A Hell of a Location…
Africa isn’t just a safari park adventure featuring the Big Five and the few odd giraffe. Yes, I have baboons for neighbours (no, really) but Cape Town, the city where I have lived my entire life, is quite cosmopolitan, thank you very much. Its history dates back thousands of years, to a time when Khoisan tribes combed the beaches and culminates now in a veritable melting pot of cultures. It’s quite possible to walk through our central business district and hear folks speaking everything from Afrikaans and English, to French, Mandarin and Xhosa. The Mother City, as we call her, is also known as the Tavern of the Seas, because for centuries travellers have rested here, at the tip of Africa, before resuming their journeys.
Parts of our city are very old, like our Castle of Good Hope, which was built during the mid-1600s. Others, such as our Foreshore, are still changing and boast magnificent examples of contemporary architecture. I’ve had foreign friends say Long Street reminds them of New Orleans’s French Quarter. Our Bo-Kaap used to house Malay slaves and the homes are painted in bright, candy-like colours.
All these locations and the history attached to them are grist for my mill as an author and I like nothing more than to allow my readers to step into my world. Nothing pleases me more when someone messages me to tell me they felt as if they walked every step of the way with one of my characters.While a serious fantasy setting involving a completely imaginary world does beckon, I’m yet to exhaust the potential Cape Town offers me as a location for my tales. My latest Lyrical Press release, Hell’s Music, an erotic romance, is set here, and dips into the seamier underside of alternative culture when my protagonist, Emily, falls for a bad-boy celeb who’s returned to South Africa to sort out his issues.
And boy, oh boy does Simon have problems. Crazy stalker fans and an annoying paparazzo are the least of them. While Emily can’t deny that her shock-rocker boyfriend is exceedingly good at spicing up her humdrum life, she can’t escape the fact that he keeps her separate from his day-to-day lifestyle.
What I really enjoyed about writing this novel was thinking up which locations I’d use. Emily stays in one of the city’s historical neighbourhoods where stunning examples of late Victorian and art deco architecture exist. Tamboerkskloof is situated on the slopes of Lion’s Head, looking down on the City Bowl, and is kind of suburb where I can only dream about owning property. I have a penchant for old houses with high ceilings and vintage parquet floors.
Another location I’ve been dying to use in my writing again is Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. It sprawls along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and is where our highly popular summer concerts are held. The garden feels like a bit of paradise on earth, offering visitors rolling green lawns, rockeries bristling with bizarre succulent plants or hidden dells where giant tree ferns loom. Of course I have my sincere doubts whether a massive alternative concert would ever be hosted in it, it still gave me a serious case of the happehs to set part of Hell’s Music there. That’s the whole point of writing—you get to bend the story according to your vision.
So, while Hell’s Music is on one hand a smouldering love story with plenty of heat between Emily and her troubled beau, you’ll get a little more than you bargained for because the novel plays out in an African setting you won’t encounter on Discovery Channel. For those of you who’d like to have a small taste of Cape Town, take my hand and allow me to show you some of my favourite parts.
Read more about Hell’s Music here: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=422
Get Hell’s Music action on your Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Music-ebook/dp/B005KT3EXG
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This book sounds fantastic, Nerine! I am heading over to Lyrical Press right now. What a gorgeous country Africa is, I vow to visit one day. Nothing could be further than South West England, lol!