I’d been longing to write a book set in the Breede Valley. There’s a unique magic in the way the arid Karroo exists alongside immaculate vineyards and fruit orchards that makes it the perfect setting for a story about a half-wild child who grows up to become both strange and powerful.
To help my research along, I hired a small cottage on a farm in the area, and immersed myself in the scents, sounds and sights of the place. I was quite in love with the scream of the frogs at night, the differing blues of the mountains against the sky, and the pale flutter of new vine leaves emerging from brown, skeletal twigs in spring.
It’s no wonder that, as I worked on the book, the setting became a character in itself: half-fierce and half-tame, all that wild brown scrub and tended farmland held tight in the embrace of vast, blue mountains.
I cannot wait to return.
Bone Meal for Roses is a coming-of-age tale with an edge, and a love story with a serving of strange, and the lives of its characters are shaped and inspired by the evocative landscape of the Cape Winelands.