Tuesday 10 February 2015





About two years ago I joined ROSA and met Kathy Bosman,  imagine my surprise when I found out while we were chatting that she used to live in Zambia around the same time I did in the 90s. When I heard she had a new book coming out on Friday I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a blog about a fellow ROSA and a great author.

Me: It's a really small world, I couldn't believe when I joined ROSA that we were both living in Zambia at the same time.
Kathy: I know. I can’t believe it. Was so great to connect with a fellow “Zambian.”
Me: When exactly were you there?
Kathy: We moved there in 1997 and stayed until 2004. My husband and I worked in education.
Me: What is the best memory you have of Zambia, what really made an impression on me was the friendliness of the Zambians.
I have to agree, the Zambians are so friendly. The racial tension found in South Africa doesn’t exist there. The best memories were my friends – I don’t know why but the friendships I had in Zambia were one of the best in my whole life – there people had time for relationships. I just remember how green the grass used to get in the rainy season – great gardens for my kids (then babies and toddlers) to play in. Oh, and the meat was amazing. I could buy a large beef or lamb roast for next to nothing. We loved Elmo’s pizza in Kabulonga and the breadsticks with a tomato and onion sauce at Steers.
Hey I lived in Kabulonga in Roan Road. Quite close to Kabulonga supermarket.

What is the worst memory you have of Zambia
Potholes and power cuts. Also dysentery. I had it twice. My hubby had it once. It’s worse than malaria. Thankfully, I never got malaria. Oh, and did I mention the giant cockroaches?
The people there weren’t perfect. They used to steal. A lot. And they had a tendency to go to the labour department about every little gripe! Being a boss was hard.
Do I remember the cockroaches and the giant spiders! I used to drink a lot of coke those days and I think it killed any germ wanting to take up space in my stomach.
Have you always planned to set a story there or did the idea come to you and then you decided on a setting.
Kathy: I wanted to set a book there – so it partly sparked the story.
Have you ever been back to Zambia? If not would you like to.
Kathy: No, we’ve never been back. Have sometimes had a longing to go back.
Marie: Tell me about your book. What is it about.
Mix together a beautiful ballerina and ballet teacher, a sexy single dad, and a precocious-yet-sweet daughter, and emotions run high. Add racial and cultural differences, work contracts coming to an end, and hurts and memories from the past and sparks fly.
Rowena loves to dance but has ended up teaching ballet instead. When she helps out Cameron’s difficult daughter, a bond develops between the two dancers. Cameron makes Rowena uncomfortable because he stirs up new, unwanted feelings which make no sense when he intends to leave Zambia soon when his contract ends.
Cameron can’t resist sanguine live-wire Rowena who makes his daughter smile for the first time in years. But can he risk his heart again when memories of his late wife come back to haunt him? And Rowena has a lot more at stake in giving her all.
Marie: What did you like the most and the least about your main characters
I liked Cameron’s gentleness and ability to stay calm and thoughtful. But he needs to let go of the past. I loved Rowena’s liveliness and friendliness like a true Zambian. She struggles to voice her emotions though.
What is next for you?
I’m working on the second book of The Album series. Hard going! I also need to complete a short story by the middle of March!

Kathy agreed to share an excerpt of dance of the firefly with us.
She’d expected him to disappear. Instead, she jumped as a shadow appeared in front of her. The man stood a foot from her. Close up, his presence seemed to permeate her. For a brief moment, her gnawing sorrow vanished, and attraction surged in like a current of potent goodness. His features were clear-cut yet contrasting: bronzed skin against almost ginger hair. It could pass for golden brown. Speckles of day-old matching beard. Light brown eyes like the earth near Lake Kariba. Sturdy posture, straight and purposeful. Broad shoulders. Strength she could rely on at this time.
She pushed the crazy thoughts away.
His expression had changed to almost lost. Patience settled upon her, sweet and refreshing after days of pure irritation at everything that moved.
“Maybe you could help Jamey.”
“I’m sorry?”
He raked his fingers through his hair. There was anxiety there. Suffering. She took her leg down to give him her full attention.
“What could I do?”
“You could give her extra lessons.”
“I’m full up already, Mr. Hosking. I don’t have time….”
“Jamey loves to dance. Her late mother was a ballet dancer. It’s her only connection with her.”
Late mother! Rowena’s lungs drained of air. Oh, how she could identify with her pain. Although her mother’s death was recent, only six days ago, and she wasn’t a child, she suddenly wanted to hug Jamey and fill her heart with love to take away the lonely hopelessness. How could she have been so impatient with the child? No wonder she was so restless. The recital had become more important than the children. Creating a good image for her studio to increase the size of her classes had taken precedence over putting something into the ones she had.
He peered into her frozen face. “I’ll pay you double the price of a normal lesson. Please.”
She nodded. “I will. Of course.”
He instinctively grabbed her hand. “You won’t regret it. Jamey’s a very bright child, and she’s crazy about you.”
Her insides shuddered, and her toes curled at the simple contact. His hand was warm, and he squeezed a little too hard, but suddenly she wished he would keep it there. But he didn’t.
He laughed. “Yes. She says you’re so beautiful, like her mommy. You do look a bit like her.” His eyes became dreamy and distant, as though a lifetime of memories passed through his mind.
A pang shot through her. Imagine a man like him loving her with the intensity he directed toward his late wife? What a selfish thought. He was still grieving.

 I loved the excerpt so I twisted her arm for more and here it is.

Cameron slipped out the door before Rowena spotted him watching her. His heart rate betrayed his surprise. He’d never seen anything so beautiful. Samantha used to dance beautifully, but not with so much feeling. His late wife’s ballet had been a perfect craft. Each step melded into the next neatly and graciously, without anything out of line. He felt like he could almost see the imaginary lines on the stage when she danced. The perfect spaces she kept on.

Not this woman. Her dancing was rough, raw, and deep. In those few moments of watching Rowena through the high studio window from the dark outside, his whole soul had been shaken to the core. It was as if she’d touched something deep inside of him.

Since Samantha died, the only human being who mattered was Jamey. Few people understood what it was like to lose a spouse after six years of marriage and eight years together. It was like losing a leg or an arm. Everything you did was crippled. Every moment of every day, you remembered your loss and felt less capable of achieving your goals.

So how could he be so fascinated with another woman? He climbed into his Land Rover and took a potholed road to Kalundu to pick up Jamey. The familiar jarring of the huge gashes in the tar forced him to drive slowly. In some places, the surface of the road consisted of more dirt than tar. Boredom lulled him into a dream world.

Flashes of the teacher’s dance came back to him. Why couldn’t he stop thinking of it? Why did he suddenly long to take the woman in his arms and kiss her thoroughly? Her pertinence had attracted him. The raw energy she displayed had drawn him. The young woman’s unusual appearance had fascinated him. He’d been mesmerized by her fake blonde streaks against dark, straightened locks pulled into a tight ponytail, clear green eyes, and caramel skin. The unusual coloring and bone structure, with her high cheekbones and pointy chin, were softened by the smoothest-looking skin he’d even seen and rounded cheeks.

Saturday was going to be interesting. Not like he would pursue anything. He wasn’t ready for a romantic relationship. But browsing was free. Experiencing a person from a distance should be safe. Pity he couldn’t spy on the class. He had the means to, but would his conscience let him? A small smile tugged at his mouth. He could watch her before and after the lesson. In his mind’s eye, Samantha peered at him from the stage, her body poised in an elevated step, questioning him with her gaze, her gentle smile warming his heart. Yeah, it wasn’t time yet. Would his memories ever let him think of anyone other than his late wife?