The Compulsive Reader: Adventure Awaits: Interview with Lisa Doan, Plus a Giveaway!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Adventure Awaits: Interview with Lisa Doan, Plus a Giveaway!

Lisa Doan is the author of The Berenson Schemes, a series of books about cautious Jack and his adventurous and slightly reckless parents who travel the world looking for the newest get-rich-quick opportunities. In Jack the Castaway, Jack finds himself shipwrecked in the Caribbean. In Jack and the Wild Life, Jack is stranded in Kenya, surrounded by wild animals.

The newest installment, Jack at the Helm, finds Jack lost in Nepal. He must raft down a dangerous river to be reunited with his parents--a river with rocks, rapids, and crocodiles. (That last one would be enough to do me in!)

To celebrate the release, Lisa Doan is here on the blog to talk about some of her own travels!

TCR: What are your top three favorite places on the planet?

LD: Kenya is number one—I’ve traveled south through the Masai Mara and over the border to Tanzania, west and over the border to Uganda and Zaire to see mountain gorillas, east to the coast and the island of Lamu and north, hitchhiking on a post office truck to Lake Turkana. Nairobi is a great base station to travel in any direction, depending on what you want to do.

Nepal—If I ever hit the lottery, I will buy a little apartment in Kathmandu. I love the nightlife, I love the people, I love the smell of the city, which I can’t really explain or define but it has a particular smell. I once spent two months there—my trip was unexpectedly extended by government elections and I couldn’t get an air ticket out—it was a really, really fun two months.

The back roads from Pennsylvania to Vermont. Each year, I travel up to Vermont to attend the Vermont College of Fine Arts Alumni Residency. I hop in my car with a big cooler and head into the wild. These back roads are small and twisty and up and down mountains and I rarely see another car. (I saw a bear last year.) I have a friend who lives on a lake in Connecticut at about the half-way mark, so I make it a two day trip going both directions—driving through the wilderness by day and drinking wine by the lake at night.

TCR: Is there a place you've always wanted to travel to, but haven't been yet?

LD: Bhutan—It’s fascinating that they have developed a Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index. And, while measuring happiness has proved to be devilishly difficult, proposed plans and policies for the country are held up against the GNH and must show that they do not negatively impact everybody’s happiness. In the United States, we are given the right to pursue happiness, though there is no mention of actually getting it. How wonderful that the government of Bhutan has not chosen to confine their interests to the Gross National Product. I’m sure Bhutan has its own set of problems, every country does, but the GNH sounds like something we should be doing! I want to go there and see how it’s working.

TCR: What's the best piece of travel advice you've ever received?

LD: I was on a flight from Cameroon to Kenya that slid off the runway in Burundi. The flight attendants disappeared and we were left to evacuate ourselves. As it was a stopover and most of us didn’t have Visas, we were held at the airport for hours. Finally, a representative from Cameroon Air turned up and told us the following:

1. All of us seasoned travelers were to understand that birds flew into the engine. Which happens all the time to us seasoned travelers.

2. The only problem with the plane was the flat tires and new tires were being sent from Tanzania.

3. We would be taken to a hotel and should be prepared to get a phone call at any time in the night that the tires were changed and we were ready to continue our journey.

A business man sitting next to me said, “If the phone rings in the middle of the night, don’t answer it.” This sounded like solid advice to me, so I didn’t. I flew out the next day on another plane. I never did hear if the plane with the flat tires made it to Nairobi.

Thanks, Lisa!

Want to read The Berenson Schemes? One lucky winner will receive books 1-3! Enter below!

Catch Lisa at her next blog tour stop tomorrow at BooksUnboundBlog.com


lisa doan said...

Thanks for having me over, Tirzah!

Sunnymay said...

It looks like there's plenty of adventure and action in this series.