MARTIE PRELLER: I AM AN UNSEEN OBSERVER
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Martie Preller or Mary Meddlemore is one of the best South African authors. She won many awards and was published by well known houses. Our next guest wrote 38 books. We will speak about some of them in the following interview.
– Martie, Interconnected was released few days ago. Share some details about the book?
– Interconnected has two parts.
Christina is a postgraduate literary student in the United Kingdom. A freelance photographer contacts her and promises fame and fortune if she does a modelling shoot at newly discovered ancient ruins in Africa. She has no modelling experience whatsoever, but Bjorni assures her that a fresh new face is just what they are looking for. She suspects that it is some kind of hoax, but agrees, because, if it is genuine, it may indeed be the opportunity of a lifetime.
They land at Cape Town airport and she discovers to her horror that she can see people who do not exist!
Who are the man and the woman on the roof that nobody else could see?
Christina meets two different Nathans … and has to cope with very mysterious happenings.
The main characters are also Christina and Nathan but a different story plays out in another time and place. Readers can interpret the two stories as they like. There are no right or wrong interpretations. As Ben Okri describes the process of reading/writing in his book “A Way of being free”
Reading, therefore, is a co-production between writer and reader. The simplicity of this tool is astounding. So little, yet out of it whole worlds, eras, characters, continents, people never encountered before, people you wouldn’t care to sit next to in a train, people that don’t exist, places you’ve never visited, enigmatic fates, all come to life in the mind, painted into existence by the reader’s creative powers. In this way the creativity of the writer calls up the creativity of the reader. Reading is never passive.
Interconnected celebrates the power of stories and the difference one single human being can make. We are all heroes, if we give what we can.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– The book is part of my Story Dimensions Series – an original and unusual series, providing a multi-faceted look at life as we know it, highlighting power abuse as perhaps the most devastating destroyer of our co-existence on the only home we have – our twirling blue planet.
As the human race operates with a pecking order similar to chickens in a coop, according to Mary Medllemore, power-abuse pops up everywhere in life, not just as the vice of dictators.
Some of the books share the same characters/settings.
This is the fourth book in the series but it doesn’t matter which book you read first.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The biggest challenge always is to write the story as clear and as dynamic as I can
– Tell us something more about your main character Christina? Is she close to someone from your real life?
– No, Christina is fictional but she is brave and scared sometimes, as we all are.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– About a year
– Babalela series is one of your most successful projects. What the readers will find inside?
– The Babalela-series are picture books published by a South African publisher. I am currently writing the fifth book in the series. They have sold more than 90 000 copies and still going strong. The books tell of the adventures of a group of odd animals who live in a forest and about a man who is determined to capture them and sell them to a zoo.
– Who are you?
– A human being, a woman, a mother and a grandmother, a friend, an author.
– What are your writing habits?
– I “see” the story taking place in its setting and I write what I see and hear. I am an unseen observer of what is happening in the story. I have written about forty books that have been published by local publishers. I sit down and write and then I rewrite and rewrite until it is the best story I can produce.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Is a writer ever satisfied with his or her sales? No
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– This is the first time I publish my own work thus I read the advice of others and try my best.
– When we will see your next novel?
– I don’t know. I must first write the fifth book in the Babalela-series for the publisher.
– Why you were scare to start writing in younger age?
– I have been a fanatical reader since I was a child – stories had an enormous effect on me. And I have huge respect for stories. I wasn’t sure that I could contribute in a meaningful way. My family and friends convinced me to try and my career took off when I was 42 and is still going strong, I am happy to say. I have written almost 40 books that have all been published locally and I have won many awards for my books.
– What is the reason you are writing under two names?
– Originally Mary Meddlemore was a character in one of my stories, but she insisted on being the author too. I had no problems with that. You don’t mess with characters otherwise you are in trouble, otherwise known as writer’s block. They know better than you. It is their stories after all.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– Why were you so stupid to wait so long before you started writing? Answer. Calm down, Martie and stop beating yourself up! One does what one can when one can and that is just fine.