As part of the LOTS blog tour, I'm pleased to welcome author, Marc Martin, to tell us all about the book.
The best way I can describe LOTS is to say that it’s essentially a travel diary-come-fact book. I love travel and I wanted to make a book that encouraged readers to think about places in way that wasn’t just focused on the usual tourist sites and clichés (although that said, Paris really does have a lot of dog droppings!).
It was difficult to pick which places to include in the book, but I settled on a mix of locations that each had distinctive characters from one another, as well as to ensure that all the continents were covered – after all, there’s a whole world out there!
As the idea developed and I started storyboarding in more detail, I focused on what made each place in the book so unique – was it the people, the buildings, the food, the animals, all of the above? The more research I did, the more interesting the facts and observations became. In a lot of instances it was difficult to narrow down just what to include on each page! I kept a detailed word document about each location, with a mix of facts and references that I could refer to later on if need be. Some of the information needed to verified and double-checked, so it was helpful to have a full list of references to see where I’d gotten all my data from.
Whilst it was important to have a lot of facts and figures, I also wanted the book to feel more personal – and point out some of the things that you only notice about a place if you’ve actually visited. I’d been to about half of the places in the book, like Ulaan Baatar for example, so it was easy to recollect some the unique things I’d observed there; like strange Genghis Khan branded products, lots of gers/yurts, and so many horses!
With other places I hadn’t been to, I had to rely on my own research skills and from anecdotal information from people that had been. Thankfully there’s plenty of websites to gather facts, figures and quirky things on all these places, and the more I hunted, the stranger the websites became! There’s some fascinating blogs that people keep about all kinds of things (Icelandic food anyone? ) and once you start researching it’s actually pretty fun reading all these obscure websites and discovering weird and wonderful things about a particular place (like this website about all the strange things you can find in Hong Kong - ).
Making LOTS was a journey in itself, and the resulting book is something I’m very proud of and hopefully an adventure that will stimulate the curiosity of readers young and old! I hope you enjoy it.
To find out more about Marc Martin: