Roy is a veterinary surgeon in a private practice and has had extensive experience with both small animals and wildlife.
He has worked in the city and in the wild African bush. He was the presenter of a series made for TV, called “Dr Roy’s Vet Safari” which was also documented in his first book: Tales of an African Vet. In 2009 he published It’s a Vet’s Life – Adventures in the City and the Wild.
Roy is interested in African mysticism and ancestral worship and communications, and has made a study of this subject, collecting information and firsthand experience and documentation about this subject as well as interviewing indigenous peoples and visiting some sacred sites where African mysticism and alchemy was practiced.
Tee: Jamie James and the Curse of the Ancestors is a unique blend of the old and the new. How did you come up with the idea of this book?
Roy: The “curse” is based on a curse that is well known in the area. There is a farm about seventy kilometres from Cape Town known as “Boontjieskraal”. The English name for the farm is Bean Farm. About two hundred years ago the owner of the farm whipped a slave to death and the slave’s mother placed a death curse on the males of the family. The last male member died violently in 1986 in a motor cat accident. I wanted to write a book about a young boy who wanted to be a vet. I am also fascinated by the Boontjieskraal curse. It then occurred to me to combine the two ideas and thus Jamie James was born.
Tee: Was it difficult to write from the perspective of a 15 year old boy? Is Jamie based on anyone?
Roy: The most difficult thing is finding the words and rhythm of a fifteen year old, as I am quite a lot older than that (ha ha). My son was 15 at the time and his name is Jamie. I watched him carefully and modelled Jamie James on the characteristics of Jamie Aronson.
Tee: What do you want readers to take away from this book?
Roy: If the reader takes away a sense of wonder at African mysticism and a sensitivity for African wildlife and a realisation that black and white can thrive if they cooperate and learn to love each other, then I have done my job.
Tee: What authors/ books do you enjoy reading?
Roy: I love Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, I love Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces, and everything in between. My reading preferences are eclectic but if I am pinned down my best read is a novel based on historic fact.
Tee: How would you describe your writing style?
Roy: I am not sure that I have a style that is described in any classic sense. I want to be a story teller. The story is paramount. No use writing a book that is wonderfully written if the story is thin. Better a strong story weakly written than a weak story strongly written. Of course if you can do both, tell a great story and tell it well, then that is first prize. It is what I strive for. But more than anything else, I am a story teller.
Tee: Being a veterinary doctor is a job of massive responsibility. Do you feel that vets are largely misrepresented as comic or eccentric characters?
Roy: How vets are represented depends on what you are reading. If you want to know what vet does, ask a vet. If you want to read about the veterinary profession read a book written by a vet. The insights vets have about their profession is irreplaceable. Most vet books written by vets, that I have read, have got it spot on. Make sure that the person does not just claim to be a vet. Use the internet to actually prove that the author really is a vet. Then that author will be all the more credible.
Tee: How can readers reach you?
Roy: I can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org This is probably the easiest and best way
I really hope that the readers enjoy my book. It has been a great pleasure writing it. There are three more Jamie James books already written and in the process of being edited for publication.
Book 2. The Horn of Africa, with Jamie James
Book 3. The Great white shark, with Jamie James
Book 4. The Shaman of the forest, with Jamie James
Watch out for book 2. We hope to release it either late this year or early next year.
Read the review Here