Dying to Live | Michael Stanley

Book Launch | 24 June 2017

Michael Sears came to Life, in a Garden, to chat about the latest book by this writing duo, Dying to Live.  This is the sixth book featuring the redoubtable Kubu.

On replying as to how the duo manages this writing partnership, Mr Sears said that it was a long process to discover a way that worked for both of them and the stories.  Their first book took about three years to reach a point at which both were satisfied and much of the writing done during that period was tossed into the bin!  These days it starts with brainstorming a plot (the main characters are already set) and then a lot of Skype and email until both are happy with the final version.  The plot and supporting characters are not set in stone and often these change as the story progresses.  He noted that this works for them in a way that makes it impossible to ‘hear’ two voices in the story and produces a novel which is better that either could write on their own.  When the first book was published, they were advised to come up with one author name as they were told that sales would be better if they did so – it has worked for them and many others.

Why this setting for the story?

Botswana was chosen as the setting for Detective Kubu because in the first book they needed an out of the way venue, where a body could be tossed out a car and left to be eaten by hyena’s!  They have spent much time travelling the country meeting people and discovering how the systems in the country function.  As Mr Sears noted “It has to be authentic to be believable”.  Using Botswana as the setting has turned out to be a blessing as social issues can be addressed as part of the background of the story.  In the case of Dying to Live, the social theme is bio-piracy and the human theme is greed.

Have I whet your appetite for this book yet?  If not, here is the ‘blurb’ from Amazon.com for this book:

A Bushman is discovered dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Although the man looks old enough to have died of natural causes, the police suspect foul play, and the body is sent to Gaborone for an autopsy. Pathologist Ian MacGregor confirms the cause of death as a broken neck, but is greatly puzzled by the man’s physiology. Although he’s obviously very old, his internal organs look remarkably young. He calls in Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu. When the Bushman’s corpse is stolen from the morgue, suddenly the case takes on a new dimension.

All the books in the series can be read as stand-alone stories.

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