[Sponsored] ‘Writing is like removing your own appendix with a pair of rusty scissors’—Mark Winkler chats about his new book Theo and Flora

Mark Winkler discusses his new novel, Theo & Flora, and why writing is like performing surgery on yourself.

Winkler sat down with Penguin Random House to chat about his writing life, and to share some (humorous) advice for those thinking of writing a book.

‘The benefit of being a South African writer of literary fiction is that I’m not going to get rich or retire on the income, and that gives me the freedom to write just what I want to write,’ Winkler says.

Theo & Flora is my fourth book, and all of them have been written mostly on weekends, late at night, waiting for flights, in the ten minutes it takes a meeting to start.

‘The most difficult part about writing is trying to find the time to do it, especially when you have a daytime job in the ad industry, which tends to sometimes be a nighttime job and and a weekend job as well.

‘People will often say to me, “I think I’ve got a book in me, I should sit down and write it.” My advice would be to leave it exactly where it is, because to get that book out of you is like removing your own appendix with a pair of rusty scissors.’

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