Thursday, 13 February 2014

Do I want to change the world?

Sounds a bit ambitious! This question was asked at a recent writers' meeting held at Gladstone's Library where most of the Malinding series of books were written. It gave me rather a shock at the time but I've thought about it and I've decided that, yes, I do want to change the world!
Think back to your days at school; the bullies picked on what they thought were differences between children - red hair, perhaps, or perhaps some one who wore glasses or the 'wrong' type of clothes - and made their lives a misery. It occurs to me now that in fact people all over the world have far more in common than is usually thought. My friends of whatever colour or creed want to live in peace, provide their families with a home, enough food, and to manage to keep them healthy and educated. They want to be able to greet each new day with a smile and know where the next meal is coming from.
 It seems that our politicians want something different - power. Yesterday's paper - The Guardian - had a centre-page spread showing that Britain has been at war, somewhere in the world, every year for the last hundred years. Surely that's a record to be ashamed of?
 My books try to show people in my two favourite countries living at peace with one another. 'Empty Bananas' has an old, sad, white man finding love and a reason for living in Malinding village (which, as I often point out, does not exist but it might do!); 'The Mechanical Girl' is a story about an uneducated girl who achieves great things and sets about improving the world in her own way; 'Mussukunda' is a story about a middle-aged, unemployed white woman who changes the world (and her life), by volunteering to work in a refuge for women; 'The Alkalo' is the story of a woman - the lady who married the sad white man mentioned a few lines above - and rises to a position of great responsibility in her village (no prize for guessing the name of the village ...).
 The book I'm working on at the present is intended to show the truth of the saying "for evil to flourish it is only necessary for good men to do nothing" and tells the story of how a tiny nation saves civilisation by acts of kindness. I like my books to have happy endings!
 Rant over. Thanks for putting up with me for so long.
Best wishes,

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