Yurika Kotzé

Biography

Born in Limpopo, South Africa, in the bushveld town of Polokwane, Yurika Kotzé grew up in an Afrikaans family. She discovered the great world of books at age 4, and has been hooked to reading ever since.
Moving to Phalaborwa, right on the border of the Kruger National Park, she discovered that she also had a great love of nature. Her environment planted a seed that would take root as an incredible passion for the African continent. She is never happier than when she is sitting next to a massive fire, deep in the bushveld where the animals can roam freely through the camp (which often results in some interesting stories that she likes to relate on her blog).
As a child, she followed her family all across South Africa as they regularly moved from one place to the next. This instilled in her a love of new places and she firmly believes in changing her surroundings at least once a year - "for sanity's sake."
It was at age 13, with the release of Peter Jackson's 'The Fellowship of the Ring' movie, that she discovered the vastness of the fantasy genre. From there on out, she 'practically inhaled' every fantasy book she could get her hands on. This would set the tone for every project she embarked on.
Graduating high school in George, Western Cape, she went on to study BA Communications at the North West University in Potchefstroom. Within her first week there, she wormed her way into the local student radio station - and moved on to present their morning show for more than a year. Moving up in the ranks, she became Production Manager at the station, in addition to working back stage at the local theater and mixing the sound for her church's band on Sundays.
During her years at university, she found that she had a deep love of Art History, which she then took on as a major subject. This - in addition to her other subjects of English and Creative Writing - set her on the path of becoming a fantasy author.
A hobby at first, her characters and stories soon permeated everything she did: it dictated the subjects she researched for her Art History studies (medieval swords and battle tactics), took over her dreams at night ("hey, a character can pop up from anywhere") and influenced the way she looked at books forever.
It wasn't long after marrying her high school sweetheart (whom she often refers to in her blog as The Man), that she made the proud announcement to him that she wanted to become a full time author. Many years, hundreds of rewrites, a chaotic desk, and a solid supply of coffee and highlighters later; her first ebook is now available and she is on the road to realising her dream.
Currently, she is working as the Head of Research for Aquavision Wildlife Filmmakers in Johannesburg - very happy to be paid to read books all day! She is combining her experience in media, passion for Africa and compulsive urge to read... a pretty good deal.
At night, she eagerly jumps into her world of evil nymphs, flying beasts called 'hrakar' and red-eyed Captains of the Guard. She shares her home with her ecologist husband; and their cross-bred, spotted, slightly deranged cat.
To learn more about her, and to follow her on her writing journey, check out her blog and social media feeds.

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Oh my goodness, yes!
Well, strictly speaking it wasn't the first story I ever read, but it was the first to firmly plant itself in my memory. It was an Afrikaans children's book by Louise Prinsloo, called 'Die Geheim van Groukatlaagte'. I have no idea how to translate that, but I'll give it a shot... It means 'The Secret of Clawing Cat Valley'. Or something like that. I don't know.
Anyway, it was a good old-fashioned Afrikaans ghost story about three friends who stay on a farm for the holidays. They find out that something strange is going on in the abandoned old house on the other side of the property and they, of course, investigate. Like any 14-year old would.
There, they find the place haunted by the spirit of a young woman in a nightgown, who eventually spills the beans on a gruesome family secret. Oh! And there's a phantom horse that gallops past every night. Gotta love it.
I was ten years old when I read it, and I still remember it clearly. Could that have been the inspiration behind the ghostly figure at the end of my book? Well, now that I think about it...
Describe your desk
Organised chaos. Highlighters. Empty coffee cups. Pens. Paint. Files. Sketch books. Notes. Books books books books books. Printed manuscripts. Nail polish. Snacks. Memory sticks. Another book.
But all organised in neat little heaps.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Yurika Kotzé online


Books

This member has not published any books.

Smashwords book reviews by Yurika Kotzé

  • At What Price? on Aug. 17, 2013

    Wow - the imagery really got me going! I can see this book successfully be extended into a full-length title, no problem. Richard manages to describe scenes and even futuristic objects with ease. I am a big fan of authors who are able to capture atmosphere - well done! I have to add that I got lost once or twice and I would have liked to know more regarding the details of the big twist, but I really enjoyed it. Even completely forgot about my cup of coffee (a rare occurrence).