While I continue to work on my Adventure Thrillers such as Cobra Flight, I am also developing some Non-Fiction projects.
In active development now is a quirky, irreverent, and most likely scandalous look at how relief workers and journalists conduct themselves in war zones and humanitarian disaster areas. It also turns a jaundiced and withering eye on the criminals, politicians (often the same people) and the celebrities who make huge money out of human suffering.
I’ll be posting excerpts from my outline as I move ahead with the project.
But keep in mind, this is Non-Fiction and although it may read as Fiction it most certainly is not.
The Disaster Tourist
The Disaster Touristis about the wild and often hallucinogenic world of aid workers and journalists caught in the huge disasters of our time.
It’s about the strange state of frenzied insanity that develops among reporters and relief workers amid death, starvation and mass murder, a state which allows them to always know where to find beer and a good time, even when millions can’t find water.
It’s about how the people who run aid organizations are more concerned about publicity and making money than the lives of their aid workers or the people they are supposed to be helping.
It’s about media bosses in North America, Europe, and Australia being more concerned about the impact and ratings of news coverage than the conditions under which their reporters have to live.
The Disaster Tourist tells how aid groups are more concerned about appearances during a disaster than helping people and how they try to engineer the best coverage possible.
Through a highly personal and controversial style, Rick Grant, tells of his experiences as a foreign correspondent, consultant, and as an aid worker following the Ethiopian civil war, through the fall of Somalia into savagery, and amid the debris left following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the Kosovo War, and many years amid the ruins of Afghanistan.
The Disaster Tourist relates tales of amazing ineptitude by the world’s aid organizations, about senior officials endangering the lives of their field workers, about how combatants in disaster areas now know that the arrival of aid means vast riches for them.
It tells how the world’s media helped to create the debacle that led to the death of US troops in Mogadishu and the retreat of the UN Force from Somalia. How senior news anchors such as Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel, and Geraldo Rivera conducted themselves in war zones, sometimes very badly.
It shows how once famous Hollywood celebrities prostitute themselves for media exposure in disaster areas and endanger aid workers doing it. How major aid donors are given free “tours” of disaster areas at the expense of money that could go to famine victims.
It contains accounts of aid workers dealing in the black markets of Bosnia Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries. How one United Nations worker looted museum artifacts, how another bought automatic rifles for sale back in the United States, how a major aid organization fed its workers on looted food and used looted equipment.
It’s about the vast drug trade that fuels the Somali civil war, the mafia operations in Bosnia, how the people of Sarajevo had to survive both the shelling and their own criminals.
The Disaster Tourist is about what it is really like to live and work in a disaster area and how knowing where to find the beer is sometimes more important than worrying about the dying.
I don’t have a tentative publication date yet. That depends on how some of my Adventure Thriller novels in the pipeline go but I hope to get it out in eBook form in time for Xmas 2018 and in paperback and audiobook shortly after.
In the meantime, if you wish to keep abreast of this and other projects then why not sign up for the newsletter through the link in the main menu at the top of the page.
Cobra Flight will be 75% Off at Amazon for all of you who use Kindle eBook readers. It will remain at $1.25 US until late Sunday March 11 when it will revert.
This, and the earlier announced sale of 75% Off at Smashwords for those who use Kobo, Nook, and just about all non-Amazon Kindle readers, is partial penance for having inflicted a first edition on the world with typographical errors.
If you want the details of that horrid little episode just read back a few entries.
The link to the ePub (Kobo, Nook, etc) version — Smashwords
Here is what he had to say on his blog today . . .
“There’s always a great feeling when you open the padded envelope from your publisher and you hold your new book in your hands for the first time. Then you part the covers and invariably it falls open at a random page, and there, mid-way through paragraph two, you’ve written ‘it’s’ for ‘its’, or spelled arpeggio with one ‘g’. It’s at that stage that you spot the colour plate where captions have been reversed, or worse, duplicated: so that a fine Georgian terrace in Bath is described as ‘A limestone cliff in the Vale of Pewsey’. The inevitable result is depression ( . . .)”
Although I would like to believe that I have finally killed all of the typographic errors in Cobra Flight, I have a lurking trepidation that they scurry still through the manuscript.
Today, I caught what I believe was the last of them and then started uploading the corrected files to the various book distributors. And of course, nothing in this benighted universe ever seems to work quite right.
After uploading to the likes of Amazon, Kobo, Apple and the many others wouldn’t you know it that I found one last little bastard just as the last of the files were sent.
It took another hour to correct the damn thing and then re-upload everything.
I take solace from what happened when a new edition of the Bible was printed in 1631. It is said to be the most infamous typographic error in history. I don’t need to explain, just have a look at how the Ten Commandments turned out.
These days in journalism there is much complaining about how publishers are firing editors and proofreaders in order to increase profits. And with those complaints come the inevitable moans about how things were much better in the Olde Days.
Well that’s not a new thing. It turns out that after the disaster of the Wicked Bible the Archbishop of Canterbury had this little rant . . .
“I knew the time when great care was had about printing, the Bibles especially, good compositors and the best correctors were gotten being grave and learned men, the paper and the letter rare, and faire every way of the best, but now the paper is nought, the composers boys, and the correctors unlearned.”
Final Note. Sod’s Law dictates that despite my care in writing and the use of a spell checker, there will be a typo in this post.