Monday 2 July 2012

Baking a Book in Botswana

Ever wanted to know what it takes to bake, er, write a book? Award winning Botswana author LAURI KUBUITSILE gives us her recipe:

Award-winning author Lauri Kubuitsile
My name is Lauri Kubuitsile. I’m a writer living in Botswana. Botswana is a lovely place, as long as you’re not a writer. If you’re a writer it may very well be one of the most hostile places on earth. We have no trade publishers, and you can count our proper bookshops on one hand, and that handful are full of international titles leaving only dark, dusty corners for books by writers from Botswana, corners never visited by customers.  In this harsh environment, one might wonder how someone might become a writer. To illustrate, here is my recipe ...
Recipe: How to be a Writer in Botswana
1 x laptop with a battery that lasts 48- 378 hours (power cuts)
200 kg determination. The unflinching kind
1 x map with no roads or signs
At least 2 cups madness, this will depend on taste, likely to need more
500 gm cotton wool
1500 L bravery
5000 L of whiskey, more likely to be required

1. Add one cup of madness. Wait for it to settle. Begin when you are sure it has taken root. Use laptop for writing. If needed because of ample amounts of naysayers in your immediate environment, block ears with 100 gm of cotton wool. Add 200 L bravery and 50 kg of determination. Add more of each if needed. In some cases, whiskey may be required at this stage. You’ll know if you need it.
2. When finished with manuscript, add another 20 kg of determination. Use 200 gm of the cotton wool to re-plug ears. It is very important that you hear no “sense” at this stage. Send manuscript to publishers. Swallow 200 L bravery. Go slow with the madness, this is a tricky time.
3. Wait.
4. Wait some more. Add 200 L bravery and 300 kg determination. Whip to a froth. Keep whipping every time froth goes down. Froth is very important at this stage.
5. Upon receiving acceptance, remove all cotton from ears. Add a ½ cup of madness. Clear room of furniture. Dance. Nothing else is required.
6. The next section requires a lot of determination, prepare in advance. Assess the editing process, depending on the levels of editor manhandling, adjust the amount of determination from between 200 to 500 gm. Don’t go over 500 gm though, can lead to loss of publishing deal. Bravery will be required as well, at least 300 ml. A full cup of madness should be added just at the end. Too soon can ruin the process. Just at the end. Be careful there.
7. Manuscript is now a book. Nothing required. If needed, add whiskey. This depends entirely on the number of newly found editing mistakes and just general bits of shit writing now recorded for posterity – forever.
8. Wait.
9. When royalty statement arrives, swallow the rest of the bravery BEFORE opening.  
10. Hide the rest of the madness where you can’t find it (VERY IMPORTANT!!). Sit down. Open royalty statement. Drink the rest of the whiskey. Cry if you must.
11. Wait.
12. Wait some more, at least until you’ve forgotten a lot of what has happened previously.
13. Add 200 gm of cotton wool to ears. Add the rest of the determination. Find more bravery, add it. Throw in ALL of the madness.
14. Begin next manuscript.
15. Repeat above steps.
Lauri , thanks for sharing that recipe with us. You had me at the 5000l of whiskey!  If you want to try out more of Lauri's recipes for baking the perfect book, you'll find Lauri on her social media sites:
Lauri's blog: Thoughts fromBotswana 
Lauri's Twitter: @LauriKubu  
Continuing the fun of Lauri's recipe, I'm giving away 2 free copies of Lauri's eBooks to 2 lucky readers. So, if you want to be in the draw to win one of these great books to read, please tweet or facebook this recipe. Leave a FB link in the comments or tweet using @judy_croome @LauriKubu so that I can pick up your tweet/FB and know to enter you in the draw. You have plenty of time to enter - the draw closes on July 31, 2012 THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED - see comments for winner.

Lauri's is a prolific writer in multiple genres and many of her books are available on Kindle: 

If you liked Alexander McCall Smith's detective series, you'll love Lauri's  Detective KatGomolemo series:
If you want to read a compelling anthology of short stories which, as I say in my 5* review on Amazon, "transcend the bounds of this harsh, dramatic continent we live in and touch the world's collective imagination through the deep humanity of the characters" buy Lauri's anthology "In The Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories"
Lauri, wishing you the best of luck with Detective Kate Gomolemo and your future writing projects! Thanks for being with us today.


Jemi Fraser said...

Love the recipe! Madness is always required. I wondered what the cotton was for - perfect usage!! :)

Lauri said...

Judy, thanks so much for hosting me on your fantastic blog. :)) I look forward to seeing who wins the books.

Kiru Taye said...

I laughed so much reading this. I think you require madness and bravery in equal amounts.

Thanks for making me laugh this morning, Lauri.

*Big wave* to Judy.

Anne Gallagher said...

Ah, yes, the whiskey. Very important and goes along with the madness brilliantly.

Thanks for a great post, Laurie, Judy!

Lauri said...

Anne, you definitely need the whiskey here when you look at your royalty report. Last year (the whole year) on of my books sold 10 copies. It's almost better if it sold zero and didn't appear on the royalty statement at all. 10? 10 needed ample whiskey.

Selma said...

A perfect recipe with just the right dash of madness. Hilarious!!!

Ann Summerville said...

Great post. I loved Alexander McCall Smith's books and will put this series on my list. Amazon's KDP Select was a good way for me to boost my e-book sales. E-Books definitely out sell books in print.

Lauri said...

Cosy in Texas- Though Judy says my detective novellas are like AMS, I think it's mostly because they're set in Botswana and detective stories, but more serious than AMS's. Just don't want you to be misguided. But glad you liked the post. Yes, I orginally only entered Murder for Profit in Kindle Select but am thinking of putting all of the books. Thanks for the advice. I'm new to this ebook business and am happy for any pointers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy - nice to meet Lauri ... can't imagine writing in Botswana - I'd want to swing on a hammock, listening to the peaceful sounds of the birds chattering, the wind wafting gently through the rushes or trees, and the insects chuntering away ...

Love the recipe though - I'll remember that .. and my mother would have loved the story - she loved Botswana and her holidays there ..

Cheers Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Thank you all for commenting and thank you to Lauri for joining it!

As I no longer have my aged but adorable feline HRH Theodorable to use her royal paw to pick a winner, I have to resort to technology! has drawn the lucky winners of Lauri's two eBooks are:


Congratulations! I'll be in touch shortly to find out which eBook you would like.

Selma said...

WOW. I can't believe I won. That is awesome. Yeehaaa!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Congratulations again Selma, and thanks for kindly passing the prize on as you already have ALL of Lauri's books - what an endorsement of Lauri's writing! :)

So, as my new little stray cat Shadow (who has recently adopted me), isn't yet confident enough to take the role of HRH in choosing winners, it was back to I put the balance of the names in and the (new) winner is ...


Congrats Kiru, I'll be in touch to organise you getting the prize.