From a drug den in Hillbrow to the top of the bestsellers list
A little over 20 years ago Melinda Ferguson was a homeless drug addict, trawling the streets of Hillbrow for her next fix.
She was down and most definitely out. Her addiction to crack cocaine and heroin had dragged her to the depths of hell.
She had hit rock bottom and all she had on her mind was how she was going to kill herself.
There was nothing in me that believed I would last for a couple more months. I wanted to die.Melinda Ferguson, Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
I was deeply ashamed of my life and who I had become.Melinda Ferguson, Author and Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
At the insistence of her family, Ferguson went to Enoch's Walk, a farm for the homeless and that's where her journey of recovery began.
I got clean, 1 September 1999 on that farm.Melinda Ferguson, Author and Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
Something happened there, and I can only call it a spiritual awakening now...I suddenly had a very clear image of life and death...Melinda Ferguson, Author and Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
I finally realised I wasn't going to be able to continue doing what I had been doing and expecting different results.Melinda Ferguson, Author and Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
Bit by bit Ferguson began rebuilding her life with the help of other recovering addicts she met at Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Eventually, a chance meeting at a fish shop in Melville where Ferguson had landed a job would change the course of her life forever.
Glynnis O'Hara walks in. She was the deputy editor of True Love magazine at the time...I was bending her ear (about my life)...and she said, why don't you write it down and submit it to the magazine.Melinda Ferguson, Author and Publisher - Melinda Ferguson Books
Ferguson did just that and the piece she wrote about her drug addiction would eventually become her first book, Smacked.
The book would go on to sell in excess of 30 000 copies and was followed up five years later by Hooked: Secrets and Highs of a Sober Addict.
These days, in addition to being an author Ferguson is also an Alan Paton award-winning publisher with her own imprint Melinda Ferguson Books.
She has published over 40 books including the best-sellers Being Chris Hani's Daughter (Lindiwe Hani), Get Me To 21 (Gabi Lowe), Killing Karoline (Sara-Jayne King) and Rape: A South African Nightmare (Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola).
Listen as Melinda Ferguson tells Sara-Jayne King about her recovery from heroin addiction: