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Rosamund Kendal’s The Murder of Norman Ware Launched at Exclusive Books Pavilion

Rosamund Kendal

The Murder of Norman WareAddressing an intimate audience at Exclusive Books, Pavilion, author Rosamund Kendal said at the launch of her third novel, The Murder of Norman Ware, that it was a sad time in her life that led to the writing of this book. Last year she discovered she had cancer, and had to undergo an hysterectomy. Recovering from the operation, she found she had time to write a first draft. She secured a publisher, Jacana, for the book, and the rest of the process was plain sailing.

Reading from a small quaint notebook, Kendal explained that this book is a departure from her first two books, The Karma Suture, and The Angina Monologues, in that it is not medical fiction, but rather a murder mystery set on the San le Mer golfing eco-estate on the KZN North Coast. She noted that another difference between this book and its predecessors is that, when she wrote it, she was “playing around”: she wrote it on the computer from the start, whereas with the other two she wrote in longhand before transferring the text to computer.

There are two main themes in the book, Kendal said, that of Action/Consequence and Fate/Chance. She noted that all events in the novel are inextricably linked, so that every detail becomes important. This makes it a book that “can’t be read carelessly”.

Kendal said she was fascinated by the concept of synchronicity, explaining that she set the date for the murder of protagonist Norman Ware for the 3 November (the day she had had her operation in real life), and that co-incidentally the novel was published at the same time the next year.

Fielding questions from the audience, Kendal said that she liked Norman Ware’s character best of all, as he was the “only nice character” in a host of Machiavellian ones. Kendal was asked if she thought she would ever write a book not set in SA. She responded that she wouldn’t, unless she moved, and that: “I love SA, its quirkiness, and I feel an obligation to write about it”.

She said she was nervous about this new book’s reception as it is such a departure from her other work, in some ways “cheeky, and bizarre” – saying she was sure the others would do fairly well, but she has no such certainty about this one. Kendal said she wrote The Murder of Norman Ware to challenge herself as a writer.

Thanking Kendal, an Exclusive Books Manager recommended the book saying it made her laugh in a difficult time. Kendal will be signing copies of her book in Ballito and La Lucia later this month, as well as travelling down to Cape Town to launch the novel there.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    November 12th, 2012 @14:29 #

    I've just gotten round to reading The Karma Suture, and I thoroughly enjoyed it -- even made me tear up. I had no idea Rosamund had been battling with cancer, and am overcome with admiration that she wrote her latest book while recovering. I wish her well, in every sense of the word.


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