Author Interview: Lyn Fuchs
Sacred Ground and Holy Water: Travel Tales of Enlightenment is a collection of seventeen stories filled with humor, tragedy, adventure, sexual innuendo and spiritual insight. One reviewer called it “The guy-friendly Eat, Pray, Love.” New York Times Bestselling Author Tony D'Souza gave this critique: "No one since Hunter S. Thompson has loved the wild and woolly world with as much intensity, insight, passion and gusto as Lyn Fuchs in his new collection of travel writing Sacred Ground & Holy Water: Travel Tales of Enlightenment. From Africa, Central America, India, the Pacific Northwest, and back again, Lyn´s rambunctious dispatches from the far corners of our strange globe arrive with the full force of whitewater plunging from mountains, lava burning the very soles from our hiking boots. So delicious are the bountiful meals he eats, so beautiful the foreign lasses he dallies with, nothing is left for the reader but a searing jealousy, an aching desire to be out there ourselves. Thompson, rest his soul, would be proud." The book was published on December 1, 2010 by Coffeetown Press (165 pp, $15.95/paper ISBN: 978-1-60381-087-6). It is available in paperback or cloth ($23.95 retail price/ISBN: 978-1-60381-088-3) editions through Baker & Taylor or Ingram distributors. Ebook editions are available on Kindle and Smashwords. You can also order from Amazon.com or Coffeetown Press.
About the Author:
The travel writing of Lyn Fuchs (pronounced “Fox”) has appeared in Outdoor Canada, Monday Magazine, Canadian Ethnic Studies, The Dalhousie Review, Eclectica Literary Journal, Rose and Thorn, Gam Magazine, Paperplates Literary Journal, Travel Rag, 3:AM Magazine, artist-at-large, Long Trip Home, Crank Literary Journal, The Kinte Space, Travelmag, Hack Writers, Trip 101, Raging Face, Traveling Stories, The Best of Bluefoot Publishing and others. You may find Lyn in the Canadian rainforest, the Mexican desert or at LynFuchs.blogspot.com, but you won’t find his byline on anything that doesn’t captivate, amuse, inform, and inspire. Lyn is a professor of communication at the University of Papaloapan and has earned his Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in communication and philosophy. He doesn’t have a phone, but he does have an iguana. He enjoys hiking, coffee, and meditation.
1. When did you decide to start writing?
My writing habit began when heavy snow sealed me for weeks into a log cabin, amidst the thick timber of Canada's craggy mountains. Life was forever changed. With nothing to do but observe minute details and reflect upon them, I spent silent solitary hours grasping for exact words to convey my experience to others, for when that connection would be restored. Meditations transformed into magazine articles. From eye to mind to pen, the journeys of my life were distilled into the stories that now make up my first book, to the very last one written on an isolated Mexican ranch under a fiery sunset and the influence of tequila. My spirit is within the pages too. If you aren't currently holed up at a snowy cabin or a sunny ranch but wish you were, I hope you'll let Sacred Ground & Holy Water take you there.
2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a book in it?
One reviewer called Sacred Ground & Holy Water “the guy-friendly Eat, Pray, Love.” I have been kind of stubborn in my insistence that more writing should respect both yin and yang. I try to include both meaningful spiritual insight and raucous primal humor, a sensitivity to the beauty in the world and the guts to face its harsh realities. Sometimes this just offends everyone, but since I really believe that both male and female natures bring balance and value to life, I'm just going to keep doing it till somebody tells me to stop...and maybe even after that.
3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?
No, I tend to be very minimalist in my prose, so you won't find a lot of excess baggage.
4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
The combination of the sacred and the irreverent, the romantic and the animalistic. I think God is secure enough to be funny and sexy. Not everyone agrees.
5. If you can describe your book in one word, what would it be and why?
Brash. You'll see.
6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?
Sacred Ground & Holy Water combines new and old world spirituality with reverence for nature, which are basic themes in this book.
7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your book?
Loyal readers of my magazine articles can rest assured that this work continues my quest for captivating wordcraft, inappropriate humor and profound observation. This book won't let you down. To those investing in my writing for the first time, I'm honored to have you aboard and confident these stories will make you laugh, ponder and probably get misty-eyed. Thanks for reading my stuff!
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
My name is Lyn, but I should be called Lyndiana Jones. I've survived enraged grizzlies, erupting volcanoes, Japanese sword fights and giant squid tentacles. I've been entrapped by FBI agents and held at gunpoint by renegade soldiers. I've sung with Bulgaria’s bluesmaster Vasko the Patch and met with Mexico’s Zapatista Army commander Marcos. I've been thrown out of forbidden temples in southern India and passed out in sweat lodges off the Alaskan coast. My navel has been inhabited by beetles and my genitals have been cursed by eunuchs. I've shared coffee with presidents, beer with pirates and goat guts with polygamists. I've contracted malaria, typhoid, salmonella and lovesickness around the world. It's hard to live that kind of life without gleaning a little wisdom, a wicked sense of humor, and some good stories to tell. Finding editors, publishers and readers willing to reap the benefits of my lunacy without the pain has not been that hard.
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
If you are a travel writer (as I am) tell people the truth (as you perceive it) about what's “out there.” People get enough politically-corrected views of the world within their own society, they certainly don't need more of the same claiming to be dispatches from afar. We all need the wisdom that comes from other cultural perspectives, even though those perspectives are not sugar-coated for easy swallowing. If travel writing doesn't challenge the ideas of the reader's culture, did anybody really travel?
If you've noticed, dear reader, I ask the same questions during my interviews. This is because I want to keep an even playing field between the authors I interview. But even if the questions are the same, the answers are always different between authors. This week, it's been a pleasure to interview Lyn for this series. If you want to know more about him and his novel, you can visit his blog at: http://lynfuchs.blogspot.com/