Deon Meyer

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Countdown with ...

Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl. After military duty and studying at Potchefstroom University, he worked as a reporter, press liaison, advertising copywriter, creative director, internet strategist and brand consultant before becoming a full-time crime writer in 2009. He lives near Cape Town. His  big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby.

Interviewed 29 August 2015

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

Waiter, then just words, words, words: journalist, advertising, branding, novelist.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

(You’ve caught me on a working holiday in Bordeaux …)
1. The arches and roof, on the inside of a medieval cloister, converted to an apartment 600 years later.
2. Out the window: ‘Coiffure’, on the other side of the street. Marianne says she has never seen a city with so many places to do your hair.
3. Out the window: At least 20 very ugly bicycles locked in bunches on the pavement. (I am still trying to figure out why most city dwellers in Europe (especially in Amsterdam, Munich and Bordeaux) own and ride such ungainly machines.
4. Marianne is reclining on the couch across the room. I can see her very scraped knee. We took the tram to a huge sporting goods store today to buy two decent mountain bikes (because I can’t face another day of riding the ugly bikes for rent). We rode the bikes back – about five kilometres. And my beloved unsuccessfully tried to jump the pavement.
5. A fine bottle of Bordeaux red. The landlord left it as a gift. We want to take it home to brag to our friends.
6. My white thin Panama straw hat (medium brim) hanging by the door. I bought it in Rome for ‘a bargain’ last week, at one of those flea market stalls at the Piazza Navona. Probably made in China. It won’t last a month, but Marianne says it makes me look dashing. She has that mischievous smile when she says that.
7. My iPhone. How on earth did I travel without it? Apple and Google maps, apps for AirBnB, public transport, my calendar, email, camera …
8. Elena Ferrante’s novel The Story of a New Name lies on the coffee table. Marianne is reading it. She says it is brilliant. But nobody knows who Italian author Ferrante really is. Except for her publisher and editor, and they are not telling.
9. Two quite weird leather chairs, triangular and minimalistic. Strangely enough, they are quite comfortable.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Omelette with biltong dust and camembert.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

1. Mozart
2. Chuck Berry
3. Nelson Mandela
4. Jarred Diamond
5. Steven Pinker
6. Ed McBain
7. John D MacDonald

Six things you can't live without ...

1. Marianne.
2. A good book to read.
3. Okay, let’s face it: my iPhone, and …
4. … my laptop.
5. My Silverback mountain bike.
6. Cheese.

Five favourite words ...

The new book is finished.

Four places you'd run away to ...

1. Loxton in the Karoo (a small village in the semi-desert of South Africa).
2. Baviaanskloof. (It means ‘Baboon’s Gorge’, and it is the best off-road motorcycle experience on the planet).
3. Bordeaux. (Have you tasted the oysters and foie gras?) 4. Stellenbosch. Just beautiful.

Three books you've bought recently ...

1. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
2. Replay – Marc Levy
3. The Thief of Time – John Boyne

Two things that make you rant ...

1. Cape Town drivers.
2. The South African cricket team during the World Cup. Every World Cup.

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Have more fun. Much more.