Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Launch of the Cutting Edge website!

The brand new Cutting Edge website is now LIVE! 

Check out for exclusive author interviews, reviews of all 17 titles, book teasers and much, much more! 

Homepage Screenshot

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Bookseller's Forecast on the Future of YA Fiction...

Young adult fiction has never been bigger. Find out what the future holds - check out The Bookseller's feature here

YA gritty reads - "In the past five years the young adult fiction market has grown by a whopping 170%"  

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Guardian reviews Scarred Lions!

Check out The Guardian's fantastic review of new release, Scarred Lions

Part of "The Cutting Edge series", "Scarred Lions", is a gritty, honest and hard-hitting quick read for teens and young adults who find conventional fiction irrelevant to them or too hard to read. Buyisiwe feels like a stranger in the place where he grew up. He simply cannot shrug off the feeling of dread following him through the streets of London. And then he receives the terrible news. His mother can't take care of him anymore; he has to go and live with his estranged father, Themba, in Africa. Africa is not what Buyisiwe expected it to be. It is a place of great beauty and splendour, magnificent animals and terrible danger. And now a scarred, man-eating lion prowls the game reserve, waiting for his next victim. The hunt is on. Who will survive? And will Buyisiwe finally find a place where he really belongs? 

"The Scarred Lions" is a moving story about alienation and the magic of friendship. The fast-moving, character-focused narrative delves right to the heart of a tougher side of life. "Packed with drama and adventure from one page to the next, readers will be truly compelled by this gripping and satisfying story." Carefully chosen fonts, simple layout and controlled vocabulary help carry readers from beginning to end without any hint of chore-factor creeping in.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Guest blogger Fanie Viljoen, author of Scarred Lions, on his research and inspirations for the novel

Where do you belong?
Fanie Viljoen

There are some concerns all teenagers have, no matter where they are in the world. These universal issues include the questions: “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong?” This is exactly what Buyisiwe struggles with when his whole life is uprooted and he has to move from England to Africa to start a new life with his estranged father. Imagine that – packing up your life, your belongings and leaving all else, even your mother, behind.

Whilst in the grip of this emotional rollercoaster, Buyisiwe clings to the thought that if his father is an African, then surely there must be a bit of Africa inside of him too … But what if there isn’t, and he becomes a stranger in a strange place? Add to that the thrill and danger of a man-eating lion on the loose in the wild life reserve where his father lives and works, and you’ve got the ingredients for a great read.

A view of the reserve from Picnic Rock

While doing research for Scarred Lions I visited a game reserve near Bela Bela in South Africa. An experienced game warden, Hannes Haasbroek, drove me around in the veld, teaching me about the wide variety of animals and plants. Having grown up in South Africa one might think that every South African would know all there is to know about the animals and the plants, but the game warden unlocked a wealth of amazing facts for me. These I tried to weave into the fabric of the story, giving the book a realistic backdrop. I then merely had to add a great story and some interesting characters that would capture the attention of readers. Because I also enjoy some fun amidst the tension, I included a generous amount of humour – mostly supplied by the fun loving and free spirited AndrĂ©, a game warden’s son.

In the end I hope that readers will have as much fun reading Scarred Lions as I had writing it! My wish for them is that they too might find their place in the world.

This zebra probably knows his place in the world, but can you spot him?