For the last three and a half years, my life has had one constant. Through three different jobs in three different towns in three or four different houses, one thing has always been with me: my book. I first wrote about it on this blog back in June 2013, and at that point I was deep in the initial writing process and feeling pretty confident, even writing that I thought it would be published early the next year (2014).
Throughout this whole process, I alternated between pride, stress, frustration, hope, helplessness, and back around again a few times. At first, I didn’t tell people because I wasn’t sure it would happen. But then it looked promising, and I started telling everyone, launched a blog and Facebook page and started some marketing. I returned to Zambia for a week in September 2013 to do some more research and we had the first draft done in October 2013 (due in part to the government shutdown that allowed me two weeks off work to write).
What followed was a cycle of edits and rewrites. With a rapidly-developing country like Zambia, things change quickly and we had to rewrite or add information as it changed. Just a few things that happened in between completing the first draft and the book being published: two presidential elections (one after the death of the president, one regularly scheduled), the Zambia-Zimbabwe Uni-visa was launched, the Kwacha rate tanked (from 5:1 to 10:1), and many restaurants and accommodation open and closed their doors.
Regardless of the stress and frustration that it caused me, I am extremely proud of our final product. Reading through it again in book form, it has been a bit surreal to think that I wrote this (well, half of it anyway). I’d like to thank my co-author Jen for everything she did, including picking up the slack when I started grad school and was swamped, and all the hard work and dedication she showed throughout this process, including talking me off the ledge and wanting to quit more than once.
So go ahead and check it out. Zambia (Other Places Travel Guide) is currently available on Amazon, in both hard copy and Kindle versions. Even if you aren’t planning a trip, go ahead and give it a click and help us move up in the search results. The best way I can sum up the whole process is the quote we used for the dedication from David Livingstone: “I think I would rather cross the African continent again than to write another book. It is far easier to travel than to write about it.”