Saturday, March 28, 2009

france, italy and those flung far

It appears that one can only be successfully published in travel writing if his/her topic addresses one of three locations: France, Italy or somwhere far-flung and adventerous. The content for each is likewise predictable. In France, everyone writes about trying to be French. In Italy, everyone writes about food, love and language. Come to think of it, those themes are interchangeable between France and Italy. The far-flung, adventerous variety are stuffed with dysentery, exotic locations, miscommunication, usually desert sand and camel spit, questionable lodging arrangements and predictible hilarity.

None of this should deter traveling to France or Italy or discourage seat-of-the-pants traveling arrangements. Perhaps it might encourage more careful selection by publishers as to which traveling stories are worth a contract....namely, mine.

After bashing the overall tone of the industry, it is not to say I am not interested in cramming my own voice onto the shelves. I could manage stories which fall into 2 of the 3 primary categories (unless Lucerne, Switzerland is considered a far-flung adventerous location...and, other than men playing long horns while others tossed flags and a frisky duck that thought he could scare me into dropping food, it really doesn't). France and Italy are covered. But I never wanted to be French, and the extent of my food exploration in Italy was gelatto.

Could be a tough sell.

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