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Recent feature articles
Motohuma the Firehead
15 August 2011
Your poetry can help heroes (UK competition)
31 January 2011
Churchmouse Tales
22 January 2011
The Hero's Journey
02 January 2011
MyNovel novel writing software
01 January 2011
New Writers' Circle site
01 January 2011

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Special feature

Motohuma the Firehead by Jennifer Munro

Motohuma the Firehead by Jennifer Munro

The writer’s passionate love affair with her doomed African homeland of Zimbabwe blazes through this novel, and lights up the lives of a small, rural community in the middle of a brutal bush war. ‘No paradise is ever without its serpents, nor any Eden its exiles.’ Mysterious scars on her body, strange relics in a hidden suitcase, adult eyes that slide away from the direct gaze when Poppet, the flame-haired heroine asks questions about her mysterious past, build towards a terrifying night when she is attacked in the farmhouse while her alcoholic father slumbers next door. When Poppet learns the dreadful secret of her true identity she flies to London, to the safe, tranquil life she was originally destined for. Murder, rape, terrorism, racism, fire, guns, crocodiles, secrets and snakes all seem far behind her until her hated father dies, and she is called to face all the old fears again; this time with the man who wants to marry her, but is oblivious to the terrible things she’s seen and done. A mystical witchdoctor nanny, a wise old man and her loving father set out to heal the terrible pain, and allow Poppet to forgive herself and her past.

Biography: Jennifer Munro

I was born in the tiny hamlet of Winteringham, Lincolnshire, UK. I grew up surrounded by love, fluffy bunnies, golden retrievers and ponies. My extended family were all close; in neighbouring villages, and life was very gentle and safe. Then my father, who longed for freedom from the restrictions of English life, moved us to South Africa. Finding that not quite wild enough for his taste, he moved us to Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe in the early seventies, at the beginning of the bush war. I married too young, and went farming during the war. I must have inherited that wild streak! My two beautiful daughters were born and, after some very traumatic events, my husband and I moved our young family to South Africa. From one jungle to another! I started an advertising agency, and made myself Creative Director; writing for television, adverts, brochures and websites. I was thrilled to have some of my creative stories published in a woman's magazine, Fair Lady. I guess, in the end I grew tired of all the excitement and longed for the safety of my island home. I moved back to Britain in the late nineties, and started a marketing agency in Surrey that I then gave to my eldest daughter to allow me to concentrate on my first love: writing. Motohuma the Firehead is my second complete novel, and I am about one third of the way through my third. All that wildness and freedom gave me some wonderful material for my books. A lifetime of stories at my fingertips! I'm a lot quieter now. I have a cat and an apartment - no tangled wilderness to tame...but inside me, like a witchdoctor's cauldron, all the mad stories of Africa brew and bubble, and flow out of these fingers onto the keyboard for my own, and my readers' pleasure.


‘I think this is wonderfully written and, I really liked her execution. So.. if she doesn't sell this to someone else (and I expect she will) I would be happy to see whatever she writes next. ‘ Lennie Gooding, Senior Commissioning Editor, Virago Publishing.

Sweet honey writes: This book takes us back to when Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. Poppet is a white girl whose father owns a second-generation farm. The only mother she knows is Millie, her black nanny. There is change in the air, mixed with fear and hope. In the midst of all this, Poppet is growing up and discovering who she is. This is a well-told story from the heart, a story that should find a wide audience.

Mr. Nom de Plume: This work is a winner. It begins at a run and keeps on going.

Ophelia writes: I LOVE the line "who smelled of nothing more than common sense." Brilliant! This is a very well-written piece and nothing, as far as I can tell, that needs improving. Keep posting those chapters

`I've now read a fair chunk of MOTOHUMA, THE FIREHEAD (Jennifer Munro) and you're right that it's good, and vividly and evocatively written. It's the kind of book that could win prizes and be dramatised as a prestige film. Unfortunately it's also the kind of book that I don't think I'm good at representing. This may well be THE KITE RUNNER but I think it'd do better in the hands of an agency like Aitken Alexander. They'd be more likely to 'get' it, and to sell it in the right way. Anonymous Agent.
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