Travel in the 80s—Rotary Pay Phones & Paper Maps.

I recently took a side slip in time for the latest addition to my travel memoir series.

Books one and two tell the tales of recent events, travel to Spain during the pandemic in “Mistakes were Made” and back to the USA and back again in “It’s not as bad as it looks.”

For my latest release, “A Fast Bike to Byzantium” we travel all the way back to the year 1986. An era of high inflation, industrial action, a winter of discontent and mutually assured nuclear annihilation. Yeah—agreed, not so very different from 2023 now I come to think about it.

There were some differences though. No smartphones, no phones actually, not unless you counted the ones bolted to walls, with curly cords, rotary dials and actual bells. No internet either, no GPS, so no Google maps. We read maps like actual pirates and a destination was largely unknown until you actually got there and walked around it.

It was in that era that I decided to ride my motorcycle across Europe, through a large part of the USSR controlled Iron Curtain, to reach Asia and Istanbul.

Click on the image below to check it out!

And yes, that is me, twenty years old and lost somewhere in Greece on the ride back from Istanbul.

The story crosses guarded borders, through Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria and countries that have since been broken up by war and discord and reformed anew. Travel back then was exciting and unpredictable. A fresh language and currency at each border, new horizons, indecipherable road signs and a feeling of being continually lost and out of one’s own depth.

Give the story a read, there are dead horses, angry fighting Slavs, terrifying border guards and plenty of laughs.

It’s an amusing and accidentally informative view into times forever lost (thanks be to the Gods) and is free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Whilst you are here take a look at my other books. You can buy them on your local Amazon store or read them all for free on Kindle Unlimited.

The challenges and opportunities of writing in multiple genres.

In traditional publishing it has long been the mantra that an author needed to pick, and subsequently stick to, a single genre.

“You need to specialize, because a publisher can’t afford to try and reach a whole new audience with every single book. As an author, neither can you.

– Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Certainly, writing in multiple genres creates significantly more work and less opportunity to leverage existing, publications. But the quote above relates more to traditional publishing. The Indie publishing world allows for a little more leeway even if it brings with it additional challenges.

A newsletter is a good example, People subscribe, usually, because a book resonates, it speaks to them, and through it they make a connection to the author. They want more of the same. If somebody subscribed because they enjoyed ‘Mistakes were Made,’ my humorous little travel memoir, then they are unlikely to be interested in hearing about my next Science Fiction or Paranormal book.

Proof in point, this year I have been remiss with keeping my newsletter up to date for that precise reason.

It also makes advertising and marketing more of a challenge, for similar reasons. There is little point offering a discount on my little travel series to a reader who wants more gore and horror (although there has been a fair amount of terror in some of the Airbnb’s we have stayed in on our travels).

Still, somehow, I find that is the path that I have chosen to tread. To date I have published one amusing travel memoir and one supernatural thriller. There is also a fully completed manuscript out there, circulating around literary agents, written in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre.

And, today, (drum rolls please), I am excited to announce, that Book Two in the travel memoir series, ‘It’s not as bad as it looks’ has just been released on Amazon stores worldwide.

Click on the image below to buy a copy or read it for free on Kindle Select.

It's not as bad as it looks

The latest book follows on from our journey documented in Mistakes were Made. It begins in Somerset and then…well, you will just have to read it to find out…

With that WIP completed, my attention shifts back to finishing the sequel to ‘The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe.’ It is currently about 50% finished and should be published by the end of the year.

I simply enjoy writing in different genres. I have ideas for several new books circulating in this crusty hairless, old noggin, and relish the opportunity and challenge of writing in whatever genres they end up dropping into.

I recognize that by doing so I have probably made the path to any commercial success steeper and more slippery than it perhaps needed to be. I guess, if I wanted to take an easier path I could have written something commercially more viable, something about sex craved bitey vampires from Mars clothed only in boob tubes and mini-skirts (oh, there’s an idea—one sec while I make a note).

I think, in the end, two things resonate for me. Write what I want to write and do it as well as I possibly can.

Abraham Lincoln said it better than me.

I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.

Follow the blog, give me a like and a share. Check out the rest of the books and don’t forget to feed the author’s ego and line that threadbare pocket and leave an honest review!