From the rugby wunderkind of a kudu-wrestler, to a backwards fighting man… Notes From A Night Bus and Other Stories makes for one hell of a collection of truthfully tall tales and memorable folk.
Yet in this gut-tickling South African blend – where the anecdotal meets the magic realist, and fiction is almost always the strangest fact – they become the sort of folk uncannily like the folk we know.
And it is in this, that Notes From A Night Bus… emerges as a gem of a compilation: in the ability of the writer to pick up threads and pieces that make all stories worth telling.
About The Collection
At the start of 2007 I approached my friend, Jocelyn Fryer, to help me edit a story about Port Elizabeth, called To Anybody’s Never-ending.
Anyhow, we were almost finished with it when I was packing up to spend a year in
England. So this first-novel-in-progress went on ice for a period of twelve months.
During that time, I started writing articles and short stories, most of which were sent back to Joce and Ross (my older brother) before submission, for a quick opinion and some constructive criticism from the people I trusted most.
And this is where the story of “Notes from a Night Bus” began, in my first few months in England. I was living on a friend’s, floor, looking for a job and spending most of my money on beer.
I returned home to freelance journalism, and a surfing blog, “Rail to Rail,” for the website of local Eastern Cape newspaper, The Herald.
In January 2009, I spoke to Joce again, about publishing a book of stories that were pulled off the blog together with those written while I was in England. I’d initially hoped for them to go to print almost word for word, merely given a basic touch up here and there.
This idea was a bit scattered. I’m a dreamer and often underestimate the complexity of simplicity. Instead, the final process became something of an – at times taxing – overhaul, spanning pieces from the last 3 years altogether.
So we’ve spent a lot of this year touching up old pieces of writing. And I say ‘we’, because without Jocelyn, this collection wouldn’t be finished.
Most of these stories were written whilst doing something else (except the ones from the blog, which were the first pieces of writing I’ve ever been paid for).
The people between the pages have been my friends on the road, and I hope you are charmed by them.
Most of all, this story would not be complete without the drawing of Joff.