And its a wonderful feeling to be at this stage. 14 days to go?
Nope, not a trip (not this time
) but the launch of my new adventure motorcycle travel book, Tortillas to Totems,
at the Ace Cafe
We are kicking off at 11am on Saturday the 18th of September and will be running through until around 4pm.
We have a great day lined up with live accoustic rock music from Steve McGill (If you've not heard him play and sing before then he is a brilliant reason to get along to the launch
Avon Tyres (their Gripsters are superb overlanding tyres
), Metal Mule (excellent luggage systems
) and Robert White Photographic (Motorcycle travel photography specialists
) will be with us with stands.
There will be celebs from the overlanding world wandering around the launch, including Elspeth Beard (The first British woman to ride a motorcycle solo around the world) and Mike Carter, the author of the very excellent travel book 'Uneasy Rider'. This duo will also be drawing the tickets for the mega raffle we are doing in aid of Motorcycle Outreach
. We now have over 60 brilliant prizes, including tyres, a bike jacket, a camera, books, gloves, waterproofs, discounts on panniers and I could go on but its enough here to say that we have been stunned at the generosity of both companies and individuals who have donated prizes.
And of course we will have loads of books.
My first book 'Into Africa'
takes you the length of Africa - a very wonderful and crazy year - in part because I'd only been riding a bike for 3 months when I started! Mr Disaster Magnet here gets shot at, twice, arrested 3 times, thrown in jail and...
My second book is 'Under Asian Skies'
which takes you riding from Australia, through SE Asia, Asia and the Middle East. All sorts happens in this book, including brushes with Hells Angels, working the vineyards in OZ, rescue from death by a Thai prostitute and there's even the tale of getting involved with smugglers in India. But its a simply stunning part of the world to ride though, in spite of the little disasters that seem to follow me around
My third book is called 'Distant Suns'
and this book takes you through Southern Africa - this time riding with Birgit, who you'll have met on a bicycle in New Zealand in Under Asian Skies. Birgit had even less experience than I had on a bike - she'd been riding for just 600 miles the day we arrived in Africa. She did her first dirt road, in the dark, on day one in Africa - not planned I might add.
Distant Suns then takes you on a most bizarre journey across the Southern Atlantic, and then on up through the wonders of South and Central America.
And the new book? We've literaly just had the first print run delivered and I'm really chuffed with the way it's come out. The crew have done a brilliant job.
They are Paul Blezard who is a superb editor, Fil Schiannini who works magic with graphics and layout, Nikki Madan-Schiannini who did the proofreading (sorry Nikki and Paul for the typos I inserted after you finished) and Iain Harper who is a master of the dark art of web design and management. And of course Birgit who has listened to endless versions of the manuscript and has given me many of the facts from her dairies. You'll have a chance to meet all these guys at the launch. Do pick their brains while you are there.
Tortillas to Totems
takes you riding across the dramatic landscapes of Mexico, the USA and Canada. I thought the latter two were going to be good to explore, but just too easy. I was afraid that my guardian angel was going to get bored. Not so! Amazing travelling to do. And a real mental challenge - after all, most of the previous 7 years had been spent in third and second world countries. The US in particular was a mind blower.
I shall say no more here about that. And Mexico? This is a country to savour. It has so much to offer - amazing history - old and new. Stunning scenery, challenging roads, wonderful beaches, frendly people, quite a few bad guys, terrible 'topes' and cops who can be complete gits! I had fun writing about them
Anyway, enough from me. I hope you can make it to the launch - it'll be great to see you. And if you can't, well, the books can be snagged from my website Sam Manicom : Adventure Motorcycle Travel Books
and Amazon, and Stanfords, and Waterstones, Traveldriplus, and Motorworks, and Motorbins, and Adventure spec and... and all good travel bookshops. And Aerostich in the US and Adventure Moto in Australia. Signed copies from my website though
All the best,