Independent author, Mamotladi Ivy Matloga, needs no introduction! Her debut novel, Madness in Duggart, received rave reviews and just when the wait was too long, her second novel, Making Life and Lemonade, is seeing the light! Kwarts Publishers are once again the proud publisher of Ivy’s book and asked her a few questions about the project.
Please tell us more about the themes in Making Life and Lemonade. Where did the idea for the story originate?
The story was inspired by life as observed within the workplace. I like to write about real life issues that affect people and give hope through storytelling. Many people, many workers, get depressed because of the issues around their working conditions and especially ill-treatment and bullying by bosses, managers, and sometimes even colleagues.
How long did it take you to write this novel?
It took me about three years to complete the work – a fraction of the 10+ years it took to complete my first novel, Madness in Duggart.
What was your hardest scene to write?
All the scenes that portray the difficulties that the main character, Maki, was faced with, were quite emotional for me, particularly because many people are faced with similar difficulties, some of which I have directly witnessed. But I made sure to relay the story in a way that others will find it relatable, comforting, and maybe even validating to those in similar circumstances.
What did you edit out of this book?
Lol! Well, what has been edited out was edited out because it was not supposed to be published. Suffice to say it was mostly scenes that related to experiences too close to home, from which I had to remove patent elements of ‘venting’. This kept coming up and showing in the reiteration of certain aspects of the story. It had to be snipped out.
How did you come up with the title for the book?
The title was inspired by the saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It sprung to mind as I was writing one of the scenes where the main character, Maki, and her colleague, Faith, were laughing about their otherwise depressing work situation, refusing to let it destroy their spirit. It was cemented when Maki’s mother suggested she write a book about her experiences – this is the actual lemonade.
The ‘making life’ twist we can say is low-key word playing. I did not want it to sound cliché, so to speak. This reflects the element of having to work for a living – making life – and while making a living, having to confront the sourness that often comes with that, and taking it in one’s stride – and making lemonade too. You could sit still and let the troubles destroy you, or you could take whatever good from it and use it as a stepping stone towards a better life.
How did writing your first book, Madness in Duggart, change your process of writing?
With Madness in Duggart, I sometimes would miss the bigger picture in the whole process of putting a book/story together. I often wrote as though I was writing something that had to be perfect there and then. But I have since embraced the fact that I can throw in my sporadic thoughts at any time because no one has to see the work in progress. This is something would-be writers need to remember.
For more information about Ivy's novels and where to buy one, please e-mail [email protected] or contact Ivy: [email protected]
You can also buy the e-book at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Life-Lemonade-Mamotladi-Matloga-ebook/dp/B07R11TLVD