Many of you know that when I am not writing at my computer or doing story times for orphans and vulnerable children at after-school programs, my favorite activity is ice skating. Believe it or not Africa has rinks in Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Cairo. There may be more, but those are the ones I know about. Addicts like me check out places on the Internet.
One of those adult skaters is Vickie. She is a black South African with a talented daughter like the girl I have imagined in my not-yet-published novel, Keeping Secrets. She recognized me as the one who was writing a book. We had a good time chatting, and I could see that her daughter has improved a lot. My writing time in South Africa went toward reworking and expanding Keeping Secrets with a major American character to try to make it more appealing to American readers. Unfortunately, most of the books in South African bookstores (especially religious and inspirational stores) come from the U.S. It is very hard to get a book published there if it won’t appeal to the much larger market on this side of the Atlantic. It was an encouragement to see how disappointed Vickie was that the book is not yet out. “Let me know when it is!” she told me. Believe me, I will!