Today I’m delighted to welcome Chris Muir to the blog. Chris is here to introduce his new book, A Savage Garden. Welcome Chris.
1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.
TITLE: A SAVAGE GARDEN
AUTHOR: CHRIS MUIR
PUBLISHER: RANDOM HOUSE –BANTAM IMPRINT
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 4TH 2014
2. Why did you write the book?
In many ways it was a book that had to be written. Africa is a very easy place to fall in love with, but it’s also very easy to hate the wars, corruption, greed and violence that’s endemic right across Central Africa and more particularly in the lawless wilds of Democratic Republic of the Congo where A Savage Garden is set. I’ve been there many times. I’ve seen what goes on. The world had to know, but for the most part there’s a great deal of apathy about Africa so I’ve wrapped up a very important subject in an adventure thriller. I hope readers will find it thought-provoking as well as entertaining.
3. How long from idea to publication?
The first draft was written 7 years ago when the Congo was having its first democratic election in over 40 years. It looked like a glimmer of hope…it wasn’t. 21 rewrites and 2.1million words later I had a 90,000 word version that my agent, Jenny Darling, was able to sell to Random House….so to answer your question, it’s been 7 years from idea to publication.
4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
Writing it was the easy part. I knew my subject intimately, I had authentic situations based on fact, and if I do say so myself the writing wasn’t too bad, but getting the deal was the hard part. I guess for a first time author it always is.
5. Coolest thing about your book?
There’s nothing quite like when your publisher hands you the first copy. You forget about all the hard work and when no one is looking you stroke that 354 pages like it was a new born child.
6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
This whole exercise has been an amazing lesson in patience, faith and perseverance and hoping that if I keep at it one day someone would say…hey, this is pretty good. Fortunately they did.
7. What did you do celebrate the release?
There’s a launch party on February 11th where I’ll celebrate with 150 family and friends but the real celebration is inside my head. When Jenny Darling rang me and told me about the deal she thought that I would be excited, and I was, but mostly I felt an enormous sense of relief. I’d been waiting so long for it to happen. I knew it would and it had. I’ll celebrate when the sales figures come in and by writing another book.
8. And how will you promote the book?
The publicity people at Random House and right behind this but first timers always have a hard road to hoe. I’ll be using social media, launches, library tours, media interviews and point-of-sale.
9. What are you working on next?
My next book is another adventure thriller set in Somalia. Let me tell you, Somalia is one scary place…it’s no wonder that it has been dubbed ‘the most dangerous country on the planet’.
10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
At the Random House website here
Congratulations Chris, and thanks for dropping by.
A Savage Garden is available now in good bookstores and online.