When I was 21 years old and married for six months we sold everything that wasn’t nailed down and went to Africa. Our only plan was to get out of Australia, where we had grown up, and have an adventure. The cheapest way to get to another continent was by boat and we grabbed the chance. Three weeks later we stood on the dock in Durban without a clue about anything. We had a page torn out of an old school atlas as our guidebook and we learnt everything by trial and error, mostly error. We didn’t go home for three years.
We travelled the length of Africa by penny buses and hitch-hiking, ending up going down the Nile on a barge. We roamed Europe on a motor-cycle. We got a taste for going to remote and difficult places and for living on the smell of an oily rag in order to explore yet another fascinating country.
We bought a beat-up old Land Rover in England and drove it home to Australia, living in the back and surviving one hair-raising event after another. We travelled Australia, crossing deserts, sand dunes and flooded rivers.
And then, of course, we settled down, raised a family and paid off the mortgage. But it was only a matter of time before we set off on another adventure…
What inspires you to write?
Writing about my travels allows other people to share the experience – it is such fun to think about how I could describe a scene, whether it is funny, uncomfortable or unexpected.
Tell us about your writing process.
I blog as I travel, sitting in a restaurant at the end of the day, with an exercise book on the table in front of me. My chapters are always the length of time it takes between ordering and my meal arriving! Writing at the end of the day captures the little details I would otherwise forget and I amuse myself all day picturing how I would describe something.Then, back home at the end of my trip, I sit at my computer and massage it into a form suitable for publishing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
If you are not enjoying yourself most of the time, what’s the point? Enjoy the ride.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did a travel writing course, and learnt about how to publish as an ebook from one of the other participants on the day. That was a lot more useful than the course itself. I then did a lot of research online before deciding which ebook publisher to go with. There is a mass of information out there and I found other writers incredibly generous in this way. After reading a lot it started to make sense. It was a very interesting and steep learning curve.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
People love to read, and they will continue to read across a range of platforms. The ebook in particular has a rosy future. This became very clear to me when I saw my daughter reading a novel on her phone.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?