The Next Big Thing

Authors tagging Authors

I’ve been invited by Sarah Louise Smith to join in on The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors, by tagging me in her own post.  Please check out her post here.

The premise is to answer ten questions about my current work in progress and then tag more authors who can move the chain along another link.

What is the Working Title of your Book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

It draws on my experience of over half a century living in Kenya.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary Fiction.

I made the mistake of marketing it as Historical Fiction at first, but it covers thirty years from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, which disqualifies it!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

John Sibi-Okumu for Charles. I admired him play the chauffeur in “Driving Miss Daisy” in Nairobi decades ago. Besides, John helped me authenticate the character of Charles.

For Caroline – Meryl Streep of course!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A journey through a beautiful and spiritual land, where a victim of violence seeks psychological revenge.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be published in digital and paperback format by  Crooked Cat Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It was conceived forty years ago, then sent into hibernation due to family commitments. Ten years ago I resurrected it, did some  research, and it took me five years to produce the first of very many drafts.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My writing has been influenced by the works of Ernest Hemingway, John le Carre (The Constant Gardener), and Morris West, and I have been compared with Wilbur Smith,  Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Petals of Blood), and  Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible).

What inspired you to write this book?

A love for the beauty of Kenya, its people and its wildlife; a desire to understand the agonies and opportunities of a people going through tumultuous change.

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

Breath of Africa means different things to different people.

It can be read as a love story –  a  psychological thriller – or more deeply as an exploration into the interractions of people of different races. Superstition and Christian faith clash. And the immense beauty of the country is  a major character in itself.

Those who follow current African affairs would be specially interested in my book, in the light of a recent judgement that the British Government has a case to answer against Mau Mau victims of the Emergency in the 1950’s. Much of the plot hinges on the malevolence of Mwangi, who was just such a victim.

And of course, the book is set in the land of Barack Obama’s father!

Now it’s time for me to tag some fellow authors. Be sure to check each of them out next week for their Next Big Thing: if you wish to be tagged, please send me your blog URL and I’ll add it to the list.

Ailsa Abraham

John Holt


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5 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. Lala Woods says:

    Excellent interview, thanks for introducing me to your book Jane. I’m looking forward to getting a copy when it’s published.

  2. Andy Angel says:

    If you’re with Crooked Cat I’m sure I’ll pick up a copy along the way. Sounds promising.

  3. Marj says:

    Great interview. I look forward to reading your book.

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