The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that my second full-length book, Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo, is now so close to completion that it has started to appear half price on Amazon. You can order it here.
It’s not easy writing a book while holding down a full-time job, five days a week, but I’ve somehow managed to do both of these things and keep the book on track.
It’s not quite two years since Edita and I embarked on our journey to complete a world first by climbing Chimborazo (the furthest mountain from the centre of the earth) starting from sea level. It’s been a long journey since then. We had the adventure, I wrote a book about it; the book has been through five drafts, and subject to feedback and scrutiny from my editor Alex Roddie and a panel of beta readers. We’ve also created a fantastic cover for it (thanks to your help there).
Now all I need to do is complete one final proofread and format it for both e-book and paperback. Phew. That’s a lot to do in less than two years, but I hope you will agree that it’s been worth it.
I now have a final deadline. The book absolutely must be published by 31 August 2019 or Amazon will cut my balls off. But hopefully I will be able to publish it much sooner than that. If you are kind enough to pre-order it, the book will magically appear on your devices sometime very soon. The paperback will be published shortly afterwards.
So what’s the book about?
Well, two years ago, Edita and I decided to move back to London after a very enjoyable time living and working in Rome. It seemed like a good moment have a big adventure before we changed jobs and settled back into life in London.
We had both become enchanted by Ecuador and its landscape of isolated volcanoes, each with its own individual character. On a previous visit there, Edita had spoken to our friend Javier Herrera, a mountaineering and adventure travel outfitter, and learned that as far as he knew nobody had ever climbed Ecuador’s highest mountain Chimborazo on a single journey by cycling from sea level.
This was a challenge we couldn’t resist, but if you read last week’s post, you will know that Mark and bicycles go together like a cork and hot curry. I needed some practice but we didn’t have much time, so we hoped that two weeks biking around the north coast of Scotland would do the trick.
The book covers my fascination with Ecuador and my early climbs there. As with Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, I have written about the early history of mountaineering in Ecuador in a humorous and accessible way. This includes the cartographers Pierre Bougeur and Charles-Marie de La Condamine, the scientist Alexander von Humboldt, and most importantly the wood engraver (and mountaineer) Edward Whymper and his sidekick Jean-Antoine Carrel.
The book includes a few chapters on our capers in Scotland, cycling the North Coast 500, a road trip circuit that is quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions. And of course, it covers our final pioneering effort to cycle up through the Andes and reach the summit of Chimborazo.
Fans of Seven Steps will be delighted to know that the jokes in Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo are even better.
Thank you so much for your support
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then thank you and do please consider pre-ordering the book. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s available half price at the moment (a mere $2.99, €2.99 or £1.99). Once it’s been published, I’ll be whacking it up to full price. But if I get lots of pre-orders then it will shoot up the Amazon bestseller charts on launch day. This increases the chances of it appearing in other people’s recommendations. Which means more publicity and hopefully more sales.
So please get in quick, both for your pockets and for mine!
And of course, if you’re super kind and enjoy the book, then I will be really happy if you can spare a couple of minutes to leave a review. Even if it’s just a couple of sentences it means a lot to me.
Having to hold down a day job means that I can’t spend much time marketing my books. I don’t get to appear on telly like Ben Fogle, and I don’t have the support of a publishing company to promote my books. I also prefer to leave voicing my opinion about the queues on Everest to those less well qualified than me (there seems to be no shortage of them), which means I don’t get many media mentions.
I’m therefore super grateful for the word-of-mouth support of you my readers. Happy reading!