"Committed to the Dark Side" - Alex van Tonder Chats About Her Debut Novel, This One Time
Zoe Wells recently chatted to Alex van Tonder about her debut novel, This One Time, an eerie thriller that explores the inner life of her main character’s duel persona – Jacob Lynch in real life, Brodie Lomax online.
Van Tonder speaks about the dark world of revenge porn, the challenges of portraying her characters and learning that they are products of their environment – social media and the entertainment industry.
In response to the question, “Do you think you will continue writing thrillers?”, Van Tonder says: “I’m not committed to thrillers – but I am committed to the dark side.”
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Q: When did you start writing the novel and where did you get the inspiration from?
A: I started writing it at the beginning of 2012 and it took about six months to do the first draft. The whole revenge porn and this weird world of white men online taking liberties with women’s bodies had been going on for a while. At the time there was no recourse and there still isn’t. You still can’t sue people for posting nude photos of you online or get them convicted of anything. There was a prosecution last year which was the first of its kind in California, now there are bills that are starting to become passed but at that point there was nothing you could do and I was reading these stories of women whose lives had been ruined by this kind of thing and these men are just getting away with it and making money off of it as well. So in my mind there was this thing boiling, this female revenge. I just thought to myself, at some point someone is going to not take it anymore. A very well-known revenge blogger Hunter Moore ended up getting physically attacked and stabbed by a woman whose pictures he had posted online. So I thought what if someone said enough, I’m not going to deal with it anymore. And the other reason I wanted to write it which was more a setting thing is the fact that I got really into Alaska. And I just had this idea of this story set in Alaska. It seemed horrifying. With the setting in mind and the revenge in mind I thought it would make a great story.
- This One Time by Alex van Tonder
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