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Gail Evans.
Publisher's Interview

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Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa.
Time Trials
The Firstborn of God.
Gail's Book Reviews

The Publisher Interviews Gail Evans:

Born on November 1, 1958 in Carltonville, South Africa, to a mine mechanic and an architectural draughtswoman, Gail Evans as a child dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer. In spite of winning awards and obtaining honors in her ballet exams, her life took another turn and the ballet fell away to be replaced by Speech and Drama, for which, after four years training, she obtained a Higher Diploma in 1980 from the Pretoria Technikon. For the next six years she starved in the garret, as her mother warned her she would do if she followed this career path, working in radio, on stage for P.A.C.T (The Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal), in television shows, as a telecine operator for the S.A.B.C. (South African Broadcasting Company), doing theatre reviews for the arts magazine Scenario, and more often than not, waitressing in order to put a roof over her head and food in her mouth. In 1985 she married an engineering geologist and spent the next couple of years traversing un-charted territory in Southern Africa in an old Landover, top speed eighty kilometers an hour, with carrycots wedged between the dashboard and the back of the seat, a large supply of water purification pills in order to make up babies bottles and a hoard of plastic bags in the glove compartment for dirty nappies. It was during this time,largely due to the influence and experience of writing for the arts magazine Scerario, that she became addicted to the keys on a type writer. Thus began a fourteen year journey through type writers, to computers, lots of research and many nights of soul searching, culminating in her first published title, "The Firstborn Of God. Resolving the Contradictions in the Bible."

Since publishing "The Firstborn of God" in 2000, Gail explored the genre of fiction as opposed non-fiction and published "Time Trials." A wacky new age novel- as she describes it, that follows the journeys: spiritual, physical and political of Miriam, in the months leading up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Gail followed up "Time Trials" with yet another genre, a travel and meditation guide, "Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa" published in 2001. The woman who once dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer, now attends performances of the Johannesburg Ballet company at the Civic Theatre, regularly attends the Grahamstown Festival (a feast of theatre, literature and art in the Eastern Cape), and whenever she has the time to spare, travels as much as possible both in Southern Africa and abroad. Her love of the African terrain shines through in every word that she has written "In Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa," as well as her deep seated interest in spirituality which weaves a thread throughout all of her work.

Q:Which do you consider more important in your writing, a sense of place, your experiences, or something else altogether? Why is this important to you?

There is one major factor that weaves itself throughout my work and that is the religious spirituality factor and the quest for human beings to find self-empowerment, to individuate and to connect with the Supreme being, however you may see it.

In "The Firstborn of God," I focussed on the contradictions in the Bible and their implications and influences on the world today.

In "Time Trials" I had a look at how we could still individuate and reach a point of self-empowerment in spite of harsh, political realites that strongly effected my life living in South Africa during the apartheid years.

In "Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa," I have taken a much more gentle view. Weaving together the wonder of nature, the seven chakras, of human evolution towards self-empowerment and the slow unfolding that we experience within one lifetime.

Q:What are your influences and inspirations? What makes you write?

Passion pure and simple. I feel very passionately about the world and where it is going. Once a strong belief, idea or inspiration takes hold of me, I become totally absorbed. You could say that once I start writing and getting involved in a book, this book becomes "my magnificent obsession."

Q:Is there a particular aspect of your book (or books) that you are most proud of?

It has taken me nearly sixteen years to get to the point where I have now published three books. I am proud of the fact that I believed in myself enough to stick it out. "The Firstborn of God" took me fourteen years to write and research. There were many days when I sat with my head on the desk wondering who I was fooling. Like many of us, I garnered rejection slips by the dozen. But I was passionatly obsessed with the conclusions that I came to in this book. I believe in them. As we do more research, as more and more archeological discoveries come to light, we will have a better understanding of Biblical times. I might not prove to be one hundred per cent correct in some instances, but I know that I did the best that I could do with the information that was available at the time. So we build, we grow, we learn and we add to the knowledge that we have gained through history and through our own lifetimes and through sharing this knowledge in the form of the written word, we help each other to reach a better understanding of what it means to be human.

Q:What is unique about your books, what differentiates them from other books in the same category? What about them will reach out and grab the reader?

"The Firstborn of God," is unique in that I have come up with a theory that very few people who write in this genre, have considered. You will have to read it to find out.


"Time Trials" is unique in that the actual writing style is completely off the wall. I have advertised this book as a "Wacky, New Age title," which is the truth. But then, that is how many of us felt during the eighties and early nineties in South Africa. On the one hand you had what appeared to be a first world society with all the toys and gadgets. On the other, you had people being burned, shot and stabbed a couple of blocks away from where you lived. I remember one very dichotomous situation. I was driving my boss's BMW through the streets of Johanesburg. He was an opera buff and the tape playing in the cassette was "Nessun dorma." Next to me at the traffic lights, six military policemen dressed in black sped by on motorbikes with assault s strapped to their backs. Two blocks away, a huge gathering of over five thousand people were working their way through the streets chanting, smashing car windows and breaking into shops. The combination of the opera and the horror takes some getting used to. Even today, there are many South Africans who suffer from post traumatic stress. So the writing style in "Time Trials" is a reflection of my own memories, my own attempts at coming to terms with the harsh realites that we lived through.


"Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa" is unique in that I have interwoven travel with meditation and the wonders of nature. This book is something completely different. I loved writing it. Unlike "The Firstborn of God," I was not striving with concepts, philosophies, deep seated belief systems, research or accurate references. Unlike "Time Trials," there was no political or inner turmoil. To me, "Meditations..." is almost like a sabbatical, a spiritual retreat or a Sabbath if you would like to call it that. It absorbs the wonderful giving energy of nature and feeds the body, mind and soul. For me, it was a renewal.

Firstborn

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Time Trials

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Meditations

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Gail Evans.Time TrialsThe Firstborn of God.Gail's Book Reviews