First published: 2017
I wrote this book during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November 2014. The topic is a very serious topic within the borders of my country: The devastation it causes and the ignorance of the government makes this a very real threat in the province where I live.
Due to its rich mineral, gold, diamond and coal resources, most of Gauteng’s earth crust are hollowed out in man-made tunnels that run for kilometres underground, snaking its way from the east to the west and from the north to the south. Tremors can often be felt when the earth shakes under its weight. These tunnels link towns and cities together and everywhere you go you will see its evidence above ground in towers of steel rising high into the sky, man-made mountains that dot the horizon and craters where huge trucks run with more earth they have removed.
When I signed up for the month-long challenge to write an entire manuscript, I had no idea what to write at first. There were so many topics I always wanted to write about. Nothing stood out until I remembered a story about an uncle and aunt who lost their farm because of contaminated acidic water.
I cannot recall just what reminded me of that dark time in their lives but I did some research and learnt about the actual impact this had on them. It is a permanent hazard to human and animal alike in the larger parts of Gauteng. From there on the story seemed to write itself and soon a futuristic story developed. That gave me a much bigger scope to write about and here we are, with you reading the end product: A futuristic book filled with suspense, and also my first.
I have to thank NaNoWriMo for this. It challenges you to do the impossible: 50 000 words in 30 days and motivates you to keep your focus on the draft once you are part of the team.
I also want to thank Leon Swart for his input, Isak de Lange and Elsabe de Beer for the proofreading of this book, and Manuela Cardiga: She just has the gift of knowing exactly what I wanted in the book’s cover and created something beautiful in just a day.
But most of all, I want to thank Isak, my life partner, who supported me from the moment we met. Also, thank you to my children, who are always in the background while I am writing away, and my father for just being Dad.
Without all the support and encouragement, the book would not have seen the daylight, and I am eternally grateful to every person who shares this life with me.