I recently met Darlene via her blog. Most of you know I love to travel, so when I discovered that her books were centered on traveling and introducing new people, places, and cultures to a younger audience I had to find out more. Darlene was kind enough to agree to guest post. I was inspired when I read her post and I hope you will be as well. And now here’s Darlene:
I was brought up on a ranch in Southern Alberta where I dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. We didn’t have TV and I had a lot of alone time; so I would make up stories in my head to entertain myself. In grade three, I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me to write my stories down. When I was twelve, I had a short story published in the Winnipeg Free Press. Since then I always had a desire to become a published author.
That very same teacher introduced me to faraway places and inspired me to want to travel. I got on an airplane for the first time when I was 27, to fly to England to marry my British husband. I never stopped travelling after that.
A few years ago I travelled to The United Arab Emirates to visit a good friend who was working there. She planned many interesting things for me to see and do during my stay which enabled me to really experience the country. We shopped in the souks, attended a camel race, visited an abandoned village, ate at a Bedouin campsite, rode a camel and laughed at the goats in the trees. I was so amazed by the culture, landscape and people that when I returned to Canada, I felt compelled to write about it. Because I had difficulty portraying the excitement of being in such a unique part of the world, I decided to write my experiences from the point of view of a twelve year-old. I threw in an adventure, some action and a mystery; and Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask was born.
Amanda learned a lot about a new place and about herself so I decided she needed to continue travelling. I enjoyed my visits to Spain, so Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting became her next adventure. Amanda is an ordinary Canadian girl who is very inquisitive and somewhat naïve. She cares about people and animals, gets involved in helping those in distress and subsequently gets into trouble. She often has to use her wits and resourcefulness to get herself out of predicaments.
Since that first trip to England we have returned many times to visit my husband’s family and explore the county. It was only natural that Amanda would also visit this historic place. Amanda in England – The Missing Novel became the third in what became a series.
Readers of all ages learn about a different place in the world while being entertained. The scenery, buildings, clothing, food, and culture are described as Amanda and her new friends experience adventures they will never forget. One young reader said he felt like he was actually there after reading Amanda in Arabia! Readers can travel to another country without leaving home. My hope is they will be enticed to visit these places themselves one day, as I did as a young person reading stories that took place in faraway lands.
I plan to do much more travelling and I believe Amanda will have many more adventures. In book four Leah, her friend from England visits her and Amanda shows her around the province of Alberta. You can be sure things won’t always go as planned as they take in the Calgary Stampede, visit Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, go on a cattle drive and explore the Drumheller Dinosaur Museum. Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone will be available in 2014.
I feel blessed that my dreams of travelling have brought my dream of being a published writer to fruition.
About the Author:
Darlene’s Blog: www.darlenefoster.ca
The Perfume Flask is available here
You can follow Darlene on:
Thanks Darlene for sharing your story. And happy Friday everyone!