Karin Steyn



My parents left South Africa in 1963 when my father joined the Rhodesian army. My mom returned to South Africa at the end of her pregnancies and both my sister and I were born in Rustenburg, South Africa (1964 and 1965). Only my brother was born in Rhodesia (1970). I was six weeks old when my life in Rhodesia started. My father was transferred several times and we lived in Harare and Bulawayo.

Why I write:

On 21 March 1980, we returned to South Africa. My father joined us in July 1980. For fourteen years, Rhodesia had been my home and the move to South Africa threw me into a terrible depression. I didn’t know how to cope and started writing poems and short stories. I wrote my first book Blue Hills, which took me about five years to complete. To this day, writing is my antidepressant. At the end of my school career, I decided to study further and became a teacher. Somewhere between 1984 and 1987, I lost all my poems, short stories, and book. On 9 January 1988, I married my husband Nick Steyn and our children, Jana and Colin, were born in 1992 and 1997. My career and family kept me busy and there wasn’t any time to write, but I continued writing in my diary until 2000.

My books:

My first published book was Pop-in-Jay Pomp, which I wrote in 2003. It was published in 2009 by Schiel & Denver in London. I also wrote the following books: Mareijke’s Courage (Kwarts Publishers, 2013), The 6th commandment: Thou shalt not kill (Amazon, 2014; Groep 7 Drukkers, 2018), The Power is Yours (Groep 7 Drukkers, 2017), Through the Bark (Groep 7 Drukkers, 2020), and Implicitly (Groep 7 Drukkers, 2021). I have an unpublished poetry book Breathing African Air, which is available as a pdf document on my website: http:www.karinsteyn.co.za. I also have a blog: Simply, because I can. I self-publish my books because it serves the purpose for why I write: my legacy for my children, Jana and Colin.

My future:

In 2013, my health started to wane. I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy in August 2019, and stopped teaching on 7 October 2020. I now live with chronic pain in my hands and feet. Other than having to deal with the pain and anxiety, I sometimes battle with brain fog. Even though I love writing, my illness limits me. Writing Implicitly, a book of more than 90 000 words, was quite the challenge. I repeated myself a lot, “lost the plot” more than once, and was tired all the time. Regardless of my disabling illness, my maxim in life is: I think, therefore I write. This makes me hopeful about writing another book.

My gratitude:

I would like to express my gratitude to Groep 7 Drukkers for everything they have done for me as a writer. They take away the stress of having my books published and make them available to anyone who wants to read them.

Contact us

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