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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

SA Partridge: a Blog

Sally-Ann PartridgeGreetings and welcome to my blog…

Tales from the dark side

I love writing; I’ve been doing it since I was old enough to dream up interesting little characters in my young mind. I remember how excited I used to be at my creations; the little fairies and goblins that I imagined inhabited our garden. The characters may have grown up and the stories may have darkened, but the passion is still there and I plan to continue doing it for a very long time.

Winning the young writers competition boosted my confidence and allowed me to explore areas that seemed too difficult or beyond my capabilities. Writing has always been therapeutic, and to receive recognition for something so personal was amazing. I felt good about my writing and terribly proud of my story, and in a way, it increased my own self worth. It’s an impossible feeling, knowing that someone enjoyed something that you wrote. I’m still getting used to the idea but at the same time all I want to do is write more. It’s great.

I find that writing about teenagers feels right. It’s a tempestuous time in your life when the four walls that isolate you from the rest of the world during your high school career encompass your entire world. Life is different and getting a firm hold on your emotions is difficult. It’s the time of your life when your entire future is determined and hints at the type of person you are to become. Needless to say it provides perfect fodder for writing. I think that every young person has their own story to tell.

Here’s an excerpt from my book, The Goblet Club:

    I was never the perfect, well- behaved son that my parents had always hoped for. In my opinion, they had my sister to fill that role. She was the golden- haired, blue- eyed choir singer who brought home the good marks and never put a foot wrong. Seeing as I could never live up to that, I went the other way, and behaved as if I could get away with anything. I couldn’t, of course – my parents are not very understanding. To them, I was their delinquent son who could never do anything right.

    I’m not sure if my behaviour contributed to their divorce or if my father’s philandering ways were solely to blame, but when they split up, neither of them seemed to know what to do with their errant son. I think there was a kind of reverse custody battle behind closed doors: neither of them wanted the responsibility of looking after me. My father had always threatened to send me off to boarding school but I never thought he’d actually do it. I mean, fathers are always threatening to do things like that; it’s what growing up in the noughties is all about. But those infamous incidents were the last straw, and But send me off to boarding school he did, an all- boy’s school in the middle of Nowheresville, South Africa called St Matthew’s.

    I was not impressed, especially after my attempts to dissuade him were ignored. I tried stating my case logically by pointing out, that I was just acting out, as do all children whose parents get divorced. When that didn’t work I threatened to tell my mother. Finally, I resorted to pleading but I had pushed my father too far and he wasn’t going to change his mind. I was bundled into the Mercedez and driven to what I can only describe as hell on earth.
    After taking one look at the place, I was ready to take my own life, it was that frightening. Our car drove through the front gates towards what looked like a haunted house. A monstrous face brick building loomed ahead with tall chimneys spewing forth foul black smoke.

    I had never wanted to be anywhere else so badly in my whole life and was quite astounded to see that my father was smiling broadly as we drove on.

 

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