My new hybrid book, with the working title “The Journey,” is actually a cross between fiction and nonfiction. After writing 17 books in the last 20 or so years, I thought I would do something different. This time I’m combining fiction with nonfiction. Why?
Like many writers, I’m constantly afraid to put my words out into the world. In other words, I’m hurt by criticism. So, this time, I’m starting in my comfort zone —nonfiction. My goal? To help you learn from my journey AND to grow my fiction writing skills.
To this end, I’ll share with you the good, the bad, and even the very ugly.
The Journey is based on what I’ve come to realize is my love of travel. I further realized recently that reading or listening to travel fiction and/or travel writing, in general, help me escape whatever is currently depressing me in life. Travel writing allows me to let go, to deeply shift from the urgencies of the moment to the promise of better things —adventure, tasty new eating experiences, and exciting new human connections. The promise that travel offers is fresh and exciting.
In The Journey, we meet Grace, a travel writer hiding a rather dark secret, and Daniel, a best-selling thriller writer whose career has been in deep decline. When Daniel is notified of a travel-fiction writing contest with a large payout, he reaches out to Grace, who was in his writer’s workshop four years prior, with the hope of partnering with her to revive his writing career.
We see Grace agree to travel with Daniel down the iconic Route 66 that starts in Chicago, crosses eight states and three time zones, and ends in Santa Barbara, California. Along the way Daniel and Grace stay in a series of bed-and-breakfasts where they encounter a diverse collection of people who share a wide spectrum of views about the country, the world, and most of all, themselves. Through breakfast after breakfast over fourteen days of travel, Daniel and Grace are challenged to face their worst fears about their lives and their respective futures. Both of them realize something needs to change dramatically in order for each to find the satisfaction in their lives that, up until now, has eluded them.
Since this book showcases real bed-and-breakfasts spread throughout the Route 66 journey, I’ll share interviews I’ve conducted with the owners of these awesome stops. I’ll also share backstories and excerpts from chapters in the book. In the meantime, I invite you to travel with me on this imaginative journey and hope you will enjoy it as much as I will!