James Hendry spent ten years working at exclusive lodges in southern Africa. He co-authored the non-fiction bestseller Whatever You Do, Don’t Run (Tafelberg), and wrote A Year in the Wild and its sequel, Back to the Bush: Another Year in the Wild.
The Writers Write ‘Essentially’ Interview With James Hendry
The Book?A Year in the Wild (Macmillan)
The Venues? Leighwood Lodge, Parktown, Johannesburg and Thrupps Centre, Illovo
The Date? 7 October 2011 and 20 June 2012
The Interviewer? Amanda Patterson
Questions and answers
If love were a colour, what colour would it be? Red
What is the colour of anger? Black
What is the colour of money? Green
What is the colour of beauty? Pale Yellow
What is the colour of desire? Scarlet
What is the number you associate with reading? 8
What is the number you associate with writing? 8
What is the number you associate with writing music? 1
What is your favourite number? 7
If your life were a city, what city would it be? Paris
Writing looks like a wilderness
Writing tastes Talisker
Writing smells like Spring
Writing feels like a warm embrace
In your novel…
Where would it shop? Oriental Plaza
Sasekile sounds like tribal drums
Sasekile looks like wilderness
Sasekile smells like Spring
Sasekile tastes like sweet & sour worms
Sasekile feels like the earth
How did you come up with the title of your books?
A Year in the Wild – Perfectly appropriate for the story
Whatever you do, don’t run – A non-fiction book by game rangers and whatever you do…
You have two protagonists in your story…
If Angus were an animal, he would be A lone elephant bull growing up
If Hugh were an animal, he would be A Vervet Monkey
If Angus were a city, he would be a medieval walled city
If Hugh were a city, he would be Cape Town
Why did you choose to write this particular book?
I had so many stories from working in the bush for 10 years. The people I worked with inspired me to write the book. The people I met and their stories needed an outlet somewhere.
I loved it. The challenge was to keep a plotline going instead of merely having a collection of anecdotes. The structure of the story – with the brothers emailing their sister their stories helped sort this out.
- Conduct my own composition with a full symphony orchestra in the open air.
- Write an epic novel .
- Make a lasting contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself through music, writing and film.
About the book…
Angus and Hugh MacNaughton are brothers. They dislike each other … A lot. They have loathed each other since Hugh bit Angus at a family picnic many years ago. In a last-ditch attempt to forge a brotherly bond between the two, Mr and Mrs MacNaughton secure them jobs at an exclusive five-star game lodge. They manage to convince (bribe in the case of Angus) the siblings to work at Sasekile Private Game Lodge for a year.
A Year in the Wild tells the uproarious, cringe-worthy and hilarious tales of Angus and Hugh in the form of weekly emails to their sister Julia. Their experiences include encounters with guests, animals, female staff and often a mixture of these.
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