Launched back in 2018 and unique to the "Adventure Overland & Campervan Show", the TRAVEL AUTHOR'S ZONE has become a regular feature of the event.
Found both inside and outside the main grandstand, here the authors display their adventure bikes indoors, or vehicles outdoors immediately in front of the building ...
Via a series of optional 1 hour talks as part of the Seminar Sessions, they present/discuss their books on an array of travel-related subjects dear to their hearts. Experts in their respective fields, needless to say we were both delighted and proud to accommodate this popular feature.
If you are an author and like to be part of the TRAVEL AUTHOR'S ZONE , a complimentary pitch awaits! Contact Tom McGuigan (Event Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org for full details.
As a taster of what to expect, the following authors have attended previous editions of the event:-
Neil Foulks - Road Trip New Zealand
Not your average biker/photographer/sailor, entrepreneur Neil likes to do life a little bit differently to others, and this book – which started life as an experiment more than anything else – is testimony to that.
After an inspiring chat with fellow overlander Ian Coates, he quit his job three weeks later to embark on a journey which has taken thirty years to come about. And write a book about it.
Written by a biker from the seat of a car with everyone else in between be they in a campervan or backpacking, there’s something here for everyone visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud. And on top of all that, it’s even got some funny moments in which will have you sniggering while you read it on the flight from the UK to NZ. And all on a budget of under £4000!
Short, to the point, fully interactive as an eBook version with full colour photography taken by the author, this travel guide come diary come story is the ideal companion concentrating on the useful things you need to know, rather than a massive tome which takes forever to read – it really is the book for people who don’t read!
Sonia Ennals & Jim Wintour - "Overlanding The Silk Road. A journey from London to Australia in our Landcruiser”
Not a "travel authors" as such (well, not in printed book or e-book form - instead Sonia & Jim are 'online bloggers'), they covered routes and highlights of what they saw during their 16 month journey from London via Iran and China to Australia.
Subjects covered included logistics such as guides, best Apps, visa’s/border crossings, travel, the vehicle itself (a 1993/4 'cruiser), insurance and mishaps!
The latter includes getting stuck in a bog in the Pamirs, Central Asia, alone at 4,300 metres off road - this alone is a story worth relating for technology played a major role in their rescue.
Jim & Sonia's exploits can be found via their blog - www.landyonthesilkroad.com
Graham Field – "Who am I and how did I get here?"
A prolific author, Graham will also give a light-hearted presentation of how one little comment on a TV game show, turned a nomadic life into a low budget lifestyle of motorcycle travel. An old KLR 650 bought off eBay for £750, continues to blindly lead me to distant destinations, South Korea, Iraq, Siberia, and darkest Mexico to name a few. A life of perpetual learning and forgetting again, proving that intrigue and determination will take you further than skill, ability, experience, sponsorship, research, as sat-nav and money ever will.
A compulsive traveller, with a compelling manner of honesty who doesn’t suffer fools but manages to tolerate his own outlandish behaviour, Graham is the author of three books, which incidentally he’s recently recorded as audiobooks.
Twice nominated as 'Most Inspiring Adventure Rider' by Adventure Bike TV. He is a resident co-host on Adventure Rider Radio RAW with Sam Manicom and Grant Johnson of Horizons Unlimited. Columnist for ABTV, he also writes articles for various publications worldwide.
Travel on his mind, bikes in his blood and little in his wallet, Graham's low budget journeys of humour and honesty have inspired many to hit the road in search of their dreams. A solo traveller at heart, his observations and occasional relations, take his readers with him to Mongolia, Iraq, the Arctic Circle and many other distant destinations.
NOTE: Located in "Travel Author's Zone" (ground floor of the racecourse's main grandstand), Graham will be available for book-signing and a chat throughout the weekend.
Lara Platman - "Adventures in the Outer Hebrides"
Lara returns to the show to talk about her adventures in the Outer Hebrides where she spent 6 months in a tent and 1 month on a croft creating the publication “Harris Tweed, from land to street.” Lara will present photographs from the book, whilst reminiscing about her times amongst the landscape, weavers, mill workers and croftsman in what she describes as the “most life changing period of her life so far”.
Lara is returning with her 1964 Series 2a Land Rover, of which she fully restored herself, so no doubt she be talking about that too as she plans to travel with her classic Landy next year.
NOTE: Located in "Travel Author's Zone" (ground floor of the racecourse's main grandstand), Lara will be available for book-signing and a chat throughout the weekend.
A veritable guru when it comes to back road travel in Spain. The works of the prolific author include Sketches of Spain: One Man's Guide, Back Roads of Spain, Back Roads to the Catalan Pyrenees and A Travellers Sketchbook.
Blame Duncan by the way, the Adventure Travel Author's Zone was his idea!
Duncan has been a motorcyclist and traveller since an early age. Every year since 1999 he has travelled in Europe on his Moto Guzzi.
“The first time I visited Spain I felt at ease, felt like I was coming home. That feeling has only deepened over the years.”
The stories of the first 9 years of bike travel was published in 2009, Back Roads of Spain is now in its 4th edition. Published in 2016 Sketches of Spain - One Man’s Guide to the Richness of Spain is now in its 2nd edition has inspired and informed many travellers to Spain and Portugal. The most recent books published are Back Roads to the Catalan Pyrenees - Biscay Ports to El Pont de Suert, book 2 in a series of Catalan Pyrenee Routes Le Seud’Urgell to Solsona and A Traveller’s Sketchbook - extracts from his sketchbooks and journals of European Travel.
He is currently working on the other 5 books in the Catalan series and Back Roads to Morocco - How to See Spain On Your Way to Africa.
Author of Build Your Own Overland Camper (Haynes Publishing), Steve has kindly agreed to be available throughout the weekend to answer questions about camper self-builds … both big and small. His Daf T244 truck, the one featured in his book, will be parked directly outside the main grandstand.
He will also be hosting a workshop entitled “Self-Build Campers”, this located in the same grandstand directly above the Adventure Travel Author's Zone.
His website is meant for anyone who is interested in motorhomes, particularly those that have been modified to enable a high degree of independence in remote areas and / or challenging terrain. It's primarily a chronology of his Trip Truck project: the transformation of an ex army all-wheel-drive truck into a go-virtually-anywhere mobile home - a transformation that seemingly has no end.
However, according to Steve, “designing and building a motorhome is not the easiest thing in the world to do and can itself be a roller coaster of a journey. Some days during the build it's been cold, raining, and everything has gone spectacularly wrong. On days like these it's been helpful to focus on what the project is all about … overland travel to beautiful places.”
Bernard Smith - "Touching the World"
'Touching the World' is the acclaimed story of a round-the-world motorcycle journey many in the media claimed to be far too dangerous to attempt. Across the globe on TV and radio shows, in newspapers, people often posed a very simple question ... “Are you both mad doing this?”
Now, in one of his very rare appearances (explained in the presentation) Bernard Smith will light up a very different world in words, video, and pictures. You will learn why he and a blind woman named Cathy Birchall set out to circle the world on a 27-year-old BMW.
The published story was to become one of the few unique motorcycle books to ever top the book charts in 2013.
As the Reader’s Digest, Classic Bike, Motorcycle Classics, Bike Magazine, Motorcycle News, Overland Magazine, The Guardian, The Telegraph plus a myriad of other newspapers and magazines noted, the story is -
... "rueful, irreverent" ... "incredibly vivid" ... "unfailingly honest" ... "becoming a powerful love story in a book crammed with astonishing achievements" ... "essentially and brilliantly, one is forced to become a third person on the bike" ... "from the first day and mile Birchall and Smith’s journey is truly remarkable" ... "their virtuoso written tale of shared experiences are told with humility and compassion" ... "emotionally tender, humorous, sometimes depressing, insightful, it is much more than ‘motorcycle adventuring’" ... "ultimately it deserves a wider audience than it will ever get as a mere bike travel book" ... "given the right exposure it may well become a surprise mainstream hit.”
Come along for a rare opportunity to hear the tale of a blind woman and her companion who set out to circle the world.
“All you have to do is trust me.” (Bernard Smith, 2008)
For more information, pictures, videos, literary reviews, and orders please visit www.worldtour.org.uk
'Touching the World' is available in print, audio, and E-book versions. It is also available in Braille from The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) Library and other local blind associations.
Paul 'Raptor' Allen & Chris 'FMA' Marper – “Raptor’s Garage on YouTube - Building an Amateur Media 4x4 Adventure Channel”
Again, not "travel author's" as such, but definitely media related, Paul & Chris are growing a successful YouTube Channel recording Overlanding vehicle builds, Green Laning around the UK and trips across Europe.
Providing a seminar over the weekend of the show, you can discover the story behind how it all started, how they plan to grow the Channel even further, what camera equipment they use, what it takes to build the vehicles, the editing process and why recording your adventures can be so rewarding.
Ren Withnell – “Excuses For Adventures”
The author of a blog called BikesAndTravels.com, Ren is a regular chap trying to keep a regular life interesting and fun, with a limited budget and time.
He is also providing a Seminar on the Saturday at the show, a short talk about motivations and ideas for simple, achievable and yet challenging adventures. Afterwards there'll be a forum to share your own ideas and learn other folk's too.
Frustrated with commuting and the 9-5 regime, in 2008 Graham, his wife and 3 young daughters decided to buy a 2001 Toyota Landcruiser Amazon 4.2L TDA and drive 30,000 miles overland from the UK to and around Australia via China.
His talk as part of the "Been There, Done It" Seminar Sessions details the preparation, sponsorship, the journey, what they got right and wrong, the dangers, the myths and, probably the hardest bit, the coming back. Ten years later he’s written a book which will be launched at the show!
An ex-commando whose book, Steve and the Tiger, Riding the Americas, chronicles his adventure bike ride from top to bottom of the Americas (three guys jumped him and dragged him into an alley - they came off worst!)
After a career in the Army spanning four decades Steve Stewart decided it was time to move on and fulfil a lifelong dream. And so he set off with basic plan and only one aim; to ride his Triumph Tiger the length of the Americas, from the most southerly town on the continent to the most northerly, visiting lots of places in-between.
Ride along with them from; the windswept plains of Patagonia through the arid heat of New Mexico to the ice roads and sub-zero temperatures of Alaska. They battled the elements all of which seemed to conspire against them. And, if Mother Nature wasn’t difficult enough there was the added problems of; border bureaucracy, mechanical issues, multiple police encounters, muggers, injuries, family illness and sadly bereavement.
Live the dream or the sometimes scary nightmare of what life is like on the road. Meet some of the characters along the way the good the bad and the ugly. Full of the joys of motorcycling; with gravel tracks the length of the UK, roads of perfect tarmac and with more bends than you could ever dream of.
From heart pumping encounters in Peruvian alleyways to arse clenching white knuckle rides and crashes. Experience the ups, the downs, the highs, the lows and the sometimes loneliness of the solo adventure rider.
Nobody said it would be easy that’s why it's called, Adventure Riding!
A traveller, motorcyclist, writer, and speaker, Jacqui features her book Hit the Road, Jac! Seven Years, Twenty Countries, No Plan. Purchasing a 500 cc Enfield Bullet in India, she set off on her mammoth adventure.
How it started...
In 1998, after bringing up a family and being a nurse and health visitor, I set out on a year’s journey, on my own for the first time ever. I started backpacking in Thailand and explored many South-East Asian countries armed only with wide-open eyes and a guide book. Six months into the trip and feeling quite the adventurous explorer, I went to Pakistan and India before returning to the UK.
But I found I really liked travelling and although at my age I really should have known better, I set off again, this time combining my love of travel with my other passion … motorcycling. I'd owned various Japanese motorbikes over the years since passing my test aged 24 but had never had an Enfield!
Exchanging guide books for road maps, for my 50th birthday I bought a 500cc Enfield Bullet in India and rode it, initially alongside the Dutchman who had suggested the idea. None of it was planned. I would not have dreamed I’d be having this chance of a lifetime when I should have been saving for my retirement. But life’s too short not to take a chance. www.jacquifurneaux.com
Having lived more lives than most, Mansfield’s beautifully written travel biographies always contain an element of the surprising, bordering on the surreal.
At the Adventure Overland Show he is presenting his journeys around the Scythian Empire; the empire started in 1,000 B.C., stretched west from Siberia to Poland, and south to India and Pakistan. The circumference is 22,000 kms, the area some 15 million km2. But there are no road signs today; no posters, banners or tickets on sale to show you the route.
He discovered the first clues of the Scythian Empire in a monastery in Kiev, Ukraine and for the past eight years he has been riding the Empire; looking at times inadvertently, more recently with purpose, for burial sites and ancient towns and forts.
Choosing to travel by motorcycle, he journeys with both trepidation and rich good humour. Most usually staying in outlandish places, he introduces the audience to the culture and lives of the people he meets on his way.
His stories and talks are given historical context with lucid descriptions of battlefields, visits to Gulags and nations at war; his personal experience coloured by encounters with gangsters, corruption, mechanical failures and the breaking of bones.
The honesty of the telling is remarkable; ordinary people with extraordinary tales, deep intimacies exchanged, recorded and shared.
Taking all this in his stride, he also writes of being humbled by kindness, help and assistance readily given, and grateful that he survived.
Told in his unique style with wry observations and acerbic wit, his stories are ultimately an inspiration for all who would learn to travel on unknown roads.
Discover more at derekmansfield.com
#derekmansfield | @derekmansfield
A prolific blogger and traveller, Ren will be extolling the virtues of our own little island, Scotland being a particular favourite.
Ren explains, “What is an adventure? Do you really need to travel 10,000 miles? Do you have to take 6 months off for an expedition? Can adventure only be found in far off lands? Or can it be something that fits into a week or even a day, does it need to break the bank?
We encourage you to stop fretting about trips not being far enough or long enough or difficult enough to be worthwhile or fulfilling. Dream big but in the meantime learn to make any travel an adventure.”