Friday, August 28, 2015

Temba Magorimbo discusses his book "Butterscotch"

Our author on the blog today goes by the name Temba Magorimbo. He was born on 9 August 1966, Tuesday in Gweru of a policeman and his housewife. He grew up circulating this small city, the fifth then in Rhodesia (then) as his parents moved within Rhodesian police camps (residential areas). He went to school within Gweru mainly at Senga Primary School and Ascot Secondary. Before 1980, there was Rhodesia, after 1980, the same country was baptized as Zimbabwe. Pre-1980, it took a guerilla war to end racism and discrimination. Effects of this war, though he was a teen, affect his writing. He try and write from a neutral perspective.

Going back to around 1980 when he was a form 1 student at Ascot secondary School in Gweru, Zimbabwe, at thirteen years of age. He had a Caucasian expatriate teacher who encouraged him in the arts alongside three of his form 3 or 4 students namely Samuel Musharu, Simplicio Captain and Lucky Thodhlana. That was his clique of writers. He hailed from England, Paul or Saul Hyman. Samuel was a poet, Lucky wrote in African languages (Shona) and Simplicio shared his thrust of misusing the English as a second language option. He  was an avid user of the school library which made him want to write. That is how he became an author.

D.O: How do you do Temba. Thank you for joining us today, on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue.

T.M: Thanks for featuring me on your great blog Darmie.

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

T.M: I started writing when I was less than twelve years old. I was influenced by radio stories. In those days it was part of the syllabi to listen to radio stories from grade one to grade seven. We lived in an era where our family radios were battery operated even though we had load limited electricity. The family radios were only switched on for programs like news. We listened attentively as three battery operated radios were moved from class to class in a three class stream. Further to which at home, I listened to radio stories. At school they did not have a proper library. However, books for all grades were distributed at certain times were we had no option but to read and enjoy stories about the worlds we did not know. Rhodesia was a landlocked country, we read about castles near the sea, lighthouses, rocks on the ocean and jutting precipices near the sea.

D.O: Hmmm. The life then must be quite intriguing. 

T.M: Yes, it was quite interesting compare to this new age where you have almost everything available to you.

D.O: What are the various craft you've studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies for story writing?

T.M: I tried acting which wasn’t even convincing to my fellow actors especially when I fluffed lines and forgot my entry and exit times. Motor racing wasn’t my style because I didn’t have a license to drive worse of which I couldn’t afford the fuel even if I had the vehicle and license.

 Hmmm. What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

T.M: I started by writing on loose sheets of plain paper before transferring to written paper. Those days! I would in later stages, around age seventeen go to a printing press in Gweru’s light industries where I bought offcuts. Then after several drafts I typed the final on a Hermes Baby portable typewriter. In later years, I moved to a desktop computer which had Windows 98. The use of floppy disks was amazing when the computer crashed and the floppy started misbehaving. Now I do my outlines, drafts and everything on computer using various Word versions according to the time until completion.

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

T.M: I wrote from the heart. I wrote from the open pores of feeling sad and guilty at times lonely and miserable at others, cheeky and shouting at some times, other times I was happy and carefree. I removed all my own personal feelings from the books that I wrote. I put in as much humour as I can find because people are stressed and concerned about everyday happenings.

D.O: Your feelings are normal. A lot of us writers have demons we battle with in all the areas of our lives.


D.O: What sensitive materials do your book deal with?

T.M: I talk about love with an emphasis on Christianity because Christianity is what I am. I do not believe in divorce neither do I want to see divorces though I know this happens, people get divorced. The pain they cause their children is real because I grew up in a family which had experienced divorce/separation of parents. Children would give up all to remain with their parents.

D.O: Sorry about the broken home. I know how the shoes hurt. I'm likewise against divorce.

T.M: Thank you Darmie.

D.O: You're welcome. What's the subject matter of your book?

T.M: Romance, love and break up/make up, cheats, fall guys, suckers and the down trodden.

D.O: Okay. What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in your book?

T.M: My theme is the togetherness of the family unit. We all have problems however why do we fight when we can negotiate? It is a wonderful thing to have a love story that doesn’t end in tragedy. I like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, if only they had not both died.

D.O: It's a wonderful thing to have a love story that doesn't end in tragedy. Hmmm. What town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

T.M: Butterscotch [meet me in Alberta] portrays the city of Harare which is our capital in Zimbabweand minor cities like Gweru and small towns like Shurugwi and Zvishavane. Though Harare may have problems like administration of the city by the cash strapped municipal authorities, bad roads, sewer blockages, electricity black outs, filth and uncollected litter, Harare is still our capital and we can make it beautiful if we all ditch the cart and the horse, [the politicians] and go it alone. The book features Calgary and slightly, Edmonton in the finale.

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides your story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from?

T.M: Butterscotch [meet me in Alberta] explores different viewpoints, that of the main character, of his wife and especially that of his mistress’ husband.

D.O: What does these point of views infuse into each of the scene in your book?

T.M: Raphael finds it difficult to keep a straight job though he has vast experience. He keeps getting short term jobs which frustrate him.

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world?

T.M: He wants a settled life where he is loved. He thinks he can have de javu with his mistress Virginia not his wife Dorothy. In the later stages, he gets the permanent job he wants, overseas, in tar sands oil extraction. Here he is working where he knows best, long and difficult well paid hours with lots of free time and he is lonely. He wants his family, will it be his children with his mistress or his mistress with the children growing away from him in another country?

What does he do to achieve this goal?

T.M: Raphael goes out of the country to work in extremely difficult but well paid conditions in order to break the financial shackles for his family. He starts preparations to cater for his family if it comes in. There is a glitch. Will his wife agree to send the elder children while she stays behind minding the toddlers?

D.O: What are the core truth for your lead character?

T.M: Raphael discovers that it is worth it to climb down and rejoin hands with his wife, Dorothy. He discovers that at times it is worthwhile to eat humble pie.

D.O: What are the two conflicting values you created for him?

T.M: Raphael has to consider his marriage versus his stint with his mistress. Afterall, she, his mistress is married too. Does he think it kosher to have two divorces in order to have their affair or should both of them feel the heartbreak of separation while maintaining their marriages 8, 000-kilometres apart.

D.O: Does this values make sense from his backstory?

T.M: Raphael is drawn to the past where he had been apprentice qualified and running around searching for a job. In those days, he met and had a rolling and vibrant love affair with one Virginia who later dumped him and married someone else he keeps counting his losses especially after they re-start their romance after different marriages. He finds it difficult to value his marriage and keep it stable.

D.O: What is the personal trait you gave your lead character to survive your book story?

T.M: He drowns his frustrations in working hard and running his businesses when things are not shaping up.

D.O: In the end of your book did the story goal satisfy your lead character's ambition or did he device another method to achieve his goal or failed at achieving it?

T.M: To my own point of view the story ends well when they decide to restart their love and marital life.

D.O: How do you think your book will influence readers growth positively?

T.M: It will teach them a story about love that dies hard. It teaches them that even after fifteen years, a man‘s heart is still soft towards his former girlfriend. Watch out for those small love affairs. Does it pay to rekindle the heart of years ago when a man was ditched by a girl when he meets her again?

D.O: Any hint about your next book?

T.M: Lamb To The Slaughter  is the story about the life and times of Tapiwa who is on the romp searching for the right girl until he realizes that he made a catalogue of mistakes going back to post graduation. He is a determined student who excels by running the mid-night oil until he reaches university. There are girls at university or outside. He is a wolf searching for lambs but there is HIV/AIDS and broken marriages to consider. How will he fare?

D.O: Hmmm. Interesting. What better effort do you suggest writers, input into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

T.M: We need professional editors [proof, line/development and substantive], book jacket designers and then we need professional marketing companies who know where to rub salt on open wounds. Professional writers who publish with traditional publishers have the advantage of experienced and qualified personnel to cover various publishing facets. Indie authors should do the same and employ [professionals to compete. The problem is this calls for some capital or set up fund before publishing!

D.O: You're right about that. We should have catching and well polished books then, the sky would be our starting point. Writers, that's a professional advice from Temba. I hope you key into it.

Butterscotch – Blurb
[meet me in Alberta]
How does a man balance the love of his dotting wife and the affair he is about to cook with his ex-girlfriend who is married too? What does the fact that his wife is tall and huge have to do with the fact that his mistress is medium and petite looking have to do with love? Why does he land lucrative contracts then in between he has to struggle for survival?

Enter Virginia:-

Years ago in the prime of his youth Raphael had met and befriended Virginia. Then he was post apprenticeship qualification doing an odd job as a relief lecturer at a state run polytechnic while she was concluding her training as a nurse. Youth and exuberance where the order of the day. They ran hot bending and breaking love rules. He finds his trade job which makes him feel like a man. It is only that he has to cross 280-kilomtres to work leaving her alone. Added to it he works mainly in the bush or near a mine out of telephone contact. Postal mail works before the adage of the cell phone but the hearts yearn. A few months down the line she qualifies and is posted to one rural hamlet clinic where for a few times, they are still close. She closes the door on him suddenly, flashing him like waste paper. The last time he is up for an interview is when they somehow meet with her pregnancy almost close to term, about a year after her heartbreak on him.

Raphael buries his wounds smarting from her rebuff and enter Dorothy:-

She is a Mathematics and Science teacher of repute at the main school at a small mining town in her home turf where she grew up except for the years she spent at boarding school and teacher training college. She is into her late twenties having no takers when Raphael bursts into the scene. She has had her boys to men dates which fizzled. She has accepted in her mind that marriage is not kosher. She has planned to be a childless upright spinster when Raphael drops by like a bomb from Hiroshima.  She weaves a web around him enchanting him after one chance meeting leads to another until they are running between towns to visit and keep their attention alive. Later they marry. Is it bliss?

The dilemma:-

Raphael is in between jobs ten odd years plus later when he meets and starts having coffee breaks with Virginia. They create a scheme where he has found an overseas job, she should come along. In the end who will follow Raphael to Alberta between Virginia the hot stepper and Dorothy the calm, cool and collected? In between where do twin heritages come from when both a man and a woman have no such history in their lives?

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. I wish you all the best in your writing career.

T.M: Thank you Darmie.

Get your copy of Butterscotch

Other Books by the Temba Magorimbo

They Breed Merino Sheep

Pata-Pata [soft footsteps]

Lamb To The Slaughter

Tigers Hunt At Night

Splash In The Loch

Off The Eagle's Claws 

Let Close On Me

For All Have Sinned
If Women Can Weep
Lake Of My Heart   

Whiplash [love triangle]

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