Greetings! This is Trip Accomplice travel writer and blogger extraordinaire Ben Pastore. Today I’m happy to have with me author Ben Pastore as he talks to us about his new eBook You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper. Great to have you with us today, Ben. Thanks for stopping by.
BP: Well, considering that I was already here, it’s no big deal. I’m happy to have this opportunity to get the word out about my new book.
TA: No doubt. So, to get right into things, what would you say your book is about?
BP: Well, Ben, basically it is a travel guide, though not in the vein of most others out there. This isn’t a directory of places to stay or a town by town breakdown of a given country. It’s more like an overview of some 40 destinations in over thirty countries to go along with my own blend of anecdotes, travel tips and industry insights – all in a witty style intended to entertain as well as inform.
TA: Sounds pretty different. What would you say is the greatest difference between your book and other guides on the market?
BP: Good question. I’d have to say it comes down to the target audience. If you’re planning a trip and need detailed information about a given place such as hotels, museum hours and restaurant reviews, my book is not for you. I readily defer to the experts at Lonely Planet or Insight Guides. But if you’re interested in travel in general, are looking for ideas or inspiration to make that trip of a lifetime, and/or want to have an overview of the world before settling on a specific destination, then You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper would be a perfect fit.
TA: Thanks for clearing that up
BP: Well, I know how easily you get confused.
TA: Ain’t that the truth. So, getting back to your target audience, who would you say would be the ‘ideal’ reader?
BP: Since the writing style and message is designed to appeal to any number of audiences, it’s hard for me to say there’s only one ‘type’ of reader that would enjoy it. Ultimately, I’d refer to the subtitle on the cover “A Witty Guide for the Armchair Traveler”, which implies that it would be a person who doesn’t always have the opportunity to travel, but enjoys doing so vicariously. It would also indicate that they would enjoy their world tour with a dash of humor as well.
TA: The humor aspect is evident even from the title. Any explanations you’d like to share? Is it really about toilet paper?
BP: No, no, it’s not a book full of potty humor. I originally got the title from one of my early blog posts where I mused about how glad I am to explore the world with the benefit of modern comforts such as air conditioning and flush toilets, as opposed to early explorers who often had to bear up under hideous conditions. I thought that title would best describe most people’s preferred comfort level when it comes to travel. They might be up for some adventure, but not at the expense of indoor plumbing. I know that that’s where I draw the line (camping aside). I figured that my readers would do so as well, and the title is sort of a guarantee that everything I go on to describe in the book would still be within the readers’ comfort zone.
TA: But isn’t travel all about getting out of your comfort zone?
BP: Sure, but there are all sorts of comfort zones. I can immerse myself in a foreign culture, language and landscape without necessarily going to physical extremes. That’s kind of my point: Embrace the differences; revel in the similarities.
TA: Okay, okay, no need to get snippy. How about the other parts of your book besides the destination guide? What can readers get out of it?
BP: First, I’m not being snippy. You’ll know when I’m being snippy. Second, the other parts of the book are in my opinion essential because they put the destination guide into context. The first section prepares the reader’s mind to not only be open to learning about the places that follow, but how to make the most of their own travels – even in the early planning stage. Section three not only espouses some of the priceless wisdom travel imparts to a person, but also how to preserve those incredible memories you went through such trouble to accumulate. I guess you can say the book covers the entire travel experience from the seeds of inspiration to looking back reflectively even many years later.
TA: That definitely makes it unique compared to any travel books I’ve read.
BP: Same here.
TA: That’s what I thought. Is there anything in particular you’d like to say to your readers now that the book is available?
BP: Actually yes. So thoughtful of you to ask. Besides asking for their support as readers, I would love to ask for their help as advocates. If you read the book and enjoy it, please tell your friends and family. If you’re comfortable doing so, a post, repost, tweet, share, like or pin on social media goes a long way in spreading the word for small publishers like myself. Any support in the form of reviews – such as on Goodreads or the online store where you bought it – or even word of mouth would be a big help and allow me to keep bringing you a fresh perspective on travel.
TA: Good points, Ben. One last question for you: How was it for you speaking of yourself in the first, second and third person?
BP: Honestly, a bit awkward, but not thoroughly unpleasant. I’ve always felt that people who refer to themselves in the third person are a bit obnoxious, but now that I’ve tried it I can see the appeal. I realize that I still might come off as obnoxious, but that would be the case whether I was speaking in the first, second or third person, so I’ll just go with it for now.
TA: Well, that about wraps things up for us today. Once again we’d like to thank author Ben Pastore for joining us today and recommend that you download his new travel book You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper from your favorite online retailer. This is Trip Accomplice writer Ben Pastore signing off…
Do you have any questions or comments you’d like to share with Ben? Leave a comment below!