Globerovers Magazine talks to Linda Ballou about her new book: “Lost Angel Walkabout ~ One Traveler’s Tales”. It is now available at www.amazon.com, www.goodreads.com, and www.lindaballouauthor.com. The article will also appear in the next issue of Globerovers Magazine (July 2016).
Lost Angel Walkabout ~ One Traveler’s TalesAuthor – Linda Ballou
Globerovers Magazine talks to Linda Ballou about her new book…
Linda, what inspired you to become an adventure travel writer?
My parents uprooted me from my California home when I was 13 and took me to Haines, Alaska, a pioneer town of 2,000 mostly wild inhabitants. Although I loved the majesty of the place and made many new friends, I felt isolated. I turned to books for company and began journaling. Nature walks in the mists of the Tongass Rainforest in southeast Alaska was where I felt most at home. It became my solace.
In my story “Lost Angel Phones Home” I return to my Alaska roots to re-connect to nature and put my molecules back in their proper place. My mother was an adventure hound always seeking new experiences. I’m afraid I inherited her restless spirit. She rafted the Tatshenshini River through the glacier fields of Alaska at the age of 65. I followed in her hip-boot prints with pen and paper in hand years later.
How are the stories in your book different from the articles on your website?
On each trip that I take, I write at least two nuts-and-bolts articles for my host. In these pieces I try to engender a sense of place and let people know what to expect on the journey. I share them in various travel magazines.
The travel essays in my book reflect my personal response to a given adventure. These stories have a dramatic spine, more developed characters, and a lesson that I learned from the trip. These stories fall into the category of travel literature and many of them have been published in anthologies.
What is your favorite story in the book?
”Irish Mist” details my truant behavior at a riding school in the wild-west coast of Ireland.
I was a stow-away on a cross-country jumping course and lived to tell about it! This was probably the most dangerous and stupid thing I have ever done. But, I left there walking on air for about a week. It was the pinnacle of my horse-jumping career and remains one of my fondest memories.
What travel writers have influenced your writing?
Tim Cahill, author of nine adventure travel books, is my travel-writing hero. I interviewed Tim at his home in Livingston, Montana and included it in Lost Angel Walkabout.
I love Paul Theroux and his often caustic comments about the places he has explored. I wrote a piece titled “Jack London and Me.” The master of adventure writing was a great traveler. I discovered that our paths crossed in Alaska, Hawaii, and California. I love his lust for life and engaging writing and have visited his gravesite in the Valley of the Moon to pay my respects more than once.
When will we see your next book?
I am working on collecting stories for The Lost Angel Rides Again, or is it Wild Ballou Wander? What do you think?
Rafting the Grand Canyon, my recent safari in less-travelled regions of Africa, and my horse trek in Ecuador, along with a story about swimming with piranha in the Amazon basin will be included in my next book.
Right now, I am intent on getting to Patagonia and the Lake District of Chile, the Cook Islands, and perhaps Machu Picchu.
This book review appears in the July 2016 issue of Globerovers Magazine.
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