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Benedict Allen: Writer Profile – Journey Writing World


Benedict Allen

Benedict Allen stops by Journey Writing World to reply a couple of questions on his profession as a author. He’s the creator of a number of books, most lately Explorer: The Quest for Journey and the Nice Unknown (2022).


How did you first develop into occupied with writing journey books?

As a toddler I wished to develop into an “explorer” – and set about attempting to realize that fairly curious ambition. It appeared to me, whilst a boy, that writing concerning the expertise – of discovery, of immersion in different lesser identified worlds – was half and parcel of the method. You went out, you recorded your expertise, after which reported again.  

How did you handle to get your first journey e book revealed?

My first journey was very dramatic, a primary identified crossing of one of many remotest stretches of the Amazon, throughout which I contracted two types of malaria and likewise nearly starved to dying, It was, I suppose, a compelling journey that publishers wished to publish. But it surely took me a yr or extra to put in writing. 

What’s your writing course of like, each on the street and at dwelling? And the way lengthy does it take you to put in writing a e book inclusive of the analysis, journey, writing, and modifying phases?

I write copious area notes, then deliver them dwelling to work up correctly. Expeditions would possibly take six months. A e book two years. 

What books or authors affect or inform your individual work?

None now; as a boy I drastically admired Laurens van der Submit, one of many few fashionable correct ‘explorers’ who have been foremost writers – and naturally I appreciated Wilfred Thesiger, Freya Stark, Thor Heredahl, Jacques Cousteau, and so forth. I knew none of them properly personally, however met all of them and at all times assumed that was the form of job I had too – that of completely immersing myself in little identified or unrecorded environments, then sharing what I’d been witness to.  

What recommendation would you give to somebody occupied with writing a journey e book?

It’s a lonely course of, and often not profitable, so earlier than you embark on it simply be sure to have one thing new to contribute – a unique approach, contemporary eyes, or a brand new discovery: that’s the worth in what you’ve gotten put down, assuming you’ve gotten the flexibility to speak that have, after all!  

What’s so interesting concerning the journey e book as a literary kind?

It’s a cliché, however the worth is within the outer journey but in addition the inside journey. Additionally: although as a toddler I wished to be the basic sort of “explorer” – and did develop into that, to an extent – in fact we people are all explorers. We’re all curious, we’re all in search of to find. And in setting off to the horizon we’re re-enacting what our cave-dwelling forefathers did. It’s a primaeval impulse – no much less legitimate at present, once we assume the world explored, although it isn’t, than 1,000,000 years in the past.  

Why write about journey?

If in case you have one thing new to say, then I believe it is best to say it – you’re a witness to the world as you see it. Dr Livingstone is likely one of the most well-known explorers of the Victorian “Golden Age” of exploration – but actually he was only a witness for Europeans to an Africa that was already well-known to many Africans and Arab merchants. His account was nonetheless essential – a contemporary (European) perspective; and this technique of recording the world from your individual perspective is legitimate at present too. 


Benedict Allen stops by Journey Writing World to reply a couple of questions on his profession as a author. He’s the creator of a number of books, most lately Explorer: The Quest for Journey and the Nice Unknown (2022).

When you loved this interview with Benedict Allen, you would possibly take pleasure in our different creator profiles for extra behind-the-scenes interviews with authors of journey books.



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