Durban - With aspirations of writing since she was a little girl, 41-year-old Durban-born Zaheera Walker not only realised her dream, but is now on to her third novel.
The e-book, Desecrated, centres around an emotionally scarred young Durban woman, Rosina Khan, who flees to Johannesburg to escape her troubled life.
“Desecrated addresses real-life issues that are often brushed under the carpet,” said Walker.
“The storyline is packed with raw emotion and horrors of violence. The book has an 18-year age restriction, so if you are a sensitive reader, perhaps give it a miss.”
The gripping read, which will be launched at a Shout for No Violence gala dinner in Johannesburg on February 24, is hoped to empower readers to travel on a journey to self-realisation.
“So many women are desecrated. Some find their light in the darkness, while others remain in the shadows.”
She said her friend, advocate Zandile Qono-Reddy, who wrote the foreword to her book, summarises its message perfectly.
“‘To ‘desecrate’ is to treat something that is sacred with violent disrespect. It is when we know our value, our sanctity as women and the power that we yield, that we will speak out against any form of abuse.
“I believe that this work will aid the reader in that process of self-realisation. It is my hope, that every fallen angel chooses to be seen as a survivor.”
Last May, while in Durban for the launch of her debut novel, Deadline, and contemporary romance novel, Beautiful Chaos, the concept of Desecrated was born.
“My political science lecturer, Dr Sinthie Qono, and her daughter, Zandile, asked me if I would consider returning to my roots to make a difference and my immediate response was,’yes!’
"That is where the seeds for this novel were planted. Zandile did me the honour of writing a powerful foreword.”
Walker’s books are self-published. “And I wouldn’t change that. It allows me to write stories that are real but conveyed through fiction.”
She said her previous e-books received much support.
Asked if she suffered from writer’s block, Walker said: “No, but I do get lazy sometimes. When that happens, I switch off and take myself to a tranquil place to get myself back into author mode.”
Walker, who lives in Johannesburg, is a journalism graduate and manages communication for the property wing of the city.
She is now working on a holiday romance, which she intends co-writing with a friend.
“This will be released possibly by the end November.”
Her advice to up-and-coming writers is to, “let your story find you”.
“Interact with other authors and attend book launches.”
The e-book is available on Amazon, or hard copies can be ordered via Createspace.
“To the couples who are celebrating Valentine’s Day, may your hearts be filled with moments and love. If you are alone this year, that’s okay. Celebrate love in your hearts as I will celebrate you in mine.”