A tale of tarnished gold
What’s Gold Bloody Gold about?
The book is about my father’s gold discovery in Mali, in West Africa in 1981. He flew to Mali at the behest of a financier based in London. The result of his work was a geological report that delineated vast gold reserves in the western part of Mali, in a place called Kenieba. The book is about my father’s work in the mining industry and all of the drama that was brought into my family as a result of my dad’s involvement in the international gold trade.
Why did you decide to write the book?
I chose to write the book because my father killed himself. Almost 11 years ago, my father loaded a bullet into his prized hunting rifle and took his own life. That was really the catalyst for the writing process, which was to a large degree, a cathartic exercise. It should also be noted that my father was never paid for his work in Africa, and it became a source of great sadness and frustration, which antagonized a mental illness he was dealing with at the time.
What were some of the challenges that came along with writing Gold Bloody Gold?
The first challenge I had was an economic challenge. I was unable to take time off, I was working as an oil and gas geologist while writing the book, so writing was a part-time endeavour that happened over about 10 years. There was also an emotional challenge, because of the content of the book which deals in part with my father’s suicide, so writing the book was a significant emotional obstacle.
In Gold Bloody Gold you have included some documents that are in some cases very sensitive. What was the intent behind including them in the story?
Really, it was to validate the story. Gold Bloody Gold is an incredulous story and I wanted to include those documents to validate my story. And to quantify and qualify a lot of facts in the book. Outside of that, the documents are very interesting. Most people have never seen a geological base map for Mali, or letters from Swiss bankers, or all sorts of different financiers and lawyers and really, the documents add to the drama of the story.
Has Gold Bloody Gold , having told your story, offered you any sense of closure?
Probably not. I think that my father’s suicide is a monumental tragedy and I don’t think that’s something a person can ever really get closure of or from. It’s tough to get closure when dealing with such a terrible legacy.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I don’t want people to pick up the book thinking they’re going to be reading about gold mining in Africa exclusively. The book is my memoir and there’s more to it than that. As such, I feel it’s a privilege that people want to read it. I don’t expect them to be at all emotionally invested in the book, but I do hope that they are entertained by it.
Gold Bloody Gold: A True Story of Lost Goldmines, Greed and Misadventure is
available for purchase on Amazon for print and Kindle copies and Google Books.