The Next Big Thing

When I’m not traveling and not blogging, I’m writing and editing a book about travel. In “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop,” writers tag other writers with blogs to answer 10 questions about their work, then they tag more writers and so on. Readers can then discover what will be coming their way. I was tagged to participate in the blog hop by the poet, Donna Johnson, whose first collection of poetry, “Selvage,” was recently published by Carnegie Mellon Press. So, here are my answers to the 10 questions.

What is the working title of your book? 

The Tucker Tyler Adventure.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from a trip my mother, Marialyce Tyler, and her friend, Katherine Tucker, took in their early 20s. In 1954, the two women traveled by ship, train, ferry, and car throughout Europe, visiting 14 countries and staying in 42 cities in 3 months. On little more, and sometimes less, than $5 a day, they stayed in hotels, bed and breakfasts, and private homes, met Americans and Europeans, toured museums, and ate the local cuisine.

PostcardsWhat genre does your book fall under?

Travel memoir.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

From the 1950s: Deborah Kerr and Grace Kelly. Current day: Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A glimpse into the lives of two young women and the 1954 world in which they traveled.

Will your book be self-published or by a press?


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 2 years. As Kit’s daughter, Nancy, and I wrote the book, we cut and pasted the best or most interesting descriptions and tidbits from over 60 letters, plus postcards, a journal, and many slides.

Rusty's letters

What other books would you compare this to within your genre?

I don’t know of any nonfiction book quite like it. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Besides the fact that the letters were kept by both women and their families for over 50 years, I love reading them. The two young women both wrote with such enthusiasm and personality. In 2010, we decided to put the letters into a book. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Marialyce and Kit sailed on the Queen Mary, bought a car in Paris, broke a window near Stratford, ran out of gas near Oxford, were robbed in Luxembourg, and were sung to in Venice.  They were young and impressionable and their writing reflects their wonder at the sights they see.

Queen Mary