AAlex v Tonder - This One Time launch 01lex van Tonder  is the debut author of This One Time – she talks about the book on YouTube here.

Alex grew up in Natal and studied Copywriting for Advertising at the Red & Yellow School in Cape Town, where she graduated in 2004 at the top of her class.


She began her career as an ATL junior copywriter at King James under Alistair King. She later moved over to BTL under Jenny Ehlers. She has also worked in market research in Cape Town and Joburg. At the age of 25 took on a senior Creative Group Head position across all divisions of the King James Group, with a mandate to integrate digital and social media into the business’s creative concepts.


Driven by an avid interest in using digital and social media as marketing storytelling platforms, she received attention for being an early advocate of the practice of using social media channels as well as bloggers and influencers in campaigns, and creating viral content for brands in South Africa. She has created work for clients such as Johnnie Walker, Levi’s,, Allan Gray, SABC 1, Microsoft, Virgin Active, Sanlam, Musica, Design Indaba and Woolworths. She has won various awards for her work, and is also known for her blogs: My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl. In 2011 she was named one of South Africa’s most influential women online by Memeburn, and she was also invited to judge the Digital, Mobile and Interactive category at the Loerie Awards. In 2013 she won the Woman & Home short story competition with a thriller titled, The Drive. 


Alex describes herself as a ‘compulsive creator’, and channels her need to make things into her various creative interests, but chiefly into her advertising work, story telling and fiction writing. She is also an avid runner, and sees physical fitness as an important part of being able to be her best creatively. When she’s not running or writing, she’s reading – novels, and articles online about how to stop reading so many articles online and read more novels. She wouldn’t be able to live without This American Life podcasts and pop music, especially Rihanna and Eminem collabs. And Taylor Swift.


She describes her creative influences as brands and advertising, popular culture, the internet, writers including Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Chuck Palahniuk and Jennifer Egan, and TV writers Nick Polazzo, Tina Fey, Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler, and musical storytellers including Eminem, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Katy Perry. She describes the kind of books she writes as exploring ‘the dark side of digital’, and she likes to ask extreme ‘what if…’ questions to situations we find ourselves in every day on social media. But mostly, she just tries to write stories that entertain, and if they make you think, bonus.

Find Alex on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.

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