I’ve been reading Torre DeRoche’s blog, Fearful Adventurer for a while now and I have to admit, I have a severe lady-crush on her. She’s a Melbourne gal with a quick wit and a razor-sharp sense of humour as well as a bizarre sense of adventure (she’s afraid of most things, including geckos, but has found herself scaling mountains, sailing half-way across the globe in a leaky sailboat and exploring Southeast Asia by motorbike).
Her recently released memoir is about sailing across the Pacific ocean with a guy she met in a bar in San Francisco. That may all sound very fairytaley (at least for me – my boyfriend didn’t have a driver’s licence when I met him, let alone a yacht), but the fact that she was terrified of the ocean, had no sailing experience whatsoever and basically no idea what she was letting herself in for is what makes her story so compelling to me.
Torre also happens to be an insanely talented writer, which helps. She injects bucket loads of wonderful imagery and funny side notes into the story, and has a knack for bringing the reader into the lives of both herself and her boyfriend Ivan, breathing life into each scene with her refreshingly colourful descriptions:
“I open my eyes to find Ivan standing before me, nude apart from a life vest that hangs over his chest like royal-blue lapels. Utterly alone out here, clothes became useless some time ago and, while I’m used to seeing his bits hanging just below the whistle on his life jacket, I’m still continually amused at the sight.”
That was a LONG whistle cord, right, Ivan?
But all that aside, it is not only the story of her sailing adventure that interests me, but her writing and publishing story also. Torre wrote the book over the course of several years whilst working as a freelance graphic designer in Melbourne, then published the electronic version herself which I was lucky enough to buy a copy of. Soon after, before Torre could say, “That’ll never happen to me,” she garnered the interest of a UK publishing house and was signed with a New York-based literary agent.
Her book was soon at the center of a bidding war between several publishers, and was eventually sold to several reputable houses in Australia, the US and the UK. Oh, and the best part, she sold the film rights to a Hollywood production company after a producer came across the self-published version of her book on twitter!! Read more here.
I know! It’s Insane…
It’s been such an inspiration to follow Torre’s journey, and if it weren’t for her I don’t know that I would be attempting to write a book myself. She also wrote a wonderful blog post called “Are You Feeling Ready To Begin?” which resonated so strongly with me, and although I become extremely bogged down in self-doubt and negativity about everything from my writing ability to the worth of my story, I just take so much strength from hers.
For me, her book, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a symbol of everything she has achieved by taking action in spite of being afraid. Step by step, with a LOT of hard work and long hours, she negotiated her way through masses of fear and self-doubt and succeeded; in crossing an ocean in a leaky boat, writing a brilliant book about her amazing journey and inspiring others to walk through their fear in order to experience the wonder that life has to offer.
I hope you will all support this amazing woman by buying a copy of her book when it is released in your part of the world.
I have mine!
It has recently been launched in Australia and New Zealand (about time we get something first!), and is available through these links:
For more information on tour dates and other info, see Torre’s blog Fearful Adventurer. Happy reading!
If, like me, you are addicted to travel memoirs, you may like to join me in the Almost Fearless Monthly Travel Book Club on Goodreads. Every month we nominate and vote on a title to read and discuss, and it’s a great way to discover some new travel reads.