Hi, I’m Yolandie (you-lun-dee)

Keep trying, you’ll get the hang of it. It’s not such a weird name if you’re from my part of the woods. In fact, I once met a guy who (accurately) guessed the year I was born, because of the popularity of the name at the time. The answer is 1985, don’t break your head with the math. As for where the name comes from, South Africa, of course! I was born in raised in Johannesburg, but now reside in the northern hemisphere.

I’m blessed enough to be married to my best friend and soul-mate, Jan, and we have an awesome daughter named Kayla.

From South Africa, we moved to Germany, where we lived for two years. Europe taught us many lessons, but then it was time to move on. Now, we’re sprouting roots in Calgary, Canada. We came by way of Toronto, which is a long story. Luckily, it’s all right here on the blog.

Now that the quick facts are out of the way…

If we’re going to start applying labels, I don’t think we’ll find just one that describes either of us. We’re too diverse.

Personally, I’m a woman, a wife, a mother. I’m someone’s daughter, sister and granddaughter. A friend, social being, anxious weirdo, creative, nerdfighter, advocate against animal cruelty, religious nut and also slightly insane. You see where this is going, don’t you? But if I had to choose one thing that defines my calling; the label that describes best what I love to do with my free time, it would be ‘writer’.

I didn’t start out as a writer. Life often leads us down strange, unexpected roads. My personal journey was especially weird and winding. But, when the calling is strong enough, you’ll end up doing what you’re wired to be doing–no matter what else you may have been occupied with before.

My first title was ‘graphic designer’. It wasn’t a job that I particularly liked–I found the work too monotonous. I didn’t study art to sit in front of a computer all day. I know, the irony is blinding. Especially considering that I moved over to digital art somewhere along the line, so even my art was born on a screen.

I was depressed and stuff wasn’t going as I’d planned. You can guess that I needed a change.

Sometimes, life changes in an instant. For me, the shift was gradual. A friend’s request to do a makeup course and help her out with her growing business–that’s what started it. Freelance makeup artistry led to a beauty blog. A small seed, for sure, but it sprouted a word-bearing tree in my heart.

From there, I remembered how much I loved to write and (with a lot of help from my loved ones) finished my first novel.

The blog has changed a lot since that fateful day in August 2011, when it all started. The Bloomin’ Couch was a beauty blog, but it changed as I did. Eventually, though, I outgrew it. Now, I blog on this website. The blog covers topics related to immigration, personal ideas and photo diaries, stuff about writing and art, and the odd review of books or TV shows. The people back in South Africa want to see what we get up to here in the northern hemisphere, so this is a good way to keep them all in the loop.

As for my novels, they lean more toward fantasy and sci-fi, with an added steampunk feel. My first trilogy is a completely independent body of work – I literally did everything myself, or with the help of other indies. At this point in time, these babies are being re-written and may never see the light of day again. If you hang around, we’ll discover their fate together. 😛 Still, writing this trilogy taught me more than I can explain–about writing, about life and, above all, about myself.

Don’t worry, though. The new series will be done all ‘right and proper-like’. Part one is the midst of a final editing cycle and I didn’t DIY the cover. The wonderful Tallulah from Covers by Tallulah did some magical work on that! The first book, A Study of Ash and Smoke, should be ready for purchase in the near future. I’ll be writing about this in the coming months, so swing by the blog and come with me on this journey.

Friend, writing has rooted me. I could never give it up. Too many untold tales are slowly cracking through my skull in an attempt to be free. Thanks for taking the time to read mine. Well, a fraction of it anyway. This tale is ongoing.

© Yolandie Horak 2019