Monday, September 21, 2009

Grins for Silent Predator

Until my YA novel, Grumble Bluff, was published nine months ago, I never really imagined all that was entailed in being a published author. As an unknown, there is a lot of hard work involved in trying to direct readers to my novel. There are speaking engagements and book signings. Correspondence with fans. Networking with people in positions of power…purchasing power; because that is, in essence, what it all comes down to. An author needs to sell herself in order to be able to sell her novel.

It’s a lot of work, but it is FUN work, for an author enjoys nothing more than being able to write, and to talk with others about writing. It is a passion, and one that is not easily sated.

Thus far, the best part of this whole experience has been meeting other authors. Writers who, like me, have an enthusiasm for creating a tale that will engage, enthrall and even educate a reader. Each one of us is the sum total of our experiences and passions. We are as different as night and day. Tundra and tropic. East and west.

We are all just as human as can be.

I’d never before given consideration to the author of a novel while I was engrossed in the pages of his or her creation. Not only did the author seem to be out of reach, but almost irrelevant, too. After all, the author’s work was done by the time I held that bound treasure in my hands. It was his or her characters which were important, as well as the tale’s plot and setting. The author was just some shadowy figure whom I could envision pounding away at a keyboard under the light of a shaded lamp. A mystical conjurer of words, phrases and yes… a bit of magic, too.

But I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many other writers in the last few months. Added to that pleasure has been the opportunity to read their published works, as well as some of their unpublished ones, too. To know both the authors and their handiwork is a rare privilege, and it has allowed me to appreciate and respect the products of their talent and imagination more than ever. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life. And now, I’m finding that I have an even sharper desire to read a good book when I know the man or woman who is the mastermind behind the story.

And that brings me to the topic of this blog posting. I have just finished reading Silent Predator, a novel by Tony Park. Tony is a native of Australia who spends half of every year in southern Africa. He and his wife Nicola are living their dream, residing side-by-side with the natives of the ‘Dark Continent’…the four legged inhabitants, as well as the two. Tony has considerable writing experience--having been a newspaper reporter, a government press secretary, and a freelance writer. This man is not only experienced in assembling and arranging words to create a saga that is comprehensible and engaging, but he is obviously able to identify with the most basic of human sentiments. Sorrow and grief, lust and longing, expectation and despair…Tony infuses his characters with very real and believable emotions, and their actions and reactions are authentic and credible.

In my book, it takes genuine talent to pull that off.

Silent Predator takes the reader from the urban wilds of modern London to the primitive wilderness of Africa’s Kruger National Park, and back again. The author has driven these streets and hiked these trails, and his familiarity with these venues is apparent. Every page of Silent Predator percolates with realistic intrigue, plausible dialogue and credible conflicts and resolutions. It was a delight to read, and a bugger to put down when those responsibilities of home, farm, business and my own writing dared to intrude.

I am not a professional book reviewer, and Tony has a capable team assembled behind him to accurately synopsize his stories and promote his most exceptional tales. And so, I’ll let them take over from here. I encourage you to visit Tony’s website for summaries of his novels, including his newly released Ivory and his first non-fiction book written with Kevin Richardson, Part of the Pride. On his site you will also find information about how to acquire your own autographed copy. I purchased Silent Predator this way, and if I can do it, anyone can! (His link is over there somewhere to the right, as well as on my ‘links’ page on In addition, Tony’s blog is a hoot, with his Legion of Fans adding their own creative remarks, critiques and comical commentary. His frequent entries from the road are full of inspiring and graphic details about his life amongst the people and wildlife of Africa--a place that most of us only dream of experiencing first-hand. I was a fan of the Ballantyne Series by Wilbur Smith back in the 1980’s, and I lived my African experience vicariously through his books. Now, in a new millennium and thanks to Tony Park, I’ve returned to that continent. And I most certainly am not disappointed in the trip.

I'm kifing an idea from Mr. Park, here, and having a contest to create a caption for the picture in the top right-hand corner of my blog. Just create a caption for the photo and add it as a comment on this posting. The contest runs until October 31st (Hallowe'en) and the winner will be chosen by a very good friend of mine. This friend does NOT know a certain fellow by the name of 'Ali g', so if that lucky gentleman wins again, we'll know he won fair and square! The prize? A custom poem written by Karen Bessey Pease. It can be for you, for a friend or loved one, for a special occasion or just for fun. It can be a Christmas gift, an 'I love you' or an apology. The winner chooses the theme or occasion, and we'll work together to create a poem made especially to suit you. Sound like fun? I hope so. Please tell all your friends to take a stab at it-- the more, the merrier!


  1. Wonderful review KBP !
    You're in for a certain treat with all of TP's books.

  2. Zambezi is next...can't wait!

    Nice to see you, Dozy! How was the trip to the northern hemi? Can you feel that nip in the air? Today is our autumnal equinox...the first day of fall!

  3. Hi Karen, the trip north wasn't too hard at all. There's certainly a nip in the air here - cold wild winds, red dust storms & impending rain.
    I must say that I did like the sound of your owl & coyotes' musical tributes to the sunset - I have lots of wild birds in my garden every morning & afternoon (I keep a good supply of feed & water out for them).
    Must get back to work now...

  4. And I must get to bed. It's almost two a.m. here, and I've got to be out the door by six.

    A friend gave me an Australian bird book for my birthday, so I can easily picture some of your lovely winged visitors. I hope your dust storm doesn't adversely effect them. (Affect them? Who says I'm a writer?)

    Enjoy your evening...I'm finally on the same day, anyway!

  5. Hi Karen,
    The storms have eased & the dust has settled (for the time being) & the birds are fine - fresh feed & water is all they need to be happy.
    You definitely have a way with words (ie: my boots v your boots) but it seems that only AliG rose to your, from one harlot to another have a nice day !

  6. Good morning, Dozy.

    Ali g never lets a lady down (or so I've heard) but he surely is an impertinent devil sometimes. I'll bet he gave his mum a run for her money.

    I'm glad the dust has settled. The pictures I saw of the choked atmosphere were absolutely amazing...quite eerie. I wondered how people with respiratory problems got by, too...couldn't have been easy.

    Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was as easy to please as a bird? :o)

    Come back soon! In a few days I'll be posting something written by a friend of mine who lives outside of Brisbane...and of course, I hope to have some entertaining ditties written by yours truly, as well.

    Btw, we had a brief thunderstorm last night, a bit out of season for us...I assume you were 'booting up' and I can thank you for that? Ha. See what you can do for Ali g, will you? Maybe if we can end his drought, he'll find some nicer names to call us. Ta!

  7. Hi Karen,

    Apparently we can expect more wild winds & dust yet again - the hospitals & emergency services were inundated with people having problems during Wednesdays' episode, now the dust has travelled as far as New Zealand which is quite amazing.

    Hope your little thunderstorm was a welcome one for you - we certainly need lots of rain here in Oz. The drought is devastating to our poor farmers (it was their valuable top soil which became our red dust).

    Bye for now & have a great weekend !

    PS : AliG has a devilish sense of humour & also a brilliant knack at comebacks to any of our he's setting himself up to be our pimp - I wonder if he's got any hints for us ??

  8. Dozy, what a nightmare on the weather front. (Ooh, is that a pun?) I was just telling my father about your wild dust storm, and mentioned that I assumed a lot of people would be suffering respiratory problems because of it. How could you not? If the particles are small enough to be held aloft in the air, they're certainly small enough to be inhaled. I hope there are no long-term effects, but it seems likely there would be, especially for people with COPD or asthma.

    Dust masks...the manufaturers of those should see a boost in sales Down Under! (Ali g says 'real men' don't wear them. You're right...he tickles the dickens out of me!)

    But 15 years ago I gave my daughter lead poisoning 'in utero' because I didn't wear a dust mask when we were renovating our 150 year old home, so I'll be content to live without the title 'real man' and do the sensible and non-chic thing. Heck, I wear rubber boots and do a naked rain dance...chic hasn't been an adjective assocated with my name in quite some time!

    Sleep well! It's always nice to hear from you. I'm off to dig up 200 potato plants and get the harvest in before tonight's forecasted hard freeze! Then, it's the rest of the turnips and rutabagas and tomatoes and carrots... it's always nice to have a day off from the office! So restful... :o)

  9. Dozy If you were to wear those thigh high suede stilettos that you keep in your cupboard your next wombat in my opinion would probably pass on the leaves

  10. I've gotta get me some thigh-high stilettos! I have some hip waders for fly fishing... Do they have the same effect?

    :o) Snicker. Oh, Ali g.

  11. Oh Ali,

    You have just given me my biggest laugh in a long time !!
    I must remember to heed your advice when I next have an occassion to dress up (except for my sons' wedding in 2 weeks - that may raise a few eyebrows amongst the in-laws & RAAFies)

    That reminds me, I need HELP on this one - he has asked me to give a speech. Karen/Ali what is the proper procedure there ??

    Karen, I'm not sure about the hip waders - probably best to refer to Ali on this......

  12. Hey, Dozy! Congratulations! A new daughter, wow. Is it hard? Do you feel the 'losing the son' bit? I wonder about that, having a boy who's 26. Or, I should say, a MAN. (He'll always be my little boy.)

    If t'were me, Dozy, I'd write a poem. Something sentimental but funny. So you can have 'em laughing and crying at the same time. But if you aren't comfortable with that, pick a couple of charming childhood memories of your son to relate, and then tie them in to how he will be giving his wife many new and charming memories of her own. Or--you HOPE they'll be charming, anyway. Dirty socks left on the floor are only cute eccentricities until the honeymoon is over!

    Best of luck, my friend. Try to keep it light, is the best advice I can give. Don't wanna be bawling your eyes out while having your say. (Plus, audience laughter will be contagious for years to come...if the wedding is being taped, they'll watch it over and over again--and they'll laugh, and feel close. What better gift than that?)

    Ooh, how exciting! :o) (Do it NOW, so you aren't stressing out about it when the big day gets closer...I have one to do for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday next weekend, and I wrote it in advance...very relaxed about the whole thing, now, because it's DONE and I've had time to practice. I can get all the way thru it without my teeth falling out, now! Hehe.)

    I'll be thinking of you! And if you want to bounce it off someone, I'd be happy to take a look. Just email me (address is on my website.)

  13. Okay, I know I can't win this contest, but I thought I'd show you how easy it is by giving a quick example.


    "An ant hill, you say?"

    See? Simple! Give it a try, won't you?

  14. in this cozzie the crabs come from everywhere

  15. I'm actually sitting on my boyfriend... but I think he's asleep...

  16. Back again, Trev?

    Nice to 'see' you! They're still letting you on the internet at the county lock-up, hmmm?

    Very funny caption...can't help but grin (and trust me...I'm much more personable when grinning than when grumbling!)

    So, lay it on me! I just know I could write a cocker of a prison poem! -- Just remember, I'm not the one choosing the winner, so don't tattoo my name on your...anything, will you?

  17. too late..says 'Karen' when I think of you but only 'Kn' when it's cold

  18. Sigh...

    Trev, you're going to take constant managing, aren't you?

    For any of my followers and readers who might be getting a little bit nervous, please let me reassure you that, based on my investigation, Trev is NOT an inmate in a county jail, state prison or federal penitetiary. In fact, if my well-paid sources are correct, Trev is not even a man. Trev DOES have a wicked sense of humor-- as we can all see--so I suggest we smile, roll our eyes, and wait to see if Trev learns to behave Trev's-self.

    Now, moving on...I'm looking for more entries in my 'Name that Caption' contest! Don't be shy, and don't limit yourself to one entry. More, more, more! I only wish I could play...I've got some DOOZIES!

  19. well ..that let the cat out of the bag. I shall behave impeccably from now on.

  20. Aw, not TOO impeccably, I ARE Trev, after all!

  21. An entry from Gerald Gates in Vermont:

    'What's up with you?? I just stubbed my toe!'

    Thanks, Gerald!

  22. Aha! I've been trying to figure out what Ali g was talking about in his caption entry when he said 'in this cozzie'... I thought maybe it was what Aussie's called 'country' but I knew I'd read the word somewhere before...

    Guess where? In Silent Predator! Page 424, "'Put your cozzie on and join us in the pool,' Sannie called to Tom..."

    'Cozzie' must mean bathing suit! Oh, the education you'll get from reading GAG and Silent Predator!

  23. Oh gross !! I think I've just sat on some duck shit.

    PS : Hi Karen, you're right - cozzie is short for swimming costume.

    PPS: What is a rutabaga ?

  24. Now I'm wondering, Dozy...have you just sat in duck shit, or was that an entry for the caption contest? (One answer gets a smile, the other would keep me in grins all day long...)

    Thank you for confirming 'cozzie'...I still hadn't gleaned 'costume' but now it makes sense.

    A rutabaga is in the turnip fact, when we in Maine buy a 'turnip' in the supermarket, we're usually actually buying a ruta. They are deeper yellow, almost a gold, and much, much harder than a turnip. You can keep one forever (and ever) and I'm pretty sure you can bowl with a ruta, too...if you can figure out the vector and veer!

  25. No I haven't, but I did stand in it once (barefoot). It was totally gross ! But don't worry, I have 2 little brown wood ducks that come for a feed sometimes so there's always the possibility that there'll be a deposit on a garden chair for unwary butts.....

    It was really an entry in your caption contest so you can stop grinning now.

  26. Where I come from us ladies say 'ducky doo doo' not that other rude poo word

  27. Trevorina, I do apologize if Dozy and I have offended your sensibilities. Slip-ups just like that one are why there is an 'adult content' screen to pass through before getting to GAG.

    Believe it or not, most often when I wallop my thumb with a hammer, I holler out, 'Doo doo!' We Maine chicks are very clean-mouthed, you know...

    Would you like to enter the caption contest? Perhaps, if you win, I can regale you with a poem about the various terms and tags for 'doo doo'... Heh. Sounds like fun to me...I just might try my hand at it, anyway!

    Again, please forgive! Karen

  28. Many apologies Trevorina.

    I have to admit that I have never hollered "doo doo" when hitting my thumb with a hammer - my hollering uses a whole different set of expressions !
    In fact, the only "doo doo I'm familiar with is "De Doo Doo Doo, De Dah Dah Dah" by The Police (and they must have been awake all night thinking up those lyrics.......)

  29. Hey Karen!!
    Here's a caption for ya...
    Damn it!!! Why do you always have to take pictures?? I'm not even tanned...

  30. Hey, Laura! Welcome to GAG!

    Thank you for the contest entry! It's funny, I was JUST telling a friend of mine that I'd only worn shorts twice this summer, because of the wet, and then COLD weather..and that I don't have a bit of a tan this year for the first time in ages. By April, my skin should resemble the color of those blind cave-dwelling fish that have never seen daylight!

    Yup, I just get more attractive as the years roll along...and on that note, I think I'll go see if I've any chin hairs that need plucking. Sigh...

    Come by any time, Laura!

  31. Eww that dingleberry wine sure tastes like crap!

  32. Hahaha!

    Ali g, I hope the judge of the contest knows what-all you're talking about, because that's hilarious! (She's from Texas, you understand, and may not be 'up' on the Maine vernacular the way you are...although I did give her John Gould's 'Maine Lingo' for a gift this summer, so if she'd doing her homework, she should be up to snuff by now!)

    Thanks for another entry into the contest! Keep 'em coming!


  33. A new entry into the caption contest all the way from California!


    (Hey...I'm just the messenger, so don't shoot ME! Who knows? Maybe Kay, my illustrious judge, will...well, who knows???)


  34. If anyone has signed up to get email notifications when something is posted on GAG(did you know you could do that? I'm learning SO MUCH!)then please pay close attention to my words.


    There are only two weeks left, and I would love to give friend Kay (our nefarious...I mean notorious...ah, that's NOBLE judge)a huge pile of entries to sort through! She's smart, and she has a great sense of humor, so don't be shy. (Oh, yeah....I was supposed to say she's 'foxy', too. Personally, I wouldn't have mentioned her long, pointy nose, but she insisted...)

    Anyhoo, enter, please.

    Is Ali g trying to talk you out of vying for the prize? I know he's competitive, and that he'd do just about anything to have a custom poem from yours truly. But just because he's won EVERY SINGLE CONTEST he's entered in the last two months, that doesn't mean he can tinker with the results or sway the judge. I'm keeping Her Honor on the west coast until the entries are ready to be assessed by sharp mind, keen wit and, ah...pointed nose.

  35. Bet you don't even know what Pan Pan Kooee Kooee is....and I just won!

  36. Hahaha! Hey, girl!!!

    Thank you for entering my contest!

    Pan Pan Kooee Kooee? Aw, c'mon! I DON'T know what it is! The first thought that came to mind is that it is another one of those exotic, foreign cuss words you come up with every once in a while...(which always tickle the heck out of me, for even though I don't know what they mean, I usually get the jist!) Hehe.

    Then I thought perhaps it's what you sing out when you call a certain man in from the barn at supper time...

    And lastly, I wondered if Pan Pan Kooee Kooee might be something one shouldn't kick on a hot day...OR plant their bum in on the lawn. But seeing as the grass in question was YOURS (and it was always kept PPKK-free) I guess that's not it, either.

    You've stumped me, Ter...but my judge is MUCH, MUCH smarter than I am so we will see how you fare!

    Haha. PPKK. Sounds nasty! I love it...

  37. Think blindfolds and pillows and a circle...need I go further???? It was a righteous day for sure! Loved that bathing suit I had on...loved the size more....

  38. Ummm...I'd LIKE you to go further, because I STILL DON"T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! :o)

    However, GAG has some, ah...very 'interesting' fellows who hang out with me once in a while, and I'm not sure we girls want to go there and invite-- aw, you get the picture, don't you? They're GUYS!!!

    Blindfolds, pillows...snicker. (Can you whisper it in my ear?)

    Yeah...the good old days, when we wouldn't shoot the photographer for capturing us in our suits--we'd just make stupid faces at him. Sigh...

  39. And what's more fun than beating the crap out of a guy with a pillow? Nothing springs to my mind right away...yours?

  40. Now we're getting somewhere! You had me confused with all that talk about the Italian guy who explored Asia in the thirteenth century.

    BUT, pillow fights definitely grab my interest. For clarity...were the pillows Asian in Pan Pan Kooee Kooee??? Maybe made from the feathers of Peking ducks??? Am I getting warmer?

    Heh. Happy Friday, girlfriend.

  41. Just a reminder...there are only nine days left to enter the 'Name That Caption' contest!!! Please tell your friends, so that they can enter, too.

    I write a mean poem!!! (Well, not MEAN...not unless you're feeling spiteful and that's what you want! I can do funny, serious, romantic [Aw, gawd! Don't make me do ROMANTIC, I beg of you!], touching, historical-- you name it, I'll write it!

    So, please...give it a whirl! You can enter more than once, too!

    (And did anyone else hear my friend Jack say he'd enter?? Or was I just nervously imagining it?)

    Heh. Bring it on!!!!

  42. Still a couple of days left on the contest...

    Here's my entry, Kazza -

    "Suppository? Never heard of that brand of toffee."

    Got to be in it to win it. Anyhoo, have a great halloween.


  43. Last chance to enter the Name That Caption Contest!! Ends at midnight, tonight....the haunting hour! Come on! Give it your best shot!

  44. The 'Name That Caption' Contest is over! It is November, and time to move on...

    Good luck to all the contestants! As soon as my sweetie-pie in the sky judge has landed her high-flying body back in Maine, I'll announce the winner.

    One question...what if 'Anonymous' wins? Any ideas on how to handle that scenario?

    Sigh...that Anon! Always a burr under my saddle...