Tag Archives: authors

The Window of Opportunity

doors-1603350_640

Introduction

When Opportunity knocks I’m usually in the bathroom or at work and I’m almost always missing the visit. However last week, when it came along, I opened the window and shouted, “Don’t move I’ll be right there.”

amazed-19214_640

A Startling Announcement

On Wednesday I shocked my friends on Facebook that I was quitting writing for the time being as my books were going nowhere. However, this announcement was misunderstood as I didn’t announce it properly. I was getting comments about take a breather, sit back, and you can get going again. Only two or three people actually got the initial idea as I explained it further in the comments section.

What I meant was, since I no one was reading my books and reviewing them, I had nothing to gage my future writing on and therefore I thought, “What’s the point of continuing if no one will read them?” I have had a few sales of my stories but yet people tell me that they just don’t have time to read them. Really? My books aren’t that long or complicated. I have three short stories available that could be read in about twenty minutes or so.

 

What about Giveaways?

Yes, I have given my books away as a promotion for myself through other Facebook pages. The response I get from them is, “I have a lot of books on my reading list right now, but I’ll get to yours.” How many is ‘a lot’? I’m not trying to turn this post into a rant; I just want you to know the frustration I am feeling. Yes, I know all writers go through this. What irritates me the most is that I’ll support another author’s work; read and review it, but not receive the same in return. I get that you are too busy writing but how is it that you’re able to praise other writers’ works but not mine?

A New Opportunity

As I stated before I’m not giving up writing totally and to be honest I just couldn’t anyways. It’s a part of who I am. Even if I’m not writing things down on paper or on the laptop, I’m writing in my head. Since March 2016 I started writing poetry in conjunction with this site on Facebook called Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam. I was pointed out to me by a fellow writer and I decided to visit. I hadn’t written poetry since high school, about 30 years or so, and even then it was mostly sonnet-based verses.

The page is rather simple: an image is posted on Saturday and you have roughly until the following Wednesday to post a poem that was inspired by the image. From there it is voted on and the winner is announced on Thursday. My first attempt, The Green Blade Witch, actually got me the win. Not bad for being 30 years out of touch.

From then on the creativity that creates poetry was awaken within me and I participated almost every week. Then early last week I was told that the page had disappeared. I was heartbroken as I found something that, not only was I interested in doing, but something that could keep the writer in me writing. I contacted the administrator of that page and asked if one of us could take over. She and her associate were too busy to continue the page and so she handed it over to me! Thank you Opportunity!

new-year-1904679_1280

New Year, New Writing Possibilities

            With the new year beginning, this gave me the motivation to make new ideas come to life via the poetry page. So for now, this will be my muse for the next few months or so. I’ll still be working on my other projects; either by typing them on the laptop or just writing them in my head. But with this poetry page I want to turn things around for myself and head in an entirely new direction and see where this adventure will take me. I have have plans to publish a collection of poems that are Fanstasy-based and from there we’ll see where ‘the road not taken’ leads me.

Conclusion

Where is the New Year taking you? Are you on track in your writing life or has something occurred to encourage you to take another road? Feel free to comment and if you get the chance visit us on the poetry page over at Facebook!

Promo Icon 01

 

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

7 Signs that you are a Semi-successful Author

once-upon-a-time-719174_640

All of us one day would like to be at “Star Status” like Stephen King, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling and hundreds of others. In the meantime, there is a level that one can easily reach before that and it’s called the Semi-Successful Author status!

 

1 Uploaded

“At last, my book is now available for purchase!”

  1. You’ve uploaded your book to the internet.

At long last your manuscript is finally done, the cover image is just right, and you’re ready to receive huge sales. Six months later, still no sales but hey it’s all right! After all, you’re book is available. Just have to be a little patient. Update your photo on social media so people can see the real you…and not the one of you sitting on the couch stuffing chips into your mouth.

 

2 Book promotion

“This will bring in the sales!”

  1. You post about your book on social media.

Sales just aren’t there so you turn to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and talk about your book. The response is mild but it shows that someone out there actually has a pulse. You buy special pens to autograph books when they come running up to you.

 

3 Bought book

“At least he’s looked inside.”

  1. People mention that they’ve bought your book.

Nothing pleases an author more than when someone comes up to them and says, “I just bought your book today.” The fact that they haven’t mentioned anything about reading it escapes your attention but no matter, the book is in their possession! Walk around like you’re on Cloud 9, maybe clock out an hour early so you can have a celebratory drink.

 

4 Blogger

“Whoo hoo! More exposure, more sales!”

  1. Bloggers beg you for an interview.

Your pride swells when a book bloggers asks to interview you about your current novel. The fact that they add the words, “I’ll do it if you’ll stop harassing me!” goes unnoticed. Write down a bunch of witty anecdotes to share with all of your adoring fans. Just remember not to add the story about getting the runs while on vacation in Apache Junction.

 

5 Autograph

“The demand for my signature is sweet!”

  1. People ask for your autograph

Wow, you’re really famous now! Overlook the fact that it’s a restraining order from people who find you on their lawn at 4am talking about your book. Your signature is now worth something to these people. Hopefully they’ll hang on to it for a couple years and then sell it to the highest bidder online when you really make your mark on the literary world.

 

6 Give talk

“My first public appearance. I’m the center of attention!”

  1. You’re asked to give a talk at work.

You’re first public speaking gig! Never mind the fact that you’re talking about when to remove old produce from the bins so customers won’t see it. Or what is the perfect color is for bananas. Work your book into the conversation while you talk about moldy strawberries.

 

7 Bum Author

“I’ll be the toast of the social media world!”

  1. You pose for selfies with your fans.

Your adoring fans want to pose with you in the hopes that you’ll post it on social media to be seen by everyone else. Sure it’s a family member but, a fan is still a fan. Be sure to smile but wipe that ketchup off of your face first.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little collection of signs I shared with you. Feel free to comment of your favorite or perhaps you might have additional ones to share. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Promo Icon 01

 

 

10 Responses to Non-writer Comments

lamp-1315735_640

Introduction

This week’s article is a coping mechanism for you when you have to deal with family, friends, coworkers, and fellow coffee shop customer, AKA the non-writers. This is your everyday group of people who just don’t understand the writer mentality and why you do what you do.

Below are ten basic comments that non-writers will say (or have said) to you. I’ll attempt to translate what they are really saying, offer advice to the situation, and then provide you with suggestions as a response to their comments. If you haven’t heard at least one of these comments, I figure you’re not doing the writing gig correctly would be very surprised.

Ten Comments Non-writers make to Writers.

 1. So you’re still writing your little story/poem/etc.

Translation: I thought for sure you would have given up this silly little dream of yours and moved on to something more productive.

Advice: Non-writers can’t believe your determination for any project you are working on. To tell them that it takes a long time to complete any writing project will add fuel to their fire. You know you need to be patient when it comes to writing, you also have to be MORE patient when it comes to dealing with non-writers.

Response:  “Yes, I am still writing my little story/poem/etc. As long as my hands are on the keyboard, they aren’t crushing your windpipe. Now BUZZ OFF!!”

 

  1. Must be nice not having a real job.

Translation: Boy, I wish I could sit around all day and earn a paycheck doing nothing.

 Advice: Believe it or not, preachers hear the exact same thing. Everyone assumes that all THEY do is preach on Sunday. But I digress; if writing is how you earn a living, you’ll definitely hear this one a lot. Naturally they wouldn’t say that of Stephen King or James Patterson. But since you’re not them it’s open season for comments.

Response: “It may appear that I’m not working but let me introduce you to my fans and see if they think I need to get an actual job.” (Take non-writer to your platform and your reviews section. If you don’t have either, get some!

 

  1. Writing doesn’t sound too difficult.

Translation: You just put words together to make sentences, and sentences together to make paragraphs, and then you make it long enough to turn it into a book. Simple!

 Advice: They’ve just explained everything they now know about writing which is what was taught in elementary school. Beyond that they are clueless.

Response: “Writing is just a tad harder than that. You see, first I have to research my idea and take notes, then I find some images for inspiration; and take more notes, then I write down a character list; which stems from webpage after webpage of names (male and female, plus ethnic background), then I outline my story; taking more notes, then I jot down snatches of conversation (overheard on the bus or in a restaurant) which might add to the flavor of the story, then I come up with a few twists that will totally catch my reader off guard, and then I will write my story.

Of course, that is only the first draft. I will then go back over all of my notes and double check my research; possibly researching some new stuff which came up and make new notes, then I will edit my first draft and begin the second draft.

        Then a few more drafts later, I will send it off to my beta team to read all the while compiling notes and suggestions they have for the story, then I will write another draft or two before it’s finally finished. But yeah, it’s not difficult.”

 

  1. I always thought I’d write a book after I retire, when I have some time to kill.

Translation: Writing for is for old people who have nothing better to do with their lives now that they don’t have a job. Sure beats sitting on my butt all day and watching paint dry.

 Advice: Everyone wants to write that great All-American story; the next Harry Potter or Twilight. But to them, there’s no time to do it and by the time they’ve retired there is no initiative to start which is why watching paint dry becomes easily fascinating.

Response: “Waiting until retirement may be fine for you. However, I figure by the time you retire and begin your first novel, I should have 30 done and available for purchase, and at least 6 of them already made into movies.”

man-921004_640

  1. Wait a second, creative writing degrees are a real thing?

Translation: You actually went to college to become a writer? It must be one of those ‘gimme-courses’ like Basket Weaving 101.

Advice: This will be a hard one to live down because if you’re not a journalist then, to them, all you did was take a bunch of “fancy” college courses to make you seem smart. And for all they know, you printed out your own degree found on some instant degree website.

Response: “Yes, it’s a real degree and I didn’t have to memorize all 31 flavors to earn it like you.” (OR something along the lines of whatever their job involves; hopefully retail or fast food. If they have their own degree…good luck with that.)

 

6. Have you been published yet?

 Translation: Obviously if you are a writer you should already have something available for me to pick up at my local bookstore to read.

 Advice: At first this sounds like a question of genuine interest but given that this comes from a non-writer it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. This question goes hand-in-hand with questions 1 and 2.

Response: (If unpublished) “Thank you so much for your interest. I am still working on my novel but I will make sure that you are the first to know when it is available for reading. Perhaps you’d like to be a Beta Reader or a member of my Street Team? You know what? Nevermind, I forgot who I was talking to.”

         (An e-book author) “Yes, I do have a book published but it’s only available online. That means you have to buy it from the internet. You know the place where you visit those sites about Justin Bieber to express your man crush? Yes, I have been looking at your browser history.”

scary-650295_640

 7. Can I be a character in one of your stories?

 Translation: Gee, something tells me that you might just be famous like Stephen King or that Patterson guy. Maybe if you put me in your book, I’ll be famous too!

 Advice: Everyone wants a piece of the action and you just know that they would actually make a great character. I mean after all, your serial killer needs an extra victim and it should really be a gruesome death.

Response: “It’s funny you should mention this. Why just this morning my agent called and said my story was one victim short and I think you would be perfect to play the fanboy who gets knifed backstage. Or perhaps a grisly death in the mosh pit.”

 (Give updates to him on the whereabouts of the character and slowly describe the horror that he’s experiencing.)

 

  1. So I have this great idea I think you should be using in your book…

 Translation: (See #7 above)

 Advice: I don’t know how many times I personally have been told this. I was once told by a maintenance employee that I should be writing her life story and how difficult it was for her to leave her homeland and enter America. Some people, I guess, think that fictional stories are unnecessary.

Another friend of mine came up with this idea that everywhere this character went he would trip and stumble into another world. It’s one thing to be accident prone but that is one of the worst running gags I have ever heard. After the second or third stumble my readers would riot and burn me in effigy.

Response: “I’m sure you have a great idea but why should you share it with me? You should write you own book and use the idea in that.” OR “Hey, I heard (insert author’s name) is looking for new ideas why don’t you send them an e-mail with your idea in it? Chances are they’ll use it and have it published long before I do.”

 

  1. Aren’t writers just professional liars? They tell stories for living, after all.

Translation: Yes, I’m jealous of your creativity and yet I’m not man enough to admit it, so here’s a diversion instead.

 Advice: This question comes at a point when they have nothing else annoying left to ask. It sounds more like a lame attempt to keep asking you questions when in fact they have run out.

Response: “Professional liars? I’m sorry you have us confused with politicians.”

 

  1. You’re writing a book? Tell me everything.

Translation: I’m not one to wait until it comes out, I want to know now!

Advice: Yet another attempt to get involved in your story. (See also #7 and #8) It could also be that he is fishing for ideas that he might sell to another writer in the hopes that THEY will use them and give him the credit for the idea.

Response: Tell you everything? Sure! (Describe the last TV episode of one of your favorite shows but change it into the genre that you write.)

 

 Conclusion

Overall, whether we like it or not, we have to contend with non-writers on a daily basis and their questions. One thing to remember though is that any non-writer could be a future reader of your as well as a fan.

Let me know the difficulties that you’ve had in dealing with non-writers. Do you have other questions you’ve been asked? Share with me in the comment below.

To check out copies of my books and stories, visit my Author Page on Amazon.com

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

From the Cradle to the Madhouse

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. ~Oscar Levant

earth-237956_640

Introduction  

There’s an old saying that goes, “There’s a fine line between Genius and Insanity.” I do believe that those of us who are writers are not only standing on that fine line but we stomp up and down the entire line and sneer at both sides. We aren’t geniuses and we aren’t insane. We are both and very proud of it!

 

cradle-960646_640

From the Cradle…

Children show their creativity at an early age and, if nurtured by the parents, it will further develop and blossom into a broad imagination. I grew up with my sister and two neighbor girls and played with Barbie dolls (I did have a Ken doll) and an assortment of stuffed animals. I never was the boy who was into sports, cars, and any of that macho stuff. It never really interested me even though I did two years of Little League Baseball.

It wasn’t until I was in Junior High that I showed an interest in writing. I started with a crappy play rendition of “The Wizard of Oz” and expanded to a series of stage plays featuring The Marx Brothers.

In college a buddy of mine introduced me to this Science Fiction idea the he and another friend of his were working on years ago and this was when I started to take a more serious interest in writing. From there I made several attempts to write Fantasy and it wasn’t until 2005 that things began to pay off.

Now ten years later I have a Fantasy trilogy completed and three short stories with many more ideas waiting to come to fruition. Currently, I’m stonewalled as I want to write several stories and I have characters in my mind shouting for attention so that their story is written.

asylum-1262370_640

…to the Madhouse.

This is one of the main reasons why people see writers as insane. We openly talk to our characters (threaten to kill them off in chapter 4 if they don’t behave); we openly plot how we’re going to kill ol’ lady Jensen when she comes around the corner. The Blond Writer recently revealed that she got her characters to talk to her and it was an eye-opening experience for her. For the rest of us, there are times when we want them to just shut up so we can go to sleep, speak calmly to your child’s principal, and discuss the next play date with your neighbor.

And thing which would send us to the madhouse is that we do searches online for things that usually only serial killers would have an interest in and, we sometimes, draw unwanted attention by the government just because we want to know how to build a Death Ray.

In a recent blog post, Author Kristen Lamb discusses that fact that a lot of writers could easily be mistaken for serial killers in the amount of things we research on the internet and comments we nonchalantly make to our non-writing friends.

For the NaNoWriMo challenge in 2008 I was researching the Salem Witch Trials hoping to create something similar for my story. I grabbed a bunch of books from the library and, while waiting the in the front foyer of the school to pick up my daughters, I brought one of the books in to read. The cover had a noose on the front of it. Another father came up to me and asked a question about which grades were released first, I answered him, and then returned to my book. He must have caught a glimpse of the cover because when I next looked up, I saw him on the other side of the foyer.

Murder books 032516

Although I haven’t done any extensive research online, I do have a collection of books that would make any serial killer writer jealous. One I’m particularly proud of owning is The History of Torture and Execution. I bought that one at our local Renaissance Festival and have taken it to work to read in the break room a couple of times. I also have a set of encyclopedias called Crime and Punishment, a set I picked up through the mail back in 1996-1999. It’s a 28 volume set (plus 3 years books) or basic crime descriptions plus real life case histories of some of the more notorious criminals in the world. Everyone from Lizzie Borden and Al Capone to Jeffery Dahmer and OJ Simpson.

I have as of yet to create a murder mystery of any kind but I do like having the books on my shelf and it would most likely keep people away from wanting to engage in any meaningful conversation about the whales or frogs. If you want to discuss saving dragons, or what chainsaw you prefer to dismember a cheerleader, then come right in and I’ll make us some tea!

face-38102_640

A Twisted Mind  (Author’s Theme Song)

Worldbuilding is another facet that gives non-writer people fits when we yell at our characters to head west towards the Mountains of the Dwarves when they want to head south and tackle the Undead Beast from the Netherworld which will instantly kill them because they aren’t ready for it. Plus, you’re half-tempted to allow them to go just to show that they are wrong and you are the one in control.

Suddenly we’re accused of having a god complex and being drunk with power because we state, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” Next thing you know you’re being fitted for a white coat so that you can give yourself hugs and a room with rubber wallpaper. Just because you have a map of your fictional world spread out over the dining room table and are moving plastic men around to work out the army’s next attack doesn’t mean you are insane. You want to visualize the scene before you write it. Maps are your friend and without them you could send you characters in different directions but each time, passing the same business. Of course, if this if part of your story then great. If not, then you’re going to need a great memory.

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to embrace your inner madman! It’s better to verbally release your creativity to the page than to keep it bottle up inside until you literally snap and are the Main Character on 20/20 or Dateline. If you non-writer friends still find you weird, embrace that too, then threaten to create a character based on them and put them in various situations that could have them tortured or killed.

Share with me what experiences of being an insane genius you have had. Scared the family? Worried your co-workers? Let me hear your creative minds!!

Happy Adventuring

Chris

Promo Icon 01

Where’s the Fifth Tower?

Introduction

For those few who are subscribed to receive notices of my new blog posts may be surprised when a who new title shows up in the subject line of your inbox. I’ve recently overhauled my blog site; giving it a new title, new color scheme and actually using a picture which goes along with the theme of the blog. The only thing I haven’t touched is my logline explaining that I’m an author surviving the Arizona desert.

tower-7890_640

Why the change?

As I stated in my previous posts: Year of the Author and The Author Makeover, I am trying to make an impact as an author for 2016. So, in addition to the change of my avatar, I decided to make changes in regards to my blog.

The title, of course, is a play on words ‘Suffering from Writer’s Block’ and it just came to me early last week and I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty clever (at least for me that is), I should change my blog to that and see what happens. I even did a Google search on the title to make sure no one else came up with it as I didn’t want to trespass on anyone’s turf.

The other reason I made the change is because the title, Tales from the Fifth Tower was originally supposed to be for an anthology of stories from my trilogy, The Askinar Towers. I assumed that it would be such a huge hit that I would have fellow authors coming to me wanting to write short stories involving already established characters or new realms in the seemingly endless worlds of the four towers.

But, as it is, I can’t get anyone to read my stories, let alone write a review for them, so I have no idea if anyone likes them. Nevertheless, my new plan is to write a series of Flash Fiction stories involving characters, some who only had a guest appearance, and use it as a way to get people interested in the whole trilogy. The “Tales” title will appear for the collection. One of the best ways to get people interested in your novels is to release some short stories so your readers have an idea of your writing style and the way you think as a storyteller.

creativity-396268_640

Don’t worry, it’s still me!

Now with the new makeover and the blog overhaul, don’t think that I’m going to change the way I think or write. It’s still me and my tilted sense of humor and I’m not about to get all serious or philosophical on you (I’ll leave that for the others). I will continue to share my life with you both personal and writer-wise. I’d say professional but I’m not even in the ballpark of that level of authordom.

I still plan on doing interviews of fellow authors and I will still use the phrase, Fifth Tower Interview when doing them. I have a few authors in mind so I just need to get my rear in gear, put together the questions and send them out.

newspaper-412763_640

Conclusion

Hopefully you haven’t deleted the e-mail with the new blog name on it. I don’t know if WordPress sends out a notice of a name change or not, but I hope they do. In the meantime, please share your comments below in regards to the changes that I’ve made so far and let me know if there’s a subject you’d like me to talk about within this blog.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

The Writer’s Review~Vol. II

ink-29484_640

It’s been six months since I posted my first collection of articles, way back in February! I decided it was time to do another one given that ideas for new articles are not coming to me, at the moment, and I’m striving to get ready for the release of book 3 AND prepare myself for NaNoWriMo in November.

Here’s a small collection of articles I’ve done and it’ll give new readers a chance to catch up!

Did I Write That? This question can be viewed as both positive and negative. Sometimes when we read what we have written, we’re amazed that it came from our own minds.

The Writer and the Public Appearance Getting ready to do a book signing? Here’s some tips to help you get ready.

The Writer and the God Complex When characters start to take on a life of their own, you sometimes feel like a god. But does that mean you have full control?

The Writer and Twitter Followers Here’s my two cents on the subject of who to Follow and who Follows you.

Writers are Peculiar People Nobody sees things the same way a writer does. Sometimes, that’s not a good thing. Depending on your research material.

And They Lived…Ever After How important are endings to stories? Should they end the way your readers expect?

The Writer’s Review Vol. 1 In case you missed my first collection, here’s a handy link to read other articles of mine.

Chris Small

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Announcement:

I’m currently working with my artist on the cover for book 3. It looks amazing so far. I hope to have the book completed by the end of October.

 

Adventures in Non-fiction

 Adventure_Medium

Although I am a Fiction writer, Fantasy mostly, I do occasionally enjoy a non-fiction book. And I’m not necessarily talking: text books, How to’s, or autobiographies but books that will actually take you on an adventure. As we head into Autumn, I thought I’d share with you a group of non-fiction books that I’ve read, most recently, and give you something to chew on and enjoy as the days become cooler.

Non-fictional reads that take you on an adventure!

Houdini

The Man Who Killed Houdini by Don Bell This is mostly for History Buffs or those who are interested in the world of magic. Mr. Bell is an investigative reporter and decides to find out exactly how magician, Harry Houdini died. History tells us that it was a punch thrown by a boxer who caught Houdini off guard (Houdini was known to withstand any blow to the midsection). Because he wasn’t ready, Harry’s appendix ruptured and he died shortly thereafter.

The book begins in 1982 and follows the trail of surviving members that were connected to J. Gordon Whitehead, the boxer from Montreal, and attempts to answer the question of whether the body blow was intentional or accidental. Whitehead was never arrested or even considered a suspect in Houdini’s death.

My comments: I’ve been a longtime fan of Houdini and the subject of magic itself. I knew about the accidental punch and Houdini’s death but never gave it a second thought. When I came across this book, I just had to read it. It peaked my curiosity as to what really happened that fateful day in 1926.

102 minutes

102 Minutes: The untold story of the fight to survive inside the Twin Towers. Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. Everyone knows about the events of September 11, 2001 with the demise of the two towers of the World Trade Center. What a lot of people may not know is the number of people who tried to contact the “outside world” from within the towers during that event. This book accumulates every text, phone call, message, and conversation that took place on that day.

In addition, the book outlines the initial construction of the towers, the building fire codes, the previous attempt to blow up the building in 1993, and where all of the people who work in the building were prior to and after the attack.

My Comments: This is a wonderful book! You really feel like you’re actually at the scene of the attack on that fateful day. The Prologue sets up where everyone was located in both towers before the attack commenced and from then on, it gives you a play by play from the first plane hitting all the way through to the end when both towers collapsed. You can feel the frustration in the police officers and firefighters as they watch the events unfold and are unsure as to how to proceed. I would also recommend the docudrama, Flight 93: The Fight that Fought Back. This DVD gives you an idea of what the passengers aboard that flight did to prevent that plane from reaching it’s final destination.

Human Experiment

The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes inside Biosphere 2 by Jane Poynter. This is a first hand account of the behind-the-scenes inside Biosphere 2 by a surviving member of the eight (four men, four women) who lived inside for two years. One of the reasons for developing this project was to see if an Earthlike atmosphere could be duplicated by man so that people could inhabit other planets like Mars.

Biosphere2_072509 004

My Comments: Since moving to Arizona in 1991, I’ve always wanted to see the Biosphere 2 project. My family and I went down to Tucson in 2009 where it is located and had the opportunity to tour through the facility and get an understanding of what the project was all about. The book was a fabulous read and gave me a first hand look of what day-to-day living was like inside the Biosphere 2. I picked up a copy in the gift shop but it is available for purchase on Amazon.com!

lifeonfootcoversmalll

Life on Foot: A Walk Across America by Nate Damm. Bitten by the travel bug, Nate decides to literally walk from one side of the country to the other. He begins in Delware and, 3500 miles later, reaches the Pacific Ocean and California. Along the way, Nate meets a variety of different types of people who help him in his travels. Anything from handing a few dollars to giving him a room to crash in for the night. His trek is full of wonder and terror as he encounters many obstacles on his journey.

My Comments: This is one excellent read and the author captures the spirit of America fully in his descriptions. You get the sense of walking right along side of Nate as he treks his way from one city to the next and from one state to the next. There are times when he wants to chuck it all away and return to his home and family, but keeps pressing on to the end to accomplish this little challenge in his life. It also shows that people, in general, are friendly and helpful to one another in a lot of different ways and the human spirit is not yet dead.

Machu-Picchu_212

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the initial trek to the ruins of Peru by Hiram Bingham, Writer Mark Adams decides to travel the same trail and rediscover those ruins himself.

My Comments: One of the things I love about this book is that the writer follows Hiram Bingham’s trek both physically and in the story. He bounces back and forth between Hiram’s journey and his own in such a way that it appears that both men are traveling side by side but 100 years apart. I’ve been a fan of Machu Picchu ruins for a long time and I too would love to travel to the ruins myself someday.

Booth

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. This heavily research book takes the reader on the pathway that John Wilkes Booth used after leaving Ford’s Theater the night he assassinated the president. The other portion of the book follows the dying president who is physically removed from the theater and across the street to a back room which eventually became his deathbed.

My Comments: Like the books before this one, the writer draws you into the story and you feel that you are traveling alongside Booth as he makes his escape to the South. At the same time, you are place inside the room where the president lay dying and witness the various people that attend to him.

bloody-crimes

Swanson’s followup is a book called, Bloody Crimes which follows the trail of Jefferson Davis and his escape to the South while, at the same time, we follow the body of President Lincoln aboard his funeral train as it makes it trek across the various states, making stops along the way for mourners to pay their respects until he laid to rest in Springfield, Illinois.

There you have it! Just a few non-fiction books which I have read that take the reader on an amazing adventure. Do you have a similar book that you have read or know of that is not listed here? Please feel free to share it in the comments. Or if you have any questions or comments, please post them as well!

Happy Adventuring!

Chris