Tendai Huchu was born in 1982 in Bindura, Zimbabwe. He attended Churchill High School in Harare and from there went to the University of Zimbabwe to study a degree in Mining Engineering. He dropped out in the middle of the first semester, found work briefly in a casino and from there drifted from one job to the next. Four years later he returned to university and is now a Podiatrist living in Edinburgh, Scotland. --Quoted from His Website
And Smokey from...
An Untimely Love!
Love can find us in the most unusual of circumstances. This is what happens to Khalid Patel, a terrorist, when he falls in love with Smokey, a feisty and independent young woman who was to be Britain's first female suicide bomber. On what is meant to be his day of martyrdom, his violent worldview is thrown into turmoil. We share his thoughts as Death and Duty become irrevocably and movingly entwined with Love and Life.
An Interview with Tendai
Hi Tendai! Thank you so much for coming to the blog today!
1) Tell me about yourself?
Is this a chat up line, CYP? I was born in a small mining town called Bindura in Zimbabwe, way back in 1982, so 30 is round the corner and I’m dreading it. I now live in Edinburgh, Scotland.
2) Wow..Scotland!! I've always wanted to go there. Haha anyway, what do you usually do when you're not being an author?
I work part-time as a podiatrist. Play a bit of chess, watch a lot of movies, not much else really. I don’t think you ever stop being an author, there’s always ideas swirling in your head, no matter where you are.
3) Podiatrist.. Then how and why did you start writing?
I read an awful lot and the more I read, the more I kept finding ideas quite similar to mine in other peoples’ work so finally I put pen to paper and just wrote.
4) Was An Untimely Love the first novel you've ever written? If it isn't, then what are the others about?
My first novel’s called The Hairdresser of Harare. An Untimely Love is the second, the two are completely different.
5) Have you ever written a novels in other genres?
The Hairdresser of Harare is a contemporary novel. It’s the story of a young single mum called Vimbai who’s struggling to create a future for herself and her daughter amidst the economic, political and social turmoil in Zimbabwe. To cut a long story short, she falls in love with a charming man keeping a dark secret…
6) What's An Untimely Love about?
It’s about Khalid Patel, a first generation British-Pakistani is a suicide bomber who falls in love on the day he’s supposed to martyr himself. As you can expect his violent world view is thrown into turmoil and that’s just the start of a roller-coaster ride that pits him against his handlers and the intelligence services.
7) Did you base any of your characters on real life people/experiences? Which ones?
The book is an idea based on the story of the Black September group who committed atrocities at the Munich Olympics. It is thought one of the things that contributed to their disbanding as an effective terror organisation is the fact they were encouraged to marry and start families which decreased their appetite for violence. This is based on work by Thomas Hayden and Dr. Malcolm Potts in their book, Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World. So I essentially took that idea and then linked it with contemporary issues around terrorism in Britain.
8) What is your favourite part in An Untimely Love?
So many to pick from. The book is divided into three parts, the first which is called, The Last Day of a Suicide Bomber which I love because it’s taken from Victor Hugo’s The Last Day of a Condemned Man.
9) Wow..you must read A LOT of these war/suicide bombing books. Do you have a favourite book or author?
When you read so much you stop having favourite authors and favourite books. Literature is a house with many rooms and so many of them linked together. My favourite is usually the book I’m reading at the time… if it’s good.
10) What was the hardest part in your path to becoming an author?
The long hours spent writing, never knowing whether or not my work would ever see the light of day. But I kept on anyway.
Haha, ok. I think Smokey's just arrived for her interview. Talk to you next time, Tendai!
An Interview with Smokey
*Smokey enters the scene, walks past the no smoking sign, cigarette in hand, eyes glazed, wearing red Converse trainers and a blue hoodie.*
Hi Smokey! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
1) Hey, how are you today? Where's Mr Patel?
First of all, I didn’t wanna do your shit interview but the author forced me so fuck it. Where’s Mr Patel? Out there, planning to blow your ass up. Can I go now?
2) Ok....nice to meet you too. If you're so disagreeable, then I suggest we start this interview proper and get it over and done with. You're the lead girl in An Untimely Love, what is it about?
Weird stage in my life. I was caught up in this terror network and we were planning to blow some targets up in London but things happened that we didn’t expect to happen.
3) Must've been quite a panic moment when you're planning something big and things don't go as planned.. The story's in yours and Mr Patel's point of view, isn't it? How do you feel, knowing that people will be privy to both of your inner thoughts? Haha, to those moments you had with each other?
He shouldn’t have written it. I mean we live in a world with shit reality T.V. shows, crass Tabloids, kiss and tell books from used up D-List celebrities. The last thing I need is for people to get all up in my business like that.
4) Aw, but a FEMALE, BRITISH, suicide bomber makes for a very good story. *winks* You're Britain's first female suicide bomber. Tell me, what made you decide to be one? It takes so much gut. What's the big reason for you to be willing to sacrifice your life like that?
Am I gonna get a medal or something? I wanted to change the world, like everyone else in their twenties. I thought we were at the vanguard of something special. Yeah, I was willing to die.
5) If you hadn't become a suicide bomber, what do you imagine yourself to be? Any dreams and ambitions?
I’d have been a doctor, I was at uni. Ironic ha, one day you’re treating sick people the next you wanna blow them up.
6) That's.....nice. What you think of Mr Patel? What was your first impression of him?
Good looking, a bit slow but then all men are. When I first saw him I knew there was something different about him. Kind, that’s it, he was kind, he cared.
7) What's your most memorable memory in An Untimely Love?
The bit when Khalid came to rescue me from the cops. I mean, I’d given up and there he goes with some Prison Break shit just to get me. That took a lot of heart.
8) Do you have anything you'd like to say to readers out there?
This Tendai Huchu guy should really stop ripping people’s stories off and selling them as his own. I mean there’s bits in the book I’d have taken out just because they’re so private you know. How come he gets his name on the front cover when it was Khalid’s story anyway?
9) Err, well, Tendai was the one who WROTE Khalid's story, so I guess his name's the one that's gonna be on the cover. Where can readers buy your "autobiography", of sorts? Haha.
That’s in the works but for now I just need to chill out and think about where my future’s headed. If you see me in a crowded train carriage or something… get the hell out.
Thank you again for coming to do the interview! Even if it was done so reluctantly.:)
If you'd like to find out more about Tendai or his books, you can visit him at:
Tendai is generously giving away 5 ecopies of An Untimely Love to 5 international winners! No requirements, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below and you're good to go! This giveaway will last for 2 weeks, which will end Febuary 4th, 2012.
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