Whether its from the streets of Paloma, or behind the scenes at ET Canada

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John Meyers’ latest novel…set to the backdrop of London, England in the summer of 2009

TV Writer, Author, Entertainment Industry Veteran…these are a few ways to describe the various hats that John Meyer wears on a daily basis. He has also managed to turn his personal passion for writing into an accomplished and reputable career in its own right. Chatelaine magazine (Canada’s biggest) ranked his debut works, the novel Bullets, Butterflies and Italy, at the top of their monthly picks in November, 2011.

I was lucky enough to grab a few moments out of John’s busy schedule to find out how he navigates through his career by day, novel writing at night and the world wide web around him. John Meyer has re-written the rules of the traditional travel book, according to public opinion, and in his novels (there are currently two in release) combines fiction with reality. One can argue that most reality shows do the exact same thing…except the difference here, and with John’s novels, is that he does it ON PURPOSE. And with the use of various multi-media, such as video, audio and stunning photography is able to share with readers his actual experience of the exotic destinations that inspired his writings.

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BULLETS, BUTTERFLIES, AND ITALY

John also markets and makes his books available as ebooks and accompanies their releases with creative and inspiring videos that are posted to YouTube. Here’s a quick glimpse:

“Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy” by John Meyer – page 44

John uses his website, Facebook page, and Linked In profile as a base for his communications with fans and book readers alike… It’s not all business, though, as he can turn simple day to day tasks (like doing laundry) into an LOL inducing read. Trust me, I know… and because I was just dying to know what he thought about what I thought about everything he’s doing…I had to get a few of my questions answered.

BEING AN 80’S QUEEN, I GOTTA ASK…BULLS, BANDS, LONDON…AND MICHAEL JACKSON?

I’m as surprised about the Michael Jackson inclusion as you are! This is a great example of where random moments from my fact-finding trips weave their way into my fictional travel memoirs. When I arrived at the airport to fly out to London in 2009, every screen at the terminal was tuned to CNN to learn more about the sudden death of the pop star. Then when I arrived in London, every day I would read more and more about his death in their Metro newspapers. So I had to include that information in the book because “Bulls, Bands, and London” – while fictional in its storyline – still remains an accurate portrayal of London during that first week of June in 2009. So if Michael Jackson dies, and there’s a heat wave, and Andy Murray competes in Wimbledon with the hopes and prayers of the nation behind him…that all has to be included in the book as well.

SOCIAL MEDIA…WHAT DOES IT DO FOR YOU?

The jury’s still out on social media as far as I’m concerned. It’s a tremendous amount of work that requires an incredible amount of time in order to accomplish any real impact. However, I would rather be working on my next book! I think most authors would rather be creating new adventures rather than spending all their time promoting their previous work. However, it is the business. No one’s going to read your books if you don’t tell everybody about it….constantly. I’ve read that for someone to actually seek out your book and pay money for it, they have to hear about it over a dozen times at various outlets. That’s a lot of promotion for one sale! Sooooo….I make choices in how much time and effort I spend on social media. Facebook is fairly painless. The benefit is that my posts remain on my page and people can read them at their leisure. Twitter makes less sense to me since I only have 140 characters to grab your attention. And the feed is merciless and endless. If you miss my tweet, it’s gone forever in the blink of an eye. I also have to write my books and feed my website – so who has the time for all this social media? The answer is I don’t. So I make tough choices and slip in and out of social media when I can.

WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU SPEND YOUR EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS NOVEL WRITING…BUT HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS?

I spend my days writing for Entertainment Tonight Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to be the show’s only studio writer since the show launched in 2005. Now while I don’t write the individual stories, I write all the studio intros, the chats, the teases…anything that the hosts say in the studio. It’s a full day because there are always adjustments and additions and updates during the day as celebrity news breaks. So by the time I get home after work and completed my errands and eaten dinner, it’s almost 9pm before I finally sit down to work on my latest book. So the book work is slow during the week and only picks up during the weekends.

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John Meyer in Santiago de Compostela after his Camino walk

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU (and Book #3)

Book #3 will return to Spain. Last June, I crossed the country by walking the popular Camino Frances from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela. It was thirty days of hard work and inspiration over some very beautiful terrain. Now while I can’t divulge the exact nature of the story just yet, the Camino will play a very significant part. The story will also take place in Gibraltar and the island of Mallorca. Once again, a lot of my personal anecdotes and memories will be incorporated into the story.

LASTLY…ITALY, LONDON, OR SPAIN?

That’s like asking a father to pick his favourite child! Of course, each place has its own unique charms. London has the pub culture, the football, Camden Town for music, and Westminster for history. However, Italy has the world’s best art. I mean, everyone should witness the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, DaVinci’s Last Supper, and Michelangelo’s David. And Spain has its Barcelona buzz, its Gaudi goodness, its Dali whimsy, and its beach blanket fun. How about a four-day weekend in London, followed by a Barcelona stop and a weekend of parties in Palma and Ibiza, followed by an extended stay in Italy travelling from Venice to Florence to Rome to the Amalfi Coast. (And I haven’t even mentioned Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls and Siena’s Palio horse race.) The point is: see it all and have your own adventures!

And, WOW, did he ever do that! The journey across Spain is a story in itself…one can only imagine what John has imagined against it’s backdrop. Again, all I can say is WOW…I’ll leave the good writing to John Meyer.  Keep it locked in here for more tidbits of his highly anticipated Spanish adventure.

In the meantime, you can always check in with John right here.

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