Andrea: What inspired the book's plot and title?
Gerry: After living and travelling in Kenya and Uganda, I returned to Portugal, intent on helping all the people I had just spent the last two years of my life with. There were so many things I wanted to do, but as time went on, I realized I was accomplishing very little. People would ask me all the time what Africa was like, and unless they had a few hours to spare, I was only capable of giving inadequIate responses, which I felt did a disservice to the people I had met. I became ill with Hepatitis C, which I was fortunately cured of. However, I spent a year not leaving the house, and it was during this time, I decided to write my story about Africa. Halfway through the book, I realized I was being too selective with the storyline, and that some things didn’t make sense unless I was completely honest, and wrote about why I had disappeared to East Africa in the first place: To escape memories from the past that had reared their ugly heads again, in attempt not to let them break me down. The title came to me and fitted. It is not meant to express an evil intention, it’s jaunty and symbolic.
Andrea: Have readers been surprised by the setting, since the title is Kill Daddy?
Gerry: A few have said they were pleasantly surprised to end up in Africa, and quite a few have mentioned in their reviews that they feel like they really experience Africa, and feel as if they are there: this has made me most proud.
Andrea: Can you give us a brief overview of the book? What's it about?
Gerry: It’s about a young man who flees his home when demons from an abusive childhood come to haunt him again. Rather than succumb to them, he decides to run away to Africa in search of adventure and a way to put the past behind him forever. He finds more love and friendship in some of the poorest parts of the world, than he ever experienced back home, and his priorities change. He is no longer running to save himself, but instead walking headlong into an adventure that will change his outlook on life and human beings forever. Will Africa be enough to save him from his past, or will his demons devour him?
Andrea: Who is your target audience? What would you hope that readers take away from it?
Gerry: I believe my story is for a wide range of readers because it is about something we all have in common: Life. Ideally, I would like to think that my story will be able to inspire other people suffering from the effects of child abuse and domestic violence, to go out and fight for a life they deserve, instead of accepting the one they feel they are doomed to. The story can also be informative to others and help create a better understanding of what abuse can do to a person, and how the healing process is dealt with in different ways, and comes in many forms. For many of us, our past is something we live with, and unfortunately not something we forget and move on from.
Andrea: Has writing this book taught you anything about yourself?
Gerry: I have realized the value of all of our life stories. Sharing our experiences with each other promotes understanding and empathy, we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I have realized that although things don’t always get done in the time you want them to, they do eventually get done.
Andrea: What's next for you as an author? Is there a sequel planned?
Gerry: Yes, of course. I am not stopping there. My next book is almost finished and due to come out at the end of this year. It is called I Don’t Believe God Wrote The Bible, and is the prequel to Kill Daddy, or at least it is about a journey I made before Africa. I left England at the age of twenty, also running from my past, and went hitching around Europe with a girlfriend. We experienced wild and crazy adventures and learned valuable life lessons about people, which were extremely important in making me the kind of man I am today. It is a story of growing up and realizing that much of what you search for is already there. It’s a crazy read, full of wacky situations and people.
Andrea: How can readers connect with you online?
Gerry: I have an official Kill Daddy Facebook page, a blog and a website, and I love to hear from readers and other people with similar ideas and interests. Thanks for having me, and I hope people enjoy my stories.
Andrea: You're welcome. It was a pleasure learning about your book.
Gerry's contact links:
Kill Daddy is also available via Kobo and many other retailers.