Surviving Crocodiles: Katherine Scholes

Surviving Crocodiles: Katherine Scholes

Katherine ScholesBorn: In the Dodoma Region, one of Tanzania’s 31 administrative regions.

Childhood: Spent most of it in Tanzania in East Africa where her parents were English missionaries. We four kids were allowed to do anything we liked, as long as we avoided getting bitten by snakes, or eaten by crocodiles or other wild animals. We fished and hunted and swam in rivers.’

Best known for: The Rain Queen which sold more than a million copies.

How many books published: 14

Most recent book: Congo Dawn

How Katherine became a writer: ‘When I was 10 the family moved to England. I felt the loss of my homeland very deeply. I was fortunate as my class teacher taught me how to write free verse. I poured out my emotions, filling an exercise book with poems. Writing became my way of relating to the world and to myself. I’ve been doing it ever since, first through diaries and short stories, and now novels.’ 

Star Sign: Cancer

Quotable quote: ‘Everyone I’ve met who has set foot in Africa has been captured by the place. It seems to have an almost inexplicable power. I’ve heard it suggested that since all humans originated in that continent we feel a sense of homecoming when we go there.’

Past-times: Swimming in the sea, wandering on beaches, travelling just about anywhere – and reading novels of course!

Did you know? Katherine was once a devoted horse-rider. Along with her two sisters, they built an odd collection of mounts including a very dangerous ex-stock pony that broke Katherine’s nose and blackened her eye. She abandoned horses when she discovered boys. But ‘like any old love, the passion for horses remains inside you.’ Katherine is the patron of the Christopher Strong Education Trust which supports training teachers in rural Tanzania.

Favourite Book: There are so many but the latest one I enjoyed was Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. And I always read Anita Shreve novels. 

Katherine likes: Her dog Darcy, a Staffy-whippet cross. She sits at her feet while she writes and always let’s her know when it’s time to stop.

Dislikes: Navigating around cities – Katherine confesses she’s hopeless with maps (even Google maps confuse me). She often gets lost in a shopping centre.

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    Synopsis

    You can’t go back and change the past. All you have left is the future. Melbourne secretary Anna Emerson's life is turned upside down when a stranger hands her a plane ticket to the Congo. The newly independent country is in turmoil, Simba rebels are on the move – but the invitation holds a precious clue to the whereabouts of her estranged father.Dan Miller signs up as a mercenary commando to fight the Communist uprising. He supports the cause, but that's not really why he's there. A devastating tragedy has taken all meaning from his life, and he's got nothing left to lose.In the Congo, Dan's belief in the war begins to crumble. Anna heads deeper into danger as she travels from a grand colonial mansion to an abandoned hotel on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to a leprosy mission in the jungle and beyond. Their two paths collide through circumstances more extraordinary than fate.Inspired by real events, Congo Dawn combines epic drama with an intimate journey into the heart of a fractured family, as two characters, in search of people they lost, at last find a way to come home. It is a landmark novel about good and evil, and the inexhaustible power of love.

    'Katherine Scholes is one of those rare writers who connects Australia to Africa in creative fiction. This is, in the best sense, a big, lusty novel. But it exceeds most such novels in sensitivity and imagination, in potent narrative and artistic terms.' - Tom Keneally

    About the author
    Katherine Scholes is the author of international bestsellers including The Rain Queen, Make Me An Idol, The Stone Angel, The Hunter’s Wife, The Lioness and The Perfect Wife. She is particularly popular in Europe where she has sold over two million books. 
     
    Her novel The Blue Chameleon won a New South Wales State Literary Award and The Stone Angel was longlisted in the International Dublin Literary Awards. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages, and includes children’s titles as well as novels for adults. She has also worked as a documentary filmmaker.
     
    Katherine was born in Tanzania, the daughter of a missionary doctor and an artist. She has fond memories of going on safaris to remote areas where her father operated a clinic from his Land Rover. When she was ten the family left Tanzania, going first to England, then migrating to Australia. She now lives in Tasmania but makes regular trips back to Africa where many of her books are set.
    Katherine Scholes
    About the author

    Katherine Scholes

    Katherine Scholes was born in Tanzania, East Africa, the daughter of a missionary doctor and an artist. She has fond memories of travelling with her parents and three siblings on long safaris to remote areas where her father operated a clinic from his Land Rover. When she was ten, the family left Tanzania, moving first to England and then settling permanently in Tasmania. As an adult, Katherine moved to Melbourne with her film-maker husband. The two worked together for many years, writing books and making films. They have now returned to Tasmania, where they live on the edge of the sea with their two sons. Katherine is the author of four international bestsellers: The Rain Queen, Make Me An Idol, The Stone Angel, The Hunter's Wife andThe Lioness.

    Books by Katherine Scholes

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