Interview with historical novelist Malcolm Colley

Today’s
special guest is Malcolm Colley. We’re
chatting about his new adventure/historical fiction novel, Gideon: The Boer Blood.

Bio:
Malcolm
Colley was born in South Africa in 1942 and spent his teens of the 1950’s
on a small farm just outside Naboomspruit in the Northern Province of South
Africa, during which time he came to love the sounds, smells and sights of the
bush.

Malcolm did
his basic training with 1st Special Service Battalion in Bloemfontein and has
happy memories of army life in the bush. He also spent twenty-five years
training in martial arts. During his work in a steel mill and underground in a
diamond mine, he yearned to be back in the bush and although his profession was
Project Manager, his love of the bush remained.

It was
during this time that the in-depth research into his first novel – Zachariah:
The Boer Diamond – began. After a successful publishing, the research for the
second work began. This, book number five, follows Gideon accused with the
robbery of gold meant for payment of arms and ammunition for the Boer
commandoes.

Malcolm
now lives with his wife, Lorraine, in Horsham, England when not travelling back
to South Africa as an excuse for research on his next book.

Welcome, Malcom. Please tell
us a little bit about your latest release.
By 1902 the
British war against South Africa, the so called “Boer War” was over. Paul
Kruger, attempted to negotiate a deal with Holland and Germany for arms and
ammunition in exchange for gold. The arms and ammunition reached the port of
Lorenco Marques but the gold, sent by Kruger, went missing.
Into this
chaos of the aftermath of the war, with men, woman and children trying to make
it back to the farms, Gideon Barron, an Irishman born in South Africa is
accused of helping to steal the gold. Wounded, he escapes but is followed and
hunted by his fellow Boers for treason.
What inspired you to
write this book?
The
disappearance of Kruger’s gold has always intrigued me. There are many stories,
myths and legends about the whereabouts of this treasure. In this work of
fiction adventure, I have put forward one possibility. I grew up in this area
amongst these people whose stories to their grandchildren in the lamplight
around the kitchen table, tell of the gold that may have changed the course of
the war, told with the bitterness against the English.
Excerpt from Gideon: The Boer Blood:
The eagle
perched on the rock right at the top of the kopje and surveyed the horizon. It
was the beginning of summer and, even this late in the evening, it was still
hot. He was looking east and so had the setting sun at his back. He cocked his
head left and right and the back again and ruffled his feathers.
The small
dust cloud had been moving in his direction for a few hours now. With his
excellent vision he could see that it was a man on a horse. The eagle cocked
his head sideways. This man was sitting at an angle. The eagle had seen this
way of sitting before and knew that this man wasn’t going to reach this kopje
before he fell off. He could see the blood. Blood caked the front of his shirt
and had pooled and coagulated around his belt. Blood excited him and he watched
with interest. He didn’t eat humans nor did he eat dead animals but anything
dying interested him.

The eagle
dropped forward off the rock, dived for a few seconds and then opened his wings
to catch the upward current to take him to five thousand feet. Not that he knew
that it was five thousand feet but he knew what his ultimate hunting height
was. He banked on the thermal and looked down on the rider. The rider was
laying forward on the horse now.
What exciting story are
you working on next?
My next
book is the story of a young man who must come to terms with the fact that, if
he is to save his marriage he needs to give up the working life that he loves
as a mercenary. The story takes place in Africa in the 1980’s.
When did you first
consider yourself a writer?
I don’t consider
myself a writer but a story teller. I wrote my first book about thirty years
ago but never got around to publishing it. It is only since I retired that I
have been writing full time. My day is taken up with reading for research,
which sometimes turns to reading for pleasure when I suddenly come across
something interesting, and then fitting the research into a story.
Anything else you’d like
to share with the readers?
I spent my
teens of the 1950’s on a small farm just outside Naboomspruit in the Northern
Province of South Africa, during which time I came to love the sounds, smells
and sights of the bush. I did my army basic training with 1st
Special Service Battalion in Bloemfontein and have happy memories of army life
in the bush. I also spent twenty-five years training in the martial arts.
During my work in a steel mill and underground in a diamond mine, I always
yearned to be back in the bush.
Links:

Thanks for joining me today, Malcolm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *