Interview with Clare Lindeque

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. There are many wild, natural spaces around the city, many of them beaches. The sea surrounds the city on three sides, and one orients oneself in relation to the mountain or the ocean. There is a rich maritime history here. My mother used to take us for walks at the Port of Cape Town when I was a child, and I was always thrilled to be close to the ships and fascinated by their history and workings. Being close to the ocean, and having opportunities to experience it, fostered my interest in matters marine.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The research, actually, is the greatest joy of writing for me! Whether it's going outdoors to investigate a particular location, hunting down source material, or reading someone else's work - that's what gets me going. And occasionally so bogged down that I forget to put words to paper!
Who are your favorite authors?
Fiction authors whose books I have particularly enjoyed are Neal Stephenson, David Mitchell, Peter Høeg.

Carl Safina, Jared Diamond, Thomas Peschak and Rachel Carson are probably my favourite non-fiction authors.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Outlaw Sea by William Langewiesche made concrete all the mystery and lawlessness that a walk through the docks hinted at when I was six years old.

The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts is an astonishingly detailed description of how humans have modified (devastated, actually) ocean ecosystems over the last millennium.

Endurance by Alfred Lansing is the greatest adventure story I've ever read, and beautifully written.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver bewitched me in my early twenties and later became a mirror that helped me shed some ways of thinking that were stunting me.

I love Dune, by Frank Herbert, for the detail of the imaginary world he created.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read, a lot. I go exploring with my camera, scuba diving with my husband, and travel whenever I can. That said, I am very much a homebody and on weekends prefer to be at home rather than almost anywhere else.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a natural history of False Bay, the large bay that is bounded by the Cape Peninsula on one side, and the African mainland on the other. I expect this project to take several years!
Published 2015-10-05.
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Books by This Author

Cape Town's Visible Shipwrecks: A Guide for Explorers
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 7,350. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Transportation » Ocean transport
Explore Cape Town's maritime history with this illustrated mini guide to the visible shipwrecks along the coast of the Cape Peninsula. Discover where the visible shipwrecks along the Cape Peninsula coastline are, how to reach them, and their history. Craft an itinerary of historical substance and outdoor experiences as you delve into the links that Cape Town has to the historical ocean economy.