What are the different types of travel books and how can you blend them within the genre? How can we tackle our imposter syndrome when writing in a genre we love? Jeremy Bassetti explores these questions and more in today’s show.
In the intro, my 10-year author entrepreneur lessons learned; the different stages of an author business [Ask Alli]; London: A Personal History.
Today’s show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at www.draft2digital.com/penn
Jeremy Bassetti is a travel writer, editor, teacher, and author of historical fiction. He’s the host of two podcasts, Travel Writing World and Sonus Loci: The Sound of Place.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- What drives the human desire for travel?
- The different types of travel books. Jeremy has a great article on this: 10 Travel Book Sub-Genres with Examples
- Is an emotional journey necessary in a travel memoir?
- How nature writing and travel writing overlap
- Pitfalls to watch out for in travel writing
- Sensory descriptions that bring readers a richer experience
- How to deal with travel writer imposter syndrome — and how practice can help you break through it (and I have some personal reflections on this in the show introduction!)
You can find Jeremy Bassetti at JeremyBassetti.com and on Twitter @jeremybassetti
Transcript of Interview with Jeremy Bassetti
Joanna: Jeremy Bassetti is a travel writer, editor, teacher, and author of historical fiction. He’s the host of two podcasts, Travel Writing World and Sonus Loci: The Sound of Place. Welcome, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Thank you for having me. I’m so happy to be here, Jo.
Joanna: I’m excited to talk to you.
Tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing.
Jeremy: I’m a teacher and I’ve been doing academic research and writing for literally half of my life since university. My plan was always to turn my attention to creative writing, to creative nonfiction when I finished grad school.
I always said that like I didn’t want to be a secondary source. I wanted to be a primary source. I wanted to create the type of things that I was studying. But anyway, so that’s what I did around 2015.
I was studying and researching about the business and craft of writing in my free time and that’s when I founded a podcast. I dabbled a little bit in self-publishing. I published a book, Denounced. It’s a historical fiction set in Seville and Renaissance Spain.
What I’m really interested in now is travel literature because I found out during the writing process of my historical fiction, I was drawing on a lot of my personal experiences living in Spain for that book and it dawned on me that this is a type of travel writing, I read and travel writing.
This is what I’m interested in, that’s my home. So I found my home in travel literature. That’s where I belong. That’s my story in a nutshell.
Joanna: We met a couple of years ago at Podcast Movement and share this love of travel and with my Books and Travel, we share our podcasts. We’re both working towards our own travel memoirs, but as we speak, the pandemic goes on and on. And we’re both passionate about travel. You mentioned setting a bit there, but maybe go a bit deeper on that.
What do you think drives our desire to travel and how can traveling help our writing regardless of genre?
Jeremy: I think travel springs from deep within us, movement and migration are part of the human experience now. It’s in our DNA. We have legs, right? We walk and I think the modern travel industry plays off these instincts a little bit.
Movement is a necessity, people follow food, right? They follow the herds and maybe people move for spiritual or economic necessities and reasons, but I’m not sure that that’s travel. When those needs are met, I think what drives our desire to travel is adventure, or curiosity, or boredom or marketing agencies or something like that.
I can speak for myself here, but what drives me and my desire to travel was a little bit of curiosity and I think a little bit of restlessness. You talk about from time to time, Jo, about refilling the creative well. And like you, I think I need routine, but I also need to break away from the familiar because I need to be inspired, and traveling exposes us to new people and places and things.
And I think it’s cliché to say this, but travel can be transformative and inspirational. So you asked about how can this help with writing? People say write what you know. And I think that the curious traveler knows a little bit more.
Travel can expose us to new ideas, and experiences, and settings, and situations, places, and character can renew our energy to write and live. So I think it’s inspirational, transformative, and it exposes us to much more.
Joanna: Let’s get into the different types of travel books and travel writing because on your podcast, ‘Travel Writing World,’ you’ve interviewed loads of very famous travel writers. And, of course, I talk to a lot of people too and we both read a lot.
What are the different sub-genres within the broad sense of travel?
Jeremy: Right. I’ve tried to break it down.
The travel genre or the travel writing genre are two different subgenres. And I’m not sure that that’s the right term, but let’s go with it. Sub-genres or frameworks, or I don’t know, styles, they’re different ones.
I think that part of the reason why I did this was because like me, and I’m assuming other people too, we tend to conflate travel book and travel memoir as this one thing and if you read a lot of travel literature, you’ll understand that there’s much more diversity in terms of the styles of the books.
Many people think of a travel-logue when they think of travel book or travel memoir. But I think they are distinct things. Sub-genres.
So there are many and I’ve listed out maybe like 10 or something on a post on my website: 10 Travel Book Sub-Genres with Examples
One of the main examples is what I like to call the quest or the mission. It’s a sub-genre of travel book where the author subject traveler, he or she goes off in search of something or to go somewhere. There’s an external motivating factor for the narrative or the book.
One of the kind of common or most recent examples of this is a book by Sophy Roberts called The Lost Pianos of Siberia. In this book, Sophy travels throughout Siberia looking for an old piano for one of her friends. She’s a Mongolian musician. The inciting incident of this book is Sophy is looking for a piano in Siberia, but the book branches out into Russian history, Siberian history, music history. So, from this quest, the book becomes something bigger or more meaningful than just the quest itself.
Another one I like to call the journey. This is a style of travel book where just like the quest, but instead of searching for something external to the author, subject writer, that person is searching for something within. It’s a book more about self-discovery than external discovery, if that makes any sense.
I conflate this with a travel memoir. For me, the word memoir comes loaded with a lot of connotations. I think of a memoir as an intimate book, a book that deals with some kind of psychodrama, there’s an intimacy there, memoir has a particular tone to it. And, for me, a travel memoir has the same tone of a memoir, but it’s set within the context of a travel experience.
When the book is about self-transformation or self-discovery, this is what I think of as a travel memoir. And my term for this is the journey. It’s just a term to describe the same thing.
Joanna: An example would be Wild by Cheryl Strayed or Eat, Pray, Love.
Joanna: Which have a travel element, but is a journey structure.
Jeremy: Right. It’s in three parts, right? In the title itself, it’s a three-part. Eat, Pray, Love.
Another great example of this is Peter Matheson’s The Snow Leopard. On the surface, it’s about him and a friend trying to spot one of these elusive snow leopards, but it’s a book that’s much more than that. There’s an inner journey element to the book.
Another one is what I like to call the mode or the method. And this is a type of travel book where the method of travel is front and center. So walking travel books are really fashionable of late. In these books, we expect the author to give us an account of what it’s like to travel on foot, for example, or on train, or whatever the mode may be.
One of the things that we notice when we read in the genre is that these, like I like to delineate any of these sub-genres nicely, but they’re never really like that. The quest and the journey and the mode, these sub-genres are often blended together. So the quest can have an element of walking or the journey can have an element of the quest or whatever.
They’re blended in together. I think what is central to all of those is setting. The place.
Readers of travel books want to read about the experience of traveling someplace. They want a sense of place.
Joanna: Which is clearly super important. I think what’s held me back for so long – and I’m interested in your thoughts on this. I’ve been thinking about a travel memoir for many, many years and the ones that are the famous ones, here in the UK, there’s a big one at the moment, The Salt Path. Well, it was a big one a year ago or the year before. It’s won all kinds of awards here and it’s the journey of a couple of walking the South-West Coast Path, which is about 700 kilometers, something like that.
It’s a really big walk, but they start off homeless and kind of dying and then it’s a transformation journey. Eat, Pray, Love, she starts off divorced and miserable and changes her life and then while there’s the same, the sort of miserable, “my life is broken, I’m so unhappy.” And then the journey is this transformation to happy.
I’ve been kind of stuck on this. I’m very happily married. I’m happy with my career. It’s not like I’m going on a journey to try and go from miserable to happy. And also, I’m not climbing Everest, so it’s not one of those just big journey things.
Jeremy: The adventure. Yeah.
Joanna: The adventure book. I feel like we maybe trap ourselves into thinking that it has to be from terrible place to “I’m fine again,” type of thing.
What do you think about that emotional journey in the travel book? Is it necessary?
Jeremy: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary, but we’re going back to this question of tone and an intention here. If it’s part of your narrative, if it’s part of your story, this kind of transformation, then yeah, have it be front and center.
But I read many books, travel books that are travel-logues where the inner transformation or the inner journey isn’t as front and center as it would be in the journey or travel and more type books, if that makes any sense. And that’s totally fine, but some of the rewarding travel books indeed, famous ones are ones that have an element of inner transformation along with the external journey.
Joanna: I think you can put the two within the same book. Although it’s so funny, when you say travel-logue, again, there’s this continuum, but on one hand, you’ve got the guidebook, which is this many miles from here to here and this is the history of the oldest building and this is where you should stay. That’s the guidebook.
And then, there’s the middle ground of some discussion of the more emotional side, and then there’s almost nothing to do with the practical elements along the way.
What are you thinking in terms of your travel writing?
Jeremy: We didn’t mention this earlier in terms of one of the sub-genres, but one of my favorites sub-genres of travel book is a sub-genre that I call the big idea book. This is a book where the writer has a big idea and he or she travels to different parts of the world or different places to investigate that idea.
It doesn’t have a traditional narrative, not necessarily that we find in the quest or the journey narrative books, doesn’t have that arc necessarily. But the reason why I like it is because it deals with ideas, it’s heady, it’s a different type of book. So the type of things that I’m working on and the other books that pulled me are these kind of big-idea books. A great example of this is MacFarlane’s book, Underland.
Joanna: One of my favorite books.
Jeremy: In this book, this idea of kind of subterranean spaces and the author goes to different subterranean spaces broadly defined around the world. And so that’s really interesting to me.
Another great book, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this one, it’s Cal Flyn’s Islands of Abandonment. Have you heard of that one?
Joanna: I have heard of it. Someone’s recommended that one. I haven’t read it.
Jeremy: It’s a great book. The author, I think she lives in Oregon. She’s exploring spaces around the world that have been abandoned by humans. It’s a fascinating premise for a travel book, but necessarily, she bounces around to different places, investigating this idea of human abandonment. That’s an awesome travel book.
Joanna: I’ve got another one for you. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes — (I actually meant From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death) by Caitlin Doughty. And it’s all about death culture in different places.
Jeremy: That’s great.
Joanna: I like this big idea travel book, and with people listening, you and I are total geeks in the travel genre. You could say Underland actually fits within the nature writing niche as much as it fits. And, in fact, maybe they put that in travel because he has written a lot more travel books, but actually, it could be in geology, it could be in geography, in that way.
So I think to encourage people listening and what I found, I think, in the interviews, I’ve done for Books and Travel Podcast is that I’ve learned more about these structures and it’s helped me think, what kind of structure do I want to write? Could I write? And in that way, in fact, I’ve just been thinking about this, is that I’ve got one kind of memoir in my head.
I also want to write a more list-type book around English pilgrimages which would contain a lot more practical stuff that I don’t really want to put in a memoir.
Jeremy: Right. I want to circle back here about something you said about MacFarlane’s book being more nature writing. This is one of the things that people have been talking about lately, is that the travel writing is, I don’t know if being absorbed is the right word, but there’s a conflation between travel writing and nature writing, which one is it?
It can be both. And that’s fine. When you think about travel writing, it doesn’t always need to deal with trains and planes and automobiles. It doesn’t always need to deal with culture. It can deal with nature or other frameworks.
I think that one of the beauties of travel writing is that it’s a chameleon. It takes on different forms, it’s forever changing and transforming. It’s a wonderful space to be in.
But back to this other point about the English pilgrimage idea that you have. I think those would be more service-oriented type of travel books, like the guide books that you mentioned earlier. And, of course, personal narrative can be sprinkled into it, but it’s fundamentally a different type of book.
Joanna: Absolutely. And just practical things where you find things out. And I think because my non-fiction genre is for self-help, I want to help people make the journeys in a way that is useful, but those things don’t fit within a memoir.
What’s hilarious is it looks like at the moment, what I thought was one book is turning into two or three different things and I’m putting different things in different Scrivener projects. Which is really interesting.
We’ve talked about a lot of the things there that we like in travel books, but again, we both read a lot of them.
What do you think are some of the common weaknesses that will bring a book down in some way and any thoughts on fixing those?
Jeremy: I’m speaking from personal preference here, but what I find to be one of the main weaknesses in travel writing is the over-reliance on the travel-logue. And by that I mean books that are just step-by-step accounts of a vacation with no story or substance, it’s like one croissant or bad hotel after another. It gets tedious a little bit for me personally. I know some people who love that style, but personally, I don’t.
One of the things I think it’s helpful here is to think about, and we’re going to go into nerd land here for a minute, but I think it’s helpful to think about the definitions of vacation and travel or the etymology of these words.
Vacation, think about that word. It means empty. It means emptiness in some ways. And I think this might be interesting to you, Jo, but this is one of the earliest examples of this word in English languages is in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and it deals with ‘The Wife of Bath.’ And I know you live in the Bath.
Joanna: I live in Bath. I am a wife in Bath.
Jeremy: One of her husbands, I think he’s a misogynist and gets pushed into fire, but he’s reading a book, the Book of Wikked Wyves and they mentioned something about he’s reading this book when he had leisure and vacation from worldly occupation. So vacation literally is defined in the opposition of work.
When someone is not working, whereas in travel, travail literally means work. It means difficulty. It means a burden in French. Travail means work. So these are opposing ideas.
Narratives about leisure without tension, or complication, or burdens, or difficulties are sometimes boring to read.
But narratives with some sort of work involves personal work, personal struggle of a memoir, or somebody in Mount Everest or whatever, or books that take a great deal of time and work to craft and write. Sometimes those are a little bit more interesting to me.
So weaknesses, I think, is just like this, you know, step-by-step croissant account. You know what I mean?
Joanna: I totally know what you mean. And it’s so funny because – I’m not going to say the name of this – but when I had laser eye surgery a few years back, and, of course, you can’t open your eyes for a few days. And so I listened to a lot of audiobooks. And, in fact, again, when I had COVID recently, I listened to these travelogues day by day, by day. “I got up and this was my view and we were walking” kind of things. “I walked from here to here” because while I’m in bed and can’t do anything, I like to hear the step-by-step journey and try and imagine looking out at the sea or whatever.
I didn’t really want to have the emotional angst side of it. And then once I’m fine again, I like the deeper, more meaningful memoir-y thoughts.
I agree with you in terms of the poorest travel books, I think the ones where they haven’t edited for theme, or metaphor, or meaning. I think the worst travel book could probably be made better by a good edit and cutting out a lot of the extraneous stuff. And as I said, editing for theme, or meaning, or something like that. Every single travel experience could have that, couldn’t it?
Jeremy: Right. I know what you mean. It gets tedious to read about how a beer was the most delicious beer someone has ever had, but I don’t want to like pooh-pooh the idea as you’re mentioning here.
If someone wants to write a travelogue, if they’re compelled to write one, that’s a completely legitimate creative outlet.
Writing about your travels, I get it and that’s fine, but I think a lot of good can come from thinking about story and thinking about structure and thinking about point and editing for editing for story and trying to craft together something that’s interesting for someone else to read.
Joanna: Absolutely. I’m going through a lot of my journals at the moment from various things and my journals are written for me. They’re not full of things that are interesting for other people. But when I’m thinking about putting them into the travel book, I need to expand those and make them more travel-y.
And actually, there’s something I wanted to ask you because you’ve got this interesting podcast, ‘Sonus Loci: The Sound of Place‘ and what we need in, I think, a good a travel book, like we mentioned, Underland, sensory detail is critical in bringing a book alive, especially when it’s an environment where you can’t even really imagine what it might feel like.
What is your fascination with sound and how do we bring in these sensory details into our writing?
Jeremy: Thanks for mentioning that other podcast, ‘Sonus Loci,’ we Americans pronounce it Loci, but it’s L-O-C-I. It’s a podcast for me where I publish soundscapes from travel.
I had these cool binaural microphones and they go in my ear as if they’re earphones, but they’re not earphones. They’re recording sounds as naturally as possible. I started to do this so I could force myself to slow down and pay attention to the world a little bit more.
I live in Florida, not so far from the beach and one of my pet peeves is when people go to the beach, they bring their radios and it seems like they do whatever it takes to pull them away from the space that they’re in. I get it. I love to jam to tunes, but I found that the silence that people dislike isn’t really silent at all if it’s filled with sounds.
It’s an exercise in paying attention. But sounds, like everything else, I think, they’re the raw data for the writer just like any other sensation. And I think sound is really tricky to write about. I think the point or the trick is to not overuse it, but to sprinkle it in along with the other senses to give a full portrait of a place.
Sound is a way to give life and credibility and texture to the writing.
And as I think you can agree, like it seems to be missing in a lot of writing.
Joanna: Smell I find very difficult and again, can be super overused and it is difficult because often the word that you come up with is kind of the same word. And if you want to explain it without using the same word, it has to be different. But I also think you can do sound through action. So, for example, Jeremy put the kettle on, to me, does bring sound into the writing because we all know what a kettle boiling sounds like.
Jeremy: It’s suggested.
Joanna: Yes. Suggested rather than like here in Bath, we’re inland but we have really noisy seagulls down by the abbey. And this is a very unusual thing in this area. If I was writing about Bath saying the sound of seagulls playing with the rubbish at 4:00 a.m. is actually a unique sound for this area, which makes it more interesting than mentioning maybe the seagulls by the sea. I don’t know. It’s difficult.
Jeremy: It’s difficult and you’re right. You’re completely right. People can suggest sounds by writing about things in the environment, but people could also use onomatopoeia to great effect in the story or to describe it things like the rattle, and the hissing, and the gurgling of things.
The trick again is not to overuse it, but how great can sounds be? Sound is so important to travel like going to a country in the Middle Eastern or North Africa and you hear like the morning called to prayer. You don’t need to mention that every day of your travelogue or every day of your book for whatever genre you’re writing about. But by mentioning that it’s something that can transport you into the place.
And you don’t need to reinforce us all the time, but you can just mention the prayer hour or whatever. Suggesting the sound, I think, is a good way about.
Joanna: Definitely. I find it so interesting. Often, as I’m writing things, I’m going back to places. It’s so great now, I can go back to a place on Google Earth to have a look or I can go on YouTube and I can probably find a video of some street over like of Souk in the Middle East and you can pick up things that you didn’t pick up the first time.
I do personally read a lot of travel books to mine them for ideas for my own writing as we do with any genre and how things are described. Underland I’ve got in e-book, and hardback, and audiobook and I just listen to it.
I did want to ask you, because I feel like we both are suffering from this and which is a little bit of imposter syndrome around travel writing because we have both read and talk to people who write what is frankly, award-winning literature. I always feel like it’s how I felt before I wrote my first thriller, which is, “oh, I’m only allowed to write a book if it wins a prize or some kind of a famous publisher publishes it.”
How do you feel about imposter syndrome in the travel niche?
Jeremy: Part of the tension, I think, that you and I both feel is we want to write about our experiences, but we also want to write something that’s good and meaningful for other people. And sometimes that can get in the way of execution or actually writing the darn book. Just the analysis paralysis or the imposter syndrome, stopping us in our tracks and preventing us from doing the work of actually writing because we’re interested in the prize or whatever fantasy we have in our minds about the book being good.
It’s certainly something that gets in my way. And part of the other issue here with travel writing, Jo, and I’m sure you’ll understand this, is that the travel writing is a broad genre that we see a lot of it in print publications and that type of media for journalists and that world is lock and key behind gatekeepers. You have to pitch to publications and editors and most of the time they reject your work.
Travel writers are bombarded with rejection on a daily basis. And that can be humiliating in some ways. It can make us feel like we’re not up to snuff or writing good quality work, whatever that means. So it’s something that I think travel writers feel very strongly about. What do you think about that?
Joanna: I definitely struggled, but I think I’m getting to the point where I want to do it. And I think the pandemic’s helped in terms of, I always say memento mori, remember you’re going to die, but I’ve definitely felt it more this year.
When I lay in my bed with COVID, I was like, ‘Oh, I’d be so annoyed if I die right now.’ I have a few books that I want to write before I die and I’m like, ‘I should just get on with that.’ And walking the Camino, I’ve wanted to do that for so long and it’s time to stop putting off. Perfect is the enemy of good.
And the other thing is, I think, is the acknowledgment. I’ve learned this from memoir writers too, is that, that one memoir does not need to be the only one. And I think for you and for me, we love travel and writing.
This first travel book doesn’t need to be the last travel book. So it doesn’t need to be the book that represents your entire life.
In fact, coming back to Macfarlane again with Underland, he’s written a ton of other books, but that one seems to have hit a chord with so many people and perhaps because it’s quite different. I clearly want to interview you on Books and Travel to share about your travel book. So how are you going to get over this?
Jeremy: I think like many of us, the pandemic proved to be complicated. It gave me some complications in my plans. In fact, right now I’m supposed to be in China. I’ve had this sabbatical thing. So what I’m doing to get on – I still have, like you, many ideas swirling around. I have many different Scrivener projects. So there’s always forward movement on one project or another.
What I’m doing to bide my time now is research. And just for the type of travel books that I like, these big idea books, they’re rooted in research and history. So I’ve been trying to do most of that now while I’m stuck at home and not traveling.
I’m kind of deep in it with research and history and, in fact, language study as well because I was supposed to go to China, so I’m studying a little bit of Chinese to help me with that.
So there are things that you can do, I think to bide the time when you can’t travel because of pandemic or whatever reason, you can do research for the book that’s swirling in your mind.
Joanna: Absolutely. And I think practice. I’ve been doing solo shows. In fact, I was writing this morning. I’ve got a personal solo podcast episode on London coming, which is incredibly hard to boil down London to one episode, but it’s almost like I’m practicing for the travel book. So I think that’s good too.
I did want to ask a final question around podcasting because both of us obviously have travel podcasts. We both get a lot of pitches, obviously. Do you think podcast interviews help sell books? And if people do write travel, what are your tips on pitching?
Jeremy: Short answer is yes. I just want to circle back if we have the time to talk about this idea of practice that you mentioned. I’m not avoiding your question.
Joanna: Oh, yeah. Go for that.
Jeremy: The idea of practice, I think, that’s an excellent point to bring up because you don’t need to be somewhere exotic or whatever to practice writing, or doing the work.
When I go for my walks, I bring my recorder with me and I’m recording sounds, of course, but I’m also dictating the experience of what it’s like to be in a place. And that can be a form of practice. A form of practice of dictation, but also a practice of observation.
Place-making is so important to travel books and if you’re not paying attention to what a place is like and you’re not practicing, describing, or communicating that sensation to other people, then perhaps you’re not doing a travel book.
That’s such a core element to the travel writing experience that it serves you, I think, good to practice on a daily basis or whenever you can.
So in interviewing and pitching yeah, absolutely. Podcasts and books. It’s part of the machinery of marketing. Our podcasts are a part of this machinery too, in terms of content marketing. But also more importantly for the guests.
This is exposure marketing and it certainly helps sell books. And how, or why, I think it’s a good example. You often talk about, Jo, when you were in, I think, Australia and you self-published your first book and I think you had the books in your garage and you went on all the news outlets and you were talking to people on the radio stations trying to pitch and promote your book.
But those audiences have such a kind of vast listenership or such a wide audience that very small percentage of those listeners will actually have any preexisting interest in the subject that you’re talking about.
But if you come on your podcast, Books and Travel, or my podcast, Travel Writing World to talk about your travel book, 100% of those listeners will be interested in the subject. It’s a dedicated audience of built-in and interested in your work. Absolutely, it’s going to help to sell books.
In terms of pitching I’m sure you get it a lot. ‘Hey, I published a book. I’m available to be interviewed.’ That’s probably not the good way to do it, for me. I don’t know about you.
I like emails that spell out as much as possible, potential topics, links to the author’s website and books; just as much information as possible so that we’re not doing extra work to dig around and do research on it. You’re busy, I’m busy, as much help as possible in that email is tremendous help. What do you think about that?
Joanna: Especially because our travel podcasts are not monetized either of us. I have to spend time and money and energy on that podcast. So the more you can give me in a pitch, the better.
And, in fact, someone needs to have listened or understand a bit about us, our characters or whatever, or what we’re interested in. So for my Books and Travel, it better be an angle that I haven’t covered. I’ve just had six pitches for Portugal in a row and I’ve done several episodes.
And I’m like, ‘Well, could you pitch me again in a year because I’ve already done two on Portugal and I’d really like to do some other things?’
Whereas, one lady, pitched me about Djibouti in Africa and I was like, ‘Okay. Yeah. Totally. You don’t even need to say anything more. I want to talk about Djibouti.’ And I’m like yes.
Jeremy: You had me at Djibouti.
Joanna: Yes. Because most people, we have to find that on a map and that’s cool.
Jeremy: I totally know what you mean. On my podcast, one of my angles is that we talk about the books but we also talk about the business and the craft side of travel writing and the pitches that don’t address that part of the show, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t listened to the show, but maybe they don’t understand what the show is trying to do.
The pitches that do have that element in them show me that the person that’s pitching actually listens and gets what’s going on and those rise to the top in terms of priority.
Joanna: Exactly. Because at the end of the day, we’re doing this because we are passionate about it and love it and we want to just have a good conversation with people.
And also, you mentioned curiosity earlier. It is about curiosity and I come away going, ‘Oh yeah, that was really cool. I want to visit that place and read those books.’ And that’s just awesome.
Joanna: We can talk about this forever, but tell people where they can find you and everything you do online.
Jeremy: The best place to go is my personal website. It’s my first and last name. So jeremybassetti.com. Or if that’s too hard to remember, my website, travelwritingworld.com has links to everything there as well. You can find me on Twitter, on Instagram. I’m in all the places, but I think jeremybassetti.com or travelwritingworld.com will be the best place.
Joanna: Fantastic. And you have a really good freebie on ‘Travel Writing World.’ And I was saying to you before we started recording, you should publish that. So people should go get that for free at ‘Travel Writing World.’
Thanks so much for your time, Jeremy. That was great.
Jeremy: Thanks for having me, Jo.
The post Travel Writing With Jeremy Bassetti first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn