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#Author Frances M. Thompson Shares Her Inspiration For "Shy Feet" #travel #shyfeetbook @bushbirdie

What Inspired Me to Write Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel 
by Frances M Thompson

My book was ultimately inspired by an unrelated, but life-changing decision I made over two years ago. On 18th October 2011, I boarded a plane to Kuala Lumpur and thus began a new life. I wasn’t moving to Malaysia, in fact, it wasn’t really about where I was going but rather what I was leaving behind. I was 29 years old and as my peers climbed their career ladders and battled the still-recovering economy to buy houses they could only just afford, I chose to make myself unemployed and I chose - with my partner - to embark on a semi-nomadic life of travel.
Fast forward six months and I had crossed three continents, met my Australian partner’s family, seeing where he’d grown up and I was somewhat successfully building a freelance career as a copywriter and travel writer. I was earning a fraction of my previous income, I was still very anxious it was all going to go horribly wrong, but I was wonderfully happy; I was seeing the world.
Around this time, I started to think about my relationship with travel and how I’d gone from being a happy holiday-maker to someone who gave everything up in order to see more of the world. I realised that travelling comes in many different forms, but most people - no matter their background, financial status or situation - are exposed to a certain level of travel at some point in their life, be it for work, for a vacation, emigrating to begin a new life, a gap year backpacking trip, a luxury getaway or a series of business trips.
At the same time I was experiencing so many new things and new places and many of them stayed with me. I also met new people, heard their stories and found some of them spoke to me louder than others.
That was when I started to make notes and plan the short stories that would become my first collection, Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel. When we found ourselves in Thailand for a few months - almost an exact year to the day we left London - I decided to finish the first drafts of thirteen stories for NaNoWriMo 2012.
Over the following nine months we travelled across Nordic Europe, Morocco and then returned to the UK to live in a new city, Brighton. During this time I edited (and edited and edited and edited) my stories and I was living in Amsterdam when I finally published the book in August 2013.
There is a great sense of irony that after publishing Shy Feet, my partner and I began to talk about changing our lifestyle from permanent travel to becoming ex-pats. After two years of not staying anywhere longer than a few months, we were tired and I was keen to keep up the momentum of my writing by working on another short story collection (featuring short fiction about London) and a novel. I knew I could write a book while travelling, but I wondered if I did it while travelling, would it be easier?
Well, as it happens, the answer is no! Writing a book is hard no matter where you are. You still need to make the time and plough through the obstacles that life presents, though admittedly I very much prefer having my own desk and my own kitchen to make endless cups of tea in. It’s a sweet sort of conclusion to draw actually, it sort of validates the main theme of the book; that travel can take many forms - it’s up to us how we travel around the world and through life, and I love that everybody is wonderfully, weirdly and welcomingly different.

"This collection of stories is like a blanket woven from 100% wanderlust under which you can hide as Frances M. Thompson tucks you in with her words and keeps you warm with her descriptions of characters you'll love and places you can tell she knows by heart." Gesa Neitzel, www.bedouinwriter.com

Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel is a collection of twelve quirky, charismatic and touching tales of travel.

The inquisitive Ruth tells the story of The Lost Children of Gatwick Airport and in Max's Holiday we learn what a seven-year-old boy considers a "proper holiday" to be. In The Flowers Sleep Tonight, we meet Thomas and Carly, two solo travellers whose paths keep crossing... because that's exactly what Thomas wants. A spontaneous plan to elope is revealed in The Runaways and Homes from Homes is about the lessons Patricia learns from the hotel bellboy she has a fling with. 

Oh, Henry is the story of how a dream holiday can mean two different things to two lovers and Katie's Maps is an offbeat love letter to a vast collection of maps. Extracts from a travel journal tell one woman's life story in All the Beaches are Made of Pebbles and find out what Australia and underpants have to do with Claudia wanting to leave her husband of forty years in The Road is Long.

From the unforgiving Australian Outback to the jagged beauty of the Amalfi Coast, along the pebbled beaches of Brighton & Hove and down the busy streets of late night Barcelona, this collection of short stories highlights how travel intersects and enriches all of our lives, often without us realising it...

"Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel transports you to exotic locales without leaving your armchair and leaves you wanting more... Frances M. Thompson has a novel in her and I can't wait to read it." Nathalie Harris, www.acooknotmad.com

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Short Stories, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Frances M Thompson on Facebook & Twitter

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