GENRE: Comedy / Travel Writing
THEME: Stupid Englishman abroad, inept travelling, hospitals, movie stars
LENGTH: (220 pages / 52k words)
YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKE: Bill Bryson (or any of those odd travel shows on TV)
“Oooh, your travel stuff is my favourite, but there’s still too much swearing.” – my mum.
Everyone has a funny holiday story, and I don’t think mine are any weirder than anybody else’s. I mean, everyone has had a holiday that involved hospitals, monsters, movie stars and the biggest ball of twine on the planet, right?
Gumbi vs The World follows two ‘relaxing’ holidays I took in 2006. I wasn’t a writer back then. Well, I was a writer in intent, but I hadn’t even scribbled so much as a shopping list, but then came the cataclysmic trips to Poland and America, and before I knew what was happening, I was writing the madness down.
I never really wanted to get into the travel writing game – there’s so many people out there who do it, why would anyone give a toss about my holiday? It’s a good question, and one I still haven’t been able to answer. All I know is that of all the stuff I’ve let friends read, this is the stuff they all like most.
Back in 2006, when I finally came home from those mad 10 days in Poland, I wrote up everything that happened and shared it with a work colleague. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. It started as an email, but grew into 13,000 words. I pressed send and thought ‘well, even if he doesn’t read it, I’ve got it down on paper’. I was surprised when he caught up with me the next day saying he loved it. By the end of the week he’d shared it round his entire family, and they too began sharing it with people who didn’t even know me. Somehow I’d hit on something people liked, which was great. The problem was…it was ‘travel’ writing. And making a buck out of that genre is harder than trying to breast feed a shark. So I decided to put the travel writing down and focus on something far more ‘lucrative’ – cockneys fighting pirates. Yes, that age old money maker.
So, why publish them now? Well…it’s mostly as a thank you to my friends and family, which is why I’m not making a big song and self-plugging dance about it all. Low-key, that’s the plan with this one. Plus, given the madness I experienced, and the fact people still don’t believe it all happened, it would be a shame just to leave this on my hard-drive.
And there you have it. If you want in on this holiday madness, click on the hyper-thingy below and climb aboard. I just hope you’re insured.