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Mary Novakovich: Writer Profile – Journey Writing World


Mary Novakovich

Mary Novakovich stops by Journey Writing World to reply a couple of questions on her profession as a author. She is the creator of My Household and Different Enemies: Life and Travels in Croatia’s Hinterland (Bradt 2022). You could find out extra about her and her work on her web site.


How did you first turn out to be interested by writing journey books?

I’ve been writing about journey for newspapers and magazines since 1999, but it surely wasn’t till I made a decision to do a highway journey in Croatia with my mom in 2009 that I had an thought for a travelogue. I knew I used to be sitting on a goldmine of household tales within the Lika area of Croatia the place my Serbian dad and mom have been born. And the area itself continues to be unfamiliar to many individuals, a spot that has endured centuries of turbulent historical past however is considered one of exceptional magnificence. I wished to inform these tales.

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

It wasn’t till 2019 that I met my agent at a celebration and talked about writing a travelogue about my 40-odd years of travelling in Lika, and which turned My Household and Different Enemies. He was instantly enthusiastic in regards to the thought, and took me on. However we had practically a yr of rejections till Adrian Phillips at Bradt Guides learn my submission and agreed to publish, which was a daring factor to do in the midst of a world pandemic. Since then, everybody at Bradt has been totally behind the e-book, which has been so gratifying to see. 

What’s your writing course of like, each on the highway 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 enhancing phases?

On all my travels, I make detailed notes in my pocket book all through the day. Throughout that 2009 journey, I made copious notes on my laptop computer in addition to my pocket book along with audio interviews with my mom, because the intention on the time was to make use of that journey as the premise of my e-book. I additionally take numerous images, which helps with visible reminders in addition to time stamps. It was through the 2020 lockdown that I began to put in writing the e-book after spending many weeks researching the extraordinarily sophisticated historical past of Croatia and the previous Yugoslavia. However through the writing course of, I nonetheless had my full-time job as a journey author, which I used to be nonetheless in a position to do despite the pandemic. What actually spurred me on was the quick window between signing the contract and delivering the manuscript: solely 4 months. Like most journalists, I want a deadline to get cracking. 

What books or authors affect or inform your individual work?

I’ve at all times liked Eric Newby, whose inimitable spouse Wanda I had the enjoyment of assembly a few instances. His model is comparatively spare, which is one thing I’ve tried to remember whereas writing. Dervla Murphy and Patrick Leigh Fermor have been main inspirations too. However the latest journey author I like enormously is Kapka Kassabova, whose books have shed much-needed gentle on the Balkans and whose lyrical writing is fascinating.

What recommendation would you give to somebody interested by writing a journey e-book?

You want a very robust story, and a compelling motive why you’re the particular person to inform it. However you don’t essentially have to embark on an ideal journey to unique components of the world to discover a story to inform. One factor that lockdown confirmed was how a lot inspiration might be discovered nearer to dwelling. 

What’s so interesting in regards to the journey e-book as a literary kind?

Individuals by no means tire of listening to tales and discovering new locations, even once they’re inside a brief distance of their very own dwelling. And never all travelogues make you wish to journey: I’ve learn lots which have saved me totally gripped, however whose places I’ve no need to go to. It’s this window on humanity that’s endlessly fascinating.

Why write about journey?

The world wants opening up greater than ever, not bodily however emotionally and intellectually. Quite than give attention to the “otherness” of different cultures, good journey writing can reveal our similarities and will increase empathy and understanding.


Mary Novakovich stops by Journey Writing World to reply a couple of questions on her profession as a author. She is the creator of My Household and Different Enemies: Life and Travels in Croatia’s Hinterland (Bradt 2022). You could find out extra about her and her work on her web site.

In the event you loved this interview with Mary Novakovich, you may get pleasure from our different creator profiles for extra behind-the-scenes interviews with authors of journey books.



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