Talking with Tom Brosnahan (page 2)
Talking with Tom Brosnahan
page 1, page 2, page 3,
 
How many travel books have you published?
  About three dozen. It’s a matter of definition. Is a revised edition a “new” book? It takes months and months to revise a guide, so I think so.
 
  Do you also write travel article for magazines?
  Yes, it’s enjoyable to write articles as well. I’ve written for Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, BBC World, Diversion, Travel & Leisure, TWA Ambassador, and numerous newspapers and syndicates.
What advice would you give to a recently returned PCV about travel writing?
It takes time to break into travel writing, to build up a body of work that will give editors confidence enough to give assignments to you. Travel writing is certainly enjoyable, but many times it is also plain hard work. Some people earn a decent living at it, others must subsidize their writing habit with income from savings, a day job, or a solvent spouse.
  How is it doing books for Lonely Planet?
  Lonely Planet is a great company. I’ve written for them for almost 20 years now. For most of that time LP has been the best company in the world to work with. Recently, however, they’ve been wildly successful and have grown very big and — perhaps out of necessity — have gotten more and more “corporate.” It’s not nearly as lucrative nor enjoyable as it once was, but I still get a great thrill when I see my name in a new edition of one of my guides.
  Do you write on a laptop? Do you take it with you on trips?
  My primary tools are a paper notebook and ballpoint pen. They’re absolutely indispensable. Yes, I take a laptop on trips, but I use it mostly for email. I don’t spend much time writing during research trips. I’d rather get home sooner to my family, write at my desk, and not incur further on-the-road expenses.
Where do you live?
I live in the world’s most beautiful town: Concord, Massachusetts.
  What is your favorite country? Your favorite city?
  Well, these are difficult questions for a travel writer! I’d have to say that my favorite country is the US of A, but my Peace Corps “home,” Turkey, is a close second. My favorite town is Concord, Massachusetts, where I live, but my favorite city is indubitably Istanbul. I feel more at home there than in any other place except Concord.
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