For this a release of all of the Noch stories complete with the previously unpublished sections, such as where Granath was born and raised, I have been asked to provide a forward. As so many of you, my devoted and kind readers have for so long speculated as to where the name of Noch came from, let me explain.
All the way through high school I can remember being asked what I was writing. And my answer was always “Nothing Much”. People would nod sagely, after all a teenage girl was likely to be scribbling some rubbish.
I always gave pretty much the same answer when asked the same question at University; and from my flatmate when I started working and living in the city. Always the same answer – “Nothing Much”. My little joke as I was writing about Noch, shortened from NOthing muCH.
Why? Well I was shy as a youngster, and then a bit embarrassed to admit that I was still working on the same book. After all 15 years is an awfully long time to live in the same world.
Then the fateful day when a man who was visiting my flatmate asked the same question when he came across me at my desk, typing away at the revisions for some pages. He smiled at my answer, looking at the two baskets of pages and asked if he could read a bit. Shyly I nodded, too embarrassed that someone would now discover my secret world.
The rest is history. David Esterhuizen became my first and only editor. We have been producing the “Nothing Much” books now for 20 years, so that I have lived for over 35 years in the world of Noch. I am as grateful to him as I am to you, all my readers who write back, suggesting new plotlines, arguing over mistakes I make (despite my army of helpers). You all make the world of Noch so real that I sincerely believe it does exist somewhere and that one day we will all meet there.
This final collection contains extra sections, rejected or edited out over the years because they were felt too progressive at the time. David and I now believe the full versions should come to light as there will be no more. The insidious disease has me firmly in its grasp and like a Worgarl will never let go until it has consumed all of me.
So to all of you, my deepest thanks for being a part of my world. I do hope you enjoy these final revelations.
I do hope the above is enough. I’m feeling rather tired and grateful as I am for the new edition of all the collected works, we both know I probably won’t live long enough to see it in print, let alone sign your first print-run copies for you.
How do I thank you enough for all the years of friendship, encouragement and the occasional bullying? The answer you will find when my will is read.
All my love