We wrote a book

Well, I say “We wrote a book” but they’re mostly my dad’s stories and he didn’t know that they were going to be put into a book.

Our blog

My dad has always told us stories. These were all kinds of stories: Stories about life on the farm, the army, his university days, and stories he just made up to entertain us.

For a couple of years, I had been recording these stories with the intention of compiling them into a book. However, I just recorded a couple of stories once every blue moon.

And then I found out that I’ll be immigrating.

My dad and I sat down and made a list of all the stories he knows and we started recording every couple of days. Within a month or two, we were done with the initial batch.

For the first couple of months in Australia, I’d remember a story and my dad would send me a WhatsApp voice note thereof.

At the start of 2022, I knew we were ready to go public with these great stories. I started a blog and posted one of my dad’s stories every week. If you can read the Afrikaans language, have a look at the blog here.

The book—a gift

I wanted to get my dad something special for his birthday, so I decided to take all the stories he has told me and put them all into a book especially for him.

I spared little expense. In hindsight, I could have spent some money on designing a better cover, but oh well. I hired a professional text editor to ensure there were no grammatical errors, and it cost me a fortune.

I also had the book professionally bound so that it would look like a book you buy at a store, and this also cost a lot.

Finally, I had to have the books shipped to my dad. I was sending him four copies in case he wanted to give some away. Then I reckoned that since I’m sending him books, I might as well send him some other goodies, too. I bought my family some gifts like warm socks for winter and a handbag for my mom.

If I had known sending all those things would end up costing what they did, I would have just sent the books and rather given my parents money.

The book did not arrive in time for his birthday, and it was my fault. I took too long to get the process started and then it took longer than I had anticipated.

The book

Here’s what it looks like:

We wrote a book

I am quite pleased with how it came out. However, my dad’s reaction was strange.

Dad: Thank you for the book. It looks good, but I don’t think it would sell very well.

Me: Uh, okay.

Dad: Why are you making that face?


I’m glad my dad enjoyed the book, and he also gave three out of the four copies away to family members.



P.S. If you’d like to contact me, feel free to comment below, send an email to thatmichelleperson@gmail.com, or follow me on Twitter @M_ClutterBox.