Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Trip to Travel Writer

What a beautiful Sunday afternoon! The weather is so crisp and the sky is that actinic blue color that I love to see this time of year. I feel so good that I strolled over to the coffee shop for a change. When I got here, I saw that the Sunday morning crowd had already come and gone leaving pieces of their Sunday papers strewn about on the tables for others to share. At the top of the stack on our table is the travel section. I love to kick back in my easy chair and pretend to visit the exotic places featured in the travel section of a Sunday paper.

The next best thing to going to an exotic place is to read a travel book written by someone who lives there. To spark your imagination for writing about the exotic place where you live, we are beginning a series of posts by Marsha Moore. Be sure to enter her contest.

Confessions of a Travel Writer

I must make a confession, here and now: when I started my whole writing journey, I was dead-set on fiction. In fact, I almost turned down a publisher because I was so sure fiction was what I wanted to do. Not for me, this writing about reality lark. No, I wanted to create, to fashion story lines from the depths of my mind, to make what's inside my head come alive.

I still do want my fiction to be published. I've got four novels waiting for my attention, ready to be polished and submitted. But right now, despite my oh-so-clear plan of action, I'm really enjoying writing non-fiction. Or, to put it more accurately, travel writing.

Ever since I was young, I've loved to travel. My parents were both teachers and were keen to show my brother and me the world. We journeyed all across Canada (my home country), the States, and even to Europe. My mum collected items along the way and encouraged us to make scrapbooks, writing little vignettes. I think that's where it all started. By the age of nine, I'd already written one travelogue -- the dramatically named 'Disasters in Florida' -- where our week-long trip was catalogued in agonizing detail.

Years later, when I moved to Poland to teach English (a quarter-life crisis), I rediscovered how much I loved to write about the different smells, sights, and ways of living. And when I settled in London, it only seemed natural that when it came time to pitch a publisher, it would be travel related.

My new book (launching 4 November 2009) is a London guidebook, 24 Hours London. While it's quite daunting to compete with biggies like Lonely Planet or Fodor's, I like to think it's a guide book with a difference: all the listings are organised hour by hour, from 5 a.m. to midnight and back again. All you need to do is flip to the hour you're free, then take your pick! It was loads of fun to write and research, and it completely rekindled my London love affair (not that it had ever really ended -- after five years, I'm still enamoured with the city).

If you want to win a copy of the book (and a lovely T-shirt), please head over to my blog at Write On!. All you need to do is write about 24 hours in your location, (Read this for complete details: 24 Hours In Your Neck of the Woods.) then post it on your blog or send it to me in an email:

My thanks to Lynnda for starting this space and I look forward to trading thoughts with you!

p.s. If you want to have YOUR 24 Hours In Your Neck of the Woods posted on this blog, send it to lynndaell[at]live[dot]com before November 4, 2009.

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