My answers to Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book? I am working on a great new Africa story, but it’s early days and I don’t want to jinx it, so I’ll answer questions about my previous book, The Last Resort.
Where did the idea come from for the book? It landed in my lap. I’m a journalist and my parents were kind enough to find themselves on the frontlines of a small war. Thanks Mom and Dad.
What genre does your book fall under?: Narrative non-fiction. It’s part memoir, part travel book, part reportage. I like to think it’s also a real-life thriller.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? The book has been bought by the BBC and they’ve done a terrific script. It’s not green-lit yet, but I would like Mom: Helen Mirren. (She wants Meryl.) Dad: Anthony Hopkins or Tom Wilkinson. Me: hmmm…Has done Gosling done an African accent? Or Dan Stevens who was just killed off in Downton Abby so he must have time on his hands. Plus he reads books.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A testament to love, perseverance, resilience and brothel management.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Published already by Crown (US); Short Books (UK), Jonathan Ball (SA)
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 12 months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I was inspired by books by Laurie Lee (As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning), Graham Greene (Scoop, Power and the Glory, The Comedians), J.R. Moehringer’s The Tender Bar, and Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan. It bears little resemblance to any of these books.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? See question two. Also, I found all the horrific news stories coming out of Zimbabwe missed the amazing characters and absurdities of the country.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s got guns, drugs, prostitutes, diamonds, gangsters, priests, frogs and a cookbook called Recipes for Disaster. And that’s only in my parents’ home.