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Today, Norm Goldman,
Editor of  sketchandtravel.com 
and 
bookpleasures.com
is delighted to have as our guest Carole Terwilliger Meyers.

 





Carole is an award winning travel writer and she has authored 15 books including the most recent 8th edition of Weekend Adventures in San Francisco & Northern California.

 


She is also the founding publisher of  Carousel Press,  and has written for the travel sections of many newspapers. CNN News has also featured Carole as well as the Today Show. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have quoted Carole many a time.

 

 

Good day Carole and thank you for agreeing to participate in our interview.

 

Norm:

 

Carole, when did you passion for travel and travel writing begin and what keeps you going?

 

Carole:

 

My desire to travel began in college, when I would almost salivate hearing stories from friends about distant places they visited.

 

Soon after graduating, I took a trip around the U.S. with my sister in a VW bus, or hippie van.  Then, after getting my teaching credential, I took my first trip to Europe, using Arthur Frommer's legendary Europe on $5 a Day.  My career as a travel writer, however, began with the birth of my first baby.  He had colic and I discovered that he was happiest when he was bouncing around in a car.  So the Weekend Adventures began, with me documenting them. 

 

Norm:

 

The Monterey-Carmel area of California has always been noted as an ideal romantic getaway venue. Could you describe five unique and romantic getaways that you would suggest to our readers?

 

Carole:

 

That's easy.  Well, actually it isn't.  It is difficult to limit it to just five.

 

  •  Old Monterey Inn.  This is Tudor-style mansion has an acre of flower gardens and is within walking distance of downtown Monterey, an art museum, and many wonderful restaurants. 

  •  Spindrift Inn.  Located in the heart of Cannery Row, just 2 blocks from the Monterey Aquarium, this lodging has rooms with faux canopy beds, fireplaces, and bay views.   

  •   Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt Carmel.  Up on a hill in a fragrant pine forest, this lodging complex has a spectacular cliff-side setting.  Many famous guests have stayed here, including the Beatles and President John F. Kennedy.  The decor is contemporary, and all rooms have ocean views.  A romantic dinner can be enjoyed in the property's celebrated Pacific's Edge restaurant. 

  •  Mission Ranch.  Owned by actor Clint Eastwood, who has invested a fistful of dollars in furnishings, this former dairy farm is located near the Carmel Mission.  Facilities include clay tennis courts. 

  •  Normandy Inn.  Conveniently located on Carmel's main shopping street and just 4 blocks from the ocean, this inn has half-beamed architecture and several large cottages. 

 

Norm:

 

As a follow up to the last question, if you were to name and describe 5 unique wedding destination venues in the San Francisco-Northern California area, which ones would you choose and why?

 

Carole:

 

  • Archbishop's Mansion, San Francisco.  This fabulous French-style chateau dates back to the Victorian era and was once the residence for the town's Archbishops. 

  • Julius Castle, San Francisco.  Magnificently situated atop Telegraphy Hill, this deliciously cozy, romantic spot has spectacular views of the bay. 

  • Old St. Hilary's, Tiburon.  Situated scenically atop a hill, this white Carpenter Gothic church dates from 1888. 

  • Claremont Resort & Spa, Berkeley.  Built in 1915, this Victorian hotel charmed architect Frank Lloyd Wright into describing it as . . . one of the few hotels in the world with warmth, character and charm.  It also has an accomplished kitchen, a full-service European-style spa, and it is where I was married. 

  • B.R. Cohn Winery, Glen Ellen.  Originally part of a Spanish land grant, this winery has converted old farm buildings into new uses.  It features acres of mature olive trees and has lovely outdoor spaces. 

 

Norm:

 

What does travel mean to you?

 

Carole:

 

Well, for me it is, of course, a job.  But I do always enjoy the jolt I get in adjusting to a new place.  Local travel is usually more relaxing for me no passports, no airplanes, no new languages but foreign travel is always more exciting.  I get recharged from an immersion in a new culture. 

 

Norm:

 

How do you come up with ideas for what you write? What methods do you use to flesh out your ideas to determine if they are salable?

 

Carole:

 

I hear about new/old places all the time.  I keep notes in my computer and refer to them for new trips, pulling out places to visit when I am in the area that sound particularly appealing or promising.  My ideas get fleshed out by personal visits, and the various editors I work with determine whether they are willing to pay me to write about them. 

 

Norm:

 

Can you explain some of your research techniques, and how you found sources for your books?

 

Carole:

 

I read a lot of travel magazines.  I also get great information from the various city visitor bureaus and from friends and relatives. 

 

Norm:

 

As there does not seem to be any authoritative standards that exist for guidebook authors or publishers, how do you know that a guidebook is up to par? How do you check out the authorial competence?

 

Carole:

 

Since I am the author of numerous guidebooks myself, I know what to check for.  One really easy check is to just look at the information provided on an area I am familiar with.  But I am forgiving of errors; they are inevitable in a guidebook.  I am more concerned about the quality of the places chosen for listing. 

 

Norm:

 

How have you used the Internet to boost your writing career?

 

Carole:

 

I've been a columnist for several websites and written articles for others.  Also, I use it to research new publications that I am interested in writing for and to research places I am writing about. 

 

Norm:

 

Which of the books you have authored has given you the most satisfaction and why?

 

Carole:

 

Probably Weekend Adventures in San Francisco & Northern California, because I have total control over its content.  Since I am the publisher, I get to decide what to leave in and what to take out. 

 

Norm:

 

I understand you are the founding publisher of Carousel Press. What made you want to get into the publishing end of the business? In the last year or so have you seen any changes in the way publishers publish and/or distribute books? Are there any emerging trends developing?

 

Carole:

 

I became interested in publishing when one of my first books was held up for a long time by a big New York publisher.  They ultimately rejected it, saying they didn't think it would sell enough copies.  That made me MAD, but they were right.  A title like How to Organize a Babysitting Cooperative and Get Some Free Time Away From Your Kids isn't best seller material, as I found out when we published it.  It was, however, popular with libraries, and while it was in print we would get calls regularly from people who wanted it yesterday. 

 

In the last year, publishers have started feeling a squeeze from bookstores that are feeling their own squeeze on the shelves.  Bookstores tend to order books, keep them on their shelves for about 6 months, then return any not sold.  This causes financial chaos for publishers, which causes the publisher to have to raise their prices to deal with it.  I know Carousel Press has felt a decline in interest in books on Europe.  As a result, we are publishing fewer of these titles. 

 

Norm:

 

Is there anything else you wish to mention that we have not covered?

 

Carole:

 

Just that I encourage everyone to get out there and see the world.  A favorite quote of mine is this one from St. Augustine:

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. 

 

Life is short.  Enjoy the ride!

 

 

Thanks once again Carole and good luck with all of your future projects.

 

To Read Norm's Review of  Weekend Adventures in San Francisco & Northern California CLICK HERE

Visit sketchandtravel.com - click here

 

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