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John van de Ruit

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

I know what I didn’t want to do this summer

To all readers, assorted Spud fans and other shady members from the lunatic fringe. I offer up my warmest greetings and best wishes for 2008.

For me, like many, Christmas is an entirely dodgy time of the year. In South Africa we find ourselves scorched by blazing summer heat with absolutely no desire to eat turkeys or pigs. In fact the heat is so bad here that I saw Santa handing out presents in his underpants. (Come to think of it that might not have been Santa…) Anyway, forget it. The point I’m struggling to make here is that Christmas is a decidedly vile experience, and New Year’s Eve a mere stomach bug waiting to happen. It’s now over, so I’m crawling back under my rock and waiting it out until Autumn.

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Watching from afar

This is my first post for my Amazon.com profile page. Hopefully, it will appear in two places at once – if not, back to the technical drawing board!

So to Amazon.com browsers, if you’ve stumbled upon this: thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the book.

Spud was launched by Razorbill (Penguin USA) in America and Canada on the 4th October 2007. I unfortunately was not anywhere near North America, in fact, I was so far away I was in South Africa! I tried my best to celebrate the moment with an overrated dinner in a swanky restaurant but with every drink I ordered, the toasts to America grew wearier, until eventually fading away into excited talk about the rugby world cup.

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So You Want to be in Spud: the Movie?

I’m not sure if writers (like actors) are a breed that can be boxed into specific character traits and behavioural patterns. Sure every actor thinks he’s/she’s different to the rest of the mob and that his/her particular expression is historically unique. This is an illusion but don’t try telling actors that or you’ll get slapped, skeefed and badmouthed. Perhaps the private nature of an author’s daily grind establishes a false need for privacy, or perhaps the world of an author’s imagination eventually seems more enticing than a beer at the Keg with Nigel from school. Who knows?

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The Book Fair and Other Vague Musings

Hi All

I returned yesterday from what was unquestionably the most intense ten days of my life. Twenty-seven book talks, thirty signings and God knows how many books I’ve scribbled in. The worst thing wasn’t waking up before the sun (although in Jozi this wasn’t a problem) or the arthritic wrist – it was the smiling. Every evening i would stumble back to my hotel room with sore cheeks and wonder why. Well anyway you get my point. The novelty of being in demand soon morphs into a kind of clean professionalism that takes in everything but feels nothing. Funny that.

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To Chris and Sarah: Thanks

Firstly a message to Sarah. Yes I am enjoying the sales and having a healthy bank account for once. What I have realised during my years in theatre and now as an author, is that money does not mean the same thing to us as it does to a businessman or a lawyer. For me money is directly related to time. The more money you have, the more creative time you have, and hence the better your work will ultimately become. I now write full-time – although that doesn’t mean I write every day, but the freedom to create is the key. Also so much of writing is just actually thinking. You can’t write the magic unless there’s magic in your head. And you don’t find the magic in your head unless you have time to crank it up and let it stew.

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Spud’s Journey from a Book to a Script and then… to the Big Screen!

Watch out – Spud is set to come alive on the big screen! But we have a long journey ahead of us.

Every good movie starts with a strong screenplay (so they say), and the first draft of Spud‘s is underway. I hope to see it make its way into the world in the second half of the year. I’m told the Tsotsi screenplay went through 40 drafts before a winning formula was reached; and, as with all (or almost all) writing, the secret is in the re-drafting process. So we will re-draft until we get it right.

We plan to shoot the film in 2008, but until then, besides working on the script, we need to find a director, lead cast, key crew and – oh yes – the money.

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