About The Authors
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip.
Both are retired professors who have worked in academia and business. Sears is a mathematician, specializing in geological remote sensing. Trollip is an educational psychologist, specializing in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and a pilot. They were both born in South Africa.
They have been on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe, where it was always exciting to buzz a dirt airstrip to shoo the elephants off. They have had many adventures on these trips including tracking lions at night, fighting bush fires on the Savuti plains in northern Botswana, being charged by an elephant, and having their plane’s door pop open over the Kalahari, scattering navigation maps over the desert. These trips have fed their love both for the bush, and for Botswana.
It was on one of these trips that the idea surfaced for a novel set in Botswana.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, Kenya. In the worst of the apartheid era, my family emigrated to Australia, where I studied mathematics. But Africa drew me back and I accepted a position at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where I specialized in applications of mathematics in a variety of areas including image analysis and ecological modelling. One of the more adventurous projects involved radio-tracking hunting lions through the Botswana night. Another was a system model for the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.
I have traveled widely in Southern and Central Africa. Botswana has always been a special favorite with its magnificent conservation areas, dramatic scenery, and varied peoples. A long-held ambition was to capture the flavor of the country as the canvass of a novel.
From 1997 until my retirement at the end of 2007, I managed remote sensing at Anglo American, a major international mining house. Its associate – the diamond giant De Beers – has extensive interests in Botswana through the Debswana joint venture with the government. The mining and exploration threads in the books draw on experiences in this context.
I enjoy research, project work, and writing most when I’m working with other people. I’ve worked with researchers in several countries on varied projects, managed teams in the academic and business arenas, and co-authored eight novels.
I now live in Knysna on the south coast, but my mind is often in the African bush, and the rest of me follows as often as possible.
I was born in Johannesburg where I did all my schooling up to and including an undergraduate degree (in Statistics). My undergraduate time was checkered, taking twice as long as usual, mainly due to participation in a variety of sports (cricket, rugby, and field hockey) and involvement in the anti-apartheid movement.
In 1971, I went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where I received a PhD in Educational Psychology. For the most part, I was always a professor with an interest in how computers can facilitate teaching and learning. I’ve co-authored three editions of a widely-used book, Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development (Allyn and Bacon).
Before retiring in 2003, I was as Director of Learning Strategies at Capella University – which delivers courses entirely through the World Wide Web. When I joined, Capella had about 50 learners. When I left seven years later, it had over 8,000. Today it is about 40,000.
I hold a variety of pilot’s licenses and have a strong interest in aviation safety. I’ve lectured frequently on the topic; have co-authored one book on the subject published by Jeppesen Sandersen (Human Factors for General Aviation) and three others without attribution for Transport Canada.
I split my time between Minneapolis, Denmark, and Cape Town. In my leisure, I golf, bike, play tennis, and hike. On dark and stormy nights I play with my collection of stamps from German South West Africa/South West Africa/Namibia.