When was the book published?

The Jolly Pilgrim was first released as a paperback in the UK on 15 August 2011. The ebooks followed in September 2011.

What about the ebook?

The Jolly Pilgrim is available on the Kindle, from the Apple iBookstore.

How is the book be available?

The books is available from every major online retailer and all good book shops. The orange button at the top right takes you to the main online purchase options.

I’m in the trade and looking to stock the book

The book is available via Bertrams and Gardners or direct from my distributor SRA Books (speak to NAME on NUMBER.)

How long is the book ?

440 pages.

Who is you publisher?

SRA books, an independent house based in Worcestershire.

The original publisher, HotHive Books, who produced the first edition, went into liquidation five months after its publication (that story is here and here).

Are there pictures?

Yes. The book has a central section printed on glossy, photo-style pages, containing 15 full-colour photos.

Are there maps?

Yes. There are four black-and-white, full-page maps.

What have you got to say about religion?

During the adventure, I read the holy scriptures of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and visited several of the world’s most celebrated religious sites.

Given the emotional nature of that subject, some of what I say is bound to offend some people. Nonetheless, I am optimistic that I have something productive to contribute to this important field of human affairs.

Will there be another book?

If enough people buy this one, of course.

Did anyone else help you write the book?

From the moment I completed the first draft I was helped by a group of reviewers who were remarkably generous with their time. For a full list, with biographies, click here.

Those people offered much-needed support during a complicated and emotionally taxing period of my life.

Why didn’t you blog during the original journey?

It’s been pointed out that if I had properly blogged the original travel diary, it would have made the task of turning it into a book easier; and that if I’d sought sponsorship for my pan-continental bicycle ride, the subsequent stages would have been more straightforward.

That’s probably true. It’s also true that, back before I’d written a book, I didn’t understand marketing, or how to harness the power of the internet. Until the final six months of the journey, I even had a strict policy of only adding people to my mail-out list if they independently found out and asked about it.

But that adventure wasn’t a career move. It’s true that I’m a bit of a show-off, but my goal isn’t the cheap thrill of internet fame or adding my voice to the latest fashionable debate. I certainly didn’t go on my pilgrimage in order to write a book.

This is me living my life. There are certain things I choose to do with it. One is to embark on epic odysseys of cosmic exploration in which I ponder the mysteries of reality.

When I got on that bicycle, I’d just reached the end of eight energising years in London. While still at the height of my physical and intellectual energies, I wanted to test myself against the wild blue yonder in a once-in-a-lifetime, all-in, high-octane, two-year immersion in planet Earth.

I did have that experience. It worked out far better than I’d hoped. Writing a book was a separate thing in which, among other things, I take the reader through that high-octane immersion. Sponsorship may have made the logistics easier, but doing it the way I did meant the journey was organic and spontaneous in a way that it could never have been, had it been designed.

When you read about it, I hope you’ll see that you could never have made something like that up, you couldn’t have planned it, and it is not the sort of thing for which one might gain sponsorship.


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