Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'm excited to be featuring a guest post by author Eric Walters. As I write this, I'm in the middle of his latest book The Rule of 3: Fight for Power. I love reading about the struggle for survival. Today Eric is going to share a post about travel and it's influence on his writing.

Traveling and influences on your writing

I travel to write and write to travel.  The two go hand in hand.  To write Between Heaven and Earth I travelled to Tanzania to actually climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  My experience travelling to that country and climbing the mountain became not only the basis of my research but the things that my character experienced.  For Just Deserts my character is forced to walk hundreds of miles across the Sahara Desert so I walked 120 miles across the Sahara Desert.  The scene on the cover where the character is lost in the desert was written when I was lost in the desert.  For Walking Home my character and his young sister are forced to walk across Kenya to find his extended family after the death of their parents.  I took four young Canadians and four of the residents of my orphanage (www.creationofhope.com) and walked across Kenya, following the exact route taken by my characters.  All along I took pictures, videos, interviewed people and made notes.  This journey was 8 days and 200 kilometers, on foot, walking across the Mara, up to the top of the Rift Valley, through Nairobi, through Kibera (the largest urban slums in Africa) and then up into the mountains of Kikima.  The journey became not only the basis of the characters experience walking across the country but also formed the basis of the companion website www.ericwalterswalkinghome.com   The book has symbols that connect through a website where the reader can see pictures, view videos, hear interviews, read related non-fiction articles about the journey and read a full writer’s commentary.  None of that would have been possible without the journey.

My wife and I, along with a family in Kenya, created a program to provide services for orphans in the Mbooni District. I travel there each summer and these experiences have formed the basis of many of the books I have written.  My Name is Blessing, Hope Springs and Today is The Day are all picture books that have been inspired by real children and experiences that have occurred when I’m there.

Travel doesn’t just give you experience and inspiration but it gives perspective and opportunity.  I am placed in a position where I can use my abilities as a writer to help my readers become aware of situations in the world – important situations removed from their normal lives.  This allows perspective, not only for them but also for me.  The person that I am has been greatly influenced, changed and shaped by travel.

I love this post. I have definitely been bitten by the travel bug and, while I haven't been abroad in over a year, I have the planning for 3 future trips in-progress (1 to Montana with my mom, one to England and Scotland with my mom and aunt and one to Eastern Europe with my boyfriend). Stay tuned for my review of Fight for Power tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love that the author actually went out and DID these things, that is amazing! And I love that he and his wife set up a foundation. That is just awesome!