Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today I’m very happy to share the answers given to my questions by Roxana Valea, the author of Through Dust and Dreams and to tell you more about both her and her book. Read on to find out more for yourself . . . .
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
The book is a travel memoir, based on a real trip I have done in the company of two others. I have kept a journal during the trip and all the events in the book are real and reported as they occurred.
What is your writing process?
A book usually comes to me. I do not look for it. It start as a loose idea and then it comes back and knocks at the door until I open it. I usually write the first draft very quickly, 3 to 4 weeks. I write without thinking too much because I find that if I do, it slows down the process. I let the first draft come and settle and then I put it aside before I read and edit it again. I go over it again and again and I produce between 5 and 10 drafts of a book before I’m happy with it. Some of these drafts come as a result of outside input from test readers, editors, and so on. Then, once I’m happy with the final version, the book goes through the production process where a few more drafts are produced after each key stage – line editing, type setting and proofreading. While writing the first draft usually gets done in a month the rest of the process takes anywhere between a year and two.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I write my travel journals with pen and paper and for ‘Through Dust and Dreams’ I have used these journals extensively. Then I write my first draft on a computer and all subsequent drafts are written on a computer as well.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
My favourite character of my stories is The Old Man from ‘The Polo Diaries’, the series that I have published in 2019 and 2020 . The last book of it, ‘Seven and a Half Minutes’ comes out in June 2020. The Old Man’s character is inspired by one of my polo trainers and he’s fun, really fun. In real life and in the book as well. He always finds an unexpected way to make a point and manages perfectly to blend a laid back attitude with the urgency of the polo game.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I actually am a character in my books, Roxana from ‘Through Dust and Dreams’ and Roxy from ‘The Polo Diaries’. While ‘Through Dust and Dreams’ is a travel memoir and therefore based on real events, ‘The Polo Diaries’ is a fiction series inspired by real life events. So while Roxana in ‘Through Dust and Dreams’ is fully me, Roxy in ‘The Polo Diaries’ is somewhat me. How much? Well, this is for each reader to guess!
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
In ‘Through Dust and Dreams’ most characters have their real names and I have got permission from the people involved in my stories to use their real names. Where such permission was not obtained, the names were changed.
What’s the main message of ‘Through Dust and Dreams’?
It’s about the power of our dreams. That’s why the book starts with a quote ‘ The life belongs to those who dream’. A guide I met in Africa told this to me one evening by a camp fire. I believed him and it changed my life. And that’s why I wrote this book. So that more and more people start believing in the power of their dreams and turn them into reality.
Title: Through Dust and Dreams. The Story of an African Adventure
Author: Roxana Valea
Genre – Travel Memoir
Publication Date: 14 December 2014
Estimated Page Count – 423
Purchase from Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Through-Dust-Dreams-African-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00QZDP394/
At a crossroads in her life, Roxana decides to take a ten-day safari trip to Africa. In Namibia, she meets a local guide who talks about “the courage to become who you are” and tells her that “the world belongs to those who dream”.
Her holiday over, Roxana still carries the spell of his words within her soul. Six months later she quits her job and searches for a way to fulfil an old dream: crossing Africa from north to south. Teaming up with Richard and Peter, two total strangers she meets over the Internet, Roxana starts a journey that will take her and her companions from Morocco to Namibia, crossing deserts and war-torn countries and surviving threats from corrupt officials and tensions within their own group.
Through Dust and Dreams is the story of their journey: a story of courage and friendship, of daring to ask questions and search for answers, and of self-discovery on a long, dusty road south.
About Roxana Valea
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.
Follow Roxana Valea
Website – https://www.roxanavaleaauthor.com
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the Blog Book Blitz it is part of and to Roxana Valea for answering my questions!