After being laid off from his job at a prestigious consulting firm, Dean decides to embark on a journey across East Africa with his younger brother. Unknowingly, they travel into bandit territory where a medical emergency forces them to choose between their safety and their health. Inspired by true events, The Watermelon King follows the journey of two brothers as they backpack across one of East Africa’s most inhospitable regions. As they endure endless days of difficult travel, a series of short stories written by their father begins to uncover their inherent desire for adventure and their connection to the past. Along the way they begin to understand the beauty and frustration of life in Africa.
Daniel Royse is the founder and editor in chief of the online travel publication, This Boundless World. He has written numerous articles on travel, business and politics. The Watermelon King is his first full-length novel.
Daniel is an obsessive writer and explorer who has backpacked to over 50 countries, spanning five continents. To the disbelief of many, he still enjoys long, hot bus rides through chaotic places.
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. This book, like a lot of my writing is inspired by travel. The Watermelon King is based on a three month backpacking trip across East Africa, so all the stories and characters have been taken from that real life experience.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. My writing tends to be fiction but it's always based on real life experiences, so for me I really enjoy the ability to record an experience or slice-of-life in an (hopefully) entertaining way.
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. I think the hardest part is committing to a project as large as a book. Mentally, it's easy to get discouraged or lose motivation halfway through.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Explorer!....is that still a job?...haha. No, but I'd like to think I could be a business owner of some sort.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Good question! Unfortunately I'll have to think about that one.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Ironically, I don't read fiction books. But my favorite book is a nerdy book about macro-history called "Maps of Time".
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Easy. Dean from The Watermelon King. That character is completely based off myself.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Same as above I guess.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Off the top of my head, I'd say Lord of the Rings. It might be a welcomed change from "normal" life.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Summer for sure. I live in LA for a reason.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. I've never been a fan of overly elaborate book covers, so I wanted something very simple and clean.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. We just started the promotion process and booked the first tour earlier this month, so nothing outrageous has happened yet but I'll be sure to keep you posted as the ridiculousness unfolds.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Right now I'm not. I'm 100% in the "marketing-phase" of the process.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Thanks for taking the time to read this interview! Hopefully you like the book if you decided to check it out.
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