The Story Behind Round the Bend by Alistair McGuiness


Before I was born, my Dad was in the Merchant Navy and for many years he sailed the seven seas, to exotic places like Fiji, Australia and Hong Kong. As I grew up I would often ask him about his adventures and enjoyed sitting on his knee as he told tall tales about his sea faring days. Round the Bend 2Extracting stories from Dad become harder as he grew older and I wished I had tried harder, but dementia robbed him of his memory and the stories stopped coming.

Storytelling seems to be run in my family. My Great Uncles were Seanachaís (Irish storytellers) and as a child, I always enjoyed listening to their animated tales about rural life in Donegal. I feel very proud of their talents and felt it was time for someone in the family to write a story instead of telling one!

When my wife and I decided to leave England to travel through South America and Africa I was determined to capture all the escapades in a travelogue. Converting my travel diaries into an adventure travel story took three years, but I’m proud of our story and hope my young boys will someday read it.

My wife (Fran) with a lioness

Fran

With regards to getting the book published, I decided to take control and hired professional proof-readers, editors, cover designers and beta readers. Once finished, I took one look at the growing waiting lists for agents and decided to self-publish.

My eBook has fared well, making it to the top 5 in Amazon for travel guides, with the help of targeted promotions. My goal is to send a paperback copy to an agent and let the story, illustration’s, book cover and Amazon reviews do the talking. One day it could be for sale at an airport bookstore and that’s when I will take my first ever selfie!

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Alistair McGuiness 2Alistair McGuiness grew up in the UK in a town called Luton, which lies 30 miles north of London. Family holidays were spent in County Donegal, Ireland, staying with his Grandmother in their large family home where she had once raised fifteen children.

It was these annual trips that made Alistair realise his Great Uncles were Seanachaís (Irish story tellers). After a few pints of Guinness in the family bar, brothers Barney and Francis would entertain the evening crowds with their recitations of life in rural Ireland. As their rustic voices carried across the crowded room, Alistair would watch and listen as the animated tales mesmorised the overseas visitors.

44 countries and four decades later, Alistair now calls Australia home and in the tradition of Great Uncles Barney and Francis, loves to recite stories. He lives between the beach and the forest with his wife, two young boys and a fun puppy called Peppi. After decades of adventurous escapades Alistair is calming down and has decided to write more and bungee jump less!

He works as a Business Improvement Specialist and has just spent three years as a fly in fly out employee at a remote iron ore mine site in Western Australia. As a trainer and facilitator, he has worked in Europe and Australia and is passionate about helping people and organisations to become successful.

A fun family day for Alistair would be fishing from the local jetty with his boys, taking the puppy for a walk along the beach at sunset and cooking a scrumptious curry in the evening with his wife.

An ideal adventurous day for Alistair would be a days walking and scrambling in the Lake District with friends, followed by a visit to a village pub nestled deep in the English countryside.

His latest book is the adventure travel, Round the Bend: From Luton to Peru to Ningaloo, A Search for Life After Redundancy.

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