Hello my fellow little munchkins! How are you all doing? I am doing well! Today I will be having two posts go up so I will keep both of the introductions short. Especially with this one since it is a longer post.
So why don’t we get into it already?
By Eytan Uliel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Four blokes take a week-long adventure trip – hiking, biking, or kayaking – each year, for fifteen years, starting in their late 20s. In the course of their travels, they hitch a ride with drug dealers in New Zealand, down kava shots on Fijian beaches, come face-to-face with a roaring lion in South Africa, luxuriate in a resort intended only for Vietnamese Communist officials, trek to Machu Picchu, and go ice climbing in Iceland.
Along the way they get married, start families, establish careers, and do all the stuff upright men are supposed to do. But when the challenges of real life come into conflict with the perfect lives they are supposed to be living, their friendship, and the yearly Man Mission, become something much more than an annual getaway – a source of stability, and a place to find redemption.
Part travel narrative and part roman à clef, Man Mission follows four regular guys across fifteen years, on an international, adventure-packed, humor-filled search for meaning and purpose, in a world where the traditional rules of “being a man” are no longer clear.
Where to buy the book:
On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NpXzVY
What is your writing kryptonite?
Coffee! There is nothing I love more than sitting in the corner of a bustling café with a coffee and my laptop. Somehow, I am at my most creative in this situation……
What made you want to write this book?
I have always wanted to write a book. For many years I have written a (reasonably successful) travel blog, and a lot of my readers kept saying “you should write a book”. But it took me a long time to find the story I wanted to write and the message I wanted to convey, in a voice that is authentically me.
If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?
Read more, and don’t be afraid to put words on a page. As Stephen King so perfectly put it: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two thins above all others: read a lot, and write a lot.”
Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?
As a writer what would your spirit animal be?
A tortoise….. I believ writing is a craft like anything else. You need talent and you need a story to tell, but in the end, you also need pesistence and the ability to plod along and just write. Like the proverbial tortoise.
What word would sum up your book?
Life’s a journey. (OK, 3 words, sorry….)
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No. I believe in discipline and consistency. If you want to be an athlete, you need to train every day. Somedays it is easier, somedays it is harder. But you don’t get to wake up and say “oh, I can’t seem to make myself train today”. You just do it. The same is true of writing. There is always an ability to put a pag or two of words down. It may turn out ot be garbage that ultimately gets binned, but writer-s block is an excuse, not a real thing.
What is your writing process like?
I am a believer in the notion that a big part of writing is simply the act o getting words down onto a page. After that you can edit, rearrange, polish or bin. But without words on a page, you hae nothing. So my process is to have a general idea of where I want to go, and then just write. Oftentimes, I surprise myself with what the end result is!
How much research do you do for your books?
Like I said before, I am a proponent of the “put words on a page” method. So I don’t do too much research or planning to start – instead I come up with a general idea of what I want to write about and where I want to head, and then start writing. Some stuff gets binned; other stuff kept, modified and reworked, and the research happens as I go. But, when I do get to a point that I need to research something, I am pretty intense about it – I will collect everything I possibly can, and become a quasi-expert on the subject. Also, a lot of what I write is about travel, and of course there is no substitute for going there – so most often my research involves visiting the places I want to write about to explore, learn and observe.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in high school, and I did vreative writing all through college. Then I took a break for fifteen years to deal with “real life” – starting a family, building a career, having kids, etc. In my late 30s, however, I came back to writing with a passion – I love writing, it gives me a sense of purpose, and it is what I want to do.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
All on a laptop. A computer gives a degree of freedom that was never possible before – the ability to edit, change, move, etc. A case of technology making things better, so why not use it?
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I am working on several books in tandem. So hard to say. But I take a long time – my first book, Man Mission, took almost four years if that is any indication….
How can your readers discover more about you and your work?
My blog: eytanuliel.com is now 10 years old. It is a collection of short-stories from my travels around the world.
About the Author:
Eytan Uliel is a storyteller, wanderer, global traveler, and seriously committed gourmand. After graduating from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, he practiced corporate law for several years, before moving on to a career in investment banking, private equity, and oil and gas finance.
An extensive work travel schedule has taken Eytan to every corner of the globe – over 70 countries, and counting. His successful blog – The Road Warrior (www.eytanuliel.com) – chronicles these journeys through a series of short stories and essays, some of which have been republished in various magazines and newspapers. Man Mission is his debut novel.
Eytan was born in Jerusalem, and has lived in Australia, Singapore, the UK, The Bahamas, and the USA. He currently splits his time between Los Angeles, The Bahamas and Sydney.
Ways to contact the author:
“I found the taste of the kava bitter and grainy, like slurping sandy water. Although by the third round my lips and tongue were tingling, the rest of my mouth was numb, and I was in a remarkably mellow, relaxed mood. This was surprising, because I had been told kava—the national drink and full-time obsession of Fiji—was non-alcoholic.
Still, everyone else seated around the fire seemed to be in a similar, zoned-out frame of mind, so who was I to argue. After all, the post-kava period of relaxation—talanoa in Fijian—was supposedly the whole point of the ceremony, and as guests we were expected to stick around, drink more kava, laugh, eat, dance, and shoot the breeze.
But as time wore on I was finding it harder and harder to participate fully, much as I wanted to. My mouth began refusing to work. An hour in and I couldn’t form complete sentences, increasingly slurring my words and mumbling incoherently.
For their part, the chief of the village and his cronies found my amateur response to the kava incredibly amusing. Either that or even these seasoned veterans had got a bad case of the giggles, thanks to the multiple rounds they’d drunk.
I closed my eyes for a long moment, and when I opened them again, orange and purple bands of light were streaked across the sky, and the last of the campfire embers glowed, a dull and smoky red.
It was morning.”