Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

The Twitchhiker book – three weeks and counting
12/07/2010, 16:24
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Amazon has been updated with the final cover design for the Twitchhiker book, so I shouldn’t get into trouble by posting it here.

I’m really pleased with it – partly because the designer was sourced through Twitter (many thanks to @JO_PARRY_ART for her wonderful work) but also because the cover quotes are from two of my favourite people – Radio 2’s Alex Lester and Guardian columnist (and radio legend) Martin Kelner. In the words of Edouard LaPaglie: “I know I would.”

Three weeks to go!


The Twitchhiker book – done! Sort of. Nearly.
05/04/2010, 16:12
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It’s been deathly quiet round these parts for the past month, and with good reason – I’ve been trying to finish the first draft of the Twitchhiker book. I’m bloody thrilled to say that I completed the manuscript yesterday evening, with 85,903 glorious words, and only five weeks after my deadline passed.

I’ll tell you more about the writing process at some point, suffice to say it was the most difficult things I’ve done in my life. And there’s still oodles of work to be done; as this is the first draft, I’ve now got to work with my editor Lucy at Summersdale on revising the text and crafting it into better shape – editing, deleting, expanding where appropriate.

So lots to do, then, but I can now sleep a little more soundly. It also means if you’ve pre-ordered the Twitchhiker book on Amazon (and I’d be delighted if you did) there’s a far better chance of you receiving it, as opposed to a couple of months ago when the words were still locked in my head and stubbornly refusing to spill out through my fingers.

I’ll let you know more as and when I can, and hopefully I’ll be able to let you see the fabulous cover too, which was produced by @JO_PARRY_ART. It’s worth buying for that alone, as well as the foreword by the delectable @jemimakiss. Hooray!

Twitchhiker, the book – ETA Summer 2010
23/11/2009, 16:17
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I’m happy. Very, very happy. It’s that particular brand of happiness where if I wasn’t overweight or desperately unfit, I’d consider performing a backflip to express my mercurial state.

When I undertook the Twitchhiker project in March, it was to satisfy my curiosity – to see if social media in general and Twitter in particular was capable creating a physical network that would allow me to travel around the world. On the way we raised thousands for charity: water and plenty of awareness of Twitter.

It was a tremendous adventure, enjoyed not only by myself but those who assisted me (and I dare say some who followed me, if only to see if I ended up mauled by a bear), and while I struggled with the relentless schedule at the time, I look back at it with nothing but fondness and pride. Since then I’ve done a smattering of public speaking, recounting my travels in a montage of photos and tall tales – and while I considered writing a more in-depth account of my travels immediately afterwards, it was ultimately more important to settle back into the slog of everyday life and earn what I laughingly call a wage.

After all this time has passed, I thought that was the end of it. So I’m thrilled to teeny tiny bits to announce I’ll be writing a book about Twitchhiker. It’s all a bit of a blur right now – the offer came barely a week ago and the deadlines are very tight – but I’m so excited about revisiting my journey with the benefit of perspective and a good night’s sleep.

I’ll tell you more about it as I find out, but for now it’s time to dig out the notes and the A3 envelope stuffed with all my flight details, trinkets and room cards (the plastic, easily replaced type of course) and turn the clock back eight months.