I was born in Zambia and raised in Malawi – a country known as the Warm Heart of Africa but made famous as the place where Madonna finds her children. At 14 I moved from the warm heart of Africa to the cold lungs of Edinburgh, where I discovered the true meaning of the term ‘culture shock’. After Edinburgh I studied history at Cambridge. Then off to London where, before I had time to find a career, a career in communications found me. In my search to return to warmer weather, I moved to beautiful New Zealand in 2003, where I have lived ever since with my wife and two children. Except for 2014 where I moved to France and divided my time very unevenly between cat-sitting and writing my second book. The cat just about survived - sorry Molly! - and I finished my second book - Please Do Not Disturb. I am now back in New Zealand writing book three.
A funny, disturbing, and deeply affecting novel of power, corruption, and innocence in colonial Africa, by the author of Terms & Conditions.
As the African nation of Bwalo prepares for The Big Day—the only day in the year the ailing King talks to his subjects—we meet five very different people:
Charlie, a curious boy with a dangerous dictaphone habit, eavesdrops on the eccentric guests of the Mirage Hotel.
Sean, an Irishman who’s given his heart (and the best part of his liver) to Bwalo, struggles to write the great African novel—if only his crazed fiancée and fierce thirst would stop distracting him.
Josef, the mythmaker and kingmaker who paved the way for Tafumo’s rise to power, starts to hear the ominous rattle of skeletons in his closet.
Hope, the nurse caring for the king, keeps the old man alive, maintaining the façade of the powerful ruler as she mourns her own broken dreams.
And in the countdown to the Big Day, storm clouds gather as a petty criminal, Jack, smuggles something into Bwalo—specifically to the Mirage Hotel—that will change the lives of all of them forever.