Kira, pins, belt, it was all there, beautifully laid out on the bed, but how do you put on a Bhutanese dress? Perhaps the hotel staff could help?
‘‘Sorry, madam, too early, no ladies on duty.’’
There I was in a hotel room, 5.30 in the morning, with two men I’d never met, struggling with meters of fabric, red and gold, folding this way, that way, under the arm, over the arm to no avail. ‘‘I can’t be late for a Coronation,’’ I pleaded, so the youngest ran out into the street to look for a woman, any woman, who might know what to do.
When I first read this quote from Solange Hando‘s new book, Be a Travel Writer, Live your Dreams, Sell your Features: Travel Writing Step by Step, it really made me smile as I pictured myself in just such a predicament. It’s exactly this kind of introduction to an article that catches my attention and makes me want to read more.
Solange is an award-winning travel writer with over 500 articles in print, covering some 70 countries. In her new book she draws from these years of experience, of both travelling and travel writing, to bring us this wonderful guide. If you are embarking on a travel writing career I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
It’s laid out in a format that’s easy to read and digest and it’s packed full of colourful anecdotes from Solange’s own experiences. Each chapter tackles a different aspect of travel writing from preparing for a trip, developing your observational skills, pitching to editors and setting the tone of your writing to match different markets and so much more besides.
One thing that did surprise me, however, was that she uses a compact camera to take photographs to illustrate her articles. Personally, I wouldn’t want to give up my control over depth of field and shutter speed that my DSLR gives me but that being said, Solange is a great photographer and I would never have guessed she was only using a compact.
Solange’s book is packed full of really essential tips and advice that any would be travel writer would do well to follow. I doubt you could find a better book to guide you through your travel writing journey, whether you are just setting out or some way along the road.
And don’t worry, when the time came for Solange to shake hands with the King of Bhutan on his Coronation Day, she was properly dressed (but only just!).
You can buy Be a Travel Writer, Live your Dreams, Sell your Features: Travel Writing Step by Step on Amazon.
Disclosure: I was delighted to receive a complimentary copy of Solange’s book in thanks for my very small contribution, one tip about travel blogging. Please also note that this post contains affiliate links so if you purchase this book through it, I’ll make a few pennies towards another book to review and it won’t cost you a penny more.