a starkly beautiful country.
She starts to publish Namibian writing and opens a bookshop. In Windhoek she develops friendships with a group of strong, independent women, who have also come from other countries, and are engaged in different ways to overcome the divisions of the past. Over coffee, drinks and food, they support each other through times of happiness and sadness, through juggling careers and family, and through illness and death.
When her husband is made Ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union, and later Berlin, Jane has to build a new identity as the wife of an ambassador, and come to terms with her own ill-health without her friends around her to support her. 

I'll be in Windhoek for the entire week and will be doing a few other things as well. Below find my schedule if you will be in Windhoek and would like to attend or listen (for the radio interviews). 

TUESDAY 18 April
 10:00 radio interview on NBC Radio- German station with Ralf Boll

15:45 radio  interview at 1 FM

 19:00 Panel discussion Literary Crossroads with author and publisher Jane Katjavivi, moderated by Namibian writer, Sylvia Schlettwien
Venue: Library Goethe Institute Windhoek

Getting your Manuscript Ready: Looking Over Lauri Kubuitsile’s shoulder as she writes a Novel
Venue: Library Goethe Institut Windhoek

14:00 - 16:30
The Ins and Outs of Getting Your Work Published and Other Information no-one will Ever Give you
Venue: Library Goethe Institut Windhoek


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

University of Botswana to discuss The Scattering!!

 University of Botswana English lecturer Mr Wazha Lopang will present his academic paper titled "Displacement and sexuality in Lauri Kubuitsile's The Scattering".

Date: Friday 7th April
Time: 9-10 am
Venue: Block 239/ room   003
Everyone is welcome!

I'm so honoured by this! I hope people will manage to attend.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Night of the Earthquake in Botswana!

Last night at about 7:40 pm,  we had a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Botswana. Luckily it occurred in a remote area in the Kgalagadi Desert, nearly due west from Mahalapye about 178 km, near to the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve. The depth of the earthquake is different from varying reports from 22 km down to 11 km. So far it appears that there are no reports of damage or injuries. Someone told me that since the earthquake was quite deep, the damage on the surface is less even though it was quite a strong earthquake.

I have never been in an earthquake before. Many years ago, perhaps about 15 or 16, in Mahalapye we had a very slight earth tremor that at the time I thought was the train passing. What happened last night was completely different.

I was at home alone and the house started shaking. At first I was confused about what was happening. There was a rumbling sound, as if a very big truck was passing. Then I fell to the floor and crawled to the door. I couldn't find the keys to the burglar gate. All of this time the house was shaking, the windows rattling. I found the keys and got outside and still the shaking continued. I have no idea how long it lasted. I've read varying reports from 50 seconds to 6 minutes. It seemed like forever.

People were outside of their houses talking loudly, but there didn't seem to be any damage at all. This morning I walked around my house checking more carefully and there is no damage. It was scary last night, especially when they said that we should expect aftershocks, though in the end I didn't feel any. I think we were all very lucky though, we could be telling a very sad story this morning otherwise. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mahalapye Writers' Club

All writers or people interested in writing are invited to attend the first meeting of Mahalapye Writers’ Club. After this we will be meeting the second Saturday of each month, same venue, same time.
Date: Saturday 8 April 2017
Time: 2 pm
Venue: Mahalapye Brigade
 (Mahalapye Development Trust) opposite Tamocha PS along the Shoshong Rd
Bring a 500 word sample of your writing to share, pen and paper, and what you’re currently reading.
See you there!!
Any queries contact Lauri Kubuitsile at

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Walter Scott Prize Recommends The Scattering!

The UK based Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has included The Scattering on its twenty book list of recommended novels.

The news on their website says:
    "For the first time, and to co-incide with the Longlist announcement, the Prize is releasing a further list of 20 books recommended by the Walter Scott Prize Academy from this year’s entries. They include newly published historical novels from Australia, Canada and Africa as well as some unmissable novels from the UK. We’ll be exploring all these books further in the weeks and months to come.  Keep watching!"

Further on their website is more about this prestigous prize.

Honouring the achievements of the founding father of the historical novel, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world. With a total value of £30,000, it is unique for rewarding writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past.
Sponsored by Sir Walter Scott’s distant kinsmen the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the Prize celebrates quality, innovation and longevity of writing in the English language, and is open to books first published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth. Reflecting the subtitle ‘Sixty Years Since’ of Scott’s most famous work Waverley, the majority of the storyline must have taken place at least 60 years ago.
The Prize was founded in 2010, and is awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June every year. The winner receives £25,000 and shortlisted authors each receive £1000.

Though not on the longlist, I'm quite proud that my first historical novel has been given a nod by such  an important prize. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Africa Writers You Should Know: Yewande Omotoso

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados, grew up in Nigeria, and has lived in South Africa since 1992. Her first novel, Bom Boy (Modjaji Books), which came out of her MFA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town, was published in 2011 to much critical acclaim. It won the 2012 South African Literary Award for Frist Time Published Authors, was shortlisted for both the 2012 Sunday Times Prize and Mnet Literary Awards and in 2013 was runner-up for the Pan-African Etisalat Prize.
Her latest book, The Woman Next Door, came out in South Africa last year, and will be published in the USA this year where the literary website, The Millions, has pegged it as one of “the most anticipated books for 2017”.  I was lucky enough to have a chance to interview her about her success, creativity, and her current work.
You’re an architect by training, a creative field. Is creativity paramount for a writer?
I’m not sure how one measures what is most important when it comes to writing fiction. The act itself, like so much else, even tasks not categorised as The Arts, is a creative act. And if you’re going to be making up people with any sense of “truth” to them then empathy is important. Audacity and courage too. Patience. Tenacity. Maybe paramount is simply the will to write. As in a kind of disease (!) or a real hunger, a “have to”.  
Bom Boy had a lot of success, how has that success affected you and your writing?
I don’t know if it’s affected me/my writing as such, the way my upbringing affects me or the country I live in, the people I love or the language I speak. I’m not sure “success” should be permitted that kind of effect. However when a book is received generously that is massive encouragement. I felt and still feel so incredibly thankful. I took the kind reception and I combined it with whatever it is that motivates me to write and I used it to keep going. John Berger said “writing has nothing to do with success it has to do with lucidity.” Of course he’s right but we do live in a world where success, however we define it (and this is important because it is not a fixed set thing) has currency. Success is only one measure but it is a measure. It usually brings a wider readership, it might bring money, reputation and status, greater networks. These are wonderful things that might make writing the next book easier but none of which have a causal effect on the thing that is most important – writing well.
What was the initial starting point/spark for your new novel, The Woman Next Door?
Being around my grandmother around the time my grandfather died and thinking – what must it be like to be burying your husband whom you’ve been married to for almost 70 years, what must it be like to have the bulk of your life behind you.
What themes interest you most in your writing?
Family. Motherhood. I’m interested in our flaws and our capacity for compassion. Relationship and love interests me a lot, romantic love, romantic entanglement, marriage. I like looking at what I think of as myths. I’m very pulled in by character and so I enjoy getting into the psychology of characters and why we are the way we are. More and more I’m fascinated by history.
You, like me, live in a society which is not quite your own. Do you think that gives you special insight into the society in which you are an outsider?
The outsider always has some kind of vantage point. Even just geographically we can understand that. Of course the outsider is both wise and ignorant. Same way the insiders have their wisdoms and their ignorances. I think, almost paradoxically, that no community is complete without its outsiders and the corollary is also true, all outsiders need the community from which they stand apart.
Can you tell me a bit about the novel that you’re working on now?
I’m working on a story about two divorced parents that go in search of their estranged adult daughter whom neither have spoken to in almost a year. It’s the story of a family that didn’t work and an attempt to solve the mystery of why not, an attempt to repair. It’s about art (the daughter is a talented artist) and love. It’s also about death.

(This column first appeared in the 10 February, 2017 issue of Mmegi in my column It's All Write)