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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Child Soldier by Herman F. Bosman


About
For some children, the brutality of war is the only “normality” they will ever experience.
In 2015, there were an estimated 300,000 children taking part in at least 30 different conflicts worldwide. The use of child soldiers is most prevalent in Africa and Asia where socioeconomic and political circumstances are contributing factors. Children might join a combat group purely for the food and shelter it may offer.
Because they are so young, many children are easily indoctrinated or manipulated into taking part in conflicts. They do not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions or the complexities of war and politics. With little understanding of the dangers of warfare, or the mental, physical and sexual abuse which may accompany their daily lives, some children take part in wars voluntarily.

This is the fictional journey as seen through the eyes of one such child.

Follow his epic struggle for survival - from street child in Uganda to hardened child soldier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Share his pain, misery, abuse and indoctrination at the hands of the "Merchants of Death" rebel army - an army led by a brutal colossus with blood diamond interests spanning across borders. Experience the utter loss of innocence no child should ever have to endure. The complete absence of empathetic emotions such as love, compassion and respect for life. Concepts that we take for granted. Concepts which make us human.

Interview
Welcome to my Blog Herman.  My readers and I are looking forward to hearing more about your latest book Child Soldier and your life and career.
Q:
Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A:
"Child Soldier" - War Fiction - because I had always wondered about what constitutes "normality" for children in conflict areas who grew up without any role models to teach them basic concepts such as love, compassion, mercy etc. which we take for granted.
Q:
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A:
Human emotions, lost youth, coming of age for children in war zones. I have a military background and write with this in mind. War psychology always interested me.
Q:
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A:
I start with a general concept - the beginning, middle, end. Then the main plot and a few sub-plots. And then it just unfolds as I write.
Q:
What kind of research was involved?
A:
Much research on children in conflicts around the world. Especially on UN and UNICEF sites. Then on some sites dedicated to rehabilitation of Child Soldiers. Since it is a war story and set in Uganda, I also did a lot of research on weaponry and the country.
Q:
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A:
A bit of my own military experience, experiences regarding shamans and ayahuasca in Brazil's rain forests and experiences regarding indigenous people and cultures being a local of South Africa.
Q:
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A:
I have a lot of time since I do not work full-time. I am a bit of a recluse and never married and therefore have little family. Of course I have friends for my social interaction.
Q:
Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A:
To be honest, I had never read a book regarding Child Soldiers. And the vast majority is non-fiction whereas mine is the exception being fiction.
Q:
Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A:
I hope that people will realize how many children never grow up in a normal society understanding the basic concepts which make us human. How they are exploited and will for always only know the negative aspects and emotions associated with the brutality of war. Always only know hatred, murder and violence and lack the understanding of compassion, love and mercy. Chances of them ever reintegrating into society are slim to none since they had been scarred for life.
Q:
What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A:
Working on ideas for a 2nd book.
Q:
Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A:
I had learnt that the book market is excessively competitive with millions of other books and authors to compete with. To be honest, if one wants to be noted you need to spend a lot of money on advertising - something I cannot afford since it will only eat away any chances of a few dollars in royalties. My expenses are already not viable as it is. And I refuse to prostitute my hard work for $0.99c
Q:
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A:
Be prepared to wait and wait and wait for sales.
Be realistic - you are competing with millions who had also written a book and wants to sell it.
Don't lose hope.
Market yourself as best you could - without marketing or visibility your book, no matter how good, will never be noted.
Just keep the faith and try not to get down...
Again, thanks Herman for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

About the Author
Herman F. Bosman grew up in an Afrikaans family during South Africa's Apartheid years and did his compulsory national military service in the late 1980's. He was trained as a combat medic and later in VIP security where he became the driver and bodyguard to the Surgeon General. In early 2000, the author hitched boats up the Amazon river on a 3700 mile spiritual journey, searching for the answers to life and everything else. He stayed with a shaman for a number of days in some of the most remote parts of the rain forest and took part in various deeply spiritual rituals which included strange indigenous customs and potions. These experiences influenced his views on life & war forever.
CreateSpace link (paperback printers): https://www.createspace.com/5747881
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