Former Worthing Herald journalist pens travel book

Janet Rogers (contributed pic)Janet Rogers (contributed pic)
Janet Rogers (contributed pic)
East Preston travel writer Janet Rogers, a former Worthing Gazette and Herald journalist, has published Over the Hills and Far Away, through Kindle Direct Publishing (£10.20 paperback, available on Amazon).

“I was a news reporter in my twenties and didn’t discover travel writing until my sixties and now I can’t stop. Wherever I go I seem to find an interesting tale to tell,” she said.

The result is her book of tiny travel tales which bring to life people and places from around the world in just 500 words. They combine travel and short story writing to produce a series of strange and wonderful tales, she promises.

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“Some are amusing, some sad and all are absolutely true. And they are proof that you‘re never too old for adventure.

“My first travel adventure was as an 18-year-old, hitch-hiking through Europe. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I didn’t write it down. The writing foundations were laid in my twenties. A long gap followed and I only really got back to writing when I retired. Since then, I’ve concentrated mainly on travel.

“As far as travel is concerned, photographs aren’t quite enough. I want to write down the experience because I find that nothing cements it in my mind as strongly as the written word. Show me a photograph of where I’ve travelled and I can see that place. Show me a piece of writing and I’m back in the moment, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells.

“I started writing articles for a Daily Telegraph weekly travel competition. After I’d won it six times, I found I could distill certain travel experiences quickly and efficiently into 500 words. I could capture the moment, work out a beginning, a middle and an end and produce a complete mini tale. I was a runner-up in a Guardian travel writing competition and went on to have articles published in magazines and travel books.

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“In the end I had more than 60 short travel tales on my computer and I decided I wanted to see them in a book so I went down the self-publishing route. A neighbour of mine, talented young artist, James Perry, who studied illustration for his degree, agreed to do some illustrations and design a cover for the book. There was so much to learn about editing, formatting and the process of self -publishing that I was lucky to have James’ help.”

In the meantime, Janet is hoping her travel tales will inspire other older travellers to look for adventure. There are a number of stories about skiing and long-distance cycling and others about working as a volunteer on a French farm, post-retirement.

Janet recalls: “I started on the Worthing Herald, then in Portland Road, in 1963 after A levels. I was indentured for three years. The editor at the time was Frank Cave. I continued to work there for five years until 1968 during which time we merged with the Worthing Gazette and moved to their offices in Chatsworth Road.”