Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Featured Author – Dorothee Lang

Okay, I’m a little early with the next author. Please welcome our Featured Author, Dorothee Lang, who is a writer, web freelancer and traveler, and editor of Blue Print Review. Dorothee is from Germany, where I’m in the process of moving to, and has always been fascinated by roads, languages, and places abroad-themes reflected in her own work. Her book, Worlds Apart is a true story of two friends, two journeys and ten life lessons. I’m definitely interested in this one since it focuses on lessons learned from traveling.
About Worlds Apart

Smitha Murthy lives in Bangalore, India. A restless wanderer in the wilderness of this world, she worked as contributor to the Deccan Herald, as teacher in a school in China, and in the Global Markets Research department.

While Smitha Murthy is in a foreign country for the first time – teaching English at a Chinese school – she chances upon a fellow traveller in the web: Dorothee Lang, who has just returned to Europe from a journey to Asia, and is trying to find the balance between everyday joys and worries, work, and the call of the horizon.

An engaging travelogue in the form of emails unfolds. It leads from the Great Wall to Shanghai, from Munich to the Mediterranean Sea, and from curious questions ("How does one type on a Chinese keyboard?") to shared life lessons: "And that is the beauty of travel. It's a journey to discover the truths that lie underneath."

Interlaced with photos and rounded up with practical advice for travelling and teaching in Asia, WOR(L)DS APART is both an inspiring travel read, and the story of a friendship across cultures and borders.

The Start of Worlds Apart

This book started through a coincidence: after Dorothee returned from a journey through India, she posted some travel memories and photos online. A few months later, those blog posts triggered an email from the other side of the world: “Hi! I know that you will be really surprised to receive an email from this stranger. Let me explain. My name is Smitha, from Bangalore. Right now I am in the middle of a teaching adventure in China…”

After the first contact, they both wanted to learn more since they led very different lives. They had no idea that their mail conversation would continue and would turn into a book—but at some point, as the dialogue developed, crossing between cultures, revealing differences and commonalities, so they began to collect the correspondence in a file.

Choosing an Indie

For Dorothee, the indie literary scene – both the online and print one – always felt a bit like the individual travel scene: drawn to follow new trails, to explore new places, to cross borders, to share. They thought about self-publishing, too, but felt it would be good to have someone with editing skills that could advise and revise their collected notes from a fresh point of view, especially as they wrote their mails without the plan to publish them. Folded Word Press, their publisher, started as an online magazine and chapbook press of handmade books – that’s how Dorothee got to know Jessi Graustein, their editor. Jessi was also into travelling, and when she posted about the idea to invite travel-themed manuscripts, it all fell into place.

I want to take this time to thank Dorothee Lang for sharing her book with us, and I’d also like to thank her for featuring Net Switch and Pay It Forward on her website.

Travels and Memories,

1 comment:

  1. Okay this book sounds very interesting, but . . . you are moving to Germany. Wow! Did I miss that post? You're a writer that loves to travel, so I can see the move, but is there more, a job opportunity, maybe. Whatever, I'm very happy for you, because it will be a great adventure. Do you speak the language? Well, you must be very excited.
    Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my bedroom re-do post. You are a sweetie pie.
    Have a great day, Connie :)