Copies of Flight of the Dancer

Congratulations to Lisa Lazarus on publishing her debut novel, Flight of the Dancer, at the close of 2023!

It’s always wonderful to see a new author writing and publishing their first book, something that requires passion, resilience, and dedication.

Flight of the Dancer is a poignant coming-of-age portrait of agency and acceptance. The novel follows Julia Glass as she untangles her complex relationship with her mother.

We asked Lisa to tell us a bit more about her self-publishing journey, and we hope that you find inspiration and motivation in her words.

The interview:

What inspired you to write your book?

My mother’s death, and a need to understand the complex relationship that I had with her, as well as a desire to share what I considered to be a universal story of mothers and daughters.

What Was Your Favourite Part of Publishing Your Book?

Choosing the cover design and getting the proofs back.  Seeing your words – drawn in blood, it sometimes felt – in print.  Exhilarating.

What Advice Would You Give an Author Planning to Publish Their First Book?

  • Don’t take rejections as a sign that your work isn’t worthy.
  • Be realistic about the book industry market in South Africa, in particular – a few readers, and look at what is being read.  Fiction, especially literary fiction, doesn’t feature very high on the list!
  • Patience, endurance, fortitude, and perseverance.
Lisa with a copy of her book, Flight of the Dancer
Lisa with a copy of her book, ‘Flight of the Dancer’ at the end of 2023

How can you self-publish your book?

Many authors don’t know where to start self-publishing their manuscripts. If you aren’t sure where to start, have a look at our blog posts, where we cover the basics you need to know about self-publishing. Are you looking for feedback or a quote for your manuscript? You can email us directly at aimee@jacana.co.za or call us at 011 628 3200, and we will answer all of your questions.

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