Recent weeks have seen me travel out to Bermuda for World Hum, across Kansas for The Believer, and off to Russia for Afar; articles about these experiences will debut in coming months. Here’s what else has been going on for me in the travel-publishing world:
My Italian publisher, Ponte alle Grazie, recently sent me the cover art for Marco Polo non ci e mai stato — the Italian translation of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. Considering that Ponte alle Grazie did such a nice job of translating and promoting Vagabonding (“L’Arte Di Girare il Mondo”) for Italian audiences several years ago, I have high hopes for this translation of my new book, which debuts in July. Elsewhere, the English edition of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine‘s indie-press “Book of the Year” listings — and just last week the State Library of Kansas included my book as the lone travel narrative among the 15 titles on its 2009 Notable Book list. “[Potts's] portrayal of his life on the road is captivating,” the announcement read, “with some stories that are hilarious and others that are absolutely terrifying.”
Speaking of translations, I recently had a story appear in the New Delhi-based Sunday Indian, which bills itself as “The Only News Magazine On Earth in 14 Languages”. My vagabonding-themed story, “Travel Long, Travel Cheap,” was part of a special travel issue that included articles by Eric Weiner, Peter Moore, Jim Rogers, and Robert Young Pelton. I also recently wrote a couple of very short opinion pieces for Poets & Writers and The Chronicle of Higher Education; an essay about Australian Aboriginal art for mental floss; and “Like Spirits in the Night,” a Laos-based travel tale for Outside’s GO (note that Gregg Segal’s excellent shot of me taking notes in the tropics was actually staged in the Los Angeles hills after a Marco Polo book event in Pasadena last fall).
On a final note, another Potts scribe has made online news of late: AbeBooks.com announced that its 100 millionth book to be listed was none other than A Checklist of the Vertebrate Animals of Kansas (1991), by George Potts. Congrats, Dad!
What I loved about “Marco Polo…”, besides the great stories, was the story behind the story. It really helped my understand how to start to shape a narrative for writing accounts of my own travels, if only for my blog. I don’t feel so dishonest now if I leave something out or alter things for narrative flow. It’s really kind of like a painting. I edit a lot from my reference and never put everything in. Hadn’t thought about applying that to writing in quite that way.
[...] started to receive some awards at the state, national, and international level. A few weeks ago I mentioned that it had received a Kansas Book Award; now, just yesterday, I learned that it has also won a [...]