Memoir set mainly in Verona
Novel set in Thailand and Malaysia (no shoes, no news)
5th July 2018
The Backpacking Housewife by Janice Horton, novel set in Thailand and Malaysia – “the art of travel-inspired novel writing”.
The Backpacking Housewife reads like a memoir and indeed many of the scenarios experienced by the author in her own life are reflected in the novel; it is fiction conjured up in the mind of the author. Lorraine Anderson – Lori – discovers her husband of many years has been having an affair, and the sad part is that travelling the world beckoned as retirement age approached for both of them. It is clearly not to be… Lori, however, is made of determined stuff and she sets off with nothing, other than hand luggage, for Bangkok. And from there finds the courage and grit to travel on her own and explore Thailand and Malaysia.
Now, Bangkok is one of those airports, as she well describes in the novel – and talks about below – that is an overwhelming place after many hours confined in an aircraft. The noise, bedlam and heat are an onslaught on the senses and it can be very difficult to find the courage to move into the eddying and teaming city.
Lori faces her fear and checks into a swish hotel, just for one night whilst she gets her head together and once she finds her feet, she starts to embrace the colourful and so very different environment into which she has jettisoned herself.
Her journey is like a rich travelogue with personal experiences at the heart of the narrative. From Bangkok she heads to Chiang Mai and then over to Railay Beach in the company of younger woman Summer. Each day brings new challenges and Lori is not one to shirk adventure. She soon has a diving certificate under her belt, and the reader can enjoy watching her blossom, often in the company of younger people, soaking up the atmosphere and wonderful things this part of the world has to offer. Yes, there is a bit of romance and yes there are more beautiful settings from Koh Lanta on to Koh Ngai, fictional Koh Phi Tao (where she becomes involved in turtle management) and so many more wonderful islands…. Islands to dream about, Could you see yourself setting off on a whim and just seeing which way the wind blows? No? Then the next best thing is to vicariously enjoy a new lease of life through fiction! Enjoy.
Over to Janet who expands on the ideas and locations behind The Backpacking Housewife….in #TalkingLocationWith… Janice Horton:
The Backpacking Housewife is a work of fiction but it’s also a travel adventure loosely based on my own travel experiences. It’s a story about an ordinary woman – a housewife with two grown-up children, who comes home unexpectedly one day to find her husband of 25 years in bed with her best friend. She is so distraught and traumatized and betrayed that she grabs her passport and her handbag and heads out of the door to the airport. What follows is an adventure of a lifetime.
When I sat down at my laptop to start writing The Backpacking Housewife, I knew that I had the whole world to choose from as a location but it was Lorraine, the courageous heroine of the story, who quickly decided on her own escape route!
I had Lori clearly in my mind as I started to write. I imagined her standing at the flight departures board at Gatwick airport, dressed for an outing into town rather than an exotic long-haul trip. I saw her upset and furious as she tearfully scanned the information, looking for a plane leaving soon and to the furthest away destination possible. Where would she go?
It turned out to be hot, steamy, and chaotic Bangkok.
I’ve had first-hand experience of flying into Bangkok several times and when Lorraine arrives there she soon realises why Bangkok isn’t a particularly good option for her. But strategically, it’s a main entry point into Thailand and a gateway into Asia. The very next day though she heads north to Chiang Mai. I was enchanted by Chiang Mai when I visited there and I gave Lori all the same travel experiences I’d had. I’d stayed at the same homestay in the old part of town within the moated walls. I witnessed the extraordinary sight of the saffron robed monks walking the streets early in the morning with their bowls to receive alms from the locals. I rode in tuk tuks through the crazy traffic. Ate Thai food and drank Thai beer. I explored the same magnificent temples and, when I eventually left Chiang Mai, I took the same epic twelve-hour train journey south as Lori did.
In the story, the pivotal events in Chiang Mai and the people that Lori meets spark a series of events that take her across Thailand on trains, planes, buses and boats. All the way from the north to the south of Thailand and along the Andaman Sea – tropical island hopping – from Krabi Province to Malaysia. A wonderful journey that I experienced myself a couple of years ago.
The Backpacking Housewife is essentially a romantic adventure story that tests poor Lori to the limit.
Along the way, she has moments of crisis and angst and mishaps alongside experiencing amazing destinations and fabulous bucket list adventures. We follow betrayed but brave Lori, and we cheer her on, when with each mile travelled she sheds the woman she once was and finds the woman she was always meant to be. A woman of passion and spirit who deserves to explore the great unknown and to indulge in the temptation she encounters along the way!
Author Bio: Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. In 2014, after her children had left home, Janice and her husband set off to explore the Caribbean. In 2015, they returned to the UK only to sell their material possessions in favour of travelling around the world. To date they have explored over 50 countries and are still travelling. Janice is both traditionally and self-published. She now writes for Harper Impulse, the romantic imprint of Harper Collins UK.
You can follow Janice via her Social Media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and via her website. You can also buy her books through TripFiction from your favourite booksellers and check out her blogpost on how she got published!
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