by Jane V. Blanchard
The Camino de Santiago has captured the imagination of many an author, from Paulo Coelho & James Michener to Shirley MaClaine. In 2011, Jane Blanchard, a technical writer and adventurer, decided to hike the Camino over two months. Along the way, she fell under the same spell so many have before her. The mystery and stories along the path are compelling to make any writer want to find a way to share them.
During her walk across northern Spain, Blanchard began to talk to other women who were walking the Camino and sought to understand their motivations surrounding why they would undertake such a long journey. These interviews and conversations became the backbone of this self-published book. Jane, herself a technical writer, embarked on a transformation in writing styles in this book as she turned to creative non-fiction. Her technical background every now and then surfaces as there are a few abrupt transitions during her interviews. But, there is a very nice clear, “tell it in their own words” style that does a great job of giving each person’s varied perspective on different aspects of the Camino.
Jane contacted Maria Elena Price – co-owner of ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, when she was writing the book to get a tour operator’s perspective on the Camino. You can read her thoughts on the Camino from her personal experience with it as well as her answer to ‘what is the best way to experience the Camino’ (spoiler alert, any way …). Jane also was able to interview a past customer who had recently traveled with ExperiencePlus!, Lindy Fergusson. For more information on the book, you can visit Jane’s website: http://womenoftheway2011.com/