‘m a writer and illustrator based in Cape Town. It’s a pretty, little seas-side valley I stay in. The local shop could do better with its fresh produce but it sells milk and eggs and dishwashing liquid. I’m about 40 minutes drive from Cape Town Centre, and an hour by train. I don’t go to town that often, maybe once a month. I used to swim a lot in the sea here, but there seem to be more sharks in the water than before, (or just more documentaries about them) so I just watch the waves now. I’ve seen two big great whites from the beach. In August every year the whales come into our bay and we stop the car on the way home and I point out to my daughters where they are. Kids mostly want to see whales breaching and landing on boats, but these guys just swim by quietly. A couple of years ago we had a baboon problem in our valley. I woke up one day and there was this huge face looking at me from around the door. It looked like a giant killer poodle. I jumped up and chased it out - a big lone male baboon. Baboons were a big issue for a while, tipping over bins and getting into people’s kitchens, until the local rangers started carrying paintball guns. Turns out baboons hate being hit with paintballs as much as we do. They cleared out into the hills. I see them whenever I go mountain biking.
Career-wise, if you’re interested, I started out after school thinking I’d like to write adverts. I was wrong. I realised that about two weeks into my first year in advertising. Ever since then I’ve been making books. Writing them but also illustrating them. My plan is to write one of every kind of book there is.
(I’ve published two volumes of cartoons. Six picture books. One novel. One curio book. And next year will see the publication of part one of a co-written apocalyptic Western. A sort of doomsday thriller set in America and written under a pseudonym so that moms buying my picture books don’t get it in their Amazon order by mistake.)