Welcome to the Holiday Book Tour: a collection of books and blogs from international authors with that ‘certified must-read’ for your holiday.
Paul Anthony invites you all to jump on board his aeroplane and take off to the sunshine this year. Come fly with us.
Clive Eaton is navigating and Scott Whitmore is at the controls (Ed: yikes?! This guy shouldn’t be flying anything!). Pauline Barclay is head stewardess. Francis Laveauz is dispensing your favourite holiday tipple and Zoe Saadia, Laura Johnson and Seumas Gallacher, will be bringing you the very best from their ‘Duty Free’ trolley. Now hang on tight and watch Amy Metz run through the flight safety drill. We’re only joking, of course. Relax!
Enjoy your holiday.
You’ll need your bucket and spade, a passport, and a couple of books. What? You’ve got everything except the books! Don’t worry, we’ll try and supply a few for you.
Well, authors need readers and readers need authors. So, with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to a bunch of authors who write in a wide variety of genres and have gathered together a collection of books for your holiday enjoyment. Each author has been asked a series of questions but each one has a different answer and a different selection of books on offer. You’re invited to join us on our tour and spread the word about these wonderful holiday reads. Those of us on twitter will be tweeting #holreads2013 but all we’d like you to do is read this post and then click on the names of the authors in the list below, visit their site, and compare their answers with the rest.
Why don’t we crack on and make a start with: Scott Whitmore
Q. In which part of the world do you live at the moment?
A. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, about a half-hour north of Seattle. As a military family, we lived all over the Eastern Seaboard of the US as well as in Italy before moving here in 1998. Although this was my first and only tour of duty west of the Mississippi River, it did not take long to decide this is where we would stay after I retired from active duty. We live at the top of a hill with a city park behind us, and enjoy the wildlife that comes into our backyard.
Q. Do you have any favourite parts of the world or any favourite holiday places?
A. While stationed with the US Navy in Naples, Italy, I had the pleasure of traveling through parts of Europe. Without a doubt — no surprise to faithful readers of this blog — my all-time favorite place to visit was Ireland. If I ever hit the lottery (Ed: because becoming a best-selling author is too much of a stretch, eh?) a trip back to Ireland would be high on To-Do List.
I visited Venice while deployed with USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and fell in love with the city. So much so, that I returned two more times after moving to Italy: once with just my wife and again with my daughters, Johanna and Katherine. There is so much history there, and the way people have adapted to living on the canals is amazing to me.
Another trip we made as a family while stationed in Italy was to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria (see photo at top of blog). At that time, the mid-1990s, the US military had a pair of hotels in Garmisch that were just for service members, retirees and their families (Note: At present there is only one resort-hotel in Garmisch; there are also similar military recreation centers in Hawaii, Japan, Korea and Walt Disney World in Florida). While at Garmisch we travelled to nearby Munich as well as to King Ludwig II’s famous homes at Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace.
Of course, with all the great attractions nearby living in Naples was pretty much a three-year holiday in and of itself — if you don’t count the summer days when the water was shut off by the city. We climbed Mount Vesuvius, explored Pompeii and got to see the famous Blue Grotto in Capri. And with Rome just an hour or two up the autostrada, we made more than a few trips to the Eternal City. We were even in Vatican Square when Pope John Paul II stuck his head out the window.
Q. What kind of holiday do you prefer? Cruises, walking, beach holiday, city breaks, villa, caravan, for example. Are you an explorer or do you just like to crash and relax?
A. We enjoyed exploring — city, country or beach! — on our own but have also been on a guided tour that was just fantastic. In Ireland, our group was led by a guy who was moonlighting for the Navy’s Morale, Welfare & Recreation division while working on his master’s degree in Ancient History. His knowledge of Ireland’s history and ability to relate it to what was happening in nearby parts of the world made trips to sites like Newgrange beyond fascinating.
Q. Do you feature international places in your books or are they a figment of your imagination designed to engage the reader?
A. My first book, Carpathia (now just $.99 US!) takes place in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in the early 1880s; a place I have never been but would love to visit at some point.
Most of the action in my second novel, The Devil’s Harvest, takes place in, and above, Northern France and the English Channel during World War I. Even though both books are set in real places, in a way they are also figments of my imagination as they are alternate histories. My Romania and Great War are quite a bit different from reality, actually, and of course there are vampires, zombies and werewolves.
Q. Do you write for the holiday maker or do you write for a specific market?
A. This is a great question, but the answer is simply this: I write for myself, and hope that someone — anyone! — else will enjoy it. I’m not even sure there is a specific market for what I produce!. Thank goodness for the Indie Author movement, because I doubt anyone in Traditional Publishing would pause a second before passing on my novels.
A. Both my novels are part of what I call the Carpathia Timeline … my little sandbox in which I play around with history. These books have elements of horror and Steampunk, but mostly I think of them as adventures. A comparison I would hope is true is that my novels are like written versions of the Indiana Jones movies, especially the first two.
My books are also fairly family-friendly, in that there is no sex or explicit violence, and the language is mild compared to what you can hear on some cable television shows in the US. I’m not personally against reading those things, necessarily, but find in my writing — for now at least — I prefer to keep things PG-13 or better.
So, you’re on holiday and feeling pretty good. You’re finally relaxing, that knot in middle of your back that flares up anytime the idiot from Accounting stops by has disappeared and you don’t want anything too heavy to change that. I get it. What’s more perfect than a fun and rollicking adventure tale then? No heavy lifting required, just fire up the Kindle and dip your toes into the action.
Q. And where can we learn more about these holiday reads?
A. By clicking on the “My Novels” tab at the top of this blog you can read more about Carpathia and The Devil’s Harvest, including some fun facts I put together. If you’re interested in purchasing aforementioned novels, please visit my page at Amazon.
Now please follow these cracking hand-picked authors to see what they have to say about holidays and holiday reads.
Thanks for joining us on our holiday tour. Stay safe and enjoy yourselves wherever you are going.