Featured Author: David Moore
Q: In one sentence, tell me something that describes you as a person?
A: An accidental author and grey gap-year globe trotter - I love traveling to discover new cultures and people, their traditions, food, drink, landscape, wildlife and history. It was this that inspired me to write ‘Turning Left Around the World’
Q: How many books have you written? How many of those are published?
A: Just the one. I retired two years ago so my wife Helene and I started to plan a once-in-a-lifetime adventure visiting 15 countries in 10 months. I wrote along the way so that friends and family could experience the adventure with us, more than just on Facebook and Instagram.
Mirador offered to publish the book based on the writings from our adventure.
Q: Do you have an upcoming release? If yes, tell me the title and impending release date.
A: The book of the adventure ‘Turning Left Around the World’ was released on September 24th 2018. I would love to follow this up with a sequel, there is still a lot more of the world for us to visit. There are no specific plans as yet but I believe India, Nepal, Russia and the Congo would provide great experiences.
Q: Tell me about how you come up with your titles for your stories. Do you create the title before or after you write the book, and does it ever change from the initial title?
A: ‘Turning Left Around the World’ is an account of our planned and unplanned experiences traveling around the world for 10 months and visiting 15 countries.
Our experiences were always intriguing, often quite hilarious and occasionally tragic. So, there is a contrast of both laughter and tears in the book.
The title is a very British pun on Turning Left.
Firstly, we traveled west around the world from the UK to South America including Easter Island and the Galápagos Islands, then further west to Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, where we spent two months. We continued west to South East Asia, then China, Japan and home. So, we turned left all the way.
We also found that the around the Around the World flight ticket is extremely cost effective so we upgraded to Business class, thereby turning left as we entered the aircraft.
Q: Out of all your characters in all of your books, who/what (sometimes a setting can also be an important “character”)do you think is the most interesting and why?
A: ‘Turning Left Around the World’ is a travelogue memoir of our adventure, there were some extraordinary locations we visited; the Atacama Desert, Ecuadorean Rainforest, Amazon Jungle, Galápagos Islands, the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, The Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army, Mount Fuji and Ayers Rock to name a few. But the one that was the most impressive of all was Machu Picchu.
Not only is it a visually stunning experience but the story behind the scene is equally extraordinary and quite tragic, in fact it still goes on today. The story of Machu Picchu and its tragic ending is in the book.
There are over 100 pictures from the trip in the book, the favourite of mine is the two of us arm in arm feeling quite emotional overlooking Machu Picchu, it was taken by our guide without our knowledge.
We also met some very special people on our travels. A lady called Pin from the Yau people in rural China I met on a hike in the rice fields between two villages. She unveiled her hair to demonstrate the tradition of her people – they cut their hair only once in their lifetime – hers was six feet long!
Another was Mr Bong an astrologer we met in Myanmar. I asked him if his readings were accurate, he replied that he had won the lottery 26 times.
I was also lucky enough to bump in to the Australian Prime Minister who told me a wonderful story about our British Prime Minister when they were at University together. It’s in the book and always makes me laugh when I think of it.
There were many other great characters we met along the way including a one-legged monk selling prayers in Brisbane, a farmer’s wife from the Ghost Market in Mandalay, a Rapa Nui local who can trace his family back over a thousand years, Mr Trin who fishes with Cormorants in China and many others.
Q: If you could “create” your own genre of what you write, what would you call your books?
A: Travel Fiction. A travel memoir is by definition non-fiction but there were so may wonderful stories to tell Travel Fiction seems to be more pertinent.
Q: Without quoting your back cover synopsis, tell me about the last book you published.
A: ‘Turning Left Around the World’ is an honest account of our 10 month adventure visiting 15 countries. It is full of anecdotes, sometimes amusing and occasionally tragic describing our experiences and the wonderful characters we met on our travels. It also provides an insight into the culture, traditions, history and food of each country.
Q: Tell me something about yourself that is separate from writing.
A: My career was in advertising, creating campaigns for international brands such as Kit Kat, Kellogg’s, Walt Disney, RBS, Sony, VISA etc.
My children say my greatest claim to fame was coming up with the idea of Blue M&M’s. Not a huge achievement for a career in marketing but it seemed to impress them when they were much younger.
Q: Who is your favorite Author?
A: Chris Stewart, I think his tales of moving to Spain and accidentally buying a farmhouse are brilliant. If you haven’t read it ‘Driving Over Lemons’ is hilarious.
Q: What is the last book that you read? (Not counting anything you wrote)
A: My last book was one for the beach; Origin by Dan Brown. I thought the way he extrapolated current thinking and technology on artificial intelligence was really clever. My favourite line was “Darwin should not have asked how they survived, but how they arrived”
Q: When writing, do you have a system or something you plan, or do you just write?
A: I wrote most evenings on the events of the day. And on the plane journeys when I had plenty of time to review and rewrite – after all there were 53 of them!
Q: Why do you write?
A: I wrote for our friends and family, and would send back my ‘Moore Ramblings” every ten days or so. I enjoyed writing them just as much as they enjoyed reading them. So, it is purely for enjoyment. I am delighted that the Editorial and Customer Reviews have been so good and I am honored to be in Amy’s Best Books of 2018
Q: Do you read your own work a lot? If so, what does it do for you?
A: I re-read ‘Turning Left Around the World’ by dipping into it as one would a reference book, often when Helene and I are discussing our adventure to help remind us of a place or some detail we had forgotten. I am pleased to say it still makes me laugh and wonder how we pushed ourselves so far out of our comfort zone.
Q: What is your favorite type of music? Is there one genre (or song, band etc...) that brings out your creativeness more than others?
A: I am a 70’s and 80’s boy at heart. So, the soft rock and glam rock that is so easily and often criticized is my favourite as background music – it makes me smile and sets up the right mood for writing.
Q: As an author, I find that the hardest thing to write (for me) is the synopsis that will be on the back cover or book’s description. When you write, what is the hardest line to write, the first line, the last line or the synopsis for the book?
A: My favourite piece of writing is Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. The first line is ‘To begin at the beginning…’, good advice for us all I believe.
The last line of each chapter is, I believe, the most difficult. It needs to summarize the tone and sentiment of the past chapter, whether that be laughter, tragedy, surprise or excitement.
It must also act as a bridge to what may be an entirely different sentiment in the next chapter.
I also attempt to create some anticipation for the next chapter, I guess we all try and stop the reader from switching on the kettle or turning off the light.
Q: If you could sit down and have a coffee (or whatever beverage) with anyone, living or dead, from any era, any time, who would it be and why? (You can pick up to 3 persons).
A: Winston Churchill would definitely be on my list, but probably over a bottle of Pol Roger his favourite champagne – legend has it he drank a bottle daily! He certainly had his flaws and some of his political decisions would not stand the test of time, he was however an extremely clever and witty man who gave us some of the most memorable speeches and quotes.
Language barrier aside, I would invite Pachacutec who, at 22 years of age, became king of the Incas in 1438. He expanded the empire from its cultural home in Cusco, Peru using ‘conquest and peaceful assimilation’. It stretched the length of the Andes from Ecuador to Chile a distance of 2,500 miles, conquering 300,000 square miles and developing an empire of 12 million Incas.
Pachacutec also developed 25,000 miles of roads known as the Inca Trails, a sophisticated code system for his messages that still can’t be broken, a weather forecasting station, and a surgery complete with operating table, anesthetiser, antibiotic and surgical lighting where he pioneered brain surgery. Aqueducts, frost free irrigation, an agricultural laboratory and research centre and of course the ‘hidden castle in the sky where the kings lived’ – Machu Picchu.
I think Churchill and Pachacutec would have a lot to discuss.
Q: What does it mean to be a “successful” writer?
A: It is often said that success is a journey not a destination, so to quantify success in terms of number of books sold is not really relavant. I have been extremely fortunate that ‘Turning Left Around the World’ has received some great Editorial and Customer Reviews.
It is an honest account of our 10 month adventure around the world, self-deprecating at times, often humorous and sometimes tragic while also being instructive about the local cultures and traditions we encountered and experienced.
Unlike a novel it is about us as people. Our relationship and our personalities are all there to be seen, so the reader gets to know us quite well. From the reviews we seem to have made some new friends and although we may well never meet them it sounds like success to me.
Q: What do you want to accomplish, so when you look back at your life, you can say “I did that”?
A: I believe our ten month adventure visiting some of the iconic destinations in the world is something to look back on with pride and a huge amount of enjoyment. Helene and I will never be short of conversation having shared such a life changing experience
Q: Any final thoughts that you want to give to your fans or even future authors?
A: Not sure about ‘fans’ but hopefully new friends. Helene and I hope to travel again, our wanderlust is not exhausted and theirs lots more to see and experience around the globe. Perhaps ‘Turning Left Around India’ who knows.