This last year was mostly spent in a miasma of story consumption. I read books like a story-starved creature. The part of my brain that produces stories had malfunctioned. Strangely, It wasn’t writers’ block. I felt nothing as if someone had disconnected the story part of my brain. Then I started meeting up once a week with my friend Gwynn (who’s also a writer) and we’d talk about world events, history, anything that came up as well as discussing stories and writing.
It was Gwynn who suggested in October that I try writing something different. I took her advice and decided to try writing a contemporary romance. I started at the beginning of November and I’m now half way through a whole book. After two years, I’m hearing my Regency characters demanding attention once again. I think my problem was that I was so ill (literally dying) while editing Dancing the Maypole that it wounded my story teller. I think my brain pulled the plugs in self-preservation, but I’m now working again and it feels really good. Thanks Gwynn!
So during the last year or more while she’s been encouraging me to write, Gwynn has also been working on various stories and projects. One of those has been to finish an autobiography (jointly written by her husband) of a year they spent in Botswana, Africa, managing a remote Safari camp. The title, “Torn Trousers” refers to Matanta (it’s the meaning of his name), who was head chef and Assistant Camp manager. If your life feels too safe and boring and you’re tempted to run off on Safari…this is for you! Once they arrive at Camp Tau there are no boring hours…even when they want one.
My review: 5 Amazing Stars! Even if I’d never met the authors! This was an amazing story (that happens to be true) that I was barely able to put it down (I read most of it in one sitting).
Beautiful. Funny. Poignant. This is a joint autobiographical account of a year by the authors (tired of the daily grind in Johannesburg, South Africa) decided to become managers of a remote Safari Camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. What could possibly go wrong in Paradise? What couldn’t? When they aren’t salvaging the kitchen from a marauding fridge-chewing hyena they’re attempting to work miracles with very little assistance from their boss (who appeared to work hard at being as unhelpful as possible). I don’t think this could have been told as well from one point of view. The husband’s view is woven with his wife’s and you get this brilliant technicolor view of their lives. At the heart, this is a love story. The main love if for the Okavango Delta, the local people and wild life, but underneath much more subtle is the love between the two people who sold up everything they owned and took a blind leap into an adventure that would prove more amazing, amusing and scarier then they could have imagined. The interplay between all the main characters (including Morag “the poisonous snake in Paradise” (best friend of the Safari Camp Owner’s wife) who thinks she has carte blanche to make life hell for everyone)…is divinely human. When I finished I was disappointed there wasn’t another adventure of Gwynn and Andrew to read! If you want to meet my friend Gwynn, It’s for sale on Amazon!