Step Out on the Journey

The childhood ordeal of tragic Biafran war orphan, Teresa Olatunde, is the fateful catalyst for the savage events at the heart of Milele Safari
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.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love to hear your comments and queries!