Have you been writing for a long time?
Hmmm, not really. I didn’t start writing until 2007 when I began documenting a four-month backpacking trip across India. Prior to that it would have been nearly impossible to get me to write anything more than an email. I didn’t even do my book reports in high school.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
I didn’t necessarily want writing to become a career. I really just wanted to document and share interesting experiences with people. So far, it’s always taken the form of adventure travel.
My first really big writing endeavor was when I started the online publication, This Boundless World. It was (and still is to some extent) a travel website that showcases articles and guides on adventure travel. At our peak we had about 60 writers contributing content.
After that, this project (The Watermelon King) began to manifest as a way to combine a series of short stories written by my father and a three-month backpacking trip across East Africa. It seemed like a great way to pay tribute to where I came from as well as share a little bit of my own experiences.
Is this book a stand alone or part of a series?
This book will be a stand-alone novel. There are no plans to write a full series. However that’s not to say people haven’t been requesting it.
Why did you choose this genre?
It was never deliberate. It just kind of happened that way. Writing started as a way of documenting my long backpacking trips through other countries. From there, it grew and eventually The Watermelon King became a reality.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The hardest part is just sitting down and doing it. So find a way to force yourself to write. Create a time each day/week/month where you have absolutely nothing else to do, but to write. Devise a situation where you find yourself absolutely and completely board out of your mind, and let your only possible activity be writing. Otherwise life’s other distractions might very well win out.
About the Book
Author: Daniel Royse
Genre: Literary Fiction
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, the two travel into bandit territory through Northern Kenya 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 some of their deepest motivations and brings to light 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.