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Traveling on the Page for a New Perspective
Travel and literature go together like Hemingway and Key West. Some of history’s most beloved books are journey tales that send protagonists adventuring from one destination to another, across lands real or imagined. In the travel tale there is always a physical destination, but it is about more than just that – characters embark on internal voyages of growth, be they spiritual, emotional or otherwise. The main character may be seeking treasure or fame but underneath they are seeking love, redemption, revenge or peace. Shakespeare, Tolkien, Hemingway, Steinbeck – the list goes on and on of writers utilizing the journey and rich depictions of a place to drive home their thematic purpose and bring a story to life.
As a journalist – travel writer to be exact – I put great value on these types of stories. And my travel writing influences my fiction writing a great deal, in style and substance. My novel, Stone Angels, is about a young man struggling with an extremely guilty conscience. The setting places him on a road trip, up and down the Atlantic Coast, to and from Spring Break. But the reader is placed inside his head, following his introspective journey from denial to acceptance to possible confession of his many sins and ultimately redemption.
In many ways, Stone Angels is a quintessential journey story, one that embraces the power of travel and the need to get out of one’s comfort zone, shrug off the warm fuzzy sweater that is our daily lives and let the unknown provide a new perspective. Stone Angels does this for the main character and for the reader. My goal was to send readers on their own journey, allowing them to explore their emotional response to this very intimate story and maybe gain a new perspective, like all good travel should do.