Ian Mathie – non-fiction author who writes gripping tales every bit as exciting as the best thrillers.
Having spent much of his childhood and early school years in East Africa, Ian Mathie returned to Africa after military service in the RAF, to work as a rural development officer. Flying himself in a light aircraft for long range transport, he specialised mainly in water supply projects, and his work took him all over the continent: sinking boreholes, digging wells and building small dams in West Africa; establishing clean water filters in the sweaty jungles of the Congo basin; building storage facilities in the Kalahari, and irrigation systems in the intense heat of Ethiopia’s Danakil desert. Living intimately with the people he was there to help gave him a unique insight into their cultures and traditions that were largely hidden from outsiders, and are now rapidly disappearing under the onslaught of twenty first century progress and technology. Along with his working notes, much of this was recorded in the notebooks he kept at the time.
The political situation changed, and more local people became available to do the extension work, so Ian decided to return to Europe and retrain as an industrial psychologist. He spent the next twenty years designing and delivering leading edge motivational and performance development programmes, in both Europe and in some African countries. For these he exploited principles he had developed whilst working with African tribesmen and applied them with innovative twists.
When medical issues curtailed his travelling and work, he dug out the field notebooks he had kept whilst working in Africa, and began writing a series of fascinating African Memoirs. Focussing on the people among whom he lived and worked, rather than on his own activities, these memoirs provide an intimate view of tribal life from the inside, and yet they read with all the excitement and tension of top grade thrillers.
Best selling Australian author, Rosanne Dingli, commenting on Ian’s writing said: “His narratives have a terse, engaging style. No embroidery, no fancy metaphors, no needless personal disburdening … just deceptively plain narrative that is gripping and memorable.”
His first Memoir was BRIDE PRICE, the story of an orphan girl, to whom he became a foster father whilst working in a forest village in what was then called Zaïre (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
This was followed by MAN IN A MUD HUT, a tale of culture shock, witchcraft, African problem solving, and development work across several West African countries.
SUPPER WITH THE RESIDENT, the third volume, is an anthology and includes memorable meals under somewhat unconventional circumstances with four African Presidents. These included President Mobutu Sese Seko, whom Ian was privileged to know as a personal friend.
The fourth volume, DUST OF THE DANAKIL, is about the relief effort during the great drought in the Horn of Africa during 1973 – 74, during the final days of Emperor Haile Selassie.
All four of these are available in both print and e-book format and can be found through Amazon.com.
A fifth volume, SORCERERS AND ORANGE PEEL, is due for release any day and will be released in both print and e-book formats at the same time. This one is set in three countries in West Africa and is about sorcerers and….er….orange peel!
Non-Kindle users who require books in other e-formats can find all Ian Mathie’s books at Smashwords.com.
Further information about this author, his work, and sample chapters, can be found at his website: http://www.ianmathie.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords