Today, Fire Country by David Estes turns one year old. In the first year since Fire Country was born, so much has happened. David signed with an agent, sold more than 10,000 books, wrote five more books and published a further three). He knew he just had to celebrate and he'd love for you to be a part of it! David owes so much of his support to the blogger community, and he wants everyone to have the chance to be a part of the Fire Country Birthday Bash.
Everyone goes home a winner, simply follow the prompts below and swipe your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Read and leave a review on Amazon if you enjoyed it. Feel free to share the code with your friends, family, neighbours and literary inclined pets.
Coupon Code: WH62C
What's a party without prizes? Yes, David is not only giving everyone a chance to download their own copy of Fire Country, book one in the Country Saga for free, but he's also giving you stuff too. You could win an Amazon giftcard open internationally, U.S residents can win a signed copy of the David Estes book of your choice, or a handful of David Estes eBooks of your choice. Awesome.
NOW, the guest post! You're gonna want to stick around for this, guys, because the topic is way too awesome to not read. ;)
Writing, Travelling, and Inspiration
By David Estes
First off, a huge thanks to Sab the Book Eater for having me on her AWESOME blog! Today I’ve been given the topic: What's it like to be writing while constantly travelling? Also, did any particular adventure/s help mold Fire Country?
Great topic, Sab! For those of you who don’t know my story, my wife, Adele, and I left our jobs 21 months ago to travel the world while I write young adult books. Over the course of almost two years, we’ve visited more than a dozen countries on six continents, and I’ve written and published seven young adult dystopian books (The Dwellers/Country Sagas). The trip, as well as transitioning into life as a fulltime writer, has been an absolute dream come true, and I owe everything to the incredible support of my readers and bloggers around the world!
So what has it been like? In a word, surreal. I never thought I’d be able to make a living writing—and I never in a million years thought I’d be able to travel around the world for two years. It’s like combining the two coolest things I could think of. At the same time, it’s somewhat challenging writing while travelling. For one, we’re always in these unbelievably awesome places, and I have to do my best to stick to a strict writing schedule to ensure my writing doesn’t start taking a back seat to sightseeing. Generally, I write in the morning, from 8am-12am, and average three to four thousand words per day, which has allowed me to publish a new book every two to three months. After my morning writing session, Adele and I have lunch together and then go sightseeing, hit whatever beach we’re near, or go for a hike. To save money, we usually stay in places that have a kitchen, so we can cook dinner rather than having to eat out. Adele usually cooks so that I can sneak in some more work in the evening (usually reader mail, promotional activities, and social networking). We eat, I do the dishes, and then we unwind by watching TV. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect daily routine!
The other challenge is living out of a suitcase and moving around a lot. It’s hard to feel composed and settled enough to get into a writing routine when you’re always on the go. Adele, who books all our travel, has been awesome in helping me with this challenge. For the most part, she’s managed to give us at least three to four weeks in each place, so we can unpack and feel more settled. That gives us more time to spread the sightseeing over weeks instead of days, thus allowing me to write each and every day. Although it means we haven’t been able to see as many places over the course of two years, it’s been the perfect balance for my career and getting the most out of our trip.
Other than those couple of challenges, writing while travelling has been the ultimate way to get inspired. Seeing all different types of people, cultures, landscapes, sunsets, climates, and languages keeps the creative juices flowing. I’m constantly pulling out my iPhone to take notes because something I see inspires me or gives me a new idea for a book, a plotline, or a character. I firmly believe that much of my recent success is tied to the inspiration gleaned while writing on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Although our travels have generally inspired all of my books in some way, shape, or form, Fire Country in particular came from our travels. We were in Mexico (part of a four month jaunt around the Yucatan Peninsula) and I was working on my most popular series, The Dwellers Saga, when a character started speaking in my head. Her name was Siena, and she had an exceptionally strong voice with a slangy accent and funny way of speaking. I immediately pictured her with brown skin and living in an exceptionally hot climate with lizards scurrying through the dust, slaloming around cacti. For that day, I stopped worrying about my word count on The Dwellers Saga, and put it aside to take some notes from Siena’s voice in my head. In a single morning, the entire world of Fire Country was born! The parallels to the hot, dusty climate of Mexico are definitely evident in Fire Country. There’s no doubt in my mind that seeing lizards and cacti, being in a hot-weather environment, and interacting with the Mexican people, with their brown skin, great sense of humor, and strong accents, led to Siena appearing out of nowhere. I firmly believe that Fire Country, and what would later become The Country Saga, would never have entered my mind if we hadn’t been living in Mexico for a third of a year. I owe SO MUCH to our trip!
Even though our trip is finally coming to an end, the memories captured in my mind, in the pages of my books, and in the beautiful photographs that Adele and I took, will last for the rest of our lives. In March we’ll be settling down in Hawaii (Waikiki, Oahu) and plan to open a bed and breakfast while I continue to write books. It’s a new chapter in our lives and another set of experiences to look forward to!!
Thanks again to Sab for allowing me to come on her blog and talk about writing, travelling, and inspiration, and to all of you for reading this story and my books!