On Wednesday 21st November over 30 school librarians met at Epsom Girls Grammar to share stories and catch up on all the gossip as only librarians can. We enjoyed beautiful platters of delicious nibbles and imbibed wine and/or coffee. We had a wonderful time! To add to our enjoyment we were privileged to hear author Fiona Sussman speak about her life as a writer, the journey she has taken to become a published author, and learnt a little about her life growing up under the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
Fiona was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She did a BA and then went into Medicine. She did all her clinical work at the Soweto Black Hospital (to show solidarity with the black and coloured students who were not allowed to work in a White Hospital). She met her husband-to-be in her fourth year and chose to finish her medical training in New Zealand after they married and emigrated. She became a GP and had a family but found the demands of working as a GP and managing a family with a husband who worked long hours was too difficult so she took a year off to see if she could write a book. Lacking confidence in her writing ability she enrolled in a Masters of Creative Writing and discovered that you are a writer when you think you are a writer.
As well as writing her first novel she also wrote and had published a number of short stories. This established her CV as a published author so when she approached a publisher she was given a contract for her first novel - Shifting colours, a novel set in South Africa about adoption and identity. Her second book ‘The last time we spoke’ is a gritty novel set in New Zealand that explores what happens to both the victim and the offender after a brutal home invasion.
We enjoyed meeting and hearing Fiona, a very entertaining speaker. It capped off a great evening.
Thank you to Michele Coombridge and her library team at EGGS for hosting the event.