Earlier tonight, surfers, romance enthusiasts, readers and writers gathered at The Alma Café to celebrate the launch of Melissa A. Volker’s novelette, The Pool Guy – “the holiday you need”, in the words of Qarnita Loxton. Melissa was in conversation with the wonderful book reviewer, Sammi Malunga.
You can find Sammi on Twitter and IG @sammikoalareads.
These are tough times, but thank goodness for uplifting stories that allow you to escape into a world where, despite challenges, you can expect a happy ending. In Melissa’s stories that ending always includes an empowered woman fighting for her dreams. And she gets the guy – the pool guy in this case! And everybody needs this pool guy in their lives – trust me! 🙂
Thank you to Melissa and Sammi for an entertaining evening of romance and laughter!
And thank you to everyone who attended and to The Alma Café for supporting the literary scene by making their music venue available for book launches and readings. You guys rock!
Spa manager Lauren runs a professional space, so when Wyatt, the pool cleaner, brings down the tone with his languorous manner and sketchy dress code, she loses her cool. Instead of being intimidated, Wyatt is captivated and tries to chip through her armour of hair gel and makeup to find the real Lauren inside. But he is reluctant to reveal too much of himself, and when Lauren finds out who he really is, the pool guy is in for the swim of his life.
Every time I read this story, it makes me happy! It is the holiday we all need.See you at the launch.Love, Karina
Each of the stories spoke to me in a different way. Lester is a talented writer with great range.
I’ll give some responses to my favourite stories from the collection:
🐨BRILLIANT: For Better or Wors: Listen. THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE STORY IN THE WHOLE COLLECTION. You clever, clever story writer Lester. Brilliant. I honestly want to say please can everyone start with this excellent story first before reading any other one in the collection?
🐨HOME TRUTHS: Hairs and Graces: a story about the privileging of hair texture, and how falling in and out of love with one’s natural beauty.
🐨MAGICAL REALISM: In Skuins Street, Pisces Village, Hawston: a love story with a twist. This was executed beautifully and showed how lovers are linked.
🐨REFLECTIVE: The Epic is for Everyone: a story about how the real bad guy never gets caught and how it’s always the small fry that takes the heat in all things organised crime. This story really had me fuming, but it’s such an honest depiction of what happens in real life.
Homeful: It was a story of three homeless people tasked with taking a flash stick from an empty luxury home – but they stayed over for a few days instead of an in and out job. In the process, they look back on their past lives, and how they got to be in this current situation. It explored issues of colourism, relationship building and chosen families.
The Colours Are Too Bright: this story is about a strained relationship between a mother and son, and how a person relates to their parents once they have left home. It was an incredibly sad story, and so well written, with a gentle blow at the end that you don’t expect at all. I loved this especially because it makes you re-read the story and pick up the hints along the way that you may not have seen initially.
✨Overall this was an excellent collection and I can’t wait to read more of Lester’s work. Thank you to Karavan Press for this reviewer copy and to Lester, for sharing your art with the world.✨