The Camino Ingles is a shorter, quieter and less well known walk in Northern Spain. Most people have heard of the Camino Frances, but the Camino Ingles is also an authentic medieval era walk. The book tells you how to walk the Ingles from Ferrol to Santiago in 6 days, how to prepare, where to stay and what to expect on each day.
Today I’m chatting with Susan Jagannath, the author of the book ‘The Camino Ingles’. Susan, thanks for joining me today, can you kick of today’s interview by letting us know that inspired you to write about the Camino Ingles, rather than the the more well known Camino Frances, also called the Camino de Santiago or ‘The Way’ trek in Spain?
I originally wanted to do the Camino Frances, I had set a goal for 2016 and was frustrated as I could not take the two months vacation needed to complete the Frances. By chance I found out about the Camino Ingles, and decided to do this Camino, reach Santiago and get the Compostela.
And you’ve done the walk?
Yes, I actually did the walk!
Congratulations, that’s fantastic. I’ve put the Camino Frances on my own bucket list and I’m hoping that I will get a chance one day soon to knock it off. Why did you put the Camino Frances as something you had to complete in your life?
The life experiences of trying to set goals and not achieving them, and the loss of self confidence finally drove me to set a written goal, and achieve it. Both the walk, the fitness and the book were all written down goals for 2016.
What was your favourite part of the walk?
Spain! I found I fell in love with Spain.
When you were walking in Spain did you run into any interesting characters that you had to include or wanted to explore more during your writing?
If the cities were character, I would love to explore them at leisure. The landscape and medieval towns of Galicia are the main characters in the book.
Do you dream about them?
All the time!
What was the main thing that you wanted to communicate to your audience through your book?
I wanted people to see that there was an adventure out there that anyone can do. And by setting a clear goal and physically achieving it, you get enormous mental, emotional and possibly spiritual goals.
Was achieving these goals the most fulfilling thing for you about getting this book written?
I achieved two goals by writing this book. I walked the camino, and reached Santiago, and I wrote my first book. The most rewarding thing is that so many people have said it has inspired them to try the walk themselves.
Getting that feedback, especially that first review must have been fantastic.
I was honoured and humbled by the fact that someone had read the book and written such a glowing review.
I’d love to talk now a little about that second goal you reached this year, the completion of your first book. So some of our audience can get a bit more confidence about starting on their own writing goal can you take us through the steps you took to write?
I write everyday from 4 am to 6 am. I complete what the outline demands of me.
That sounds like a very efficient strategy. Did it take long to complete?
2 weeks to first draft, and then another month to complete.
That’s pretty quick for a first time writer. It sounds like you have a bit of experience writing, do you do much writing professionally?
I write technical manuals. It does tend to help me think of processes, and clear steps.
Yes, I’ve worked in technical writing and I can completely understand how that experience of laying your ideas out in a logical fashion would ignite the writing process for your book. Once you had spent that month writing, how did you go about editing?
I self edit once, and then give it to a professional editor.
And once it was edited, who did you ask to design a complementary cover?
Archangel Ink designed the book cover.
They’ve done a good job. As you’re now an experienced self published author, do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to pass on to any inspiring writers out there?
Get a community around you, either physical or virtual. Be authentic. Write what you know.
I like that advice, it’s a bit different and really good. Now that you’ve completed your first book, have you been motivated enough to start on a second book?
I always wanted to write fiction.
That sounds like a great goal for 2017. Who are your favourite fictions authors who you may want to emulate?
I was an avid Enid Blyton fan as a child, then moved onto Agatha Christie, and Harper Lee. I’ve read every Isaac Asimov, and Tolkien book. I also love modern women writers like Anita Heiss and Amulya Malladi. I have a totally irrational love for Rudyard Kipling and Jim Corbett, because they have this obsessive and compulsive love for the landscape of Northern India.
Yay, another Enid Blyton fan! What was your favourite book of hers?
The Magic Faraway Tree
Nice choice. I’ve always found myself partial to the Malory Towers series. Is your favourite literary character from Enid Blyton too, or do you prefer something a little more sophisticated?
That is good pick too. What are you currently reading?
Anita Heiss’ Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms.
And, is there a book that you wish that you would have written?:
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
I haven’t heard of that one but I will go and check it out now. But finally, now we’re onto my favourite section of the author interview, the Quick Fire Round. Strap yourself in and fire away your first responses on the following questions:
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?:
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
I could, as a child!
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
A quote from Shakespeare!
“The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven”
I do love Shakespeare. Can you curl your tongue?
No, but I can curl my lip in a cool sneer!
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
What is your favourite word?
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
What a good note to end the interview on. Susan, thank you again for joining me today and I hope that you get seize the day or days next year and are to write your own fiction novel in 2017.
Want to connect with Susan? You can find her here: