Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first? Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.
The review copies of Bokassa’s Last Apostle arrived on Thursday and half have already been sent out! Watch this space to hear what the great and the good think of my book. Just began an internet raffle to get the message out about the book. I’m asking people to use their social media to widen awareness of the book and to get people reading the sample. Check this link for details. TEN copies must be given away! Plans for a series of videoed readings around London at Pride, including one on Hampstead Heath and another one (or maybe two) in saunas (OK, so I like saunas!). I’ve also just had my book accepted to be read at the Third Unpublished Fiction Writers Open reading 2012, at Wood Green Library on 7th July from 1–4pm. Even though it will be unpublished for not much longer! here’s the link to the details of the event. Catch me on the 7th at the top of the Monument, in the bar at the Wibbley Wobbley Restaurant boat/Bar at Surrey Quays/Greenland Dock, in the Jamaican Café at New Cross Gate and as many other locations as I can fit in! Watch this space and facebook for details!
In my novel, Bokassa’s Last Apostle, the hero, Everton is given an envelope, containing a ring once owned by Emperor Bokassa and what he thinks is a necklace. It turns out to be a ‘grigri’, an African charm to ward off demons. They are sometimes called ‘fetishes’ and typically contain some sort of object to give them their alleged magical power. Pictured above is the Marché des Fétiches in Lomé, Togo, a famous street market, reminiscent of Diagon Alley in a novel by someone or other, I can’t quite remember. (LOL) I’ve encountered one of these myself, when I went with a guy from Sénégal many years ago. A black leather pouch on a thread dangling around his balls. The wearer is sometimes supposed to be invisible, or to have the ability to deflect the path of bullets to escape being shot, but, in return, has to avoid eating certain foods and even to refrain from sexual activity, or the grigri loses its potency.
Researching some of the settings in my book, Bokassa’s Last Apostle, for a planned series of filmed readings, I googled ‘Kudos’, only to find the first hit said ‘Kudos-closed’! Further down the search results I found another entry, stating it had changed to ‘Gilberts Bar’. I visited it on Sunday and the reality is even worse. Whatever it had become, it is now very obviously CLOSED! Asking around at Halfway to Heaven, the nearest gay bar, the barman had no idea what had become of it. I finally got an answer at Old Comptons. It had been off the gaydar ‘for years’. It has clearly been rebranded at least once after becoming ‘Gilberts’, as the building had a sign saying Blitz on the front. Peeking through the door, the inside looked like a bomb had hit it.
Bokassa’s Last Apostle finally makes it into hard copy! I received the printer's proof and signed it off yesterday. Hopefully, by the end of the week the finished review copies should be in my hands!
But it hasn’t been without its difficulties. At the very last minute, I was "lucky" enough to happen across www.londonstreetgangs.com, and an answer to a niggling question: what colour are the bandannas of the ‘Ghetto Boys’? (A street gang in New Cross I have incorporated into my storyline.) Literally at the last miute I was able to get the correct colour written into the text.
The sample opposite can be read by clicking on the cover image.