I have some good news from Amazon on two fronts and wanted to update everyone on my Africa book and my maritime work.
In the process, I’ll also be updating my contact lists, so if you’d like to continue to receive updates on my work, please do opt in.
Here’s the good news:
First, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you now can read Man-Eaters of Eden in its Kindle edition at no charge by “borrowing” it from the Kindle library.
Also, Audible.com is publishing the audio-book version of the book now. You can order it on Amazon, Audible.com or the iTunes store.
It’s a good book — and one that is important, I think, for anyone who cares about conservation and how it really works — and sometimes does not — when wildlife and poor people meet. I found it to be one of my most important investigative projects — and perhaps my least well known.
Just beyond the Disney documentaries and the National Geographic photo spreads, a daily drama plays out in South Africa’s Kruger National Park — and also in the mud hut bush areas of Tanzania.
Tourists own the day time and watch in amazement as the great animals of Africa go about their lives. It is not unusual in a single day for a Kruger tourists to sight the Big Five.
But at night, a different story unfolds. Lions, docile and sleepy in day time, go on the hunt at night. And from Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well, refugees try to find their way through the park — and a better way of life.
It is a bit like our border with Mexico — if the border were patrolled by man-eaters. Because that is what many of the lions have become. Immigration policies begun under apartheid forced refugees through the park at night, which triggered the man-eating behavior in lions. Years after apartheid’s passing, many of the policies continue — as does the human tragedy.
It is not a small numbers situation. Simple math and biomass equations show that thousands of refugees have been killed. The Park officials even acknowledge it and confess they feel helpless to control it.
Still, there are a few leaders with some ideas that seem to be working. But the challenge to conservationists and environmentalists is real and remains: How doe we balance the preservation of our wildlife and the sanctity of human life? At what point, if any, ever is there a balance?
On the maritime front, I’m working to convert Until the Sea Shall Free Them into an audio book, with Two Tankers Down to follow on soon, I hope. Amazon has an interesting program where authors can collaborate with talented narrators and split the royalties. I’m giving it a try and hope it works.
I continue to research the story of the American merchant ship that shot it out with a German “Raider” — a cruiser disguised as a neutral merchant ship and am looking at a “sit down” time — when I can seriously take typewriter to paper, electronic versions of course.
And for those who of you who want to see some of my collected work, there’s always “I Covered the Waterfront,” my collection of articles written while maritime writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
I’ve also dabbled in Kindle Select publishing of other stories. See Stalking The Spirit Lions of Tanzania for more lion adventures. And The Magical Man-Eaters of Tanzania and Other Stories for a collection of outdoor, travel and auto stories.
I hope this note finds you in good health. Please do hit the “sign-up” button to continue receiving my blogs. They will be infrequent and I hope entertaining. Always, I want them to be welcome.