I always enjoy reading Lucinda Clarke, whatever she writes. She fills me with joy and I never know what she’s going to say next..
First, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jane for her courage in letting me loose on her blog. She has suggested I chat about settings for my books, an easy question to answer.
To date I’ve written 3 memoirs, a 4 book Amie series and a comedy – oh and the freebie I offer to anyone
All of them (but one) are set in – guess where? Yes, Africa.
My only excuse for this is I lived there a long, long time almost 40 years and I didn’t want to leave. It gets into your heart, your mind and in some unexplained way it heightens your senses.
We began in Kenya – well that was me – the Ex was carted off to
Tanzania – leaving me to cope on my own with a 9 week-old baby, in the bush 25 miles outside Nairobi.
Next stop was a five-year spell in Libya on the north African coast. Life was different but interesting. I taught and worked on the radio and produced the second baby. Ah, but then we were PI’d (thrown out) after the Ex was locked up. Bit embarrassing when your infant cries out in the playground: “Please get Daddy out of jail.” I was a teacher there at the time and it didn’t do much for my reputation.
Next stop was Botswana and it was here, still teaching and running that rather desperate riding school, that I remember with most fondness. Nothing quite beats riding off across the dry river bed on the back of a horse, meandering through the villages and cantering slowly (and very carefully, I’m a terrible coward) across the wide- open savannah.
Then it was South Africa. Now we were on the fringe of the cities it was more first world – high rise buildings and highways. Later, my work filming took me deep rural and I was so privileged to meet the peoples at grass root levels. I spent days with them, learned about their lives, their aspirations and their triumphs and struggles. I visited/met/worked with: farmers, vets, teachers, road menders, witchdoctors, nurses, doctors, patients with AIDS and all kinds of other illnesses, museums, schools, prisons, drug rehabilitation centres, abattoirs, airports, government offices, news rooms, international world leaders and celebrities – the list could go on and on.
Many of the wonderful people I met have popped up in both my career memoirs in the Truth, Lies and Propaganda series:
my personal memoir
and as characters in my Amie novels.
We came to Spain in 2008 side-lined due to Africanisation policies. My clients wanted my work, I wanted to work for them – the government said ‘no’. We had little option but to leave and it broke my heart.
Initially I modelled Amie on my own experience – moving to Africa as a newly married wife. But then to make it more exciting I embroil her in a civil war and pop her into prison and then …
The physical descriptions of places in my books are a combination of Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Kenya.
I’m hoping to publish the 5th book in the series, plus two back stories before the end of 2018.
Now the theory in coming to Spain was to lie about in the sun all day, sipping sangria and chilling out. Two problems with that: winters are cold here – well after Africa they are – and do you realise how boring it is doing nothing? Within 3 months I was itching to write, but apart from a few commissions in the early days, I had no clients.
Solution? Commission myself – and the most obvious medium was from scripts to books. I didn’t bother to look up my old agent nor the traditional publishers I’d worked for. When you’re a wrinkly you just don’t have the spare years to make all that effort.
So, I became an indie and I’m proud of it. I think I take as much care as any traditional publishing house with editing, proofing, cover etc. to make my books the best they can be. As I am my sole client I give myself lots and lots of attention!
The huge difference of course is the marketing but let’s not go there and write about depressing stuff.
I’ve ordered the outer shell for next time round – Goldi Hawn’s hair, Madonna’s figure, Einstein’s brain and Mata Hari’s sex appeal. That should give me a head start. But would I be a writer? Of course! I’m addicted and couldn’t stop if I tried. However, the above ‘extras’ might just help me get my books converted into Hollywood blockbusters. Hey, I can dream can’t I?
You can find me here.
Web page – http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com
Blog link http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com then add date
Twitter @LucindaEClarke https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke