Tuesday, 30 June 2015

New Travel Book

People I've Met On The Road
The title of my new book.
All my life I have carried with me, the memories of interesting people I have met whilst travelling. I have had a wanderlust since I was able to walk. My parents were afraid to leave the garden door open. Turn their back for a moment and I would be over the garden gate and heading for my local garage, pestering the greasy-faced mechanics with questions or watching petrol being put into old Morris Minors. They used to laugh when they saw my distraught mother arriving. My childhood was a rapid (not rapid enough for my liking) acceleration towards when I could escape – get out into the big wide world and travel.

Linocut for new book cover print

Memories
I am fortunate enough to be blessed with a very good memory (although unfortunately not for tedious academic work). When I began travelling, I was as much taken with the characters I met as I was by the fascinating places I travelled through. Even as a six year old living in Singapore and Malaysia, I used to wander into kampongs (small villages of thatched or tin-can roofed bamboo huts) and make friends with local children. They taught me noughts & crosses (tick-tack-toe) and card tricks. Later I began hitchhiking and taking trains and buses – initially without my parents knowledge. Despite being in big trouble on each occasion and suffering punishment, I was always eager to tell my family about the people I had met on my illicit trip. My parents worried of course. What kind of weird people might befriend me? Surely one day my luck would run out? And yet, be it through wiliness or good fortune, nothing bad ever befell me. Quite the opposite. People fed me and paid for me to go into cinemas, swimming pools, race circuits or motor museums. People even drove me home or phoned my parents to tell them I was fine (after we had a phone). The more I travelled the more emboldened I became and the more I knew this was where I belonged.

A Collection
The book is a motley collection of people I have met. Some stories tell of adventures I had with these people, where others simply focus upon their characters and what they may have told me. These little potted histories stretch over a period of around forty years, yet they are as vivid in my mind as they were the week after they happened. And if anyone should suddenly realise that they are one of the characters in the book – I have changed most of the names, for obvious reasons of privacy, since I am unable to contact them – then please do not hesitate to contact me, even if just to say hi.
Mark Swain E-mail


People I've Met On The Road should be out – in the first instance as an e-book – by the end of the summer (2015). Please look out for it at:

Mark Swain on Amazon UK
Mark Swain on Amazon .com

and on this blog (add your e-mail to receive updates)

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