It’s my great pleasure to announce that Season Two of the Crime Cafe podcast will be coming soon!
With that being the case, it’s also an honor to have as my first guest on the show one of my favorite authors, Twist Phelan!
I have been a fan of Twist’s work for many years now. In fact, after reading one of her novels, I loved it SO much, I felt downright compelled to post a review on my blog at that time and tell everyone about it.
I must also say that her latest novel FAKE is also a great read. If you enjoy the idea of a strong female protagonist getting involved in corporate espionage, you’ve got to check this one out!
Anyway, and without further ado, here’s the guest post from the awesome attorney-turned-mystery writer, Twist Phelan!
I am a traveler. Over the past three years I’ve visited over 50 countries and flown nearly a million miles. I’m peripatetic by nature, and being a mystery and thriller writer allows me to work wherever there’s an outlet for my laptop and a decent WiFi connection. Even then, the latter is optional.
On my latest trip I briefly stopped over in Istanbul (I have visited several times before), and am so glad I did. The country’s tourism numbers are down, for no reason other than the general misconceptions about travel to the Middle East, so it wasn’t as crowded as might expected at the start of the summer season. It was safe. And it was, as always, remarkable.
These kind of stories don’t make the headlines: “Thousands in Istanbul visit the Blue Mosque, had lunch in a cafe, and bought spices in the Grand Bazaar.” “Millions of Moroccans go to work, return home, and watch TV.” “Dozens in Dubai drink tea in the shade or take and dip in a pool.”
When the news is dominated by dramatic, scary events, it’s hard to remember these incidents are, in fact, quite rare. While they are awful for the few victims, for nearly everyone else on the planet, life goes on. Yet we often let our fear of the remote, the unlikely keep us from living life to the fullest.
The past year I’ve been to Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries have been relatively unscathed by terrorist attacks. Millions of people live there, millions more visit every year. Yet I received more than a few Facebook messages and emails of concern when people saw where I was traveling.
Of course we don’t live in a country immune to violence. But when tragedies occur closer to home, they somehow seem less daunting, because we know they are anomalies. When they happen somewhere far away, we sometimes wrongly assume they are part of daily day life there. We write off entire countries on the basis of events in one small area. And it’s not just us: People from Japan, South Africa, and Croatia have told me they won’t visit America because they’re afraid of being shot.
I encourage them to come to the States. Because when we travel to seemingly scary distant places, illusions fall away with every step through a marketplace, every chat with a taxi driver, every meal at a busy restaurant. Those moments, not the awful random acts of violence, is real life.
And that is why I keep traveling. To remind myself the ordinary is what we all share and should celebrate.
Thriller Award-winning author Twist Phelan is a modern nomad, telling stories as she travels the world. She is the author of FAKE, EXIT, and the soon-to-be-released DOUBT in the Finn Teller corporate spy mystery series. Follow her travels and writing news at http://twistphelan.com/, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/twistphelan), or Twitter (@twistphelan).
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Great article. People need to be braver and travel more.
I agree, Twist, that the world only becomes less scary when we travel, when we meet people and see things – when we experience. Experience is a wonderful teacher and broadens our world view.