On a Wing and a Prayer - by Wendy H. Jones


I am writing this blog in advance as, on the day it is due out, I will be on an aeroplane, either between Edinburgh and Heathrow or Heathrow and Washington Baltimore Airport. At least I am hoping I will be. It's definitely a wing and a prayer as BA are threatening strikes and are cancelling a number of flights. It's a tad stressful booking flights at present. Anyway, I am hoping I am on both of those flights and I'm not grounded. Why am I telling you this on a writing blog? Well, I am off to the USA for two months on a book signing, speaking and research tour. So, I thought I would write today's blog on the the benefits of travel as a writer - despite the current issues with travel. 

Pre-covid I did a lot of travelling around the UK and also internationally, speaking at conferences and doing book signings. I know many people who won't travel far from home in order to undertake writing events but I have always felt differently. Firstly, I love travelling but, more importantly, I feel travel enriches me and makes me a better writer. Meeting people, especially from other cultures, gives me a greater appreciation of what their lives are like and how they live. It stretches my imagination gives me a greater vision of the world. There is nothing like the sounds, scents, colours and sheer vibrancy of travelling to other places. Once there I spend time visiting local places and taking in everything around me. I also take time to speak to locals and ask them what it is like to live in their country or even their small part of it. This can all feed in to what I am writing. Yes, I write books locally, yet in one book my characters went out to New Orleans. Readers have said they got a real sense of the place and wanted to visit. I could not have given such a sense of place without having been there. 

Visiting other places also gives me an opportunity to undertake historical research into the places my historical characters visited. My main character was a real person and I am writing a series of novels around his life. He visited places such as Antigua, America, several European Countries, Ireland, Hong Kong and China. Will I visit all these countries? Well, I am slowly ticking them off my list. As I lived in Hong Kong and have visited China numerous times, I'm off to a flying start. Shall I visit again? I would like to as I would view them with a different eye, but we are still living through a global pandemic and travel costs are rising faster than rocket to mars, so we will have to see.

Travelling also allows you to gain new readers are you are bringing your books to a fresh audience. Not everything has to be done through Social Media. 

I would absolutely encourage you, if you get the chance, to travel and to do so with a writer's eye. You never know what might happen. 

If you are wondering which of my books was set in New Orleans it was Killer's Curse. And I really would value your prayers that I make it to Washington DC without and cancellations or delays. As I say, this trip is a wing and a prayer. 

About the Author
Wendy H Jones is the Amazon #1 international best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers' Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers and also the editor of the Christmas Anthology from the same publisher. Her first children's book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019. The Power of Why: Why 23 Women Took the Leap to Start Their Own Business was released on 29th June, 2020. Marketing Matters: Sell More Books was released on 31st July 2020. Bertie Goes to the Worldwide Games will be released on 5th May, 202,  and the third book in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries will be published in 2021. Her new author membership Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy launched in January 2021. Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing the third book in her Writing Matters Series was published in September 2021. Wendy's latest release is Killer's Curse, the seventh book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Wendy is represented by Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services. 

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