Over the last decade South African genre fiction has been slowly making its presence known, but nothing could have prepared us for the impact that District 9 would have, both on how our product is viewed internationally, and more importantly how it is viewed here at home.

Add to that Lauren Beukes winning the Arthur C Clarke Award earlier this year for her second novel Zoo City and suddenly our genre stories are beginning to find audiences both at home and abroad..

Which brings me to SL Grey.

SL Grey’s debut novel, The Mall, has literally exploded onto the market, with critics all over the world almost unanimously praising it. Words commonly associated with The Mall tend towards “weird” “surreal” and “terrifying”, all of them fitting.

SL Grey is a pseudonym for two writers, namely Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, both established authors in their own right.

He lives in Johannesburg and she in Cape Town, she writes crime fiction (and as Lily Herne, young adult fiction) and he writes literary fiction.

To quote that classic eighties series Hart to Hart, “…when they met, it was moider!”

Like everything else about SL Grey, this interview was conducted separately and in two cities; part sit-down conversation with Sarah, and part telephone interview with Louis.

So you are SL Grey?

SARAH: Half of SL Grey, I’m the S.

LOUIS: And I’m the LG part of SL Grey

Who came up with the Grey?

SARAH: The Grey I think Louis came up with, I think because it’s the colour of dead skin.

LOUIS: We just did together, when we were just having lunch and it just sort of popped out. We were thinking about famous names like JK Rowling, it’s a simple, universal name, I guess.

Read the full interview over at Something Wicked

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