Monday, May 10, 2010

Forget the book, let's party

Frank Coates (right) and me at Garfish

Yes, I am a terrible blogger and yes, I have been neglecting the blog. But my excuse remains the same, that I am slaving away on the catchily-titled 'BOOK 8'. I'm nearly finished the first draft but by Friday afternoon of last week I must confess I was a bit over it.

So the words of another Australian who writes books about Africa, Mr Frank Coates, seemed even more appropriate than ever. "I'm sick of all this writing stuff - let's party" was the subject line of a recent email Frank sent to me, and last Friday night was time to do just that.

Frank, and I got in touch with each other when we were both invited to go on separate cruises for P&O to talk at their on board Chapters Bookclub. We swapped stories of our experiences via email but hadn't met until last week.

Whereas my books are mostly set in southern Africa, Frank writes books set in East Africa. He lived and worked in Kenya for a while as a telecommunications engineer for the UN.

Frank and his charming partner and the diminutive Mrs Blog and I met up in Manly, at the Manly Wharf hotel and then adjourned across the road for an excellent seafood meal at Garfish. Several drinks were consumed and there was much talk about Africa.

It's hard, sometimes, for me to explain what it is that attracts me to Africa and what I like about writing, so it was good to meet Frank in the flesh at last. We sat there all night nodding at each other's stories and each knowing exactly what the other one was going on about. He's a top bloke and we got on well and are already talking about lunching, which could be dangerous.

You can read more about Frank and his books at his website, Footloose.

In other news, the PR machine at Macmillan is racing along in high gear as we get ready for the release of my new non fiction book, WAR DOGS, which is due out very soon, on June 1. It's the story of an aussie explosive sniffer dog handler, Shane Bryant, who works in Afghanistan.

And I'm just reading through the proof pages of THE DELTA, my new novel, which is due out in Australia in August, and in England in February 2011 (I just had to say that last bit as I am still very chuffed about my UK publishing deal).

What else... um, yes, that's right.. I'm off to Thailand and Cambodia for a week at the end of the month to do some research for my next (Top Secret) non fiction book. Can't say too much at the moment, or I'd have to kill you all, but at least a trip to South East Asia will give me something interesting to blog about.


Cinema and Fiction said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for sharing Frank's website.

Also, thanks for your comment on my blog a while back. :)

All the best for your Asia trip.


DADFAP said...

Tony, I came across a saying once: "am a firm believer, no one can ever spend serious time in Africa and return the same person, if they do, they never saw Africa.."
I guess that about sums it up!

Louise said...

Yum ... Garfish.
Let me know what you think of Robin Hood. I think we'll go see it tomorrow at the Orpheum (our local).
Gold Class is the best though, cause you can get the best icecream sundaes.

tonypark said...

Pretty good, Lou. Cate stole the show. Russ's accent varied from Sean Bean to Sean Connery.

Oddly, the french invaded britain in the olden days, according to this movie, in what looked like leftover wwII landing craft from Saving Private Ryan, painted black and fitted with oars to make them look medieval.


Karen Bessey Pease said...

Tony, Congratulations on your UK book deal! How wonderful! I'm so tickled for you!

Last year I was 'chuffed' (that's a good thing, right?) to have a British agent contact me and ask to represent me in finding a UK publisher for GB... but after 6 months, no luck. (Not "commercial" enough, they said...)

So... I can just imagine your chuffedness!

Go all the way, big guy! We're pulling for you... and I'll be sure to pass your info on to the two people I know in Cornwall and Devon. (You never know... they might pass it on, too!)


Trin said...

Well done on the UK thing Tony. Just read African Lines - sounding better all the time. Shame I cant make this year either - Chile, Peru, UK and Singapore beckon. I can't IMAGINE the research that goes into your books - just the research on a 6 week trip is blowing my mind! Will look out for your books whilst in the UK (and wax lyrical to everyone I come across of course. Hope your safaris are now turning into annual affairs for your LOF, as I will definitely be on one of them as soon as I save the bikkies.
Looking forward to Delta - only 100+ sleeps. Keep safe in Thailand.
Buxxer - I've forgotten my password it's been that long since I amde a comment - try number 5 coming up!

ali g said...

Was getting depressed looking at myself in the mirror until I saw this picture of you two ugly blokes. feeling a lot better about myself now so thanks for that.

Karen Bessey Pease said...

We could have some fun with that one in a photo caption contest, ay, Ali g? Hehhe...

(I think this is where I came in...)