THE BLOG TOUR – starring Author Jan Hawke

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Deciding where to start a story is not always clear cut and, because I came at this book with a story plan that was loosely based on The Canterbury Tales, that followed several people’s experiences, there’s a fair amount of flashbacks and jumping ahead, whilst following along the main timeline of the safari. I hope I succeeded in making sense of the flow in the novel, but when I began to look ahead to marketing issues and found a need for a book blog, I quickly realised that I needed to streamline things more, so people could get a flavour of what goes on and where in the story more clearly.

We first meet main character, Sophie Taylor and her safari companions on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, and the story roughly follows their itinerary from there into Zimbabwe and then Uganda and finally, after it’s over, into Tanzania where Sophie starts her new job. A magazine treatment, based on their journey (with the odd deviation when the backstory dictated) gradually presented itself as a useful solution for the blog as it gave me an opportunity to include some of my own personal background, influences and research information on the countries in which Milele Safari are set, and to including short synopses on each of the Tales that ‘happen’ in that region.  What’s good for my own blog should surely work for a blog tour too! So, this is your personal invitation to join me on a ‘blog safari’ that tells the true-life inside story behind Milele Safari, through the real and almost real lands depicted in the book…

… the Tales play out through the auspices of several point of view characters and their narratives, some through flashbacks into the past, or through a journal device that joins the various strands of their Tales together.

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THE VOICES are:

Sophie Taylor ~ a doctor specialising in EMDR therapy, who returns to Africa to work for an aid agency running clinics for victims of the Zyandan genocide, still suffering from the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder and other ills 13 years on.

Sister Teresa ‘Terry’ Olatunde ~ a battered and maimed orphan of the horrific war and famine in Biafra, whose valiant, but ultimately rash attempt at intervention to rescue terrified Zyandan refugees, results in her making the ultimate sacrifice.

Harry Burton ~ a highly accomplished Zimbabwean game guide and hunter whose memories of colonial childhood and adult experience of civil war and ecological vagaries pours light on yet more aspects of life in modern Africa.

David Mukuga ~ the boy soldier who witnesses his comrades slaying Sister Terry and two other men at a refugee camp, whose adult life is dogged by inescapable guilt and despair as he struggles to rehabilitate himself and make amends for his grisly past under the watchful eye of the mother of his dead best friend.

Verity Beleshona ~ a strong and principled woman who lost her entire family to the genocide, trying to transcend the tragedy and working tirelessly to help her countrymen ‘pay the amnesty’ of survival and rebuild shattered lives in a new UN-sponsored community project, the Mgakera Enclave, on the borders of Zyanda and Tanzania. Sophie’s thread is the one that binds them all together as she eases back into working life in Africa, meeting Harry and his nephew, vet Luigi Ogilvy, on the way, before taking up her new role as a consultant clinician in the Zyandan community of Mgakera, just over the border from Umbeke in Tanzania.

Author Bio: I live near Launceston in Cornwall, UK with Toby and Benji the Springer Spaniels – it’s a tie between us all as to who’s maddest, but as I outrank them in being weird anyway it’s not open to debate really. I’m physically lazy with things that don’t hold much interest for me (so that’s mostly housework and, increasingly, cooking…), but I love where we live, mainly because I chose it for being so quiet and off the beaten track, very close to the moors and quite near to the sea. I also love books, both to write and to read, the latter of which can be very eclectic (I enjoy Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson and will happily admit to Jilly Cooper too) but in the main I’m heavily into SF&F, particularly Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Julian May, although I can pass on Zombie Apocalypses fairly easily… …how I’ve chosen to write about Africa for my first novel may be something of a surprise to my friends, but if you read it you may find that all of the above information manifests in there somehow!

Future projects include a futuristic fantasy series, loosely grounded in Celtic myth – The Shadow Chronica (http://havenlands.blogspot.co.uk/), which is kind of stalled at present, but I’ll be dusting it off as summer gets in full flood with the first novel hopefully available at the tail end of 2016.

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Book Blurb: Milele Safari back blurb – Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be.

Book linksAmazon (print & eBook) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0992747201/   

Barnes & Noble (print only) – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/milele-safari-an-eternal-journey-janette-mary-hawke/1117529970?ean=9780992747206

Milele Safari blog http://milelesafari.blogspot.co.uk/p/taster-1.html

Book Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkJsS5vtJjg

Social Media links
Twitter – @JanHawke

Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Hawke/386239624841750

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=254177051

Author blog – Jan Hawke INKorporated http://janhawke.me/

4WillsPublishing Link: AUTHOR EVENT – http://4wills-hawke.chatovod.com/

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23 thoughts on “THE BLOG TOUR – starring Author Jan Hawke

    • I don’t think I’ve put in too many spoilers for this tour Joy (although there are excerpts but they’re named chapters so you can avoid those! 😉 ). I’m so thrilled you’re reading it – can’t wait to hear what you thought of it, especially as the ‘silent’ central character (Dr. Teresa Olatunde) is from your homeland

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well – there’s something for everyone on this journey John as Africa’s such a motif for any human activity you care to mention (and some you don’t) – hope you enjoy the trip as we go! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve read this book, and have to tell you it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a deep, disturbing book that will weigh on your mind. You’ll want to take it slowly and absorb all the wonderful details and insight Jan provides you. It’s a book worth reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for those kind and honest words Rebecca (and for your wonderful review! 🙂 ).
      Africa wasn’t known as the ‘Dark’ Continent for nothing of course and any book written about it would be doing a disservice if they didn’t contrast the grandour and beauty to be found there with a strong dash of reality alongside the romance. It’s vast landscapes are where humans originally came from and have influenced the longest. This is why it’s lessons should learned and taken to heart over and over again, in every generation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Rebecca Carter, above, I’ve read the book and agree it’s not “for the faint of heart.” However, it’s also NOT a “difficult” book in the sense that you’ll have to force yourself through it in order to reap the benefits it offers — indeed, once I started it I could hardly put it down. A reader who comes to it expecting light entertainment will be surprised, but there’s plenty of action, suspense, and color. Despite the flashbacks and side roads, it’s not at all hard to follow. It is most certainly worth reading, and it’s one of the very few new books I’ve read in the last several years that I’m looking forward to rereading.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is a great post, Jan! I am looking forward to following you on tour, and hope you have a great time! 🙂

    Jason, thanks for being such a wonderful host for Jan today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems all Africa has ever known is tragedy and upheaval which shattered and destroyed a lot of lives among its beautiful landscape. Slaves brought to America and other parts of the world has its origin in Africa. Jan your subject is quite different from most of the books we write and will definitely stand out and take its place in the history. I will get my copy just out of curiosity and wonder; and I love to see and read about wild animals. Congrats on such an interesting topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking the plunge Shirley – in many ways it’s been a nightmare trying to ‘pitch’ this to people without grossing them out, simply because of all the complexities and preconceptions that we have about African history.
      I deliberately shied away from bringing in politics and, to some extent, colonialism, especially in the far past, because I found it was clouding the purely human issues I wanted to explore, although that also HAD to include war crimes else it wouldn’t be an honest accounting.
      The wildlife and environmental side of things has a downside as well, but was much easier to cover as it’s so fascinating, and filling the gaps in between with folklore and anecdotal tall tales I hope means that there’s something for most readers to get pulled into, whatever their usual reading preferences. I hope you enjoy YOUR experience of my Safari! 😀

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