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I’ve switched gears from writing to publicity for the third Mom Zone book, Getting Away is Deadly, which I know is popping up in bookstores thanks to the reports from several helpful GG readers who have reported sighting it.
One of the things I do for publicity is a blog tour with another group of female novelists, the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. The girlfriends email me questions, which I answer, and then they post the answers on their blogs. It’s using the power of the Internet for good, not evil.
So, I’m in the middle of answering these questions when I get this one: “If you had to summarize your book as a bumper sticker, what would it be?”
I came up with “Vacations are Murder” since Ellie accompanies her pilot husband to a training class in Washington D.C. Instead of r&r, she gets mixed up in a murder in the Metro. Which brings up the question of backstory. How did I get the idea to write about a murder on a vacation? Have I had a vacation-gone-bad experience myself?
Not really. I’ve had typical vacation mishaps—cancelled flights, kids falling sick, and sibling bickering in the backseat. More irritants than disasters, certainly. In fact, the time my flight was cancelled turned into an excellent evening—room service and plenty of ice cream, just what I needed after a day of lugging my bags around the airport from one gate to another.
Now that I think about it, I realize that our family has gone on few “real” vacations. Our travels have been more like Ellie’s trip, a combination of work and vacation.
I ran across a statistic the other day that reported Americans are using less of their vacation time than ever. We’re taking shorter trips and canceling trips altogether. Our family hasn’t gotten to the point of abandoning holidays. We just…multi-task, I guess.
We’ve made the most of the work-related trips that have fallen into our life. Often our tourist sight-seeing is on the way from one assignment to another, but we’ve managed to check out some pretty cool places: Washington D.C. (obviously!), San Francisco, the Mariposa Grove of Redwoods, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Hawaii, the white sands of the Gulf coast, and even a few foreign destinations, including England, Germany, and France. Can’t really complain, can I?
So what about you? Where has your work taken you? Do you plan vacations and are you actually able to take them? What are you favorite destinations?
Where has my work taken me? Easier to say where it hasn’t…Really.
Autrailia and Africa are 2 continents I haven’t been to for work. Haven’t been to Greenland, although I’ve flown 38,000 feet overt the North Pole and have some fabulous pictures.
Probably most here know I’ve been to China a lot, in the past 10 years. I’m pretty sure the only state I haven’t been in is Vermont.
For those that think travel is glamourous, it isn’t. At least business travel isn’t and not to the extent I do it.
I rarely get to sight-see and most of the time, it’s like going to work, just in another place.
Sara, the title of you new book is perfect. At least to describe business travel.
by Will Bereswill on April 9th, 2008 at 8:04 am
Now that i’m retired, I’m busier than ever! lol We mostly take vacations to visit family and friends. (And I always take along plenty of books!)
by Cozy Crime on April 9th, 2008 at 9:28 am
I used to have the greatest job, and travel was a small but great part of it - to workshops that were meant to help me get even better and more knowledge at my job, so I loved them and didn’t mind that I didn’t really get ‘typical’ vacations. I drove to most of them, which was excellent, because I could stop and look at stuff that interested me and take lots of pictures, too. I’ve got to tell you that Iowa and Arkansas were nothing like I thought they’d be - they were much better, and while I’m sure there are lots of not-so-nice places there, I didn’t see them, which was cool. A true treat was a trip to Tucson and the San Rafael Ranch, where my favorite John Wayne movie (McClintock!) was filmed. I love all of what I’ve seen of Indiana and Michigan that I’ve seen (except for some of Detroit, all of Gary, and some of Indianapolis, but, hey, grinding poverty and crime aren’t pretty to most people). And I still think that Roanoke, on a cool, foggy morning in early November, was just breathtaking.
Damn, I wish I still had that job.
by Kate Hathway on April 9th, 2008 at 9:36 am
I have a tour management certification, which means I can take tour groups on trips anywhere in the world I, or they, choose. I’ve never used it for anything but local tour guiding, though. It’s a great profession for someone who’s single or childless, but with small kids at home, it won’t really fly. Hubby would complain if I jetted off to Rome, Cairo, or Paris for three weeks out of every month. Of course, I’d be in Rome, Cairo and Paris, so it might almost be worth it, but just ‘almost’. I’m keeping it in reserve for retirement.
Of course, there’s tax-deductible ‘research trips’, too…
by JennieB on April 9th, 2008 at 11:49 am
JennieB, where does one get such a certification, and how much training/time/expense is involved?
by Kate Hathway on April 9th, 2008 at 12:24 pm
It’s been years and years for me, and I did it while I was living in New York, at - I think - the American Institute of Tourism and Travel, but I can’t find a website for them. This place is in San Francisco, and seems like it has a decent program, as well.
by JennieB on April 9th, 2008 at 1:06 pm
Glad you like the book title, Will! I think if we had an award for the person who goes travels the most and/or farthest, you’d probably win.
by Sara on April 9th, 2008 at 2:31 pm
Hi, Cozy Crime. Thanks for dropping in! I think what you say about being retired and busier than you’ve ever been is true—at lest for all the retired folks I know. One person even said, “I don’t know how I found time to work!”
by Sara on April 9th, 2008 at 2:33 pm
I love road trips, too, Kate. Our country is amazingly beautiful. New Mexico and Texas are amazing. I’d love to write a road trip mystery one day, but I haven’t yet figured out how to do it, but it’s in the back of my mind.
by Sara on April 9th, 2008 at 2:36 pm
“Of course, there’s tax-deductible ‘research trips’, too…”
So true, JennieB! I’m thinking of follow Tasha’s example and setting my next series in Europe, then letting the book take me where it wants to go. Maybe a European road trip mystery…
by Sara on April 9th, 2008 at 2:40 pm
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