Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Check this oke...

Which, for the Australians among us, means have a butcher's at this bloke.

You (like me) may have had photos of this man emailed to you. I get a bit of a laugh when it happens to me... people telling me how amazing this guy is, and the incredible gift he has for working with lions, etc etc etc...

Why do I chortle, Legion of Fans (LOF)? I'll tell you why... BECAUSE HE AND I RECENTLY WROTE HIS LIFE STORY!

The man in the picture, known to millions around the world via the magic of the internet as the "Lion Whisperer" is, in fact, Kevin Richardson, of Johannesburg and he is a damn fine fellow (or Lekker Oke to the rest of you).

I was lucky enough to receive a commission from St Martin's Press in the United States (affiliates of my very good friends Pan Macmillan Australia) to co-author Kevin's autobiography. Kevin and I got together at The Kingdom of the White Lion, where he lives, north of Johannesburg last August. I interviewed him for a week and the rest, as you will soon find out, is history.

Kevin's story, "PART OF THE PRIDE - MY LIFE AMONG THE BIG CATS OF AFRICA, By Kevin Richardson with Tony Park" is being released in the US and A this September.

And now for the late breaking news... My very good friends at Pan Macmillan Australia have decided to publish it here, downunder, around the same time!

This means that y'all in Australia (and, I'm hoping, South Africa) will be able to purchase the book from local booksellers.

I am bound by an oath of secrecy (and the need to spin this news out for several months) to not reveal any stories from the book, but no doubt that will change in time.

Does he have a secret gift? Is he really "the Lion Whisperer"? Or is he really just a naughty boy? You'll have to wait until September to read the book.

Bottom line is, he's a great guy and it knocked my thongs off seeing the way he interacts with his lions, hyenas, and many other predators.

Have you had Kevin in your inbox?


dozycow said...

Yes I have, I am one of those who sent the article for you to chortle over.

It is wonderful news that his book is to be released here too - you can definitely count on me buying it as soon at it's released !!

Lion Whisperer said...

Well, well, well Tony, I never thought I would write anything on a blog! But yours is sooooo inviting! I'm so glad the book is coming to Australia and yes, it would be fantastic if it could get published here in SA! Thanks for writing my biography and I must just say, I finished "Silent Predator" and found it a brilliant read! That's saying something from someone who has little time to read these days! All the best Kevin R

ali g said...

Lt/Cnl was here tonight for tea and we brought up Kevin's interview on the New York Today show of MSNBC "The man who swims with Lions".
Just amazing the relationship Kevin has with those big cats.
Looking forward to the read!
Got signs on the back of our cars saying "Real Men Like Cats"
Kevin needs one reading
"Real Men Like BIG Cats"
or maybe "Big Cats Really Like Kevin"
Well done Kevin & Tony!

Grahame & Kate

Herr Doktor said...

Tony / Kevin
Look forward to the book coming out! Looks great

Hecate said...

Yup, I got these from several friends, and had fun making up Lol-cat type captions..."Smile, darling, the photographers from Hello Magazine are here"; "Always wash your food before eating it"; "I baptise this chile in the name of the Lawd"; "You still smell, I'm going to have to dunk you again..."

Nice blog. Is it designed by Jenni Baxter, by any chance?

Trin said...

Kevin hasn't been in my in box but he's definitely going to be now - looking forward to the release of his book - and yours. Will do a little research before work. Welcome aboard Lion Whisperer.

When do they announce results of SA blogs?

tonypark said...

Thanks all, and welcome Hecate and Kev the famous Lion Whisperer (and I am honoured, because I know how you feel about blogs!).

Hecate, no, it's not designed by Jenni Baxter, this blog is straight out of the blogger template box, although when he first set it up for me, my web guru The Barman had a nice leopard print backdrop, which I'd like to resurrect one day.

Voting ended last night, Trin, so fingers crossed (or thumbs held as the South Africans would say), I may yet be famous.

Thanks again to all who voted.

TIS said...

The book looks fab – will definitely be grabbing a copy when it comes out. Oh and can’t wait til your new book is out too TP.

Trin said...

Message for Dozy (sorry Tony and others) - my email is down until I re-instal Microsoft Office, which wont be before the weekend - so I'll email you after I've done it - apologies for my non-responsiveness.

Ken-LW - checked you out on a few internet sites - can't wait for the book to be out. Do you accept visitors of the general public variety?

TP - hope you win. Could you possibly include some phonetics(?) with the harder SA words/places so the likes of me don't have to try and work out how to pronounce them?
I am not really demanding, just interested!!!

dozycow said...

Trin : no worries, been having internet problems here too (offline for best part of a week). Keep watch for the postie, there's anoher book heading your way.

Timepilot : apparently neither Blood Ivory, nor A Game Ranger Remembers has been released in Oz, I'm now trying to locate a copy of each online.

Tony : I hope the results for the SA Blogs Awards show you to have won !!
Please let us all know when you find out....

There are some wonderful videos of the Lion Whisperer on YouTube - I had a hard time getting back to work they are so breathtaking to watch.
Well done (and welcome) Kevin !!

Trin said...

I have always loved lions but what magnificent and truly beautiful animals Kevin has. There's nothing like seeing an animal in its absolute prime condition. Such beautiful faces - and the manes!!!And how glorious are the white lions? I've seen white tigers before, but not lions - AWESOME, AWESOM, AWESOME. A full blown documentary would be a FANTASTIC follow up on the book!

tonypark said...

Hi Trin,

Yep, Kevin keeps all his animals in tip top condition. If they even get a tick he removes it by hand (not too many lion keepers can do that!).

He's actually made a few documentaries, including one called Dangerous Companions that deals with all his animals acquaintances.

He's just finished work on a movie, called "White Lion". It's actually full length feature movie, with a story, in which the lions and other animals are the "actors". Looking forward to its release some time later this year.

Not sure if Dangerous Companions is available in Oz but there are clips from it on Youtube.

Thanks again, all, for the votes in the SA Blog Awards. REsults should be out this weekend.

Timepilot said...

Dozycow, the offer still stands re: A Game Ranger Remembers.

Blood Ivory I got originally from the local library. You could try Borders bookstore - they will probably get it in for you.

TP, they are good documentaries. Enjoyed watching them.

Helen said...

congrats on book...looks fab.

Trin said...

Hi TP,

Thanks for the info - more stuff to look for!~!!! What did I do before I stumbled upon your first (for me) book??? Life must have been soooooooooo dull.

I think over the last few days I have seen every footage available on You Tube (new experience - haven't been there before) re lions, cheetahs (of course) and am now into elephants....must go, more viewing of the armchair variety to do and maybe I'll have time to start Hold My Hand... this weekend thanks to Doz!!

dozycow said...

TP : I hope "White Lion" is released over here - please let us know when/if it happens.
I am definitely going to check out "Dangerous Companions" asap.

Timepilot : Thank you so much !! Please can I take you up on your very kind offer on "A Game Ranger Remembers" if it's not too much trouble ?
I was told "Blood Ivory" hasn't been released in Oz so it's great to know that I might be able to get a copy through the local library - thank you for the tip !

Flea said...

Yes he's been to my inbox :-)

Looking fw to the books.
Blogging took a back seat for a while but slowly up and running again.