To what degree has your background influenced your writing? You have said that you dislike being labelled an ‘Indian writer’.
I think that the lack of a proper humour culture in South Africa can be traced partially, as you mention, to our history and the fact that humour writing isn't viewed as legitimate as more 'serious' forms of writing – which is a laugh because it’s far more difficult to write a good joke than it is to write, say, a poignant short story or poem. I would add that the national character of the country seems to lack the comedy gene; the majority of people don't seem to get satire, parody or irony. You have to be quite literal if you hope to make it as a comedian. So even if humour writing suddenly becomes respectable, I doubt you would see an outpouring of cutting-edge satire. But, despite these stumbling blocks, South Africa has produced a small but talented pool of genuine comedic masters. I'm thinking here of writers such as Herman Charles Bosman, Pieter Dirk Uys, Robert Kirby, Tom Eaton, Gus Ferguson, Imraan Coovadia, Ndumiso Ngcobo and a few others.
You're right, there are many different kinds of humour; and it’s important for a writer to know what kind of laugh he or she is aiming for. I suppose my own approach to humour tends towards the sarcastic and ironic. The late Robert Kirby said: ‘You can’t have humour without offending somebody. Every joke offends somebody down the line. Humour that didn’t plunge the knife into somebody’s ribs would be terribly pale, vapid, weak.’ I concur.
As far as music goes, I enjoy the country blues and folk.
You have mentioned your love of comics. What is it about comics that attracts you?