Today I would like to take the opportunity the great opportunity of interviewing our guest Carlyle Labuschagne
*Offers the guest a seat and serves them some water while the spot lights begin to fixate on the interview location*
T: So welcome with us and it’s a pleasure to have you here! So let’s get started, can you tell us where you are from
C: Thank you for having me. I am totally flattered and honored to be here. I am from the beautifully sunny country South Africa.
T: Can you give us a brief about you?
C: I am a mother of two, and still a total dreamer who lives in her own world. I started writing at the age of 12 and have since taken many roads to self- discovery. From acting, figure skating, athletics – taking all my after school years to explore many career paths in beauty, sales and construction to finally find my defining moment when it was the right time to become a novelist. My drive behind my writing career – I live to inspire and nourish lives.
T: So when exactly did you start to feel, you want to become a Novelist?
C: After the birth of my second child I had come to a place where I was ready to explore every aspect of my deep, exotic and over imaginative mind. I had a strong calling back in 2009 to release a story for the purpose of sending out a message to teenagers who might be going through a difficult time as I had back in my school days. From the moment I had that revelation I knew I would become a published author no matter what it took with the hopes of connecting with readers who find themselves at a crossroads and hopefully inspire them to be true to themselfes.
T: Coming from South Africa, a country that mainly speaks Afrikaans and several language mixtures, despite having the English language as a very common one too, did writing in English limit your audience?
C: Not at all. English is what I perceive as a global language. And for the genre I write it’s the best fitting language to reach the maximum of readers.
T: Were you ever asked why not write in Afrikaans instead of English?
C:Ironically I am Afrikaans, so that has come up many times. But because the language is only limited to my country, and the number one fact that the genre I write is not yet a popular or even considered interesting genre topic in my country it was an easy choice to make.
T: ‘The Broken Destiny’ what does it represent for you?
C: Okay let’s get real deep and honest here. The Broken Destiny is a book I wrote for myself in the context that if I had such a book to read as a teenager in South Africa I would have had something to relate to in a world where I felt misunderstood, weak and alone.So I wrote my life story, dramatized a hundred times over in the hopes of reaching readers on a personal level, where they could take life lessons from. Essentially it’s a ugly duckling turning into a swan kinda tale.
T: Do you believe Sci-Fi is some sort of escape from the present, or a look into the future?
C: I believe science is God’s way of explaining to humans how the extraordinary is possible.
T: Authors often struggle in finding the right literary agent, editor, publisher etc… Could you let us in on your experience with this?
C: Typically me, my experience has been totally upside down and a long slow process, because of my impatient and control freak tendencies. But mostly my difficult path to becoming a published and recognized author was shaped by the fact that being South African my options, resources and knowledge were extremely limited. First of all back then you could not be a successful published author if you were not signed with a big time traditional publisher. And the only way to get your work published was through an agent. The baffling thing is agents, in my experience – play it safe. So for me and until this day lit agents in my country are a myth. And with applying to agents abroad they don’t like taking on clients that don’t live near them. And the best ( I say this in total disbelief) is that Agents are supposed to be a support and bridge to the world of making an author visible. But the opposite is true, they don’t take on writers that don’t have a proven brilliant sales record. And the most valuable thing I have learned is that every project (manuscript) has to be queried at least 100 times all individually tailored to appeal to the agent you are poaching. So you have to make a decision spend your time finding an agent or dedicate your time to writing and finding a small press agent to take you on.
Self-publishing in the USA and UK have blown all publishing rules out the water, but it takes a certain kind of person to be a self- published author. The best advice I can give here is that if you believe enough and work hard enough with positive and passionate almost desperate energy you will become what you have set out to be.
T: You’ve got the chance recently to travel to U.S and meet a lot of authors as well as fans, can you describe how it felt?
C: I can only describe it as my defining almost divine moment in life. Nothing can compare to the what that kind of financial and emotional sacrifice has given me in return. It was a goal I desperately and almost obsessively took, believing from the start that the rewards were beyond compare. What I gained in spirit and in knowledge is the stuff that fairytales are made of.
T: From your discussions with counterpart authors from other countries, what do you think are the pros and cons you came across?
C: Oh gosh the Pros and cons are an endless ever changing list. All I can say is that the battle against the endless list of cons has transcended the industries perception and measures of control, breaking all limits and obstacles influential characters have put in our way. The thought and idealism has become more than just a writer’s career. It has become a way of live and spirit.
T: If you have the power to make a change in the writing industry in South Africa what would it be?
C: That there would be more writing, reading and storytelling opportunities for our youth.
T: Who was your main support during this journey?
C: From the get go the most supportive people have been my husband and my parents.
T: Carlyle, everyone who has met you and spoke to you notice how kind of a person you are and how sweet and gentle you are, compared to your novels that some of them include an after World War III and total destruction has taken place, could this mean there’s another hidden Carlyle somewhere ?
C: I am so glad you asked this question because most my life I have lived a very sheltered, privileged life. And at times ( which is most of the time ) I have questioned and felt underservant of the blessing I have received. I have from a very young age been able to connect with peoples struggles in a very vivid way. As strange or even crazy as it sounds I feel the pain and struggle of our world. In my mind I have lived the worst kind of scenario and have felt each gut wrenching, soul twisting moment that a person could possibly experience. And I know with in my blessed soul that each soul could not grow, progress or become stronger without the struggle.
T: Would you share with us your writing routine?
C: Well my writing would not be as explosive and interesting without music. And would definitely not happen if cappuccino is not involved.
T: I understand you have a family and kids, how do you find the balance things being a fulltime Wife, Mom and Author?
C: It’s not easy, but if you have the passion and faith – things will work out!
T: Does your family ever help or engage you in your story writing process? Do you share with them thoughts?
C: I do but it’s really a pointless exercise because I end up doing it my way anyway. But I have learnt that is part of my process so say ideas out loud to other actually bring out the answers within myself I seek.
T: What or who inspires you?
C: The pure fact that we exist is inspiration enough.
T: South Africa is known to be rich in nature and lots of lovely sceneries, has this had an effect on your writing?
C: Oh my you have no idea – it is totally responsible for my writing career. As a young teen we used to spend each school holiday going to the ‘bush’ (the one place where wildlife in SA was most adored.) On this fateful day , at the age of twelve on just such a holiday break we sat on a safari ride on a late afternoon appreciating the timeless sunset of Africa. There we were sat in our family car soaking in the beauty of a African sunset when the view before me beckoned me to explore it’s gift. I bent down picked up a pen and paper and started writing my very first and to this day best poem I had ever written. So there it is, if not for my beautiful and all inspiring beautiful African scenery I would never have become the story teller I am right now.
T: What does Ava represent to you? And how much of her is close to Carlyle’s character?
C: Well essentially what Ava stands for is the ultimate vessel in delivering a destiny that defines the shape and future of all existence? How does Ava relate to me, if in any way – and in all ways is that she experiences the hardship and torment that she suffers is a representation of what I have had to deal with in my experience and then carrying on my message to the world that the only way in becoming you true self is by becoming who you are in order to transform in the person you were meant to be. And by embracing her faults and recognizing and living your darkest moments, and dealing with the outcome is the only way to become your destined self. So Ava’s story is mine but dramatized in an entertaining and extraordinary way.
T: You chose Ava to be 16 at the start of your ‘Broken’ series, why?
C: Because that is a coming of age time for any person. It is a time where you are at your most vulnerable, inferential and defining stage that lays the foundation of who you will become.
T: What would you do different about your stories?
T: What do you think is the greatest gift you have?
C: The gift of living and the freedom of choice.
T: What is the thing you love most?
C: Being able to feel and love and learn on your own accord.
T: What is the thing you hate most?
C: Greed, and total disregard for the beautiful earthly realm that we have been blessed with. What pisses me off the most is people that pollute.
T: What was the best situation/encounter you’ve ever had?
C: That is an unfair question because I regard every encounter in life as a changing and an opportunity to learn from.
T: A word to your fellow authors?
C: Never give up, never surrender. Be true to your purpose and passion that put you on the course toward your purpose.
T: A word to your fans?
C: I could never be who I am without you.
T: What is your greatest dream?
C: For the world to be free of monetary bounds and corruption.
T: Thank you for your time it’s been such a great pleasure to have you! And we wish you all the success in the future!
C: Thank you for having me. This has truly been one of the most insightful and inspiring interviews I have had the privilege to be part of in my author career.
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Award winning author of young adult novels
Carlyle is an South African award wining author, with a flair for mixing genres and adding loads of drama to every story she creates. For now she is happy to take over the world and convert non Sci-fi believers.
Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.
“I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, its in the dark times that the light comes to life.”
Carlyle used writing as a healing tool and that is why she started her very own writers support event – SAIR bookfestival.
“To be a helping hand for those who strive to become full times writers, editors, bloggers, readers and cover artists – its a crazy world out there you dont have to go it alone!”
follow @CarlyleL for all the crazy updates on all things me.
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