A journalist by profession, my work includes writing and editing for newspapers, not for profit organisations and businesses.
Australian author Tony Park is currently launching his eighth novel African Dawn at various venues around Australia. Set in Zimbabwe, Park's book focuses on that country's problems as well as some of the stories of hope that emerge even in amongst the doom and gloom.
It's also a gripping novel about three families. Characters include Natalie Bryant, a Zimbabwean-born journalist living currently in Australia, who returns to her birthplace to write a book about her childhood, and when she was kidnapped by guerillas during the war of independence.
Issues raised during the book include land redistribution and rhino poaching and conservation.
The book covers some of Zimbabwe's history over the last 50 years and provided Park with the opportunity to research the historical base of some of the country's deep and complex problems.
Park writes his books while travelling in the locations where his books are based -- he spends six months of each year in southern Africa -- and this book was no exception.
Park, together with his wife Nicola, participate annually in a game census, an activity which is mentioned in the book, and scenes that take place around Lake Kariba were written while Park was staying on a houseboat on the lake. He also visited a rhino breeding ranch in Zimbabwe, where several animals had been poached, and spoke to conservationists and wildlife veterinarians as part of his research into the plight of these animals.
Park says that, as with his previous books, he finds it easier and has the most authentic result when he sets the book where he is based at the time of writing.
This historical saga is a sequel to Park's third book in that it takes up the story of the Bryant and Ngwenya families who were introduced in the book African Sky.
Park says that he never ceases to be amazed and surprised by the good that he sees in people in southern Africa. He hopes that readers of African Dawn will realise that there is hope for Zimbabwe and that the story will put some of the country's issues in perspective. "I hope that people will be inspired by the tales of hope, even while they read about the bad stuff," he says.
Tamworth -- August 6 at 2pm at Tamworth Library (466 Peel St)
Mosman -- August 10 at 7pm at Mosman Library (605 Military Rd). Phone 02 9969 9736/0422 127 401
Castle Hill -- August 11 at 7.30pm at Castle Hill Library (14 Pennant St)
Mudgee -- at the Mudgee Readers' festival on August 20 and 21. Click here for program.
Melbourne -- August 8 at 7pm at Malt Cafe (23 - 35 South Concourse, Beaumaris), hosted by Beaumaris Books (phone 03 9589 4638)
Shepparton -- August 9 at 7pm at The Attik, upstairs at Letizia's Restaurant (67 Fryers St), hosted by Collins Shepparton (phone 03 5831 1161)
Perth -- August 16 at 6.30pm at Joonalup Library (102 Boas Avenue, Joondalup), hosted by Dymocks Joondalup (phone 08 9300 0895)
Perth -- August 17 at 1pm at Mandurah Library (331 Pinjarra Rd, Mandurah)
Perth -- August 17 at 7pm at Hyatt Regency Perth (99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth). Painted Dog Conservation Charity Event. (Contact John Lemon)
Adelaide -- August 18 at 3.30pm Castle Plaza Bookshop, Castle Plaza Shopping Centre (992 South Road, Edwardstow)
Adelaide -- August 18 at 7pm at Marion Cultural Centre (287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park). Contact Jenny Newman (08 8375 6754)