Sunday, May 23, 2010
In updating this blog, I'm realizing that I should spend more time describing all of the places this tour has taken me. After all, I'm in Arizona now and there were 22 states between home and here. And ITALY - with 3 more states to go before I get home again. So that will be on my list of things to write about - details of this insane book promotion - if it could be called that.
How are book sales going? A bit slow to say the least. I've given away more books than I've sold up until now, but that will change very shortly. One Night in Rome: And the end of life as I knew it is a wonderful story full of love and adventure. I know that. Everyone who's read it know that. Now, I just need more people to buy it and spread the word. "Breathe and believe" - I tell myself while wondering when the next door will open.
So back to press releases and work on making that happen. Hollywood, here I come!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
style='font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black'>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
sets off on unconventional tour
Merritt takes her book, One Night in Rome
and the End of Life as I Knew It across America.
Wash. – Many authors set off on book tours, but what makes this tour
unusual is the way that local author, Michelle Merritt, decided to publish and
promote her new memoir, One Night in Rome
and the End of Life as I Knew It.
most first time authors wait years to get published, Merritt took the
self-publishing route with Amazon.com, found her own editors, and sought
feedback from followers and fans, finishing the memoir in a 6 month period of
time. Her book cover design was chosen by a vote of friends and acquaintances.
She formed a �Book Maven� group and modified some of the book�s content at the
request of her readers. And when an opportunity to be a featured guest at the
launch party for Over 40 Females in
New York City presented itself, Merritt jumped at the chance.
knew that the audience fit my market demographics,� Merritt said, �and I knew
that I had to go.�
of flying, Merritt hatched a plan to �couch-surf� her way across the USA with
the help of friends. Nearly halfway through the 8500 mile, 28 state road trip, she
has already visited 14 cities and broadcast the adventure via her youtube
channel, website, facebook, and twitter. Merritt has ridden horseback in Idaho,
stayed with college students in Montana, visited her grandparents� gravesites
in Minnesota, dropped in at Harpo Studios in Chicago, met new friends in
Indiana, and signed hundreds of books in New York City.
wrote this story in the hopes that it would inspire others to overcome their
own personal tragedies and learn to live again,� the author continues, �and the
people I�ve met on this trip have made every mile matter.�
and family are already planning a welcome home party for Merritt upon her
return to Tacoma sometime at the end of May.
One Night in Rome and
the End of Life as I Knew It is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels and will soon
be available at bookstores around the globe.
REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The route as planned to date:
Thursday, April 1st - Winthrop, WA - The Grubstake from 5-8pm
Friday, April 2nd - Omak, WA - The Koala Street Grill 4-7pm
Saturday, April 3rd - Spokane, WA - Europa Restaurant and Pizzeria 3-5pm
Sunday, April 4th (Easter) - hanging out with friends
Monday, April 5th - Missoula and Butte, MT
Tuesday, April 6th - Bismarck, ND
Wednesday, April 7th - St. Paul, MN
Thursday, April 8th - Chicago, IL
Friday, April 9th - Fort Wayne, IN
Saturday, April 10th thru Tuesday, April 13 - Pittsburgh, PA
Wednesday, April 14th and Thursday, April 15th - New York City, NY
Friday, April 16th thru Sunday, April 25th - ITALY!!!!
Monday, April 26th - Pittsburgh, PA
Tuesday, April 26th thru Sunday, May 2nd - Tampa, FL
Monday, May 3rd thru Wednesday, May 5th - Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday, May 6th - Dickerson, MD
Friday, May 7th and Saturday, May 8th - New Bern, NC
Sunday, May 9th - Savannah, GA
Monday, May 10th - Savannah and Atlanta, GA
Tuesday, May 11th - Atlanta, GA
Wednesday, May 12th - D'lo, MS
Thursday, May 13th - Shreveport, LA
Friday, May 14th - Cedar Park, TX
Saturday, May 15th - Lubbock, TX
Sunday, May 16th - Roswell, NM
Monday, May 17th thru Wednesday, May 19th - Tucson, AZ
Thursday, May 20th - Fallbrook, CA
Friday, May 21st - Santa Barbara, CA
Saturday, May 22nd and Sunday, May 23rd- Santa Clarita, CA
Monday, May 24th through Wednesday, May 26th - Santa Cruz, CA
Thursday, May 27th - Grants Pass, OR
Friday, May 28th - Portland and Canby, OR
Saturday, May 29th - HOME to Tacoma, WA
Whew, I'm tired just from typing that!
SEE YOU ON THE ROAD....
Sunday, March 28, 2010
And there are more!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Why won't he have time for me? That new market of his still isn't open, and on top of that, he's changing his franchising and is in the midst of a messy software installation. I can't wait for the day when things calm down and we can spend some time together. Looking at the bright side, I now have the opportunity to work on my Italian while translating the book with my tutor. It would be really cool if I could have books printed in Italian for him before the trip I take in July (that's when my sons are going to Italy with me).
Somehow, I'll squeeze a trip to Angelo in around the middle of May. Then I'll finish my book tour covering the eastern seaboard, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, and back home to Washington.
Then we'll see. Maybe I'll go house hunting in Scalea again. It certainly feels like it's time to make a decision about where I'm going to plant myself. And I can't imagine that being 6000 miles away from my Italian Romeo...
Email if you would like me to stop in your town on the "One Night in Rome" book tour. And don't forget - the contest. You could win your own night in Rome. A chance for an adventure like mine.
All purchase are eligible of an entry in the "Win Your Own Night in Rome" contest, but I won't be able to retrieve any purchaser information from Amazon book buyers. So BE SURE TO GO back over to http://www.nightinrome.com to enter the contest after you purchase "One Night in Rome" on Amazon. If you buy on http://www.nightinrome.com , you will automatically be entered in the contest. Of course, all of those pesky contest rules apply to every entry.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Did I say CONTEST? Have any of you read about that?
You see - I was thinking that it would be really cool if I could give someone else their own chance for an adventure in Italy, so this is the plan I hatched: Round-trip economy class airfare, 3 nights at the Sheraton Parco Golf di Medici-Roma (the VERY SAME hotel where I met Angelo), and a 4-day Eurail Italy pass. And yes, this is only good for ONE person. That means whoever wins will have to do what I did - land in Rome alone, find the hotel, find the train, and let the madcap mania begin. If the thought of traveling to a foreign country alone is a little intimidating at first, you could always strong-arm a girlfriend (or a sister) into splitting a second fare. Then there is always the chance that you could ditch her somewhere (ahem...people do that) if some crazy inspiration sends you off in another direction. AND if I'm in Italy when you show up, you can pop in for a visit, but you have to get there....wherever there is.
I don't want this to sound like one big sales pitch. You really can just go to the site http://www.nightinrome.com
and enter the contest without spending a cent. Of course, I'd love it if you bought the book. I'd love it even more if you loved the book. I'd love it most if you won - whoever you are.
Have fun watching the videos and know that there is nothing stopping you from living your dreams! Really!!!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I'd like some suggestions for potential 2nd and 3rd prizes. Something inspiring...like paying for a passport application to get you dreaming of travel? Maps of the world? "1000 Place to See Before You Die"?
Sunday, February 28, 2010
ANSWER: Since you still have 2 years to plan, think about what kind of experience you want. By that, I mean do you want to spend your time on organized tours or have more of a spur of the moment adventure?
I'm assuming that you'll be going in the summer, so here's how/what I'd recommend packing: Travel light with a carry-on only (one with wheels and a handle); skip the jeans and shorts - opt for wrinkle-free dresses, one pair of capris and 5 tops in the same color scheme; a swimsuit; flip-flops; one pair of heals for the evening; a pair of stylish but broken in walking shoes; your own feminine hygiene products if you think you'll need them (the stuff over there is not the same); 2 washcloths (almost no hotel has them in Italy); small shampoo & conditioner and pump hairspray (by 2012 you may be able to take up to 3 0z bottles in your carry on, check the airline website for the latest rules. PRODUCT NOTES are based on my inability to find them there). Most hotels have blow-dryers, so don't bother packing yours. If you do, it'll likely blow up the first time you use it unless you take a power CONVERTOR. I say skip the convertor and pick up a couple of little adapters at your local travel shop - for your cell phone charger or whatever other electrical devices you take along. Oh - cell phones - every travel guru is going to say get your phone unlocked before you go then buy a sim card for Italy. Don't waste the money on that or phone cards. Just call your cell phone company and add international calling to your account for the month (with AT&T it's $4) then only use your phone for emergencies. If there are things that you and your mom can share, split them up and only take one between you.
Travel: Every city has hop-on hop-off tour buses. Tickets are usually about 20-30 Euros each, but they're good for 24-48 hours. They'll give you a good lay of the land and you can use your pass to get around as long as you choose one with frequent WELL-MARKED stops. I love the trains in Italy, but you'll need some detailed advice about how to use them the first time (travel guides didn't really prepare me for this).
What to see? Rome, the Cinque Terre, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast are some of my favorites.
Map tip: Every hotel has city maps with the local attractions highlighted. They're free, so pick one up when you get there.
Feel free to email me anytime. I'd gladly help you and your mom with any other questions you might have about safety, travel, whatever...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
1. What is the highlight of the trip? I'd read about the Cinque Terre before my trip, but none of the articles adequately prepared me for the hike north from Vernazza to Monterosso. By the time I was heading down those nearly vertical stairs into Monterosso, I was thankful that I hadn't started at the north end. The most amazing part of that hike was the thriving agriculture. I mean - people actually live there and pack all of there products up those cliffs. When my sister and I hiked the southern leg from Vernazza to Romaggiore the following day, we finally saw how the locals accomplish this feat. And I've never seen a photograph or an article about it before. We were hiking down the trail when we came across a single metal track (like something an old slot car would run on) running up from the beach to the top of the cliffs. At the side of the trail, an old elementary school chair lay bolted to the track with its legs removed. A grimy lawn mower engine with a pull-rope start was attached to the rear of the chair back. That's what they use to get their olives, lemons, and other products out of there! Talk about a hazardous job. You have to go there just to see that.
2. What is the most spectacular sight along the trip? That glistening blue Mediterranean.
3. What is the most important thing for someone considering the trip to know? I doubt that I am the only American that's ever been naive to the ways of European train riding, so I'll just say this: TAKE YOUR TIME. Buy a Eurail (flex) pass in advance so that you can jump off and on any train whenever you want. They're good for 24 hours of train riding per day. If you have questions about the 24 hour time period, ask the on-board train attendant. ALWAYS, ALWAYS date your ticket. When in doubt, ask the train attendant for help right away - BEFORE he fines you (if you wait until later, he will fine you for any mistakes you might have made).
4. What is an insider tip you can give someone to get the most out of the experience? Depending on the time of year, you might feel rushed to get on your train, find your seat, and stay put. If you bought a Eurail Pass, you can go to the ticket booth and reserve a seat ahead of time. This means that your car and seat number will be pre-printed on your boarding card. Once you find your seat, check your windows - if they're so dirty that you can't see out of them, ask the Capo (train attendant) if you have time to clean them (on the outside). That might sound odd, but I really regretted not doing that, then went down to the bathroom, grabbed some paper towels, and did it on the first 5 minute stop.
5. What, if anything, about the trip should the traveler know that might be a problem? Getting fined - it happened to me - 50 Euros for not writing the date on my pass when I entered the train. If you ask the train attendant for help up front, he'll help you with anything, even upgrading to a better seat on the spot if you want.
6. What makes the train so special? You can see the countryside in a way that isn't possible from a car or by air. The other advantages are the ability to get up and walk around, socialize, or get off at any stop you might feel inclined to.
7. Is there a particular route (point to point) or direction (from where to where) that a traveler should take to have the best experience? I don't think it really matters which direction you travel, just get a seaside seat. That may sound easy, but keep in mind that your train might make a stop at a station where it goes head in, then backs out - leaving you on the land side of the train. That's not to say that the view of the land is bad by any means, I just love that view of the Mediterranean Sea!
8. What are the stops along the way a traveler should plan to spend some time at? Monaco is a bit like Vegas on steroids, but I still think it's worth a stop - if for nothing more than to check out the ENORMOUS yachts in the harbor and all of the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentlys, and Maseratis parked in front of the casinos.
10. Is this a good train for children? Wh or why not? Trains are better for kids no matter how you slice it. They can get up and stretch, go to the bathroom, etc. As long as they mind their manners, everyone will be courteous and enjoy your kids as much as you do.
11. What is something that I have not asked about or that is not on the websites that a traveler should know about the train? Food and beverage: not all trains have a food car, so consider that. It's pretty common to see vendors coming through the trains at longer stops with sandwiches, beer, and water, but you can bring your own. When we were stuck on the tracks for 3 hours, it was pretty cool that we had a bottle of wine, glasses, and some munchies to tide us over.
Go to the Eurail site at http://www.eurail.com/eurail-italy-pass?… where you can buy an Italy pass from $179 US If you'll be traveling by train for more than one day. The same three-day inter-rail pass is 168 Euros on Trenitalia's sitehttp://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.js…
Trenitalia's site also has a journey proposals tab where you can search for alternate routes.
The advantage to having a flexible pass is that you can jump on and off as many trains as you can cram into any 24 hour period - including regional trains. WARNING: You MUST write the date and time on your pass as soon as you start using it on each day that you begin traveling! The on-board agent will check your pass. (I know, my sister and I got fined 50 Euros each for forgetting this one day.)
So, can you do Venice to Rome with a stopover in Pisa? Yes, but the first response was correct in telling you that you'd have to transfer at Florence to catch the train out to Pisa. As I recall, it was about an hour ride. Walking to the leaning tower from the station in Pisa will take about 20 minutes. If you decide to buy your single-use ticket's at the stations, you'll need to factor in additional time for buying them. From Pisa you can continue on to Rome on a standard train with transfer(s) or catch the fast train (ES) direct. I'd recommend getting on the website and playing around with the schedules to see how all of those connections would work out in your time frame before making a decision. One other quick tip, you can act like you're buying the tickets online to get exact fare prices BEFORE you actually pay for them.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Other tips: bring bandaids - if you run out, you'll need to visit a "farmacia" (look for the green cross anywhere); American blow-dryers have a tendency to get fried on Italian electrical and every hotel seems to have them, so skip that or bring a power convertor (not an adapter); take your own washcloths because nobody uses them there; pack your own feminine hygiene stuff if there's a chance you'll need it; bring a big purse, but keep it zipped and firmly under your arm.
Feel free to email me if you want any more info.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
So, I keep writing. I'm now working on the 2nd book. Will it be "A Chick's Guide to Italy: Crazy Stuff that a Male Travel Writer Could Never Tell You," or "Woman Driver: An American Careens Through the Winding Roads of Italian Life"? I suppose that will all become clear as I work through the writing process.
I've posted some new videos to my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/MICHELLEMERRITT so I hope you laugh at the latest. Watch out though - I sometimes swear like a truck driver when I'm negotiating those roads in Italy.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I was on the phone with Angelo this morning and we were laughing about the whole prospect of other people playing us on film, so I asked him (in Italian), "Who should play you?" He didn't even hesitate before he blurted out, "George Clooney!" That cracked me up - I should have known that he'd say that. But I was thinking that George needs to have a cameo role as the first guy who hit on me in the bar before my sister arrived in Rome. Angelo's character HAS to be an Italian, so I'll run up a list of potential actors once I finish digging through all of these actress profiles.
Send me your suggestions if you have any!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I'm still wondering how this whole blogosphere actually works....does anyone actually read this stuff? If you happen to stumble across this in your web-wandering, please send me a question or a sign that let's me know someone is out there listening.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
- 3 days ago
- Asker's Rating:
- Asker's Comment:
- this was a lot of help
Saturday, February 13, 2010
ANSWER: Naples is a bit of a rough town, but you can certainly walk around there. Just watch out for pick pockets - especially at the train station and in crowds. I've done this trip alone (and I'm a woman who didn't speak Italian at the time), so you should be just fine. When you land in Rome, look for the "Treni" signs once you exit customs. I believe it's on the third floor. The train to Roma Termini Centrale should cost about 11 Euros and take about 30 minutes to downtown. You can buy your Eurail pass in advance online or at any of the ticket booths in the central station (after you exit the commuter train from the airport, you'll need to go upstairs to the main platform). Don't let those ticket machines intimidate you - on the touch screen, push the British flag and all directions will come up in English. Tons of trains go directly to Napoli. Once you get your ticket, it should list the train number (treno), time, car number (carrozza/vagone) and seat (posto) on it (you can opt for coach, first class, high speed, etc). Now head for the platform and look for the overhead reader boards. There are 20 platforms (abbreviated BIN on the sign) in Rome and you won't know your BIN until about 20 minutes before your train arrives. Car numbers will be listed inside the glass doors to the train, but if you get on the wrong one, you can always walk through the train to the correct one. The onboard Capo (ticketing agent) will check your ticket and help you find your seat if needed.
Once you arrive in Napoli, you can catch the metro train over to Bagnoli for about 1.50 Euros. Look for the big red "M." Check out this google maphttp://maps.google.com/maps?tab=ml because everywhere you see that red "M" is a metro stop.
Restaurants - I've eaten at a few there, but can't remember the names. Don't worry, it's hard to go wrong at any of them. HAPPY TRAVELS!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Which was the easiest to travel in? London and Fiji.
Any tips or tricks you have learned along the way to help other solo female travelers? Where do I start? Don't over-pack: nobody will notice if you wear the same thing two or three times in a week. Leave the blow-dryer at home. Be nice to people on over-booked flights (one time, my seat was double booked and I told the flight attendant that she could seat me anywhere - instead of putting me back by the toilet, she moved me to first class). In Italy, if you have a question about anything health related, GO TO THE PHARMACY...you can ask those people ANYTHING (I don't want to give TMI, but that's where you'll find everything from bandaids to condoms to laxatives, etc.). Oh, and one other woman-only note that nobody ever talks about: feminine hygiene products - pack your own if you have a preference because even if you find something at the market that resembles what you buy in the states, it probably won't be as effective (I've experienced this in Italy and Mexico). Many other countries don't have wash cloths, so if you use one at home, take one or two with you.