Book Savvy Spotlight on Peter Good
I'm a Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'Ndlovu-The White Elephant'?
I was born in Kenya. Lived in the 'outbacks' of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, before going to Rhodesia in 1958. I joined the BSA Police Force in 1959 - serving till 1967. The book is about a retired ex-police constable, who commits a murder, flees the country, but returned as the leader of a terrorist gang. He is on a diabolical mission, he is wily and ruthless, but he has one fear - a recurring dream in which he is crushed and gored by an elephant, that appears white in colour, and remembers that the police officer that is after him, was given the name NDLOVU - meaning elephant by the local chief as he never forgot a criminal till he caught him.
Q2. When and why did you start writing?
I started in 1998. When my children were growing up, they would ask me to relate to them experiences from my time in the Rhodesian police force, and I would recall some funny and other sad incidents for them. It was my wife Cheryl, who suggested that I put them all together and write a book.
Q3. How long did it take you to write this book?
It took me roughly three years to finish writing the book.
Q4. How much of the book is real? Are the experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well the book is a work of fiction, but loosely based on a true story. The experiences in the book are from events in my own life, and other incidents I heard of, during the years of a 'changing Africa'.
Q5. Does the story in this book reflect what is happening in some parts of the world today?
Very much so. Have you heard of Kony? Recently there was a video on YouTube, it went viral with millions of hits, and comments on Facebook, Twitter and the news, highlighting the plights of millions suffering from the effects of turmoil in Africa at the hands of ruling parties, desperate to retain their powers and positions by any means.
Q6. What do you enjoy most about writing? And the most challenging?
Well, I guess what I enjoyed most was seeing the story coming together and unfolding to a conclusion. The most challenging, I would say would be the research into the surrounds of the area, where the story was set in, so that even small details were correct.
Q7. What are your interests when you are not writing?
Reading. I am a great Wilbur Smith fan. Also spending time with my family, I have 6 sons, and 7 grandchildren.
Q8. What is the first thing you did to promote your book immediately after it was published?
First was to contact the editors of the local newspaper, and local monthly magazine that goes out to the villages surrounding the town. Thankfully they both came out and interviewed me, and both put out a nice write up about me, and my book. I then followed this up by having a book signing at the local Waterstone's book store.
Q9. What are you currently doing to promote your book?
My latest idea was to have a stall at the local village, monthly market. But prior to that I had got my book included on Rhodesians Worldwide; South Africa Militaria and BSA Police Association sites.
Q10. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
I think I would have to say it was the book signing at the local bookshop, which resulted in most of the books being sold in one morning!
Q11. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
To be perfectly honest, I think I must say it's been a 50/50, as to my preference I suppose I would marginally go for online.
Q12. Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
Yes I have used both Facebook and Twitter, as well and LinkedIn and Friends Reunited, and happy to say have had success on all of these.
Q13. Are you concerned about the effect of e-publishing on traditional books?
Not at all. I think that both have their usage and place. I have had quite a few people very happy to hear that my book was available on Kindle, as they were going on holiday, and did not want to cart a book with them.
Q14. What kinds of feed-back have you received from your readers, good and bad?
Thankfully, all those who left a comment on the blog that the publishers had set up for me, were all very good. Also a salesman who was at our home, and who took one of my 'flyers' phoned me to say that he had checked on Amazon, and that my book had received a 4 and 5 star rating by readers, so he was definitely going to buy a book to take on holiday with him, which was nice!
Q15. Is there another book in the pipeline?
Well, yes, strange you should ask, as I have started another. This time it's set in Kenya. I'm thinking of calling it Be-Trey-Al, A slant on the word Betrayal, as it involves the betrayal of each of the three main characters, set around a National Game Park.
Q16. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers or even fellow authors?
Have a clear objective in mind, and don't overlook research.
Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.
*Peter Good was born in Kenya, and later moved to Rhodesia (Now Zimbabwe), where in 1959 he joined the BSA Police Force. He is now retired and lives in the UK.
Peter is the author of 'Ndlovu-The White Elephant'.
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