This video is of Nancy Hunt with whom I am writing my third novel set in London and Kenya. Writing in collaboration is a new and wonderful experience.Its normal in screen writing but rare in fiction In Sculpting the Elephant there is a historical story set during the Raj. It is nuanced because it touches on the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India and the rediscovery of Asoka but does not whitewash the evils of colonialism. In a similar manner there is an historical overview in our thriller ‘Not so Black and White’. In Kenya it begins in the fifties, covers the rise of resistance and the concentration camps but continues on until recent times. The contemporary story focuses on two characters. Precious is inspired by Nancy. She is NOT Nancy fictionalised but is informed by her life experiences. Adrian Harris is a British journalist who grew up in diverse Notting Hill before it was gentrified. As in Sculpting the Elephant it will explore experiences of identity and some cultural misunderstandings not just between Precious and Adrian but also problems between Afro Caribbean ancestry gangs and Africans in South London. Being labelled ‘white’ I couldn’t write about this subject without Nancy. My good friend for decades- the now famous Italian author Simonetta Agnello Hornby set up the first family law firm in Brixton and hosted a Windrush exhibition for schools decades before that was fashionable. I taught a class that was half black and half white in Handsworth in B’ham at the time when Enoch Powell gave his rivers of blood speech so I have plenty of experience to draw on too.
I had the privilege of writing Nancy’s story for The Oxford Times. You can read it here: Nancy Hunt
While I was chair of KOA we funded Nasio’s Spirulina project and with Helen Peacock I wrote Green Power the Spirulina Cookbook to promote Nasio and Spirulina. This pic of Nancy and I was taken soon after she was awarded the Nat West Venus Award for ‘most inspirational woman’.