Deborah loves travelling. She loves travelling by train in particular. Deborah is making her way across Europe in train after train, with the odd flight inbetween.
Deborah's travel methodology is never the same. Just as happy in a hostel with her trusty backpack as she is in a luxury hotel with Louis Vuitton trunks (if she owned any), on her own or with friends, no journey fits a template. It makes it exciting.
Deborah moved to Spain to write her first book, a travelogue, City Chronicles: A Tale of Nine Cities. It was self-published and Deborah is still enjoying Spain and writing the rest of the trilogy. Deborah also blogs about her travels, writing, and life in general.
For someone who has longed to travel it is strange that I did not read any travel books other than the guidebook variety before setting out to travel and write. I have changed my reading habits quite drastically since becoming a full-time writer.
I started with Rory Stewart's The Places Inbetween which I found to be rich with description and not afraid to relate the more unsavoury parts of his experiences. Then I discovered Eric Newby and his vast array of travel writing. Newby also brings in the personal side, as well as the history and culture of the places he has visited. He's not afraid to admit to having a few too many sips of something strong which adds to the informality of his writing, and it is that which makes it enjoyable reading.
Newby and Stewart have definitely influenced my approach to travel writing; I am not afraid to let the personal in on the story. Whether I have achieved it as seamlessly as they have - I am not the one to say.
The first of my City Chronicles trilogy, A Tale of Nine Cities has been published, the second A Little Bit of Italy, is with the editor - a nail biting time. I am just starting to plan and write the last of the trilogy Crossing the Bosporus. All three books relate my travels with friends, by train, across sections of Europe and yet each is subtly different. Over the course of ten years I have changed, Europe has changed and my travelling companions have changed. Out with individual currencies and in with the Euro, the last vestiges of Communism have been swept under the carpet, but the attempt to homogenise Europe has, thankfully, failed.
Wherever I have visited the traditions of the country are there to see, and taste. City Chronicles: A Little Bit of Italy follows my route from Venice to Pompeii. Italy's regional differences were there to savour and experience. The art, architecture, religion and history of Italy are wrapped up in my journey, edged with an insight into the trials and tribulations of a failing relationship.
This is not standard travel fare, it is travel mixed with realism.
Travel and writing, which goes some way to explaining what I do.
Reading, because without reading I would be unable to write.
My dogs, whose company I never take for granted.
Cooking. Standing stirring a risotto for those 20 minutes or so is the best therapy I know.
El Refugio del Burrito, the Spanish arm of The Donkey Sanctuary. Mules and donkeys are still used for transporting the harvests of almonds, olives, avocados...
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