James Forson spends a great deal of time near the centre of an intricate Venn diagram where management consulting, fiction writing, business writing, education governance, organic vegetables and procrastination meet.
He was born in Worcester, South Africa in 1955. His early work experience was in the mining, steel, pharmaceutical and banking industries. For the past 23 years he has been an independent management consultant. He is married to Merle. They have an adult son, Tim. They live in Johannesburg.
He likes to say that he knows very little about a great many things.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at school. In those days we wrote 'compositions". Several teachers encouraged me to write abstract stories, and they seemed to think I did alright. I also wrote poetry and short stories for my own pleasure. Nothing published though. In the business world I have written dozens, maybe even hundreds of reports. But they don't count because business writing is very different, and the plot, the outcome and the story arc is given away in the Executive Summary. I took up fiction writing three years ago. I find I have all sorts of stories to write. Whether the stories on paper match the stories in my head - that remains to be seen.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Bright Shadows" tells the story of a young Afrikaans girl coming to terms with the changes in her own life and the changes around her in South Africa's transition to democracy. it deals with a world where all the old anchors are drifting, and she inevitably ends up in a place not of her choosing.
Annetjie Myburgh is the only child of a National Party Cabinet Minister. Ricardo Titus is a revolutionary who have given up his studies to join the struggle for independence. Annetjie’s father has all the sinister power of the apartheid regime at his disposal to crush those in the struggle; what will he do when his own daughter is involved?
In this entertaining collection of short stories, James Forson light-heartedly explores some of his memories of the Western Cape Province in South Africa and confronts some of the challenges and ironies of the world of business. Sometimes humorous, sometimes pithy, the stories strike a responsive chord with our own life experiences. A pleasant read to while away the weekend.