The making of the video promo for The Celebration Husband

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Arjun_Kohli&Stephen_Rain_Ngala.jpg
Even though novel-writing is the kind of post-Gutenberg, pre-Internet activity that is ever-more-frequently marked for extinction in newspaper book reviews (themselves marked for extinction), I think the Internet and novels have positive synergies to exploit.  Putting my opinion into action, I recently assembled a crew to make a video promo for my fourth novel, The Celebration Husband (as I did for my second novel, The Swing of Beijing). 

Through a combination of begging and bribing with meals, I persuaded my friend and former workmate at UNEP, Arjun Kohli (pictured above), to shoot and edit the video, and my friend, Tim Banda, of The Nation, to interview me on camera.  Along with musician Stephen Rain Okoth Ngala (pictured above), a couple of early readers of the book, and some other hungry friends, we all decamped to Olepolos to shoot the video and, well, have a party.

Nyama.jpgOlepolos is a nyama choma (roast meat) restaurant in the Ngong Hills, outside Nairobi.  "Olepolos" is a Masai word; I've been told (by a mzungu) that it means "place of the wind," but (if I were you, dear blog reader) I'd independently confirm that before requoting.  The important point is that Olepolos is one of Kenya's top locations for roast goat meat; it's also set in a hillside and affords gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape from its terraces.

For our party of nine, the restaurant had slaughtered and cooked a whole goat (leg pictured at right), which they served to us with katchumbari (a salsa-like salad), ugali (like thick grits), mukimo (a combination of maize, potatoes and nettle), and fries.  Goat meat, for those of you who haven't tried it, is delicious; it's lighter than beef or lamb, but more flavorful than pork or chicken.  It's also very fatty: mmmm.  Nine though we were, we couldn't finish the feast, which spanned three sittings over five hours.

Tim_Banda.jpgAfter sating ourselves on the first helping, we sat down to the interview.  Tim Banda (pictured left) was a naughty interviewer: his idea of a question about the book's romance plot line was to ask me whether I, like my character, found love in Kenya.  We'll see whether that question makes it into the final edit.

In addition to the interview, Arjun shot footage of the landscape and of Ngala, playing music on a traditional Lou instrument, called the nyatiti, which has strings made from fishing lines.  We also got some clips of readers talking about their response to the book.  (And I discovered that a great way to solicit positive reader feedback is to sit in front of them while they discuss their opinions of the book.  I wonder if that insight has any application with book critics.)

Stay tuned for the results - the video should be coming online in the next two or three weeks.   

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This page contains a single entry by Maya published on June 17, 2010 4:10 AM.

Pun-ishing plot was the previous entry in this blog.

Too real for pleasure, too impressive to deny is the next entry in this blog.

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