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Vera Alexander

30/9/14

 

Vera Alexander is the pen name of Vera Castleman.

Why Vera Alexander?

Castleman is my married name. When my divorce was finalised my father asked me to revert back to my maiden name. The enormity of all the changes that I would have to effect got to me and I decided to stick with Castleman. We were travelling, as a family, to the Drakensberg for the Ascension Day weekend when he asked yet again. Unfortunately he passed away 2 days later in the early hours of Saturday morning so it was almost his dying wish - the least I could do was to honour his wish and dedicate my writing to him by using my maiden name.

Why  was this important to you?

My father started me on my literary journey by reading the classics to me from an early age. At the age of seven I can remember him reading “The Tale of Two Cities” to me.

When did you start writing?

Far too late in my life.

Why was this?

Life happens. I used to write when I was little. I can remember sitting on the steps in the garden of my home - I was about ten years old - writing a poem about butterflies. I have no idea what happened to it or whether it was a good attempt. I had an extremely active imagination which worked to my detriment in class. Most of the comments from my teachers were “She is a dreamer and doesn’t concentrate in class.” on the other side of the coin I also got “Far too talkative.”

How did your current bout of writing come about?

My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter (who live in the UK) came to South Africa for a holiday in 2009. Della (my granddaughter) was three years old at the time. Our special time together was her bath time - I would sit next to the bath and we would chat about all sorts of things. During our last bath time session she asked me to write to her. I promised I would. When I got home the enormity of the promise hit me. How could I correspond with a three year old? After recovering from the blinding light that struck me - I realised that I could write stories about her and the toy rabbit that I had given her for Easter and the Della and Easter series was born.

What is the significance of your Logo?

I love the sound of water. Waves have a soothing effect on me and I love the warm colours in this picture. It was taken by Sharleen Hudson (now Stuart) an ex-pupil of mine who has become an e-friend. I admire her artistic eye in her photographs which can be viewed on her blog.

Who does your covers? They are stunning.

I am blessed to have reconnected with another very talented ex-pupil of mine - Manuela Cardiga. My covers are so brilliant that I really want people to judge my books by the cover. Manuela and I have formed a spiritual connection that spans the seas that separate us. I e-mail the book to her in Lisbon and she e-mails the cover to me in Durban. She also helps edit the books. I would be lost without her. She is always ready to supply much needed kicks in the pants when the need arises.

 

 

 

 

Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power.