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Luangwa River

Luangwa River

Thursday, June 08, 2006

novel publishing

Finally sent my stuff to some publishers, just the first two chapters to two of them and the whole thing to another. Now theres gonna be a three to six month wait, before they decide yes or no. In the meantime Lulu self-publishing is beginning to look quite attractive.

Here is the Official Synopsis if anyone is interested.

Our Unicorn Doesn't Eat Geraniums

Peter Fitt is in his final year of school in England, in the late Sixties. His stepfather gets him a job organising a fish transplant into a border lake in Zambia. His landlady, an active Communist, gives him a Russian contact, who offers help with this development project. Pete dreams of being a one horned eland, a unicorn, fighting a lion. Soon dream and reality merge when he rescues his girlfriend from a lion attack, a zoo escapee. They are riding with a Hunt, and Peter follows the lion with some of the foxhounds.
Pete is taken hostage in a plane hijack enroute to Africa. He extricates himself with help from some mercenaries, in the Congo. His abductor, improbably, survives because of Pete’s actions, and later becomes a dictator.
In Lusaka, Zambia, he recalls a childhood adventure, when he had rescued a baby eland from a mountain fire. The baby eland was hidden by his mother in a clump of wild geraniums, and both Peters, man and beast, react similarly to the scent of geraniums. Early memories are roused in both, in the man usually when he dreams. He identifies himself as a Unicorn, opposed to the Lions, the predators of the world.
Pete takes up the offer of a Russian plane to transport the fish, and thereby is involved in an arms deal. The Russians are supplying both sides in a brewing civil war, stirring up trouble. Pete is involved in skirmishes between the Rhodesians and the Freedom Fighters as he tries to keep the war from spilling across the border into Zambia. He shoots a man in self defence, who turns out to be the brother of his girlfriend, Marjorie.
Marjorie is on her parents’ farm in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, recovering from the lion attack. Pete receives no letters from her, until his English landlady writes to tell him that his buddy, her son Bill, has been hiding them out of jealousy. Bill has attempted suicide, is brain-damaged. Pete is racked by guilt. Not only has he killed a man directly, he now feels responsible for Bill’s action also. He has helped a brutal dictator survive to seize power, and he has helped escalate the war, by involving the Russians in the fish project. All differing degrees of responsibility for deaths. He has also has been unfaithful to his love, Marjorie, when he had thought she no longer felt as he did.
Pete meets her mother and tells her what happened, how he shot her son, tries to apologise.
He is forced to face the realities of war, of death and love, as he tries to follow his own convictions in a dangerous and sometimes chaotic enviroment.
After he begins University in Capetown he takes an opportunity to repatriate a valuable heritage artefact to Zimbabwe, to the Freedom Fighters. During this journey he encounters a mercenary he had previously met in the Congo. This man is now working to organise an amnesty/armistice with some of the Fighters
In Zambia Pete tells of the Russians’ duplicity, and finds a receptive audience among the Freedom Fighters. He is told to go to a farm in Rhodesia and meet some interested parties there. This is Marjorie's family farm, where her father has now become less of a hawk since his son’s death. Unknown to the protagonist, his ‘alter ego’, the one-horned eland, lives on this farm, brought there by Marjorie’s grandfather as a baby.
A hard line guerrilla leader attempts to stop the amnesty/surrender, and is defeated by both Peters together. Marjorie and he are reunited. The amnesty is a success, the destiny of the country is changed to a less polarised, destructive path.
I feel this will appeal to a general audience, though the age of the protagonist may also strike a chord with young adults.

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