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 Added to that pleasure has been the opportunity to read their published works, as well as some of their unpublished ones, too.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 www.karenbesseypease.com.) 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!