Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest Post: How Childhood Travel Can Influence Your Writing by Mindy Friddle.

Write To Travel is pleased to welcome author Mindy Friddle. Mindy, who is on a WOW blog tour to promote her new book Secret Keepers, offers an interesting guest post about childhood travel and writing.

But first a little about Mindy who lives, writes, works and gardens in South Carolina where she directs a community-based writing program. Her first novel, The Garden Angel (St. Martin’s Press/Picador) was selected for Barnes and Noble's Discover Great New Writers program in 2004. Secret Keepers, her second novel, was published by St. Martin's Press in May. For more information, visit Mindy's blog Novel Thoughts: Musings on Reading, Writing & the Earth.

Now for Mindy's thoughts on childhood travel and writing...

My family moved from our small hometown in South Carolina to an Army base in Germany in my formative years, and I have no doubt the extensive travel over four years helped shaped me as a writer. By the time I was fourteen, I’d been all over Europe. As a Girl Scout, I’d seen the East Berlin wall. At twelve, I’d taken a bus with a friend to Paris. I’d gone camping in Sweden. And I loved that military families were so comfortable with meeting new people. You welcomed change because every three years you moved...and so did everyone else.

For me, what's so powerful about travel, besides being the ultimate form of escape, is the way it changes your view of the world, even after you return home. Especially after you return home.When I was sixteen, we moved back to the States, back to the small town I was born in, where everyone knew each other since kindergarten, where there was no public transportation, where everything was so set. I loved so many things about it, but the place felt so different to me. I felt like a genie being squeezed back into the bottle.

Maybe that has something to do with why the protagonist in SECRET KEEPERS, my second novel, longs to leave her hometown and travel the globe. As I mention on my website, The Story Behind Secret Keepers, I started the novel with an image of Emma Hanley, gazing at a family portrait, stuck in her small hometown. Like George Bailey in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, she yearns to flee. Just when it looks like she might get her wish, her husband heads off to his morning coffee klatch with a gaggle of adoring widow women, and Emma’s dream of travel is stymied. Again.

I'm still here in my hometown, by the way, nearly three decades later. But I'm feeling the itch to travel again-- explore another continent. Only... it seems to get harder to leave as the years go by. Katherine Mansfield expressed this perfectly in a letter: “How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you -- you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences -- little rags and shreds of your very life.” Exactly.

Have a read of the first chapter of Secret Keepers. It will definitely make you want to read the whole book which can be purchased here.

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Anonymous said...

Traveling is really an art and the quest for traveling will never end.

Jodi said...

What I love about travel is the opportunity to be a different person. Especially if you come from a small town where people know(or think they know)exactly who you are and what you would do in every situation.

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