I Do It Like This

12 Aug

The second night of the trip we stayed in Atlanta at the house of a friend I’ve known since my high school days, Kevin Streiter. He’s also one of Michaels’s stalwart buddies.

As we were driving out to an Atlanta BBQ pit, Doris, Kevin’s girlfriend, asked me about Umzumbe Boys. When I told her what it was about, she asked, “But how do you write about something so different from your own experiences?”

Something about the question hit me the wrong way and I answered truthfully, “I like to think it’s got something to do with talent.”

I then explained that there were times when I was writing it that it seemed an over-assumption on my part.

I told her I remember thinking, ‘I’m writing dialogue for both black and white South African teenagers – that’s crazy.’

But I did it and what we created is believable to others.

I finished with Doris by saying, “I did the research and then you just hope you can channel the characters.”

(2005)

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