What inspired me to write novels?

The last four wild white rhinoceros are killed for their horns – 17/06/08 – Game-wardens are given instructions ‘shoot to kill!’.

The above quote angered and saddened me as I realised how we as a human race are destroying this amazing planet we have been given. I am sure that all Africans will share my view as well as the rest of the world, as not only is the African continent being destroyed but some of the most beautiful parts of the planet. What are we leaving our descendents; will they ever have the pleasure of viewing a magnificent elephant in the wild or see a panda or tiger living in their natural habitat?

I am dedicated to the conservation of African wildlife. This continent, with her diversity of cultures, landscape and wild animals was what motivated me to write my first novel, ‘The Hunted’. The story is about four teenagers (I mentioned on my opening page) and their confrontation with poachers who live and breathe to make money and view these priceless animals as a commodity.

My novel, although written initially with the view to educate teenagers about the value and preservation of wildlife also aims to enthral the readers as it is full of suspense and adventure. I want to open their minds to a world where witch doctors have great influence. I want to reveal the fun side of Africa, the incredible beauty, the mystery of its wild life and invite the reader to also experience the dark side of Africa.

‘The Hunted’ will open minds to an entirely different lifestyle and will encourage the readers to continue reading and encountering incredible worlds that most will never have been exposed to and in probability will never experience first hand.

What are the differences in culture between Southern Africa and the UK?

This is such an interesting question and even though I have lived most of my life in Southern Africa and the last seven years in the U.K., I had to do some research to answer the question effectively!

The Bushman are believed to be the first modern inhabitants of Southern Africa and it is believed that they were formed approximately 30 000 years ago.

In comparison, Neolithic farmers arrived in England in 4000B.C. Considering the above information I think it is worth mentioning the similarities that I have noticed between the two countries. Southern Africa is known as ‘The Rainbow Nation’, due to the mixture of different cultures living in the country. The majority of the people are from different tribes, including Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and others. Additional cultures include Dutch, French, German and British descendents as well as Indians, Chinese and other diverse groups. The country has 11 official languages that include Xhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaans, to name a few.

I have found the cultural differences between the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh to be more complex. Even though English is the accepted national language, the above cultures each have their own dialects of Gaelic. London and other large cities are found to have many other cultures originating from Pakistan, India, Africa and other nations.

I have observed that the landscapes are diverse. Africa is dramatic, varying from ranges of mountainous areas, raging seas to flat desolate landscapes. The U.K. is more restful and serene with its rolling hills, peaceful streams, green farmlands and its beautiful historical buildings.

The other difference is of course the weather! In Southern Africa, generally nine months out of the twelve, are fairly warm whereas, after this amazing winter, it has felt as if nine months out of the twelve have been cold in the U.K. (just my ignorant opinion!).

There are obvious other similarities and differences too numerous to mention, so I will draw attention to just two. Both the UK and Southern Africa have royalty, and although completely different culturally, both carry the respect of their subjects.

The second point is found in the animal kingdom. Africa is known for its wild animals, lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant, hyena, secretary bird etc.

The UK has many different bird species, the robin being the cutest, (well I think so anyway). Hedgehogs, badgers, foxes, red squirrels, red deer, shrew and so on are among other animals found in this country.

I hope that the above information gives you an answer to the question asked. Actually there are so many other items to mention about the two countries and the question asked so I will finish off by saying that the similarities and differences can be subtle or extreme; it all depends on your point of view.

What environment do you tend to write in?

This question has a short answer! I write in total seclusion with as much quiet as I can find. Actually, the only noise I do tolerate is my cat snoring in her basket and the magical sound of the birds outside.

As my only place of sanctuary is the study, this is where I write my novels. It is not a large space so at times when I have papers strewn all over the place with various bits of information it can get quite messy!