Twitter is a weird and wonderful place.
You never know who you’ll met or why but it is pretty amazing what can happen on the social network…which is where I met Shameez Patel Papathanasiou.
I’d seen her tweet a few times with a few of my twitter favourites and soon enough followed her. She followed back and then over the course of a few months we became acquainted with each other.
I was scrolling through my twitter feed when I saw Shameez retweet (which means shared) a picture of a book someone had just received with her name on it. I was surprised because from out previous interactions I had never realised that she had written a book.
As someone who has unofficially written three books (its complicated), and has been itching to get one of these published. I decided that I wanted to meet her, also what better way to get to know someone than read their book.
We tweeted that we would meet up, and two weeks later when our schedules had cleared up, we met for coffee.
It is always meeting someone who you know online, but I had not known Shameez well enough so I didn’t have too many preconceived ideas about who she was. Meet her was like going on a date, but with less anxiety.
I did get lost on my way to the coffee meeting. I was very late actually so we didn’t get to chat properly but it was really cool. We were both a bit shy, and she had rightfully come with a colleague who made sure that she wasn’t meeting a creeper or anything.
Shameez did tell me a funny story though about how her husband was freaking out about our meeting because she was meeting a stranger from the internet. Stranger danger and all that…
We still joke about this actually. Hi Shameez’s Husband…
After our meeting, not only did I walk away with a copy of her book, I walked away having made a new friend with someone who is too legit.
I couldn’t start reading the book immediately however because work was very busy and I was still in the middle of another book.
I’m embarrassed to admit that about almost a month after Shameez had handed me a copy of “An Acquired Taste” I finally started reading the book.
I was touched when I opened the first page and I came across this lovely had written message:
Thank you for the support. I wish you luck on your upcoming novel and thank you for your enjoyable tweets.
Hope you like it.”
– Shameez Patel Papathanasiou
The story that she had crafted was one that took it’s time pulling you into the world, but when you were pulled and then it was a journey. The first one hundred pages were slowly plotted and I took my time casually reading the story, which I really enjoyed.
I was really planning to leisurely read the book but the more I read the book, the less likely that appeared to happen.
On a Saturday morning, all I did was read “An Acquired Taste” and the story had pulled me in so quickly that I finished it on the Monday.
I won’t be writing a traditional review about the book but instead, I was fortunate enough to score an exclusive interview with the author herself.
An Acquired Taste is not the novel you think it is, and that is a wonderful surprise. It tells a story that hits you hard, catches you off guard and will leave you with a lot of thoughts and feelings to process.
As a preview for my interview with Shameez Patel Papathanasiou, read an extract of it below:
I have always enjoyed writing and reading. Since I was a child I started writing novels, most of them left unfinished as I was quickly distracted by anything and everything.
In my final year, I was writing a thesis and planning a wedding. I needed an outlet, I needed to write something other than how bus schedules affect traffic and that was when ‘An Acquired Taste’ was born. I wrote something I wanted to write, something I wanted to read.
If that teaser has you scratching your head about why Shameez would be writing about bus schedules that affect traffic in the first place, you should definitely check back here to find out how that played a factor with her book, “An Acquired Taste”.
You can find the book on these channels:
My Website: http://shameez.co.za/