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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Dreams can come true ...

Exciting and amazing news. 
This time last year while writing the book I also started dreaming and thinking of a cover, different from anything I'd ever seen to create excitement, and one that I would cherish.  So I started designing the unique concept with just a little help from a creative genius, Paul.  This summer when the manuscript was accepted, I also nervously submitted the cover never thinking in a month of sundays that the publisher would even consider it. 
The outcome, once again, was magical and surreal.  A definitive yes!  Mike from Road Dog Publications loves it and is going to use it!  So here it is.  You're the first to see it and I'll let you into a secret and tell you a little more about it .....

I wanted to create mystery and intrigue for the reader and get them interested to turn to the back cover or turn the pages to find out what this was all about.  Best not to give too much away. Believe it or not, this cover photograph of Monument Valley, Utah was taken with my iPhone.  Amazing quality! And just above my name you can probaly just about see dust coming up from a solo bike wizzing past which just had to be added!

The image "Go or Bust" is actually an idea I saw in Santa Barbara.  Old American number plates cut and put together to form a phrase.  So we created this - the story starts from left in Massachussets and goes across the different states showing the adventures with even the bullet hole above the "R" and the guitar in Memphis!  Now that's a story!  And all the way over to surfing California.

And of course, the infamous heart and wings (from my belt buckle I wore throughout the trip) representing the determination, freedom, passion and bravery of the whole trip.  A small English rose is just below the ribbon tied round the heart, like a road itself, with the words 'on the roads less traveled'. 

So there you have it.  A dream book cover which I'll soon be able to hold in my own two hands.  

Sunday, 15 September 2013

US Publisher takes the book on! 'Bonneville Go or Bust'

The last few months have been a rollercoaster and a half with its own highs and lows! 

Following my visit to the London Book Fair in April and sending proposals to a number of British publishers I’d carefully selected, but being constantly rejected, I tirelessly continued fine tuning the whole manuscript.  But I knew I needed some help. 

Twitter has recently had bad press but it’s thanks to it that I was introduced to an amazing, inspirational and like minded person – Ben Westwood – who has written his own successful travel books - Rough Guides to South America, Moon Handbooks on Trips of a lifetime, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands & also writes travel reviews for some of Britain's national papers. But it would be the first time he’d help with copy editing someone else’s book – I liked that - pioneering the project together. Back in April, I remember Ben saying the ‘project’ sounded interesting and as one of his favourite books was ‘Travels with Charley’ it seemed like a good omen.  So for the next 3 months we tirelessly focused to get it ready for final submission to a publisher – if ever that would happen!

I was seriously starting to think that to get the story out the only route would probably be self-publishing which I was ready to do but I wanted to hold out for just a bit longer.

And then a totally unforeseen turn of events happens which proves that sometimes the destiny of our lives is not totally controlled by ourselves.  It gives us another choice on which road to take.

Towards the end of May, just a few days after my transatlantic interview with Brent Miller, I’m contacted directly by a real life American publisher who had tuned into the interview.  He’s genuinly interested in the story believing it has a unique slant.

I slowly gulp in this delicious fact not quite believing this is happening to me. 

We agree that I’ll submit the manuscript towards the end of June after all the tweaking has been done here in London. 

Ironically on the 4th July!, I receive a monumental email –

“thanks for your manuscript.  I took the last 2 and a half days and read it cover to cover ... it’s a good fit and I would be happy to work with you in North America for getting it out to the public”    
Heavenly words.

These words and belief are from Mike Fitterling, publisher of Road Dog Publications, and well known and respected person within the American travel and biking world.  His aim and tireless passion is to introduce new and exciting slants on travel and adventure books that are not simple technical manuals or turn-by-turn travel guides but instead books about the unique experiences and life lessons that the writer has given to himself and now passing onto the reader.  A true like minded pioneer in finding new opportunities out there.

We’ve only just this week finally completed the agreement, amusingly on Friday 13th!,  so a lot more news will be coming from me very soon ...     Maybe all those self determined, solitary months this time last year until the beginning of this year to write it all down has finally paid off ....  
Thank you all for your support along the way.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Audio Interview with American journalist Brent Miller "Fullfilling one's dreams"

Recent skype interview with the fab Brent Miller journalist based in the U.S. about my adventure and the reason for embarking on such an escapade.  To listen to the full 30 minute conversation, click on the link above and scroll down the page to click on the audio button -

As Brent says -
Here in the USA, many adventure motorcyclists dream of riding outside the country, riding to some far away place, or going around the world. Of course, there are those here who believe there is more than enough to see in the USA in a lifetime.
Last year, I followed the Tweets and posts of Bonneville Adventure and found it very interesting that one rider’s goal was to ride across America on a motorcycle.
Zoe Cano, of London, England, had a dream—to return to the United States and see the country by motorcycle. Her bucket list item became an obsession, making choices, establishing priorities, and planning for four years to make it a reality. In the summer of 2012, she packed her bags, flew to the states, picked up a Triumph Bonneville T100, and started out across the country on a ride of a lifetime.
Along the way, she hit all the towns and places she planned, met friends along the way, found adventure, hung out with cowboys, and breathed in the greatness of the countryside and out of the way places.
.... she is working on a book about fulfilling one’s dreams."

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year .. The Adventure just goes on!

Returning back in the summer from this incredible trip, covering over 8 000 kms across the roads lesser known of the American continent, I knew I had an amazing story to tell to motivate anyone with a dream.

Since that time, I've literally been spending all my spare time writing, writing and writing.  It's been non-stop.  I know I've still got a long way to go but I've almost finished the first draft of more than 120 000 words! Then I'll have to have the patience of diligently going through it again, and again and again.

It'll tell about how over 4 years I made an impossible dream a real life adventure against all the odds.  No money, no freedom to take time off, no bike and no knowledge of long distance solo endurance riding.  And some of the stories along the way on the journey are hard to believe!

And now another sort of adventure is starting which also seems impossible.  I have no idea how to get a book published but this is my mission this year and as I've recently seen, luck, opportunity or kindness may also be just round the corner.  I probably need to find a fantastic copywriter involved in travel writing and then find a publisher who can help me make this project fly. 

Any help or advice on the above would be amazing. 
Happy New Year - Health, Happiness and Adventure....