ANNOUNCEMENT: We have a winner for a copy of Cait’s novel. And the winner is……….Kristina. So Kristina, if you’re reading this, you’ll have received emails from both Cait and me by now. Congratulations indeed! And for those of you who didn’t win but would still like to read Cait’s book, the novel is available on the posted links. We hope you’ll consider buying a copy and putting this book up on the bestseller lists where it belongs. Right Cait?
It gives me great pleasure to hang out with Cait O’Sullivan here at MBB today. Believe it or not, she’s the first Irish guest I’ve ever invited here, in spite of the fact that I’m a homesick Irish expat, who is most attached to all things Irish – well, within reason, of course. Okay, the post is a bit late for St. Patrick’s Day, but so what? We don’t need a reason to have a blast. Cait is the author of ROMANCING THE SEAS, a fabulous romance novel recently published by Crimson Romance. She’s come to give us a bit of info about the book and she’s also very kindly agreed to give one copy away to a lucky commenter. Make sure you leave a comment to be in with a chance to win. But don’t worry if you don’t win, because the book is easily available to buy for your e-reader or computer. So without further ado, I’ll share Cait’s links and sit back while she tells us about the special moment when she just knew that writing was the thing she wanted to do most and then you can see the book and read up a bit of info about it. So Cait, I turn the blog over to you!
CAIT ON THE WEB:
THE MOMENT I KNEW by Cait O’Sullivan
I have always loved writing and dreamed about writing my own book. But didn’t everyone? At school, writing essays was my favourite thing to do and should I find myself with an hour’s study spare, I’d get me a-writing. Then twelve years passed, shaped by careers I had fallen into without giving them due thought, culminating in me becoming very restless. One cold morning, sitting in the London traffic, I found myself singing along with POD and ‘I feel so alive’. And realised that, actually, I didn’t feel alive. Not at all.
So, for my thirtieth birthday present, I bought an Around the World ticket and 13 days after my birthday, boarded a plane for Bangkok. I did write a diary but, to be honest, it’s a bit all over the place. I do remember nerves and excitement seamlessly mixing to produce…nothing. I felt numb, looking out of that airplane window.
I landed, picked up my oh-my-word-so-heavy pack (I jettisoned clothes as I travelled and came home twelve months later with a different, much lighter pack) and headed out to get a bus.
Yeah, a bus. Not a taxi, which for me coming from London would’ve been ridiculously cheap, no I jumped aboard a bus.
Needless to say, I got off at completely the wrong stop on a very busy Thai street, receiving no end of stares…a Westerner here? No problem thinks I, I have a map and will get there myself. I can always ask someone.
Are you laughing into your coffee yet?
Of course I couldn’t read the signs, written in strange characters that had no bearing to the map in my Lonely Planet book. I asked some passers-by, only to be greeted with blank incomprehension. I walked. And I walked. And I walked – bear in mind the heavy backpack. I probably stooped, not walked.
|Khao San Road|
By some luck, I found the street I was looking for – Khao San Road. I started walking through it as the clouds gathered and within seconds there was a tremendous downpour. Really fat drops of rain – the kind I had never seen before in Ireland. Have a look at the photo, now imagine me, doing my best turtle impression in the pouring rain. I was looking for a hostel for the night – yes, despite my sister advising me to book a nice hotel for my first night, I was determined to plunge in at the deep end and arrive unannounced, thus launching myself into my travels.
There were plenty of hostels, after all. Weren’t there? The second to last one I checked out looked suspiciously like the one Leo di Caprio stayed in, in The Beach. I clambered up wooden steps into dark, dingy halls with bunk beds, scared myself thoroughly and climbed back down again. After maybe twenty minutes in the rain, I found an empty room and so spoiled myself.
I proceeded to spend an evening with some German people I met, with my now traditionally braided Thai hair and drinking the local whiskey. We ended up in a punk nightclub and guess what song came on? You’ve got it, POD and ‘I Feel So Alive’. Up I got to dance in my sandals (am talking hiking sandals here, not the nice kind!) amidst a group of head banging Thai’s – heck I had no choice, because I had never felt so alive in all my life. It felt preddy darn fabulous.
But afterwards, I was buzzing. And not in the most pleasant of ways. The jetlag didn’t help either.
What did I do? At a misty 5am after wandering around the back streets and canals of Bangkok? I found myself an internet café and wrote to my family and friends. An hour later, I stood up to go back to my hostel, deeply relaxed and ready for my next adventure.
That was when I understood the power writing had over me.
The escapism and the grounding it provided stood me in great stead amidst the various scrapes but-oh-so-much fun the next 12 months brought. I miss my travelling days.
But now, rather than writing emails about my travels to ground me, I weave my travelling stories into my book to help me fly. Such as Pippa and Jonathon in Romancing the Seas – the lucky pair get to cruise around New Zealand and do a bit of hiking too. Lucky them.
How about you? Can you pinpoint the moment you understood how wonderful writing made you
ROMANCING THE SEAS
As Cait has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of her novel to one lucky commenter, please remember to comment before you leave, after having read her fascinating post….and don’t forget to check back later in the week to see who won. And if you don’t win, don’t worry, remember that this book is easily available at the buy links posted here. There’s no reason to miss out on reading Cait’s book!