Sue Nyathi, author of The Gold Diggers, chats to us about what it takes to write a book.
By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
By the tender age of eight, I knew that I wanted to become a writer. Growing up, I enjoyed cutting out pictures from magazines and writing stories around them. As time went by, I discarded the pictures and started writing full fledged stories. When I was in grade seven, I wrote a novel from my A5 exercise book titled “Crazy Over You”. My peers took turns reading it and it was circulated in my school and in other schools.
My writing process normally starts with writing the story in my head before it goes down on paper. My latest novel was influenced by the xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa. I watched them unravel and felt the need to explore and discuss the matter further. Once I outline the subject, I then start building the characters of my story from scratch. Afterwards, I start writing it down and that is when it all comes together. There is always a story brewing in my head and sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t put it down on paper.
I explore a lot of important themes in my book. Writing allows me to put across my views on social issues such as xenophobia, marriage, discrimination and fidelity, in an uninterrupted space. I strongly believe that books must educate and empower the reader. They should also stimulate discussions on topics that we shy away from.
I always tell people that if you want to write, do it for the love and not the perceived glamour. Apart from being an author, I’m also an investment analyst because very few writers actually make a living from it. I choose to write because I love telling stories, it’s in my blood. Writing is a long painful process which requires a lot of patience and you need to be passionate about it in order to succeed.