My friend Don has his first book out today! I can say from experience that book launch day is an awesome day–but there’s nothing like the release of your very first book. After years of struggle and hard work (and I know Don–he’s worked hard at this for awhile), to see your book finally in print is SO MUCH FUN. Anyway, I asked him to come onto the blog and tell you a little about his book, The Ghost of Africa. Here’s the interview:
Don, for readers who don’t know you tell us what you do and what drives you. Actually, inform me too. I mainly know you as the guy who likes to walk around writer’s conferences acting like you know what you’re doing. It’s why we get along so well.
For the past eight years I’ve worked to provide aid in Africa by offering medical care to the poor. As a physician, I’ve felt the deep desire to make a difference where it really matters instead of just living out the American dream of wealth and prosperity. God has given me the ability to go, the knowledge to help, and the privilege of allowing me to be a part of easing the suffering.
I’m the father of three, grandfather of five, and love my family more than anything. My favorite thing to do is spend time with them in between writing and traveling to Africa.
Can you tell us a little about what your book is about? I, for one, thought it was actually about ghosts. It isn’t.
The Ghost of Africa is the story of New York City surgeon Paul Branson and his wife, Nicki, who had a dream. They wanted to help the poorest people of the African bush.
After Nicki’s untimely death, Paul decides to honor her memory and carry on alone. In South Sudan, he channels grief into hope, caring for villagers and working to save Leza, a little girl with leukemia who has captured his heart.
Meanwhile, Jason Quinn, terrorist leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, the LRA, has deadly plans for the people of South Sudan. But he needs information to carry out his plot — information from research Paul did for the US government years ago.
Quinn will stop at nothing to obtain this secret intelligence, even kidnap a dying child. Now, in order to save the ailing Leza and stop genocide, Paul must go beyond his medical training to journey into a world of brutal terrorism and global intrigue.
With only instinct and his faith as guides, how far will he go to save the lives of thousands?
It sounds very interesting. I know you also lost your wife eight years ago. Are there many similarities between your life and the book?
Paul Branson has similar struggles to those I’ve had in the past, including understanding why God would allow such wonderful wives to be taken early in life, and feeling out of touch with the rest of the world—almost as if you’re alone and no one else understands. Even though that isn’t true, it can feel like it sometimes. So there’s a journey of realizing what you’ve known all along—God is sovereign. He doesn’t owe any of us an explanation for His actions. He’s God. He does nothing without great purpose.
As an author, I understand the value of research, even though I hate to do it and try not to all that much. Did you have to do any since you’ve been there so many times?
Actually I did. I called in a few favors and had several Army Special Forces troops accompany me to the area for technical advice, and also landed a twelve-seater airplane in a rather precarious area to be sure it could actually take place. This occurs in Chapter One of the book, so it won’t spoil anything to know it here.
Many weapons are used in the book, and over the years I have become acquainted with all of them.
What would you like your readers to take away from reading The Ghost of Africa? Other than it’s not about ghosts.
It was my desire to place people in the region of Africa where life is destitute and difficult on a day-to-day basis. With that backdrop, I paint a “what if” scenario in the event a militant tyrant joins forces with the Sudanese government and gains millions by upsetting the balance of power and finances in the region. This would require him to perform genocide—something he is capable of doing. The region would never recover, and the results would be felt worldwide.
When I began writing this book, I never expected the attempted genocide to have begun, but even now, the entire region has entered another era of war.
Thank you, Don. You’re a good guy. Now, how will readers be able to get their own copy of The Ghost of Africa?
The book is available on Amazon now at: http://amzn.to/1S1ygmm
For more information on Africa and my other books, visit www.donbrobst.com
Thank you very much for interviewing me.