Congratulations on the publication of your book Part-Time Nomads! What inspired you to bike the world, and how did you end up writing about it?

Friends and relatives who followed our adventures kept telling me I should write a book. I finally started writing in 2019, after signing up for your courses. While reading my pieces in the various classes many listeners were confused, bombarding me with questions – “What’s a pannier?” “What do you mean by free camping?” “Just the two of you, not really, what about a tour guide?” Finally in June of 2020, in Katharine Harer’s travel writing class, I had an “ah-ha” moment. I realized I needed to write the back story, of how Jim and I evolved from just two grownups riding bikes for fun and exercise, to independent world travel cyclists. I wrote the first six chapters in Kathy Garlick’s class, my fingertips were on fire! Too busy to write a book as well as send emails while traveling on the bike, Covid lockdown was the perfect time. I pulled out my old writing and sketch journals, my old maps, brochures and photos, and the rest of the 24 chapters followed. And I had a blast doing it, not having looked at a lot of the stuff since the trips. Here I was in lockdown but I was traveling anew!

What advice would you give to other writers interested in publishing a memoir?

Nose to the grindstone, pull out all the resources and materials for inspiration, commit, sit down, focus, and write!

You’ve taken quite a few classes at The Writing Salon, and worked one-on-one with Katherine Harer through our Services Program. How have these experiences helped you grow as a writer?

Absolutely. Katharine and Erin Van Rheenen, who I also worked with, are both mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of my book. Buy a copy and read it 🙂 If memory serves, I took 9 classes from May 2019 to July 2020, and then I just took off. I think your classes were essential to me and my path to writing. Besides Katharine, Kathy and Erin, I also benefited greatly from classes with Kerry Muir and Kathleen McClung. It was a wonderful experience. FYI, I am now about 34,000 words into my next book.

In addition to writing, you’re a fine art printmaker. How do the two practices support (or distract from!) each other?

It’s the best of both worlds. I had a teacher in 4th grade who supported my art and I fell in love with social studies in 5th. Art and history are my two fields and they complement one another. My book is more expensive than a mere “armchair travel” book because it has 80 color photos and 23 hand drawn-maps, making it kind of a coffee table book. For my first solo art show (at Bazaar Cafe at California and 21st Ave), September 2022, I went back to my bicycle sketch books and printed a new series, 10 prints. They sold better than anything else at the show. My art feeds my writing and my writing feeds my art. I definitely plan to have sketches as well as photos in book #2 – recounting our first post-retirement trip in 2008, six months crossing the US and 2/3s of the way back.

Anne M. Breedlove is the sixth of ten children born and raised in Albany, New York. Visiting San Francisco during a 1972 cross-country road trip, she decided to stay, spending the next 30 years juggling two careers, graphic arts and academia, teaching American and European history in East Bay community colleges. After retiring in 2008 she spent eight years traveling the world with her husband by loaded bicycle, 21 countries, approximately 30,000 miles. She now happily juggles her time between art, bicycling, all things French, gardening, grandchildren, hot yoga, lap-swimming, printmaking, sewing, walking, and writing, but not necessarily in that order.

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