Cape Town mom channels lockdown anxiety and pens her first novel
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Cape Town - A Cape Town mother who felt the walls were caving in during the Covid-19 pandemic penned her thoughts and is now ready to launch her own juvenile fiction book.
Charmaine Engelbrecht, 46, from Goodwood, has always had a love for writing and never thought the pandemic would make one of her dreams come true.
Speaking to African News Agency (ANA), the mother of four said her juvenile fiction book, titled “Esther the Warrior”, has the current pandemic as a backdrop to the story.
Engelbrecht said the book focuses on a girl named Esther and how she intends to complete her final year of high school amid a global pandemic left behind by a zombie attack.
“When the pandemic struck, my daughter was in Grade 12 and I decided to make use of that in the first chapter as she was trying to finish her final year with being worried, anxious.
“In the book, Esther is in this imaginary world and is on a mission with a team to the earth’s core to prevent zombie attacks and the viruses they leave behind,” Engelbrecht told ANA.
The character in the book has always been uninspired and terrified of the future, but her journey takes her to places she could never have dreamt of, and reveals her true strength. The book shows the character just how strong and courageous she is and what a difference she can make.
Engelbrecht began writing the book last April and finished it in September.
Engelbrecht said writing is something she has always loved doing and is passionate about. She has written poetry and short stories and is also passionate about animation.
“I work as a consultant for an investment company and when we were all told to work from home I needed something else that kept me motivated.
“I started writing to escape the cabin fever experienced during the pandemic. I felt anxious and took the time during lockdown to do introspection.
“Every night after work I worked on the book for about two or three hours. I used all my free time to do something and this has definitely become a dream come true,” Engelbrecht told ANA.
The book is being self-published. The mother of four said self-publishing had always been one of her biggest fears. However, once she read up about it, she realised it was not as difficult as she had thought.
“I initially put the book on the Amazon site, but there were not many hits. I saw some things I wanted to change and reached out to a publishing house in Johannesburg who assisted me in self-publishing and in the editing process.
“There are many publishers who assist authors wanting to self-publish,” Engelbrecht said.
She said her support system, her family, has played an important role in the publishing of her book.
She said her husband and children read her rough drafts and gave her pointers on where she could improve or touch on throughout the book.
The book is set to be officially launched on October 2.
“My final goal is to see the book come to life. I wrote a song, and we have a musical director, too. Even though it is a book launch, it will be presented as an animated movie,” Engelbrecht said proudly.
African News Agency