Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Return to Travel Writing

One of the ironies of being a travel writer is that travel often cuts into my ability to stay on top of my writing! Throughout the months of October and November, I was, among other things, driving around the state of Texas doing signings for my newest book, Texas Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in the Lone Star State. Despite the many interesting things I saw and experienced in those travels, however, I did not have the time or energy to write much about them here or anywhere else.

Another drain on my resources was "National Novel Writing Month," an annual creative writing project that challenges participants to write a 50,000 word story between November 1 and November 30 that I decided to participate in this year. So, right in the middle of the book tour for Texas Confidential, I spent a month striving to complete a readable fantasy novel -- and am pleased to report that I succeeded in doing so.

Although I am the author or co-author of 10 non-fiction books, I have never really been keen on events like NaNoWriMo for a variety of reasons, but a number of things prompted me to accept the challenge this year. A major incentive for me was that one of the eleven New Year's resolutions I made for 2011 was to finish a novel by the end of the year and, not being on track to do that, I figured that if I was not going to get one done by the end of November that I sure as hell was not going to get one done in December.

Another incentive was the encouragement of my friend Robert Gruver, who also participated in the NaNoWriMo program this year, and I am proud to say that he also met the challenge and completed a 50,000 word novel during the 30-day writing period.

Swords of Kos: Necropolis is a swords-and-sorcery novel and, in that it does not really tie in with the subjects covered on this site I will not say any more about it other than it is on track for publication and that the first 10,000-or-so words of it appear on my NaNoWriMo page, for anyone who might be interested in reading it. Its imagery, however, does draw heavily on my own travels, particularly throughout the Mediterranean and Texas.

But, now that these latest demanding projects are largely done and out of the way, I am back, and will strive to provide useful and entertaining travel information and observations throughout 2012!