People of Pretoria

7 Minutes with Leverne Mountany

November 13, 2018, Author: Danita Pilley

Leverne Mountany was born in Pretoria and grew up in Midrand. As a child, she was an avid reader with an active imagination. While still in school, she would borrow her entire family’s library cards so that she could take out as many books from the public library as possible. Leverne runs a successful psychiatry practice in Johannesburg, she’s a co-director of Psychiatry M Powered, an anti-stigma NGO, she authors a travel blog named Passports and Pomegranate Soup and this year at the age of 47, she published her first book Lunch with a Dragonfly that was inspired by her travels.


What inspired you most to write Lunch with a Dragonfly?

The backbone of Lunch with a Dragonfly is a story I have in large parts been carrying with me for many years. The flesh is inspired by my travels and foodie interests.

What’s the most difficult part about writing a book?

Self-discipline is a constant hurdle while writing. I am a sprinter rather than a marathon runner so daily writing is not my strength. Since I still have a day job I prefer taking off extended periods and then just writing constantly. Therefore, Lunch with a Dragonfly was written over four years but with about six months of actual writing time.

Without any spoilers, who is the most interesting character in the book and why?

I think there is a bit of me in every character, but I have a soft spot for Dorota. Everybody should have a friend like her. Gasparetto is another favourite since he actually lives in my house in real life!

What’s your favourite thing about being an author?

I have fallen in love with the magic of writing. The proses is fueled by a conjuring energy that seems to be driven by an external force. The bug has bitten, and I am busy with the character development for my next book.

Do you ever suffer from ‘writer’s block’ and if so how do you overcome it?

I struggle more with procrastination than actual writer’s block. I get most of my best ideas in the shower or bath or anywhere near water.  A cup of well-made tea also seems to get the juices flowing!

If you could describe yourself as a colour what would it be and why?

Well, I once had a pink car, so I suppose it is a colour that could depict me. It is playful, romantic, feminine, nurturing, passionate, doesn’t take itself too seriously but also has a compassionate and caring side.

What’s your favourite comfort food?

Spicy ramen. The best one I ever had was at a tiny little food kiosk in Hong Kong airport.


Name three things you cannot live without?

My darling husband, travel (I get tripophobia – the fear of not having any travel trips currently booked) and a good book.


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