Thursday, March 6, 2014


I have been tagged by Australian writer Elizabeth Jane Corbett to share my writing process in the “Tagged” blog tour. When not writing, Elizabeth works as a Librarian, Welsh Teacher, and blogger. You can visit her blog at:

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my new novel:

Race to Tibet

Tibet by Nicholas Roerich courtesty of the Nicholas Roerich Museum, Manhattan

What am I working on?

"Race to Tibet" is a historical novel that tells a thrilling tale of high-altitude adventure and survival set in the world's most forbidden country: Tibet. It is based on the true story of three courageous explorers who are determined to be the first living European to reach Lhasa during the age of Victorian Exploration. 
When these intrepid adventurers reach Tibet, they discover a land of mystery and intrigue, a land of danger that promises them only one thing: death. In the end, only one of these explorers will fulfill his lifelong dream of reaching Lhasa, but he will spend the rest of his life haunted by it.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I have yet to find any substantial work based on the same theme. There is one book by the English writer, Mike Scholey, called "Beads of Water, Drops of Gold", but it tells the story of the 1904 Tibetan invasion from the point of view of Sir Francis Younghusband, whereas my story starts in 1889 and tells a much broader story about three distinct explorers, Francis Younghusband, Gabriel Bonvalot, and Bronislav Grombchevsky, who were all vying to be the first living European to reach Lhasa. I was inspired to write a novel set in the Himalayas after reading the novel "Paths of Glory" by Jeffrey Archer, but that's where any similarity ends. Archer's book is solely about George Mallory's attempts at conquering Mount Everest whereas my book narrates the adventures of three distinct explorers who set out on life-threatening expeditions between 1889-1890.

Gabriel Bonvalot, your average intrepid Victorian explorer

Why do I write what I write?

This story was a dream come true. I found it by chance, so, in a certain sense, I feel as if I was personally chosen to tell this tale. The amazing story of Gabriel Bonvalot was languishing in libraries around the world for over a hundred years and was dying to be retold in a novel. Had it not been for the geniuses of Google (specifically Larry Page), who came up with the brilliant idea of digitizing the worlds' books and making them searchable and accessible to all of mankind, Bonvalot's story might have stayed buried forever. So, in answer to the question, I'd have to say: when I find a story that captivates me that has never been told before, I immerse myself in that world and go to work bringing the story to life one scene at a time.

How does my writing process work?

I start with research, deep, intensive research. I download and purchase every book on the subject. Using legal-sized notepads, I write down everything relevant to the story or to the time period, such as eating habits, drinking habits, attitudes, unusual observations, medicines, bureaucratic dilemmas, folk remedies, speech habits, etc. Ditto with paper books. I highlight and underline everything I need to tell the story. This process can take a year to a year and a half. Then I sit down and start plotting the novel and creating scenes. I love to start by introducing the characters and building them up as interesting personalities. I keep the action moving forward and build suspense.

I hope you will enjoy "Race to Tibet" when it's released and I love to hear readers' comments and observations.

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