Saturday, 23 January 2016

T(1) is for TRAVEL, an introduction

Blink... and five months have passed since I last posted an entry on this blog. Where does the time go? It’s quite shocking the speed at which life passes. Anyway, I’m soon to be moving on to pastures new so I’m going to make a determined effort to finish this blog. Expect an entry a week now till it’s done. This new determination is going to start with the TRAVEL I undertook for The Madagaskar Plan.

One of the things that disappointed me about the first book was that I never visited the places I was writing about (see Q is for...). Mostly this was because they were too dangerous. Although Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on the planet, it is safe; so for the second book I was determined to travel there and walk the same ground as my characters. There’s something about being in the real locations that gives you an edge over just reading about them: it’s understanding the topography from a specific point; the hue of the light at sunset; the smell of the earth. All details you could never imagine.

Another reason for making the trip was that some of the locations in The Madagaskar Plan were so obscure there’s very little information about them to be found anywhere, either on-line or in specialist libraries. Going was the only way of knowing.

Early on in the plotting of Madagaskar I knew Burton would follow a certain route and I wanted to travel it myself. So I’m going to dedicate several entries in this blog to the places I visited, starting with Tana, one of the key locations for the exchanges between Hochburg and Globus, the governor of Madagaskar.

Before then you can get a preview of my research trips in this piece I wrote for Bookbrunch:

Click here to read on...

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