Jamai Dlamini has lived a life of isolation in her own community. She has a gift she doesn’t understand and can’t control. Forces with sinister intentions have set their sights on her, including a disembodied spirit who understands her situation all too well. As events in her life spin out of control, even her best friend Youssou is drawn into the net tightening round her. Along the way she finds unexpected allies among the living…and the dead.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've had the basics of this story in my head for years. In the course of my research I've discovered that 99.999 percent of what we believe about Africa to be wrong. The more I delved into the culture, the more I fell in love with her.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
One roadblock in my character's development was a serious lack in my character, I suppose; I'd never been in love. Then I met my future wife Roberta, and, really, quite coincidentally, found her situation remarkably like my character Jamai's, with the added bonus that Roberta has been a survivor. Knowing her has helped ground Jamai as a person
My first memories were of water, all warm and clingy, with a steady thrum-thrum as of a drum. I also remember a song whispered by an angel. What the words were I couldn't recall, other than one that was repeated over and over: e-ay-as. No, that wasn't exactly what it was. Time blurs all things.
I was torn from this snuggly cocoon into a world of insects and light, screeching birds and shrieking winds. But again that angel trilled a song for my ears alone, and the word would come: e-ay-as, e-ay-as.
Mama died shortly after my delivery. I'd never seen her face. In my infant memory it'd fuzzy and shadowed, but the song she whispered in the womb and at my birth remains in my mind. On those nights when I lay in Nyoka's embrace I call her voice to mind, and I can pretend it is Mama keeping me safe.
As for that word, I could never find what it meant, not from my father Baba (who vehemently denied all knowledge of it) nor from the East African Community's database, surely the greatest accumulation of facts in all the world. I only discovered the truth about this and many other things on that day when the spirits led me to the temple.
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