Thursday, May 19, 2016

Interview With Author Toko Loshe

Shades of Africa

1.      What inspired you to write your book?
Recent events all over the world where children are abducted and murdered and girls are raped and made to marry as early as the age of eight. Little boys torn from their mothers to become soldiers of death. It tears at my heart when political evil destroys the lives of beautiful people. This brought back the hurt of suppression and how it had played such a part in my life. The murder and suppression of women and children, their abuse by fanatical revolutionaries, fathers and husbands, these things kindled my motivation to tell my story

2.      What is it about?
This is a story about a white girl, Shirley Schreiber and her family. Growing up in South Africa and Rhodesia during the early years of racial discrimination including the apartheid year 1944-1972. Shirley grows up during the years of racism and apartheid and the black power push for freedom; when both sides are right, both are wrong. The betrayal of blacks and whites, each with a fierce passion for this cruel, unforgiving land where to trust could mean death. It is “a photo album in prose about the brutality of life in British South Africa.” – Kirkus Review

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
My message is to promote social awareness. Hopefully society today will accept these events did take place and learn from them. Nobody has the right to suppress a nation or an individual. The fight for black power and freedom all over Africa, and how this way of life impacted on all families white & black. Domestic violence and abuse of women and children is a normal way of life for many families of all races.  The fight in Africa is on-going sometimes there is no end in sight only death. Women and children are suppressed, killed for their love of life and learning. We must support their fight for civil rights and stop the killing of innocent people of all races. Everyone should be allowed to pray when, with, how, where and to whom they believe.

4.      What advice do you have for writers?
Write from your heart. Life’s learnings. Use your own experiences to create your story. If you are writing a life story don’t hold back, tell it the way it was. The reader must believe that this is a true story as it is, and should not be trimmed to be more comfortable if it was not.

Show love if the story is about love, tell it. The reader must feel the love. I can remember reading a beautiful story about the love of a young girl for her dying mother. At the end I held the book to my chest hugging that feeling. There is no better story than true love told with love.

5.      Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Sadly this does concern me very much as I love to hold a book, to feel the pages, not just read them. Relaxing with a good book may soon be something of the past as younger people hunch over ebooks, spending hours in the glare of a screen.  I have noticed that the smaller book stores alive with character and a coffee corner, a place where you can browse and flick through pages enjoying the company of other readers are disappearing. I miss the idle chatter of a book store, exchanging words with interesting people and the smell of hot coffee as I gather up my latest finds. I hope that young people will one day learn the full experience of reading a book.

6.      What challenges did you have in writing your book?
I needed to share my life growing up in Africa. To tell it the way it was, an uncomfortable truth – to lift the veil.  So often people want to say, “It is ok now – let’s not talk about it. Why bring all that up again?” It was not easy remembering those times when I desperately wanted to forget yet knowing that I never could. The writing of my story has been a healing process for me. Sometimes stopping to cry and curl up on my bed then shakily going back to finish a scene. At first, when I had completed the story, I printed it off and hid it under a pile of old documents and folders in my office, pretending it was not there. Six months later I uncovered it and read it. It was not easy but I had said what I wanted to say and told my story. I knew it would be controversial but it is my story as I remember it.  It was the way it was.

7.      If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
To bring back a forgotten era and life in Africa during a dangerous and violent time. A glimpse in history.  It is a deeply impressionistic, compelling novel about a young girl’s life in the waning days of the British Empire.

For more information, please consult:

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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