Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Next Big Thing - Destination Cambodia

My pal P.M. Newton, the acclaimed Australian crime novelist, has tagged me with the Next Big Thing Meme. In the true spirit of procrastination, I have embraced the opportunity. So here goes:

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Destination Cambodia 

Washing the Buddha in Battambang, Cambodia

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It is really the continuation of a lifelong journey that produced my first book, Destination Saigon. I have been visiting Cambodia for sixteen years, and my publisher at the time, Maggie Hamilton, said she wanted to hear about my experiences in that amazing country.

Walter Mason reads his first book, Destination Saigon

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Travel memoir.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Who could play me? As an ex-thespian, I am afraid I would have to cast myself in the role. 

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An affectionate, insightful and intimate glimpse of modern Cambodia.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This is a very American question. I don't have an agent, but am published by Allen & Unwin, one of the oldest and most prestigious publishing houses in the world. 

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Oh dear. Not yet finished! To date, ten months.

8)8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm...this is a trick question to make me sound like a self-deluded egotist. Bill Bryson, William Dalrymple, Pico Iyer...

Inspiration: Pico Iyer

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have to say that it was Paul Theroux who made me want to be a travel writer. But ultimately Cambodia is inspiration enough - there are a billion stories there.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There's quite a bit of magic - I mean, real magic, not the literary kind. 

Cambodian magical tattoos

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