Tag Archives: A Novel of Africa

About Facing the Son, a Novel of Africa

1: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I wanted to go back in time to the West Africa I traveled in the early eighties.  It was a different place than today. The risk to white, western, or European travelers was not as pronounced.  The US State Department didn’t warn to stay in the main cities.  Such as it was, I got around without the sense that my mere presence would incite trouble.

Plus I wanted to tell a story about a father trying to find and repair his relationship with his son, a subject close to my heart.

So I set the story in a place and time that was familiar to me, and struggled with a father’s journey not only though the territory but through his own feelings and past behavior.

2: What genre does your book come under?

Let’s say Adventure, or possibly Family Adventure.

3: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I could see Jeff Daniels as Matt, the midwestern father in search of his son.  Maybe Chris Rock as Jean-Louis, the angry concierge.  Mary Steenburgen as Melanie, Matt’s ex-wife, organizing the trip to force the two men in her life to come back together.

4: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Matt Reiser fulfills his ex-wife’s request to travel to west Africa in search of their estranged son, and upon arrival he is drugged, robbed, and left penniless and paperless in an Abidjan slum.

So starts the book and Matt’s journey of discovery.

5: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My book is self-published.  And I plan on self-publishing all my books, even if I get lucky and one turns out to be a hit.  I like the independence.  And I will remain a GREAT fan of all independents.

6: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about eight weeks.  Revision can take me many months more, depending on how much time I have to devote to remake and rework the story, the characters, and the language throughout.  I reworked this story at least a dozen times over the course of eighteen months.

7: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I just wanted to write the kind of book I like to read.  Plus I really missed my son, and writing about those feelings a father has for his son allowed me to feel a little closer to him.

8: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Take a look at the headlines coming out of north Africa.  My characters are amalgams of some of the people I met and got to know over the course of my travels through the territory.  There was always a tremendously strong and prevalent feeling about the former French colonists, and this I noticed and felt constantly.  There was and still is a seething animosity toward that chapter of history.  It’s not surprising to see that historical and cultural resentment flare up as it has recently.

If you’re interested in looking a little bit deeper into the territory through the eyes of fictional characters, then this is the book for you.

Now!  Let’s get to know this great new novelist:

Tom Gething

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FREE Day on Kindle. Sunday, April 15. What You Got to Lose?

Former Number One at Kindle Action and Adventure.

Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa

Free all day Sunday. Load up a great summer read.

The Best Choice in 2012, March 15, 2012 By Cat mom (LI NY) – This book is different from my usual Kindle choices…. It was absolutely outstanding. I found the African setting interesting. The father’s search for his son drove the exciting plot. The novel was worth many stars.*

I loved this book, March 12, 2012 By Jim Brumm – I can’t believe that this wonderful book is as inexpensive as it is. It is a great read of a father’s quest to find his son in Africa to deliver a letter from the boy’s dying mother. But it’s so much more than that. It is a saga of cultures clashing, of regret, redemption, and adventure, all told with great writing. There aren’t enough good books that are set in Africa. This is one of the best. I would have been happy to pay $10 for this book.

Captivating! March 5, 2012 By BookAddict (FL) – I was engrossed in this story from beginning to end. The plot is multi-layered, with mystery, suspense, drama and adventure. The characters are unique and have many dimensions. They made me care and I wanted to crawl inside the story with them. The dialogue is realistic. The ease of the descriptions immersed me in African countries and cultures. I did not simply read this story. I experienced it.


FREE Days on Kindle. Friday, March 30 & Saturday, March 31.

Former Number One at Kindle Action and Adventure.

Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa  Get it here!

FREE Friday and Saturday, March 30 & 31. Load up a great summer read.

The Best Choice in 2012, March 15, 2012 By Cat mom (LI NY) – This book is different from my usual Kindle choices…. It was absolutely outstanding. I found the African setting interesting. The father’s search for his son drove the exciting plot. The novel was worth many stars.*

I loved this book, March 12, 2012 By Jim Brumm – I can’t believe that this wonderful book is as inexpensive as it is. It is a great read of a father’s quest to find his son in Africa to deliver a letter from the boy’s dying mother. But it’s so much more than that. It is a saga of cultures clashing, of regret, redemption, and adventure, all told with great writing. There aren’t enough good books that are set in Africa. This is one of the best. I would have been happy to pay $10 for this book.

Captivating! March 5, 2012 By BookAddict (FL) – I was engrossed in this story from beginning to end. The plot is multi-layered, with mystery, suspense, drama and adventure. The characters are unique and have many dimensions. They made me care and I wanted to crawl inside the story with them. The dialogue is realistic. The ease of the descriptions immersed me in African countries and cultures. I did not simply read this story. I experienced it.


Follower Love Giveaway Hop

A father’s enduring love for his estranged son propels him on a mission to West Africa.

The trip misery piles up but nothing can deter Matt Reiser from finding his son.  Except his son.

Use this code: RD36Z at this site for a free copy of Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa.

Or for a 99 cent copy click Kindle.

Back to the hop here.


Abidjan

By legend, when the first French colonists arrived in the late nineteenth century, they asked a woman what she called her village protected from the sea by a large lagoon. Not understanding the question, the woman replied, “T’chan m’bi djan,” or “I’ve just been cutting leaves.” Those first French settlers, assuming they had been understood, named the region Abidjan.

In 1931 after a wharf was constructed, the population expanded. In 1933 after the settlement was designated the capital of the French colony of Côte d’Ivoire, population grew further. Soon the sleepy backwater became an important outpost. By the 1940’s Abidjan had developed a reputation as a meeting place for smugglers and international spies.

In 1951, the French built the Vridi Canal connecting the Ebrié Lagoon with the ocean, thus establishing Abidjan as a strategic West African port. Before long the town became a city, responsible for nearly half the trade of the region and was nicknamed the Paris of Africa for its skyscrapers, its love of music, fashion, art, and literature, and its burgeoning population of immigrants from its West African neighbors.

The French administration occupied the desirable Plateau section of town where they built their hotels and embassies.  The natives settled near the factories and warehouses in places like Treichville.

Following independence from France in 1960 was a time of great pride and optimism and economic growth throughout the city and the country. By 1979, the agrarian economy was sagging under the combined weight of two devastating droughts in the north, a crushing sovereign debt, and a culture of corruption.


Africa…

… consists of about one fifth of the earth’s land area.  Roughly one billion people live in 62 countries and territories and speak between 2,000 to 3,000 languages, with up to 8,000 dialects.  The earliest humans lived here at least seven million years ago, as did the earliest modern humans, homo sapiens, about 200,000 years ago.

Long after those earliest humans originated in Africa, their European descendants, divided by language, religion, and state, returned by sea.

Over the course of four hundred years the Europeans staked claims and eventually divided control of the continent by drawing lines across the African map, lines that ran through desert, mountain, jungle, and tribe.

When the Europeans eventually returned control of the continent to the natives, they left behind their languages, their religions, and their carelessly drawn borders.

Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa