“The Bush Devil Ate Sam” Is Now Published…

Facebook Bush Devil

The Bush Devil Ate Sam is now available on a number of sites worldwide as an eBook including Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo— plus several others you can find by visiting my author’s page. It will also soon be available as a print on demand book on several sites including Amazon and Barnes and Noble for those of you who prefer a printed version.

In the meantime, you can Email me at cvmekemson@gmail.com for printed and signed books. I have two versions, an original ‘beta’ copy with a few mistakes for $10 plus shipping, and a revised copy for $13 plus shipping. Tell me which book you would prefer and provide your address. We will mail it to you along with an invoice (as long as the books last).

Sam and I cut back weeds with machetes in front of our house in Gbarnga, Liberia. Our outhouse is off to the left.

Sam and I cut back weeds with machetes in front of our house in Gbarnga, Liberia. Our outhouse is off to the left.

Ready to eat monkey meat in Ganta, Liberia.

Monkey meat anyone?

The "Bush Devil" featured on the cover of my book was created by Freddy the Carver shown here. Freddy was a leper who lived in a leper colony in Ganta, Liberia circa 1965.

The “Bush Devil” featured on the cover of my book was created by Freddy the Carver shown here. Freddy was a leper who lived in a leper colony in Ganta, Liberia circa 1965.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, here is a brief summary of what it is about:

In 1965 I left the chaotic world of UC Berkeley and the student revolution of the mid 60s to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in the even stranger world of Liberia, West Africa. When I arrived, descendants of freed slaves from America ruled the country with an iron grip while the tribal people were caught in a struggle between modern culture and ancient Africa.

I quickly discovered that being a Peace Corps Volunteer was anything but dull. Army ants invaded our house. Students strolled into class with cans of squirming termites for breakfast, and Sam, the young man who worked for me, calmly announced that the scars running down his chest were the teeth marks of the Poro Bush Devil.

On the teaching front, my seniors took top national honors in social studies, but the national government determined a student government I created to teach democracy was a threat to Liberia’s one party state. My students were to be arrested; I was told to pack my bags.

These and many other stories are included in The Bush Devil Ate Sam. If you enjoy my blog, I think you will like the book. I conclude with an epilogue that traces the history of Liberia since I served in the country including the recent Ebola crisis. The book is designed to capture both the humor and challenges of serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Half of the profits from this book will be donated to Friends of Liberia, a nonprofit organization that has been in existence since 1980 and is made up of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, people who have served on missions in Liberia, experts on international development, and Liberians. The goal of the organization is “to positively affect Liberia by supporting education, social, economic and humanitarian programs.”

To say that I am excited (or maybe relieved?) about finally publishing the book is a gigantic understatement. (Grin) I had no idea about how much work was involved. Now I get to jump into marketing. Woohoo. Last week, I held my first book signing in Sacramento, California (75 people attended). Today is my blog’s turn. A whole series of other activities are to follow. And of course, I get to start on my next book. It’s going to be on Burning Man.

One bit of fun news. I recently received an Email from Steven Spatz, the president of BookBaby. BookBaby is the largest distributer of eBooks in the US and I worked with the company in publishing my book. He wanted to feature The Bush Devil Ate Sam on his blog as a perspective on the range of books BookBaby produces. Go here to see what Steven had to say.

My thanks to each of you who purchase a book and a special thanks to those of you who helped me pick out the name of the book several months ago. One request, if you do the download from Amazon, please do the review. It impacts how Amazon places the book.

Book signing in Sacramento. I am off in the corner working.

Book signing in Sacramento. I am off in the corner working. (Photo by Wayne Cox, my nephew.)

The main street of Gbarnga, Liberia in 1966 where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

The main street of Gbarnga, Liberia in 1966 where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

60 thoughts on ““The Bush Devil Ate Sam” Is Now Published…

  1. I was so excited I stopped reading at your email address. Now I see that you used BookBaby. That answers that.

    I’m really pleased for you. Given the number of people with interest in or connections to Liberia, and the recent surge of news about the country, it ought to do very well.

    • Thanks, JF. Mainly, the US was seeking a place to ship freed blacks in the early 1800s. There were a variety of reasons. Southern slave owners, for example, felt the the free blacks were giving their slaves ideas about options. –Curt

  2. Congrats! And thanks for all the information. I want two copies. How do I purchase them from you? My sister worked as an attorney in Liberia for a year, and she’ll get one of these as a present. The stories you tell on your blog are fascinating, so I’m sure the book will be also. Yay!!!!!

  3. Count me in for a hard copy. Will it be available on Amazon or do you have a means of dealing with credit cards? And you’re jumping straight into another one! You have the fabulous photos and stories ready so why ever not.

  4. I just read the book again while Curt was away! I never tire of the stories and always see something new to think about each time. Guess I am his best fan…..grin. Peggy

      • Aw, did you have fun?!? Lake O, you mean? Did you guys get to hike? 🙂 It’s a bit of a drive, but not terrible — when you’re in a state as huge as FLA, distance is relative!

      • Mainly visited with my brother who was dealing with health problems. But he always camps out in the woods, so there was plenty of opportunity to enjoy nature. 🙂 It’s like California… depends on whether you are traveling north and south or East and west. (grin) –Curt

      • It’s so completely true! Having lived in both states, I can attest to that entirely.

        I hope your brother is doing better — and that you were able to do a bit of hiking. 🙂

    • I was excited about the turnout. 🙂 Peace Corps has changed some— it’s training programs are more sophisticated and volunteers have much better means of communication for example, but much remains the same. Hope you enjoy the book. –Curt

  5. Our whole Liberia Group 9 just had an email from one of our fellow volunteers about your book–I’m so looking forward to reading it! I was in Kakata, and my houseboy’s name was also Sam. Far as I know, he was eaten only by malaria and intestinal worms–in pretty good health!

    • Hi Mary. That’s neat. I am excited to see that the book is getting the early exposure it is. Thanks for letting me know. Fun to hear about your houseboy named Sam. I don’t think our Sam would have mentioned his encounter with the Bush Devil had my former wife, Jo Ann, not asked him about the scars marching down his chest. I used it for the book title because I felt it made a fascinating contrast between the Sam that was very bright and quickly adapting to western culture and the Sam that was still tied to his traditional culture. –Curt

      • Thanks Curt. On another subject, my husband and I will be probably be driving through Idaho and Oregon, down to Arcata, Calif., where our son lives, in Sept. Can you suggest some interesting east-to-west roads across the southern half of Oregon–looks like they may be few and far between? Thanks.

      • I haven’t travelled a great deal in the eastern part of the state Mary. Last time I came across 26, which is somewhat scenic. If you have never been to Crater Lake, I would certainly recommend it. Then pick up the Redwood Highway (199) from Grants Pass to Crescent City. Oregon Caves National Monument if worth a stop if you have the time. Arcata is a hop and a skip down the coast through the Redwoods. 20 to 395 to 140 is obviously the most direct route. –Curt

  6. Congratulations. Curt, on this achievement. This book seems fascinating and the period of time so rich in international events can only serve as a great background for your personal stories. The art cover is quite spectacular. I need to check your book out! Best to you.

  7. Huge congratulations Curt. Can’t wait to read it!
    No, I have not been ignoring this. Internet can be a bit frustratingly slow in NZ, on top of which I’ve just discovered my kindle doesn’t work, at all. I’ve never tried it since I got a new laptop a few months ago. Sometime in the next little while I’ll find time, and enough internet speed to deal with it. There’s an apple store in Canberra and I’ll be back there in a few days so maybe they can help. Anyway looking forward to finally getting a look at your book!

    • Thanks Alison. Much appreciated. Last time I was in New Zealand all I did was check Email. Glad I didn’t try to do anything more. But that was before I was blogging. Anyway, when you are ready the book will be waiting. 🙂 –Curt

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