lauren-photoI’m a bloggerina and lipstick feminist, which is habenero hot, like champagne or Mardi Gras. I’m also a novelist. My first novel, The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Buter & Jam was – to my lasting surprise – short-listed for the Orange (now Baileys) Prize for New Writers, and you can read the gushing reviews that it and my other novels have received here (I conveniently deleted what I refer to as “the other” reviews). My latest novel, Cry Baby, is about the madness of Super-Mommy-ism in a suburbia that’s OD’d on Ritalin. Read it – it’ll give you a head rush, like suckin’ on your first Marlboro stompie – and then host a bra bonfire in your back garden, especially for those maternity ones with the little press-stud thingymajiggies.

Here’s how I wound up a suburbiac dropping F-bombs from my keyboard:

I was born in Zimbabwe, where I spent most of my childhood pedal-by toilet-rolling the neighbours in a tiara fashioned from tinsel and wire, playing ding-dong-ditch and dreaming of someday becoming the lead singer of Boney-M. For high school I was sent to Brescia House, in Johannesburg, where in Standard 9 I was awarded full colours for deportment (although had I known that no-one would ever care about that particular achievement in my entire career, I might have slouched a bit more).

When my boho back-packing phase ended in squalor, I completed an MBA at Wits Business School, but became a writer after an aborted career in investment banking – which is a fantastic job for anyone with a rabid ego and a weakness for over-sharing, and who likes to pretend to live a secret double life charged with adrenaline and cortisol. I am still invited to cocktail parties at Rand Merchant Bank.

I now live in the suburban outback of Johannesburg, in the shadow of the sewerage pipe that spans the e-Coli infested Jukskei River. The graffiti on the section of the pipe high above my house – “AC/DC” and “Dean4Val4Ever” – has a nice, sepia-tinged nostalgia to it. I share my faux-Balinese refuge with a pack of three dogs, two cats, (who are sworn enemies), a husband and two boys – in whom the feral instinct runs strong. It was when I realised that my life had turned out to be barely souped up from my grandmother’s that I grew myself a pair of DDs and began writing with a vagenda, as well as chronicling my drug trials and parenting hacks. It is my ambition now to win an important literary prize and use the obscene prize money to bribe someone at Amazon to expunge all bad reviews of my novels. And then have those reviewers blocked. Or shot.