Sunday, November 20, 2011

Author Interview: Heather Andersen, Author of I Nevr Intended to be Brave

Here's my interview with Heather Andersen, author of the inspiring memoir I Never Intended to be Brave:

Tell the readers how you got interested in bike travel.

I was looking for a fun way to spend part of a teenage summer and saw an ad for bike tours. I signed up for one in Maine and got hooked on bike travel as the perfect pace at which to explore the world.

What have been some other interesting bike trips you’ve taken?

Across the U.S., four times. New Zealand. Vietnam. Kerala and Tamil Nadu, India.

What made you decide to write a memoir about your trip through Africa?

My desire to share the Africa I know and love, which is very different from the Africa usually portrayed by the U.S. media.

What is your most lasting memory about Africa?

I can't really say there's just one, but they include looking lions in the eye, the red sand dunes of Namibia, and connecting with so many kind people.

Do you plan to go back to Africa?

Yes, sometime. I'd especially love to see north and west Africa, which I didn't get to at all.

Have you been in contact with your former riding partner? Is he aware that you wrote a book about your journey?

We didn't keep in touch over the years, but I sent him an email letting him know about the book just before it came out.

What biking organizations do you belong to and are there particular magazines devoted to cycling that you recommend?

Adventure Cycling Association (ACA), League of American Bicyclists, East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Transportation Alternatives. Adventure Cyclist (ACA's membership magazine) for information and stories about bicycle touring.

What would you advise someone who was considering a first bicycle trip?

Do it. And remember that one of the joys of bike travel is being able to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and beauty; leave some flexibility in your schedule. Before going on your first self-contained bike tour (carrying all your gear with you on your bike rather than in a support vehicle), go on a practice ride from home with all the gear you're planning to bring with you.

How much weight did you carry on your bike during this trip and was that standard for a long bike trip?

I don't really know for sure, but I'd guess between 30 and 50 lbs., 50 only when I had lots of extra food and water. Some people go lighter, but at least 30 is probably standard for a long tour that includes camping and cooking your own meals.

Your book just came out, but what has been the response so far?

Enthusiastic, with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

For the writers who read this blog, how are you promoting your book?

Contacting reviewers, bike shops, and other outdoor retailers. Scheduling promotional events. Working on getting shorter stories/essays published. Some social networking.

Where is the book available?

On Amazon, Barnes&,, and through bookstores.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

To be fully alive, you can't let fear run your life. Following your dreams isn't always easy, but somewhere deep down inside, it's right.


Carole Ann Moleti, CNM, FNP said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations, Heather. The book is wonderful and I love the cover.

Jodi Aman said... [Reply to comment]

This makes me so interested! Thanks for the recommendation!

Rossandra said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rossandra said... [Reply to comment]

Terrific interview, Thelma. I'd love to know what your ex-partner thinks about what you managed to do, Heather. I'm enjoying your book. Get those essays out there!


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