Africa Book Safari
During the month of October, a group of Christian authors who either live in Africa or are rooted in this amazing continent teamed up for an exciting adventure.
Today our Safari Guide is interviewing Greg MacKinnon. Read on . . .
Safari Guide: Hi! I believe you are Greg MacKinnon, is that correct?
Greg: You are correct. And you, I presume, are going to be our Tour Leader for this great time. What should we call you?
Safari Guide: You can call me Mr. Africa!
Are you all comfortable? Please buckle up your seat-belts. Starting today, I plan to show you all different angles to this continent.
Greg, it’s your turn to sit up front with me. Everyone, let’s go discover Africa!
As our large safari landrover moves away from the buildings and
heads into the wilds of Africa, Mr. Africa swings in his seat to face me.
Safari Guide / Mr. Africa: So, Greg, tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always lived in Africa?
Greg: Yes, I have. In fact, I’ve lived in and around the city of Durban, South Africa my whole life.
Mr. Africa: And what family do you have?
Greg: I am married to Laurie and we’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this month. We have three beautiful girls – three redheads! My two eldest daughters are in high school and my youngest is in senior primary school.
Mr. Africa: Greg, did you always want to be a writer? Or what prompted you to start writing?
Greg: I certainly never saw myself as being a “writer”, although it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing. I suppose that writing has always been a part of my life in one form or another. For example, I’d write my own stories as a child and I enjoyed creative writing at school. As an attorney, a large portion of my professional time was given to drafting contracts and other legal documents. I’ll add that when my daughters were much younger, they’d always ask me to tell them a “story from my mouth” at bedtime. I ad-libbed my way through more than one “series” on those nights. How I wish that I’d written those stories down!
I’ve had a few prophetic encouragements over the years regarding books and then found a growing desire in my heart to write. My wife’s encouragement really spurred me on towards completing my first book!
Mr. Africa: What genre do you write in, and why?
Greg: I’ve always enjoyed a good story, so my initial focus has been on writing Christian fiction. However, I do have a non-fiction writing project that is more than half-way towards completion. Given my experience as a pastor, I would like to write some non-fiction books in the future, particularly in the area of Christian spiritual growth and relationships.
Mr. Africa: What book are you going to be sharing with us during this safari? Tell us a little about it. What inspired this particular story or topic?
Greg: I’ll be telling you about my debut novel, “Closure”, a Christian legal suspense novel. It’s about an attorney who has to defend a pastor’s son who was arrested at the airport with a package containing heroin in his bag. As the attorney gets to know her client’s family and his church, she discovers that there is far more at stake than his freedom. In writing the novel, I was able to draw upon my experiences as an attorney and a pastor – although I do stress that it is a work of fiction! I really enjoyed setting the story in Durban, a very familiar and much-loved context for me.
Mr. Africa: Greg, it sounds exciting, and I’m looking forward to reading it myself. You obviously have a deep love for this land. What in particular makes Africa so special for you?
Greg: I think we have beautiful people living in a beautiful place! I love and value the hungering after God that is still found in the hearts of many African people; it’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted. And then we have the breathtaking beauty and stunning diversity of our African wildlife and landscapes. We are truly blessed!
Mr. Africa: Okay, everyone. Ahead of us, you’ll see a large water hole with giraffe bending their knees to take a drink. As we park and watch them, I’ll hand out some refreshments, and perhaps one of the other authors can join me in the front.
Mr. Africa: Greg, which do you prefer? Coffee or tea? Sweet or savory?
Greg: Can I please have a large, double-shot cappuccino? Just kidding! You should have seen the look on your face! I did notice a flask marked “Filter Coffee”, so I’ll have a cup of strong coffee, thanks. And I’m probably pushing my luck here, but if you happen to have a rich, moist chocolate cake packed away somewhere, then I’d love a slice of that. Thank you.
Mr. Africa: That cappuccino request of yours had me worried for a moment. Next you’d be asking me whether any of those elephants are trained baristas! But I do have a pleasant surprise for you. If you look inside the basket, you’ll find a container with a few slices of the best chocolate cake you’ll ever taste in the African bush. You’re going to enjoy it!
Click here to read Greg’s original interview on his website here.
Previously published in this series:
Chatting with Shirley Corder
Introducing Marion Ueckermann and her Book on the Cape Winelands
Authors on the Africa Book Safari
Lynnette Bonner sits up front on the Africa Book Safari
Lisa Harris – and her Christy-Nominated Thriller
Africa Book Safari Visits the Great Wildebeest Migration
Don’t forget! Random prizes being offered for comments through the interview posts.
[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’d6650f’]Greg used to be a lawyer before he became a pastor. Have you ever changed your profession? From what to what?[/stextbox]