Charlotte Sometimes

I’ve been invited to do an author talk and book signing at ‘The Art of Goth’, a first-of-its-kind event in South Africa, in celebration of #WorldGothDay.

As a self-professed ‘old skool goth’, I was super excited to see an initiative like this happening on home soil.

The main objective of the event is to raise public awareness of the much-maligned and misunderstood goth sub-culture (not directly related to the Gothic art and architecture of the Middle Ages, nor the marauding Goth tribes of the 5th Century – just in case you were wondering). And to highlight the enduring impact of a once-underground scene on contemporary mainstream society – across literature, music, fashion, film, visual art, performance art, and entertainment.

Because Umbilicus is an autobiographical novel, and the protagonist Charlotte is based on the 21-year-old me, I deliberately wove in lots of little details about my lived experience as a self-identified young goth back in the early-to-mid-90s. My journey didn’t end there though. And in my talk, I will explore how the goth sub-culture continued to influence and shape my life over the following two-and-a-half decades, right up to the present day.


When it comes to venues, this is definitely one to write home about. ‘The Art of Goth’ is being hosted at Melrose House, a beautiful (and purportedly haunted) Victorian mansion in Pretoria, built in 1886.


Festivities will include guest speakers, a high tea, Victorian-style games, and stalls selling wares catering to those of us with a penchant for the dark and unusual.