The clever designers at Harper Collins have put a fresh face on all my back-issue book covers. Although all my books are stand-alone i.e., are not sequential, the aim is to give them all a common theme. What do you think?
Although I love East Africa, my partner and I decided to spread our wings and in August/September we spent 5 weeks touring South Africa, Zimbabawe, Namibia and Botswana. It was a wonderful experience but the hightlights were Kruger National Park, the Cape Province and Victoria Falls.
We started our trip with our friends Tony Park and his wife Nicola in their new house just outside Kruger National Park. The estate has many resident animals including hyena and leopard. When you must go outside to retrieve an item from the car at night, it’s a whole new experience when you know a leopard might be watching!
The Western Cape Province includes some of the best scenery I have ever seen. Beginning in the stunning city of Cape Town we then travelled to Stelenbosch where we enjoyed exquisite wining and dining.
At the end of our trip we drove to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe for our flight back to Johannesburg. It’s hard to convey the magesty of these waterfalls in words. Even photos leave a lot to be desired.
As a writer of African novels I hear of many worthy charities from that part of the world.
The groups that I get involved with are very small organisations run by volunteers. They all share a common characteristic: they were started by individuals who – one way or another – have been touched by Africa and want to help. Being small, the overheads are low, which means almost all the money goes to the needy cause. Here’s an example of one:
Four years ago we donated computers to the primary school in the slum of Matopeni, Nairobi, Kenya. We got frequent updates and questions, they were clearly doing good things. Two years ago a group of volunteers visited, and we were so impressed with their attitude and dream. They live in tin shacks, yet their school is made of concrete. Their attitude is they will never escape the slum, but their children can, through education… The biggest measure of success though, is the performance of our African partners – using huge numbers of volunteer labour they’ve finished phase 1 of the school!
I will be speaking at a number of events over the coming weeks and months and I hope you can give support where you can.
On the evening of 29th March I will be on board one of a number of beautiful boats on the harbour to raise money to build a school classroom in one of Nairobi’s slums.
Get more information at: www.kenyankinship.com and join me on the Kenya Kinship Flotilla leaving from Darling Harbour at 5.45pm.
Kids in Kenya
On 30th March I will be launching my new book, ‘Echoes from a Distant Land’ at the Kids in Kenya function in the beautiful Patrick White Room, Callan Park, Rozelle. The money raised will go to building school facilities in rural Kenya. See www.kidsinkenya.net
If you care for conservation of Africa’s endangered wildlife, you can help this very worthy cause. Animal Works sponsor a number of causes, in particular, in lessening human-elephant conflict, which often leads to the death of an animal or human. Together with other authors of African stories I will be speaking at the function in Sydney on 18 April. See: http://animalworks.com.au/uncategorized/imagine-africa-again
With the release of my new book in April 2012 (see Echoes from a Distant Land ) comes the exciting news that Harper Collins have developed a new cover concept that they feel more suitably reflects the mood of my stories and the demographic of my readers.
I admit to being rather fond of the earlier themes which were: the landscape, the animals and the people, but I’m far more interested in what you, my readers, think.
Why not drop me a line through the contacts page? I’d love to hear your views.
Seven years, and six books later, I was again invited to address the Horizon Committee’s annual luncheon at NSW Parliament House dining room in aid of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. Over 160 people attended and the proceeds from the lunch and sale of my books went to that very worthy cause.
Once again I went cruising with P&O as the featured author in the Chapters Book Club series of lectures. This time it was aboard the Pacific Jewell – one of P&O’s latest additions to their fleet.
From 29 January to 11 February we cruised from Sydney to beautiful Milford Sound and then to several ports of call in the south and north islands of New Zealand, finally leaving the shakey isles at the Bay of Islands.