No, I’m not referring to the holidays, although I am celebrating those as I’m sure everyone is.
I finished my manuscript this holiday week as Thanksgiving approached. What a ride it has been. This particular book was inspired by my wife and son. My wife’s favorite author is Stephen King (go figure). She loves his books so much I make sure to buy them for her whenever they come out. You could say it’s been easy deciding what to get her for her birthday, even.
My son read the first manuscript of this story, set in 1953
during the golden age of African Safari.
The plot: A white hunter known as Big Jim faces off with a mystical creature summoned by a witch doctor, called a Jabilo. This Jabilo seeks revenge against those doubting his black magic. He is angered with villagers turning to professional white hunters for help against troublesome elephant, hyena, lion, and other animals that destroy their crops and kill women and children. In the past the villagers believed the Jabilo could drive away these animals with his magic. When the white hunters came things changed for the Jabilo. Their guns vs. his spells were no match, and soon the villagers turned to Big Jim for everything. In desperate attempt to regain confidence and prestige, the Jabilo summons the Mnyama, or beast, to destroy the white hunters. Thus begins the most dangerous hunting safari for Big Jim. He must defeat the beast, or die in the African bush.
I shelved this manuscript in 2004 right before our family trip to the Grand Canyon, and now that my two books, The Sandman and Who’s Minding the Store have been released, went to work on this again in October of 2012. I’ve read several books on the subject of professional hunting and how this way of life has practically disappeared today. It has been an exciting experience for me. The research on life in Africa during this time is fascinating. I've expanded my story to include keen details on its people, the animals, and the history of safari-life. This will be my third published book, and a very appropriate one seeing how it combines adventure, action, suspense, and mystery. Those combinations have been my favorite books to read and write about.
Now comes the editing stage. But first, I’m going to let my son read this rough draft version for his insight. Although family, I know he will give me important feedback so when the final version is ready for print, readers will have the best version possible.
Keep on reading!