Last year, I completed a 27,000 mile drive across 25 countries on three continents, from the northernmost bar on the planet, to the southernmost. In a TVR Chimaera. Obviously. You'd imagine that after a trip like that, the last thing you'd want to do is throw yourself into the huge task of writing a book about the trip, right? And yes, you'd be right.
But it needed to be written, as despite all the media coverage which the trip generated, there’s only so much of the story which can be told in a typical article a few thousand words in length, like the one which appeared on Drivetribe earlier in the year. No, for the full story of the Pub2Pub Expedition, only a full-on book would suffice, and full-on it turned out to be, coming in at 85,000 words, 100 colour pictures and six maps. Daunting? You bet. But how else to tell the story of what happens when you take your Chimaera to a grassroots drag racing meet in Amarillo, Texas, or accidently drive it through a Colombian drugs plantation? Or even spend a week living in your pride and joy while trapped in No-Man’s-Land between two countries, by suffocating red tape? Yes, much of the story of Pub2Pub is yet to see the light of day – until now.
Luckily for me, this wasn’t the first book I’d written. Almost a decade before I hit the road in my trusty TVR, I’d driven across Africa in a Porsche 944 – a most eventful undertaking about which I wrote my first book, Survival of the Quickest, which was self-published via Amazon a few years back. However this time, it was different. I was going up in the world, as on my return to the UK, I quickly found a publisher for the book, with Dorset-based Veloce Publishing agreeing to release it before I’d even written the first word – result!
Writing a book is like many things in life – you just have to knuckle down, put in the hours and get it done. The bulk of the 85,000 words were written last winter, when the nights were long, the days chilly and the TVR SORNed, and on the last day of January, the whole thing was sent to the publishers. A bit of tooing and froing of versions and edits, and the first samples rolled off the printing press in June. And while there are few things as satisfying as that final pint in the southernmost bar at the end of my long drive, that first time you flick through the pages of a book you wrote comes close.
The Pub2Pub book came out this August, and is available through the usual channels, including Amazon, from where you can get inspired by picking up a copy here: www.amazon.co.uk/Pub2Pub-Ben-Coombs/dp/1787113604/