Thursday, 26 April 2012

I Wish I was a Travel Writer

My new book - Black Op - is set in Poland.

When I write a book, I always try to visit the country I am writing about.

I don't have the confidence - or arrogance - as a writer to write about a place I have not been to.

I also read books about the places, look on YouTube at footage for settings and characters, as well as talking to people from the countries I choose.

But nothing beats going there.

Poland is one of the places where Euro 2012 is being played. That's why I chose it.

The story of Black Op is that a terror group is planning to attack England's football team as they prepare for Euro 2012 in Krakow.

So I went to Krakow.

First I read the Rough Guide. Then I headed off to Poland.
When I travel to a city or area, I let the places dictate the storyline. 

This is a beautiful palace on top of the hill alongside the river on the outskirts of the city centre in Krakow. When I was sat there I recognised that it would be a great place - possibly the only place - for a helicopter to land in the middle of the night, without ruffling too many feathers.

So I put that in the story.

This church - on the left - is fascinating. The taller tower plays host to a trumpeter, who, as regularly as clockwork, plays his trumpet to mark a significant moment in the history of the city.

This is described in a small book of stories about the city that I bought in the tourist information shop in Krakow.

The noise echoes across the squares and narrow roads of Krakow, even during the night.

When I heard the trumpeter I understood how the spy characters in Black Op would be able to identity and try to stop a crazed former-KGB agent from attacking the England team with a rocket launcher.

Even if I am not writing a book, I love to travel to places. I like to read the stories about how the city came to be, including the myths and legends that define a place.

I like reading travel writing for that reason too.

In fact, I wish I could be a travel writer.

But I'd rather be a good husband and father and I don't think I could do both well. Yet.


1 comment:

Nikki Woodman said...

Oh, I so understand the desire to be a travel writer.
The idea of travelling, meeting people, hearing stories and the history of places.. wonderful.
I went to Krakow just after Shindlers list opened as the film.... from the book Shindlers Arc.. apparently filming was done early one morning and when the Nazis came in (ie the actors) to Krakow a resident thought history was repeating itself and had a heart attack.... I think he did recover,
happily....

I feel so privileged that this book is dedicated to me. Thankyou once again Tom. x