Catch Up With Author Tony Fitzjohn

Learn more about the inspiration behind his book, "Born Wild."

Posted: March 9, 2011, 3 a.m. EST

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Tony Fitzjohn
Tony Fitzjohn (Photo courtesy of Dominic Nahr)
What was your inspiration behind the book? 
I found my inspiration in Africa itself. I was inspired by the vast wild country, the animals, the people, and by waking up every day and getting re-charged by it all.

You’ve dedicated yourself to the restoration of the animal kingdom. What drives your passion for this cause?  
Africa and the animals have been good to me. I have shared their world, and they have shared mine. I have seen their need for help – the animals have no voices. I hope that my voice, along with the work that I do, will help perpetuate their voice.

Tell us about a favorite memory that came about during your cause.
There are so many, but I guess a favorite memory would be when a much smaller lion tried to get a huge one off me. I was being chewed up and strangled to death. It’s in the book.

What was it like to write this book?
Writing the book has allowed me to come to terms with myself a bit. It wasn’t difficult to write. I had help from my great friend, Miles Bredin, but taking the time off from so many projects was a bit tiresome.

What type of feedback have you received so far?
Nothing but good stuff!

What is your writing process?
Chronology, character sketches and stories by the dozen – Miles tidies it all up!

Do you own a cat or other pets? Tell us about them!
We cannot have pets in the bush. Tse Tse or other strange bugs get them. We’ve tried to have pets for the children’s sake, but it always ends in tragedy.

We’ve had a lot of orphans, though, such as servals, caracals, genets and aardwolf. Most of them have gone back to the wild successfully, but saying goodbye is hard.

Have you written any other books? Do you plan on writing more?
No, Born Wild is the one and only. It did take up a lot of precious time, but perhaps in a few more years, I might do another one again (with Miles).
 

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