Last weekend I was rather surprised but delighted to be invited by BBC Wiltshire Radio to a Q&A chat about Touring Tales Blog. How exciting! It was slightly nerve wracking but actually quite good fun chatting with the presenter Maddie Simpson.
Following the BBC Wiltshire Radio Q&A with Touring Tales, I realised I haven’t published a Q&A with Touring Tales Blog Post. Who are the faces behind Touring Tales, why did we decide to create this blog etc. So without further ado I have shared a Q&A below, which I hope you find useful 🙂
So who IS behind Touring Tales?
Hi, I’m Michelle (Miche), I live in Swindon, Wiltshire (UK). I’m married to David, after 14+ yrs we had a fabulous wedding in June this year (2021).
I’m a super proud step-mum to Reece and Cameron, both now in their 20s (where did the time go?). Reece has been living and working in Australia for the past 4 years and Cameron is living and working in London. We miss them loads but we are super proud of how they’re getting on. We’re really enjoying following their journey as they embark on their own careers and lives, living life to the max, just like us.
We’re also ‘owned’ by two crazy Working Cocker Spaniels, Coco (1) Poppy (6). They are our daily dose of craziness, happiness, exercise and lots of snuggles.
David & I have both worked 30+ years in corporate finance. Having handed in our laptops and security passes for the last time during the pandemic we have retired early, well from corporate work anyway. Travel is now our focus and exploring the UK and Europe in our Motorhome, Lexi van.
What was the inspiration behind Touring Tales?
Dave and I have always loved driving holidays, we’re not very good at beach holidays or sitting still, we like to be on the move. Previous driving holidays have included;
- France and UK on a motorbike
- USA fly drives with a car
- USA fly drives with a motorhome
Our 1st motorhome holiday was in a battered old hired van from Vegas USA around the Nevada and Arizona desert. We were complete novices, we had several disasters in our first week such as a broken fridge (did I mention we were in the desert!), objects flying out of cupboards and learning how to empty the loo!!!
During that first trip we were sharing our funny stories with friends and family on Facebook. People were loving our daily Touring Stories and wanted us to keep writing them. We realised this was actually quite good fun, and a great way to record a travelogue for ourselves to look back over. We came home and bought a brand new motorhome and made plans to retire early and launched Touring Tales Blog.
Initially the blog was all about travelling with our dogs. Sadly when the Pandemic hit in 2020 and the world went into lockdown we couldn’t travel. Rather than mothball our blog, I looked into other ways we could use our website as I loved the creative outlet and purpose that it gave me.
My other passion, besides my dogs, has always been reading. I’ve always been a book worm and can’t sleep until I’ve read at least one chapter of a book. I also found motorhome life provided great opportunities to read more books. I also noticed that travel was influencing what I was reading. So Touring Tales became a Travel & Book Blog.
What are the aims of Touring Tales blog?
Touring Tales blog aims to combine the love of travel with the love of books. I see myself as a Book Connector. I help avid readers, like me, explore a wider range of books and find new authors to read and follow.
There is a huge community of motorhome / camper van owners around the world alot of them also combine the love of travel with the love of reading. I believe there’s a large untapped market of eager van lifers out there looking for inspirational reading whilst on the road. I would love them to connect with Touring Tales Travel & Book Blog and share their own stories, the books they are reading and the authors that they follow.
What is a book blog?
Book bloggers are avid readers who share honest reviews of the books they have read.
Working with authors and publishers, book bloggers help promote new book releases through various posts such as Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Author Q&As, Book Cover Reveals and Book Giveaways.
Unlike other blog sites, book bloggers are NOT paid by authors or publishers. We do however, receive an advanced copy of the book, often before it is published, in exchange for an honest review. I have found the Book blogger community to be fun and very supportive of one another. We all share a passion for reading and the thrill of interacting directly with authors to help them promote their latest work.
Over the past year I have found some pretty amazing authors that I hadn’t read before. I’ve read book genres I would never have considered before and also explored #indieauthors and I’m constantly amazed at the great books that are being independently published.
What can visitors find on Touring Tales blog?
Right now a larger focus has been on the book blog side of things. This is partly due to the travel restrictions over the past year, also I have received invites to join some book blog tours with authors that I just couldn’t resist. So I have lots of great;
Going forward I will continue at pace with the book reviews and hopefully more authors will be able to chat with us or share a guest post. However, alongside this we are now starting to tour again in our van (yay). So there will be more travel related posts popping up on the blog as we explore more of the UK this year and Europe in 2022.
What book genres do you love?
I LOVE to read Travel books, guides and Memoirs. Throughout the pandemic travel books helped me continue to explore without having to leave home. It kept me sane to be honest.
I also enjoy non-fiction books that either make me think, learn something or help me be a better person. My husband David also enjoys non-fiction, especially fitness and health books (he’s an Ironman / Triathlon kinda guy). Dave kindly writes reviews for some of the books he reads as well as a follow up post on his experience if it’s something he has incorporated into his daily habits such as the Wim Hof Breathe Method and 90 Days Experience of the Wim Hof Method.
I do read some fiction books, Historical fiction and Psychological Thrillers are more my thing than Romance if I’m honest. That doesn’t mean I won’t read them, I love to mix up my reading all the time so I don’t get stuck or bored.
Who are your favourite authors?
That is such a difficult question as I really enjoy and follow alot of authors, all with very different writing styles. For example, here are a few authors that pop to mind:
- Kate Mosse and Ken Follett (Historical Fiction)
- Dan Scottow and C J Skuse (Psychological Thriller)
- Terry Pratchett, Trudi Canavan and Jasper Fforde (Fantasy fiction)
I would love to work with more local authors here in Wiltshire. I’m sure there are plenty of Wiltshire authors out there. Most of us buy books from the Bestsellers List and don’t think to look up Independant or local authors. I’d like to find my local authors and give them some support. I’d also like to encourage other readers to do the same in their own areas.
As examples here in Wiltshire, Jasper Fforde has been a firm favourite author of mine. Jasper includes Swindon in his Literary Detective series. I’ve also collaborated with Debi Evans to promote her children’s book series ‘The adventures of Rolo‘.
If you’re reading this and you’re a Wiltshire author then please do get in touch and let’s have a chat about how I can help share your books to a wider audience.
Where can we find Touring Tales Online?
Please join me on your preferred channel. Say hi and chat with me about Travel and Books.
Do you have a question for Miche at Touring Tales?
Post them in the comments below and I will answer them for you 🙂