He sees ‘the butterfly’ in his dreams.
She is the key to setting a child’s soul free.
She is the perfect sacrifice.
Ex-soldier Kirkman ‘Buffel’ Potgieter lives by the motto of his former military unit: Tiri Tose, which is Shona for ‘we are together’…but also for ‘there is no escape’. So when Shilo Jamison Khumalo betrays Buffel by saving a neighbour’s child, Tara Wright, from becoming the latest addition to his sinister ‘butterfly’ collection, it sparks Buffel’s obsession with hunting them both down.
After Tara witnesses the murder of her father and uncle, she and her remaining family leave Zimbabwe for a new life in South Africa. There, a teenaged Tara meets Wayne Botha, but finds she isn’t prepared for the price she is asked to pay for falling in love. After Tara secretly flees the conservative rural community, Wayne never gives up hope of ever seeing his one true love again.
But years later, out of the blue, Tara makes contact with Wayne to reveal a secret and some potentially devastating news. In a twist of fate, Wayne and Jamison find they have far more in common than just a passion for African wildlife and join forces to protect Wayne’s new family. But the threat of Buffel is still looming and Jamison knows only too well that there will be ‘no escape’ for him and Tara, ‘The Butterfly’.
A personal insight and date line into the journey of Shooting Butterflies:
This book is very close to my heart.
For those who know me well, there are some same characteristics/circumstances in Tara that skate close to the real me - but don’t confuse this character as me!!! It is fictionalised. (Fact: I lost my own dad just as I turned 12 years old. He was NOT murdered! I moved countries after this yes, but thats where the similarities end! )
It explores growing up unconventionally in Africa during the war of Independence in Zimbabwe, it explores the stigma of white unmarried mothers in society at that time, and matriarch dominance over their sons. Its about a mother and her son reaching a crisis in their lives, and how badly its dealt with. Its about fathers and sons and the special friendships that this is so fragile between them. Its about family life. Its about how some first loves are real, and they can last despite time, distance and whatever hardships the young lovers have to endure. Love is forever. But its also about unwavering, love, overcoming society stigmas and having the strength to fight for what you believe in. Its basically about the fall out later in an adult life, from the effects of war, changes and freedom and its about PTSD.... its about traditions and different religions and how they impact on those around and its about growing up in a society where mental illness is still a stigma...
Wrote first draft some time before this...
June 2008: This book needs more story, so am adding to it this month.
April: Hoping to get the edits on this book done soon....
November 2008: finished edits - ready to go to publisher as requested.... wish me luck!!
Feb 2009: In the reading stage at Random - biting nails stage....
April: Still waiting.
June: Rewriting as women's fiction - no longer a YA as suggested by Leonie Tyle.
August 2009: Told agent about this rewrite in the states - go a request for the first three chapters when its done!
November: This is with my critique partner ...rewrite done - lets see her view.
December 2009: Rewrites again... more work needed.
October 2013: Doing edits and a bit of a rewrite on this book.
December 2013: Sold to Harlequin as part of 2 book contract.
January 2014 - Okay so I totally rewrote the book. What was there was nothing like what I wanted to tell the story like and have changed a fair whack of the story - introduced a few new characters, deleted a few others, and I think its better...
March 2014: It’s gone to the editors now... lets see how we go with edits on this book and see it at year end in PRINT!!!