TRURO - Magi Nams has seen some extraordinary things in her lifetime.
And the Tatamagouche resident has found a way to share her adventures. The author and her husband, Vilis, are in South Africa for six months. Vilis is studying lions, cheetahs, and leopards while Magi is writing a book about their current and upcoming adventures. She has already released Cry of the Kiwi: A Family's New Zealand Adventure, based on the family's 10 months in New Zealand.
The publication became one story in three parts: Once a Land of Birds, This Dark Sheltering Forest, and Tang of the Tasman Sea.
The following is a question and answer session between Nams and the Truro Daily News about her writing and adventures.
Q. When will the new book be released?
A. The release date for my new book, Red Continent: A Year in Australia, is Oct. 15, 2016.
Q. What was the most touching experience in your travels that you related in the books?
A. While my sons and I were hiking beside a lake with lots of birds, the boys started whistling. Some black swans swam alongside us and began to whistle back. Their deep voices sounded like wind blowing across the top of a long bamboo tube. That was magical!
Q. Were there any scary or unnerving moments during your journeys?
A. For Vilis's research, we drove quads (all-terrain vehicles) over muddy and incredibly rough tracks in the rainforest. After a torrential downpour, Vilis had to cross flooded rivers and drive washed-out tracks to check and close stoat traps. It took him about 10 hours, and the boys and I were waiting and worrying. He was OK but one of three stoats caught in traps had drowned.
Q. Based on your travelling experiences, how difficult has the book-writing and publication process been?
A. I revised the manuscript many times and worked with a professional editor, who told me it was three books, not one. I formatted the manuscripts, digitized and edited the photographs, designed the covers and interiors, and uploaded the books for release. It was a tremendous amount of work, but I'm thrilled with the results.
Q. What's some advice you would give to others who are attempting to create the same type of book?
A. First, believe in yourself and your story. Second, know that you'll have many challenges and that you'll have to learn new skills to meet them. Third, realize that once you've finished writing your manuscript, it's not your baby anymore; it's a product. My editor and I exchanged a few heated emails over what she felt should or shouldn't be included. I respected her advice, but didn't always agree with her.
Q. How much is the book and where can it be purchased?
A. All three books are available at CreateSpace eStore and Amazon.com (www.maginams.ca for buy links), with a list price of $19.99 for Once a Land of Birds and Tang of the Tasman Sea, and $14.99 for This Dark Sheltering Forest.
Q. What are some other projects you have done?
A. I have published dozens of nature articles in the children's magazine Ranger Rick; published poetry and biographical magazine articles, done freelance writing for government and conservation agencies, broadcast personal essays on CBC Radio, and taught creative writing workshops for adults and children.