November is upon us and it’s time to prepare for the launch of Behind the Blue Door at Exclusive Books, Cavendish Square.
I am often called ‘the cryptic kid’ by my dearly beloved school friends. And yes I confess that I usually am that. But lately I’m absorbing the message that my being cryptic is mostly confusing. Perhaps it’s a throwback to painful shyness in my youth. These days a fit of the giggles is a sure sign that this little demon is still lurking. I’ve learnt to live with it, cover it up when I can and generally go about my business quite happily. For those of you who share this secret trait, take comfort. It’s not the worst fault to have. I can think of many others which do more harm. And the mask of confidence becomes more comfortable as we grow older. It even begins to take on the shape of our unique features and sometimes it feels real enough to be almost true.
Nevertheless, when a few people say the same thing about me, it’s time to take note. Whatever is at its cryptic root, I’ve decided to try my best to speak my truth loudly and clearly, particularly when I am offering my voice to someone else. What do I mean by that? When I agreed to be the co-writer for Meg Van der Merwe’s riveting memoir, Behind the Blue Door, my written voice was at her disposal. I am Gail Gilbride aka Angie Van der Merwe. Meg’s pseudonym will stay in place until such time as she feels safe enough to reveal her true identity. In this remarkably brave story, Meg lifts the veil on what went on in her young life, behind a particular blue door. My role as her co-writer, was to re-imagine a young girl’s life and present it in the most authentic way possible. To do that I had to climb inside Meg’s skin and relive the events of her past.
But it wasn’t solely about exploring Meg’s history. It was also an incredible journey of self discovery. It restored my faith in the human spirit. It gave me hope that the truth will surface, no matter how long it takes. Crimes will be resolved and the criminals made to pay…eventually. Meg’s story reminded me that being brave is one of the most powerful choices we have in this life. This petite, beautiful woman is the bravest person I have ever met.
Meg’s story has tremendous healing power for readers across the globe. It offers hope for a better future for all. Every single one of us has secrets that are securely locked behind our own blue doors. Meg is living proof that opening those doors can lead us onto a path of truth and liberation. When we embrace who we truly are, miracles can and do happen.
If you happen to be in Cape Town on 15 November 2018 please come and join us for the launch. Well known journalist Penny Haw, will be in conversation with Meg and Gail aka Angie at the wonderful Exclusive Books in Cavendish Square. We’d love to welcome you there!
Oh and do pack a tissue or two, just in case!