Sunday, 22 September 2019
In the news! My writing process... and thanks for helping us cross the 60% line!
Hi folks! Into the Mouth of the Lion is in the news this week! Well, the local news, thanks to my friend the journalist Mercury Man; he wrote up our interview last week for his blog on the website 853, dedicated to public interest journalism and cultural stories for Greenwich and SE London. He asked interesting questions about my writing process, and got me thinking through where the book came from.
As I said to Mercury Man, I worked in Angola at the time the book is set, 2002. It was such a dramatic time. I was serving as a writer and photographer for a humanitarian NGO, focussed on water and sanitation.
Although I had read a lot and was prepared, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. The landscape was so striking, with destroyed buildings and the risk of landmines everywhere, and people’s stories were so incredible. I took hundreds of photographs and filled many notebooks with interviews.
As is the case for many of you who work in this field, I had experiences with the humanitarian work that didn’t fit into my everyday life: flying in bullet-ridden planes, interviewing refugee women and children, trying to understand the underlying dynamics of conflict. It was difficult to describe it to people in my normal life. I did the reporting that was needed for work, but somewhere deep inside I knew that I would need to process the work later, in my own way.
In recent years I started looking again at my old photographs and notebooks, as I began to make sense of my experiences... and the novel you will have in your hands is part of that.
So thank you, again, for your support of my novel and this crowdfunding project. We are 62% there -- over halfway -- and it is really going to happen, I can feel it! Please do tell friends, colleagues and family about it, and with any luck we will reach our goal soon. I couldn't do it without you, and I am so appreciative that you want to be part of it.
On Monday this week, I recorded some thoughts about writing, optimism and determination on a podcast that should be out in November. I also am due to interviewed on local radio on the weekend. It's really fun talking to people about my work, and hearing from friends and colleagues all over the world. I've had emails and messages from as far away as Tennessee to East Timor, and everywhere in between. That's one of the main reasons that makes crowdfunding worth the effort!
PS if you want to read the full interview, check out Mercury Man's blog: https://853.london/2019/09/22/mercury-man-the-se-london-author-with-stories-from-africa/