I am a writer and editor with book publishing, marketing, PR, education and video production experience. I have a degree in Journalism and Media Studies (Rhodes University), and an MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology & Divination (University of Kent).
I began my career creating content for factual television as a researcher and production manager in South Africa, helping to produce a mixture of documentaries, educational programmes and current affairs/human interest series for both independent production companies and various broadcasters. During that period, I got to work on some amazing projects, including the thought-leading panel discussion programme, ‘Future Imperfect’, and the award-winning three part historical series, ‘Forging a Nation.’ Not only did I get to meet some of the country’s movers and shakers, but by spending time in the National Film Archives, I also learnt a great deal about SA’s hidden past, which proved very eye-opening.
Eager for a new challenge and the chance to be more creative, I switched to the advertising and film industry where I became the in-house researcher for The Gatehouse, initially in Johannesburg, before moving to Cape Town. Here I produced moodboards, animatics and creative treatments for directors like Brent Harris, Jorge Rubia and Peter Pohorsky, learning tons about filmmaking and art direction in the process. I also got to indulge my love of photography, popular culture, fashion and design whilst assembling an in-house library full of glossy magazines and coffee table reference books.
In 2000, I returned to more serious journalism, taking on a contract to work as a news researcher and assistant producer at SABC, the national broadcaster. As well as helping to support national coverage of the first post-apartheid municipal elections for the new South Africa, I also sourced guests for News Hour and Newsmaker, SABC’s two flagship current affairs programmes. My proudest achievement was probably my behind-the-scenes role in helping to drive fairer coverage of the Arms Deal Saga within the organization through a mixture of breaking news info gathering and internal campaigning to get critics of the deal a platform from which to publicly raise their concerns. For many political commentators, this scandal sewed the seeds for what would later become known as ‘state capture’ – a story of widescale political corruption, fraud and racketeering that would eventually lead to the charging (2019) and jailing of former president, Jacob Zuma, in 2021. In retrospect, I truly relished doing my bit to counter what many critics saw as a serious threat to South Africa’s political future and a true blight on Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
The travel bug bit in 2001, and so began a 20- year sojourn in the United Kingdom. Continuing my career in journalism, I became a factchecker and news librarian for News International, where I spent the majority of my time fielding requests for cuttings and background information from the 400+ journalists working on papers like The Times and Sunday Times.
Tiring of the unsociable hours, I went back to study part-time for an MA in 2006 whilst freelancing as an academic proofreader and research assistant. During this time, I also got to work on some really interesting video projects. I formed a long-standing association with JUK Media, which produces European-centric content for the Japanese market, and also helped to source archive footage for a Sarah Brightman retrospective DVD, working closely with her London agent, German music producer and New York-based record company to ensure the right material was located and licenced as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
After graduation, I spent a year working as a copywriter for a PR firm specializing in editorial aimed at medical and dental professionals. This led on to other sci-med contract roles at the Royal College of General Practitioners, the NHS and Reed Elsevier Scientific, along with a number of healthcare and medical device companies in Europe. This particular episode in my career enabled me to develop specialist knowledge and technical writing skills, particularly in the area of health-based content.
In 2013, my path segued into books and print when I became a regular proofreader for an educational publisher. More book projects followed in 2013-4 from the Urania Trust (The New Astrology of Towns & Cities) and The Aspinall Foundation (A Life with Animals). And then in 2017, I was given the opportunity to combine my archive research and publishing experience on a year-long research project for the EW Cole Foundation in Australia. This meant travelling around the UK and South Africa, conducting in-depth research into the early life and family history of EW Cole, the much-loved bookseller and cultural icon, for Under the Rainbow, an updated biography of his life written by Richard Broinowski, published in 2020.
In 2019, I realized a personal dream when I was commissioned to write an illustrated non-fiction introduction to the great love of my life, astrology, for Eddison Books. And so began a new chapter in my career. Although the book is yet to be published due to the crushing economic fallout of 2020 on the book industry, I remain hopeful that this is not the end of the road, and that it will soon find a new home and be shared with the world.
Currently, I work mostly as a fiction and non-fiction proofreader and editor for several London-based publishers, including BPP and Duckworth, as well as helping individual authors to self-publish their work via platforms like Reedsy.