My travels are my life and have been for the last twenty-two years. Before the days of Instagram and Facebook my travel up-dates were always sent via email. I loved sitting in an internet café writing tales about my overseas adventures. I wanted all my friends and family to laugh at my stories and not be faced with a dull diary of everything I did. Consequently, I subjected them to many humorous emails about my overseas antics and they couldn’t wait for the next instalment. Everyone commented on how engaging my writing was and some even said I should write a book which I immediately dismissed. How would I find the time to write a book when working full time? And when travelling I was focussed on meeting people and exploring not writing a book.
This all changed when a couple I met travelling through West Africa invited me to cat and house sit for them at their Blue Mountains home in Australia. This was an offer I could not refuse. My mum had just died after a long battle with cancer and it seemed the perfect place to recover from my grief. It was also the perfect retreat to write a book. This resulted in my first book, ‘Pringles, Visas and a Glow in the Dark Jesus’. Six years later for my sequel book ‘Secret Lands, Petrol Clams and a Bagful of Bolivar’ I swapped the Blue Mountains for Emerald Beach on the east coast of Australia. As I hopped onto the plane in December 2019 little did anyone know I was dodging a major pandemic! As I lived happily in my writer’s retreat at Emerald Beach writing my book, I watched on TV the horrific spread of coronavirus in the UK resulting in all the lockdowns and restrictions. I couldn’t have picked a better time or location to write my book.
Content for my writing is so easy! Quirky destinations and the eclectic mix of people I meet along the way make for interesting memories. Who wants to visit Venezuela when the country is suffering hyperinflation creating shortages of food and medicine? Imagine having to carry a backpack filled to the brim with illegal banknotes just to pay for your meal? This is how it is in Venezuela and it made for some interesting encounters. How many people are so intrigued by the highly secretive North Korea that they have it on their holiday wish list? Or to learn how to bow to dead leaders housed in glass coffins? I also have the knack of attracting much mishap and misadventure, whether it be natural disasters, bribery or facing a five-year prison sentence!
When normalcy reappears in the world and venturing overseas is deemed safe, I will be continuing my quest for adventure and foreign lands. A new journal has already been purchased to accompany me and I will be writing many notes for that all important material for book number three!
Secret Lands, Petrol Clams and a Bagful of Bolivar by Sharon Cracknell is available for pre-order from all major retailers now!