C.M. Mayo at RolfPotts.com

This month at the RolfPotts.com Writers page, I interview C.M. Mayo, who is the author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, and Sky Over El Nido, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Mayo’s travel writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and numerous literary journals, among them, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and the North American Review.

In the interview, Mayo asserts that the biggest reward of travel writing is its eclectic nature. “The world is yours,” she says. “You can delve into flora, fashion, history, art, conflict, shamanism, political shenanigans, geography, the life cycle of a turtle, a gazillion different things, and, in my experience, almost anyone will talk to you. In researching Miraculous Air, I interviewed goat ranchers, painters, an installation artist, a priest, a street vendor, a social worker, a world-class architect, the owner of a sport-fishing fleet, a housewife, tomato pickers, a construction worker, and a surf star, just to mention a few. With paper and pen, and a sincere willingness to listen, and to really look, it’s as if all the curtains magically rise up.”

As for advice to budding travel writers, Mayo says, if you want to do it, do it. “Why wait?” she says. “If you don’t have the funds to take off for, say, Chang Mai, why not write about a neighborhood in your own town or city? Or a creek? Or the people who fish in that creek? Or are trying to save that creek? Subjects are nearby, and infinite. Take the craft seriously — and study poetry because it’s all poetry.”

Full interview online here.

Posted by | Comments Off on C.M. Mayo at RolfPotts.com  | July 20, 2005
Category: Travel News

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