Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have lived around the world over the past twenty years and decided to trade in my career in finance to write about my most memorable travels. I love remote, lesser-visited places and pulled from my experience living in places such as Oman and Australia and from longer-term sabbaticals spent travelling the world. I published my first book in 2017 and am working on a second book. Each chapter captures a theme, such as trekking or ancient cities and then features far off places like Cambodia or Antarctica. Every section covers elements of travel guidance and a narrative to bring a location alive.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Dust in My Pack pulls my most memorable journeys from the past twenty years to recreate the essence of remote destinations. The stories distil my research and learnings for each location by providing links and practical guidance enabling readers to devise their own trip. I aim to promote the "travel urge" in others so that they may also go beyond the average traveller's experiences.
The chapters cover a broad range of activities and countries, including adventures such as hikes and white-water rafting, archeological sites, amazing accommodations and unpredicted animal encounters.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I want to share!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
River God by Wilbur Smith. This book brought Egypt's historical magic to life. Smith incorporated immense research and facts to create a complex storyline. The words connected an ancient world with a plausible narrative, full of emotion so that I, as the reader, felt connected to Egypt's past.
Dark Star Safar: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux. This was one of the first travel narratives that I read. It inspired me to explore remote, lesser-visited places and look beyond the typical tourist sites in search of the essence of a place.
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I read this book soon after living in Nigeria and its story showed a different yet authentically realistic side of the country than I had experienced. The characters and their story were complex and fascinating.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. I was addicted to this book after reading only a few pages. The story was compelling and fast moving. The characters were unique and intriguing with a plot full of depth and unexpected twists.
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. This was the first book I read about life in Afghanistan. For a country that typically receives news reports of war and oppression, Hosseini's story personalized the life and people behind the headlines.
What are you working on now?
My husband and I spent four months in 2017 travelling from the Baltics to Brunei. So, I am now writing my second book which will cover some intrepid experiences. We completed a seventeen-day snowman trek in the Bhutanese Himalayas and visited a serene eco-lodge in central Myanmar. These and many more adventures will be featured in my second book.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads and Facebook groups.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
As Nike says, "Just Do It". From every sentence and each paragraph, your first draft will slowly emerge. From there, you have something to work with.
Another important element is to budget for a professional editor and cover designer. We all need help and their input will elevate your final product. Readers deserve a quality product.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Focus on what you can impact, everything else is noise.
What are you reading now?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing and hopefully many more travels.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo