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Hello there, I'm Tom. I'm a retired Infantry Army Officer with Rhodesian Bush War experience. I have written a semi-fictional novel based on my life experiences as a soldier, a professional hunter and small-worker gold mine manager. Ask Me Anything.

TomFulton
Dec 3, 2017

HIS BROTHER'S SHOES is an exciting action packed novel which I thoroughly enjoyed writing, as it is based on all my experiences throughout my life; boxing, soldiering, professional hunting, gold mining and a conservationist with a deep love for the African bush. The characters evolved from where I was at the age of that particular character - as a boy, a young man, and as a father. I believe one needs to write in the comfort zone of ones experiences to render the story truly authentic. I believe my intimate knowledge of the African bush comes to the fore, as does my comprehensive, first hand knowledge of the Bush War.

HIS BROTHER'S SHOES will enlighten the overseas readers to glean firstly, where Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) is, and the history of it over the last sixty years, This is penned by someone who grew up in the heady days, of when young teenage children could go off for a week into the bush, with no fear and just be boys; and of how the bush (civil) war affected every family, black and white! HIS BROTHER'S SHOES, although a fictional story, is based on factual experiences of the author throughout his life. His character and experiences are seen in each and every character. He has lived through and experienced the transition of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, and still lives here.

http://www.tomfulton-author.com/

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Will this be published online for free on inspirational sites?

Dec 8, 10:16PM EST0

Hello there.It will eventually be released for sale with Kindle. (You realise a writer actually 'loses' copyrite once this desperate measure is resorted to?)If I could arrive at the point of financial security that I could write "for fun", I'll let the world know.

Dec 8, 11:01PM EST0

What would be your advice for young writers today? On which aspects they should be more focused?

Dec 7, 11:44AM EST0

Plan the book in advance and discipline yourself to write to a target every day. I started with a target of 3000 words but was usually doing about 5000. Some days, more.

Dec 7, 10:39PM EST0

Why you take decision to write a book on your life experience?

Dec 7, 10:29AM EST0

Really just because I thought I may have something of universal interest to tell.

Dec 7, 10:36PM EST0

Where can I buy?

Dec 3, 6:02AM EST1

You can order "Into the Vortex" on the website, it has a PayPal facility too. "His Brother's Shoes" is yet to be published.www.tomfulton-author.com

Dec 3, 7:07AM EST1

You can order and pay on the website at www.tomfulton-author.com

Dec 7, 10:35PM EST0

What separate this book from the other war novels?

Dec 2, 11:35PM EST0

Hello CESSMEE.Don't pigeon-hole the book as a war novel please! The fact that one of the lead characters happens to find himself in a war situation is incidental. It is more of a story of the mental complexities involved in the misunderstood war that was fought in our country.I have tried to describe how complicated things became as everybody started being led around by the nose by the conflicting opinions of the politicians.The finest natural resource that our country boasts is its wonderful people. The book depicts what an idyllic life we lived before the politicians came along to ruffle everyone's feathers.It is NOT a war novel.

Dec 3, 1:14AM EST1

How many books have you written about the Bush War?

Dec 2, 2:09PM EST0

Hello Jesa.My auto biography is the first, and His Brother's Shoes, the second. My third book is well in progress and is a fictional/factual expose` of the illegal trade in wildlife products in South Africa.

Dec 2, 11:16PM EST1

What inspired you to create a novel that depicts your life's story?

Dec 2, 8:49AM EST1

Hi Carla,Read the book and decide for yourself whether I have a story to tell!

Dec 2, 9:09AM EST0

At what age did you start writing?

Dec 1, 9:10PM EST0

Hello Vicky Ife.

I started writing creatively as a schoolboy and won a few prises in essay competitions.

Dec 1, 11:10PM EST0

Are all of your three books revolving around the war experience theme?

Dec 1, 12:53PM EST0

The first is autobiographical Ana. The second, my first trip into fiction - although I have inter-laced a good deal of factual material.

The third? It's a factual/fictional expose` of the trafficking of illegal wildlife products. It targets rhino poaching in particular, and is a sequal to His Brother's Shoes.

Dec 1, 11:08PM EST1

Does this book target  retired soldiers only or is it for every reader?

Dec 1, 12:48PM EST0

Hi Georgew.I wrote this book hoping it would have universal appeal. It throws some light on our, often confusing Bush War, and gives some insight into what a wonderful childhood we were so privileged to have.

Dec 1, 11:03PM EST1

What was the title of your first book and what is the inspiration of the story?

Dec 1, 8:41AM EST0

Hi CBREEZYX3.My first title was Into the Vortex. It is a candid story of my childhood in (the then) Rhodesia. Having witnessed the castigation of a dear friend of mine, who had written a definitive account of the shooting down of the two civilian passenger aircraft with Soviet surface-to-air missiles, I changed my surname by one syllable and called it a novel.

The details that emerge after battle differ greatly - even from men who stood side-by-side. The adrenaline surge, as a result of being in mortal danger is inclined to paint different pictures for each person and they see it through different eyes.Everything in the book actually happened - only differently, seen through different eyes.

Dec 1, 11:00PM EST1

What is your take on the transition of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe and what positive effect does it have on the country?

Dec 1, 12:53AM EST1

Hello GEEKEEME.

The Nationalists were given an option and an action plan for the gradual transition to majority rule in the early 1960s, Smith, at the time, had seen some of the ruinous results of sudden handover and his proposals were rejected out of hand, by both the Nationalists, and the British government.Sadly, the grand Victorian design of Colonialism, became the saddest practical joke in history. Persons were sent to colonies to increase the global British influence and these pioneers were amongst my forebears. On arrival here, at the turn of the 19th century, the native never even had the wheel! We went about the building of a nation that had an ebulient economy and, as a result of punitive economic sanctions imposed by an ill-informed world, flourished and became a great and productive nation.

Mugabe's eventual rise to power and subsequent descimation of a once viable and contributary country is well documented and, I'm afraid, although vehemently denied, can be directly attributed to the naievete` and resultant chicanery of the British Government.My late father fought side-by-side with the Brits in North Africa and Italy. Can you imagine his incredulity at being "called-up" when the threat of a British invasion was eminent? Ludicrous? Indeed.The Brits deployed the Colonists without the slightest notion or any semblance of foresight, as to what was to become of the future generations. I ask everyone to put themselves in the position we found ourselves in?

Sometimes, "a mans gotta fight for what he thinks is right". (At the tender age of 19, I assure you that I had no interest in political hypothesis.)

The results of the political bumbling of the British and their inexplicable backing of their "blue-eyed boy" Mugabe? A genocide of over 20 000 of his opposition and a 37 year reign of abject terror which was only ended last week. Of course, it's politics again. We don't blame the British man on the street, on the contrary. Myopic fools like Harold Wilson, who had never even set foot in Africa, mapped the destiny of this country, and are directly responsible for the deaths of so many of its sons - black and white. 

His Brother's Shoes will take the reader on that heady and confusing situation where opposing political ideologies became locked in a deadly battle. As usual, the youth stood in front of the pontificating politicians. We buried them. We stepped forward to fill the gap of the fallen.

PTSD? A mere fact of life, for which many of us still receive therapy.

Positive effect GEEKEEME? We'll see - nothing but misery, despotism, corruption, brutal intimidation, et al with Mugabe. Perhaps the leopard will change its spots? We'll see. 

Dec 1, 10:51PM EST1

What accomplishments, aside from authoring books, are you most proud of?

Nov 30, 5:17PM EST0

Perhaps, at the age of 25, being the youngest Major in the Rhodesian Army and an infantry company commander in wartime was my greatest achievement.  

Dec 1, 9:48AM EST0

How long have you been writing novels like HIS BROTHER'S SHOES?

Nov 30, 11:48AM EST0

I wrote His Brother's Shoes about a year ago. It was my first crack at fiction, my first title was autobiographic.

Dec 1, 9:43AM EST0

What could have been done to prevent the war from happening?

Nov 30, 9:10AM EST0

I was a schoolboy when the political turmoil was developing, and by the time I left school, it was already in full swing. There was nothing I could have done to avert it.

Nov 30, 9:21AM EST0

How did the "landmine incident" change you as a person that you are now?

Nov 30, 5:49AM EST0

It was a rude 'wake up call' and a reminder that I was mortal. When you're highly trained and 20 years old, you tend to that you're bullet-proof. Perhaps it actually saved my life...

Nov 30, 9:23AM EST1

What are the most important lessons of war that you've been carrying with you throughout your life?

Nov 30, 5:16AM EST0

I am organised in the way that I think. I have gained valuable experience in man management and have always managed a happy workforce, as a result. The army taught me goal-setting, focus and to pay attention to detail.

Nov 30, 9:26AM EST0

If you have to tell tall tales of war, which particular part of the experience would you like to share with the younger generations?

Nov 30, 4:54AM EST1

Hi N Stark.I suppose the most important lesson is that of the fact that the politicians really "call the shots"; and always have."You smug-faced crowds, with kindling eye,Who cheer us soldier boys walk by;

Go home and pray you'll never know-

The hell, where youth and laughter go." - Rudyard Kipling

Dec 2, 12:23AM EST0

How did your involvement in the foundation heal you as a person who was wounded by the war?

Nov 30, 4:23AM EST0

I was the founder of the Sweet Banana Charity. I gain no benefit personally, except for the wonderful feeling of being able to help my fellow retired and needy soldier. 

Dec 2, 12:25AM EST1

What was the most difficult task as a Liaison officer in negotiating with the ZIPRA Brigade (Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army)?

Nov 30, 4:23AM EST0

Perhaps retaining an apolitical veneer was the most difficult. The spectre of the mere thought of a Mugabe government was always in the back of our minds. I made some life-long friends from amongst the hierarchy of my former enemy. They were well trained and, quite honestly, realised that they had probably fought for nothing? I empathised.

Dec 2, 12:30AM EST1

What is your most important role for the "Sweet Banana Community Charity"?

Nov 30, 4:15AM EST0

I was the founder of this fund and it is used for the welfare of former serving members of the Rhodesian African Rifles. It was an Infantry Regiment made up of indigenous black soldiers who served loyally in many theatres of war, gaining Battle honours in places all over the world.

Of course, they are all old retired men now, but we will never forget their invaluable contribution.

Nov 30, 6:54AM EST1

What made you decide to start writing?

Nov 29, 9:23AM EST0

Hi Nikita. It started a long time ago. I always aced English and was annually put forward to participate in the annual Rhodes Trustee Essay Competition. I won some prizes and realised that perhaps I had some talent.Later, on joining my infantry battalion as a young newly commissioned officer, I was soon being hounded by the Battalion Education Officer to write articles for the battalion magazine.Both he and one of my fellow subalterns have urged me ever since (almost 40 years) to get down and write.The new book is my first "trip" into fiction...and what a trip it was!

Nov 29, 10:17AM EST1

I have visited Mana Pools before, done a number of Walking Safaris there. What are yoru favorite places in Zim?

Nov 29, 8:26AM EST1

Zimbabwe is a country of amazing contrasts Riley. We have the plush, green mountains of the Eastern Highlands, the mystical towering granite hills of the Matopos and the incomparable Victoria Falls. The Zambezi valley, particularly, but not only Mana, has a brash wildness to it that one cannot help grown to love.In my book, I write at length on the equal beauty of the little publicised mining town of Shurugwi (Selukwe of old). Nestled in the mountains at the tail end of the Great Dyke, it has a quaintness not disimilar to some of the mountain hamlets of the Chimanani mountains on our eastern border.Even the extreme southeast of the country exudes a unique beauty. The confluence of the Sabi and Lundi rivers boasts a wealth of diverse wildlife. The breathtaking Tjolotjo cliffs, eroded over the millennia by the Lundi river are truly a spectacular sight.That just about covers the whole country? It's a truly beautiful country.

Dec 1, 9:05AM EST1
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