Escapist Techniques | Danya Raquel


Helen from Helco Promotions had the honour of introducing us to an incredible 19 year old lady, who has not only written and published a heart-rending book, but who has also opened her own publishing house as a result of her struggles to get the book published.

This evening was refreshing as the audience participation in a question and answer session took the bulk of the time – and Danya answered them all with poise and grace.  Reading has always been a part of her life with Dr Seuss and Enid Blyton being her favourites as a child – in these stories she learned to find wonder in the written word.  Ms Raquel began this book as a journal during school, commenting on circumstances and events happening around and to her.  Although all the characters in the book are fictional, they arose from these musings.  Ms Raquel is currently studying for a Degree in Performing and Visual Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Some information from the Q&A session:

Q: What are some of the lessons learned during your journey to publish this book?

A: Proof reading is very important, also ensure that the printer prints the correct version of the book!

Q: Will you write another book, and if so, when can we expect it?

A: I actually started another book before this one, but put it aside to write Escapist Techniques, so the second book is practically written already!

Q: How much of the fiction is actually you?

A: The whole story is fictional including the characters but I think that the sisters represent different facets of my personality.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

A: Stay true to the message you are trying to convey, and keep at it.

Q: What did you do when you got stuck?

A: I went for drives to clear my head where I would sit on the Ridge looking out over the town and just enjoy the view.  I would also read, read, read!

Q: What drives you to continue writing?

A: For a long time there was nothing, but ultimately, it is the writing that drives me.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: Write more books obviously but I also want to continue with my philanthropy endeavours.  The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is very deserving and this is where my time is going.

Q: What message do you hope people will take from this book?

A: Some coping mechanisms are good and some are bad.  If just one person who reads my book changes from using bad mechanisms and finds different and less destructive ways, I will be happy.

Q: What do you do when you are unable to write for a long period of time?  How do you manage to continue the story?

A: It’s all about the characters!  I read and re-read what I have written until I am sure that I have the characters in my head.

Overall, an interesting evening with this incredible young lady, her family and friends.

#EventReview #Fiction #ComingOfAge

4 May 2017

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