December 21, 2008

Eland Dance will be the title

Here is a synopsis of the novel
Peter Fitt is forced to face the realities of the Sixties in Central Africa. In the Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe greed and corruption fuel the growing turmoil. “Make Love not War” and “Peace and Love” are mantras often spoken, but rarely practised. Major forces are self-interest and each individual’s ideology. Red Communists, the Green agrarian Revolution, and the pervasive White Man’s way all have their partisans.
Old African beliefs about healing medicine and spirit powers come to the fore. A medicinal concoction should have three major parts, red, green, and white, to be fully effective, he learns.
Pete identifies with the spiritual herbivores of the world, the eland in San tradition, or unicorn in European mythology, against the predators, the exploiters, the lions. He is a defender, not an aggressor.
He helps with a development project in Zambia. In this he uses a Soviet aeroplane to transport fish to a lake straddling the southern border. The Russians take this opportunity to supply arms to the Rhodesian regime. While they claim to be peace lovers, in fact the Communists try to escalate the civil war, in order to assist their cadres into positions of power in the future Zimbabwe. Shit rises to the top when stirred. Thus they supply arms to both sides.
Pete shoots his girlfriend’s brother when he tries to prevent a gunfight between now well armed Rhodesian and Zimbabwean forces. Pete realises his culpability in this and other events. He can’t stop the war, or corruption and selfish power seeking, he can only look around for opportunities to assist others against these, and to influence the outcome of the war.
He helps to expose a Revolutionary, Bad Boy, who illicitly sells arms and ivory. This man is forced to go into Rhodesia on active service, which he has avoided. He is captured and jailed. Pete meets Marjorie’s mother and brother, and must try to explain and apologise
Later, Pete realises that those sitting out the war in captivity may become a large part of any new regime, while idealists who continue to fight on the front lines suffer high mortality. He helps with an amnesty/surrender deal between the Rhodesians and the Freedom Fighters. Pete is able to persuade some leaders that this is a good idea
Pete meets his spiritual other half, a one horned eland he had rescued from a fire years before, and is reunited with Marjorie. Despite the intervention of Bad Boy, the amnesty is a success.

December 20, 2008


I have joined Facebook and also begun a Fan Page there. This is to build a Web Presence, which apparently is good for prospective book or ebook sales - readers and publishers can find your stuff more easily.

December 19, 2008

Short Story

Things are rolling. This morning I got an e-mail from "Joyful" magazine telling me they like Sunbird, and it will appear in their March 09 issue. They will pay, I think very little, since they asked for my Paypal details.
I have been sending stuff out quite busily the past couple of weeks, in the hope that a publishing history with any type of online or print magazine will help convince publishers to take my novel. Some accept reprints, which means I can submit stories from Heavy and Light Tales.
The other thing I have been busy with is investigating E-book readers and download sales for them. Kindle is only available from Amazon USA, and to sell downloads for it you need a US address, bank account and IRS tax number. Not just yet.

December 18, 2008


Yup, it is official. I am now a Published Poet. Sent in something I wrote way back in 06, to Willows Wept Review, and they like it.
I have sent stories out to several magazines, but the best response so far has been an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train, for my entry to their Fiction Open competition. In the Valley is 9,000+ words, which is an awkward length, a long short story but not yet a novella.
Perhaps that will be the start of my second novel. Oh yes, the first is pretty much complete, but it would be better to send it out to publishers with some kind of publishing history, hence the push to get stories out there.
The title is Eland Dances-- you will have to read it to see why.