Achieving their dream of making it onto the USA Today Best-Selling Books Top 150 list in Women’s Month is definitely one of the career highlights of successful South African fiction authors’ Carlyle Labuschagne and Kristin Ping, especially since they are the first South African writers to do so.

Dubbed the dream team by local authors and publishers, the two authors’ books form part of a limited edition, supernatural and suspense boxset, called The Shadow Files, which hit number 123 out of 150 on 15 August 2018.

The dream of hitting the list with Labuschagne’s book (Tethered) and Ping’s book (The Curse) started when a group of authors from the USA sent out an invitation to these two well-established and renowned authors to collaborate on a boxset of fiction books.

“The Shadow Files boxset was conceived about a year ago and the group spent hours and a lot of resources bringing the concept to life,” says Labuschagne, who directed all of her energy and focus into ensuring that the project was a success.

“We had one year to write, edit and market our individual books and the boxset as a whole, so not much sleep, exercise or cooking was on our agenda,” she laughs.

Being a successful fiction author and a woman to boot, Labuschagne put every effort into tackling the task, whilst ensuring her work-family balance remained intact.

“We wanted to achieve this dream not only for ourselves, but to encourage other female writers to do the same. Unfortunately, in South Africa, female fiction writers aren’t easily taken seriously,” says Labuschagne.

“It is no secret that the book world is not as big a deal as it should be in our country. Neither is the stigma attached to independent female authors who write fiction,” adds Ping.

Labuschagne explains that many indie authors, especially women, have been told by publicists, local agents and even book stores that they don’t matter as fiction writers and people will not buy their books due the genre they write.

Naturally Labuschagne, who always takes the bull by the horns, set out to prove them wrong! And she did this spectacularly by generating quite a buzz in the indie author network in the USA, where her readers line up to meet her and have their books signed.

“Whilst we are over the moon with this achievement, the fight is not over. This is just the beginning. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that we also receive the support, accolades and resources so readily given to us from other countries right here on our home turf,” says Ping.

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