How to write Interesting Travel Fiction

I have known Ruchira Khanna  for a long period as a fellow member of the The Book Club group I am part of. While many of the members in the group focus on romance, she is one who experiments with multiple genres - Children's fiction, Philosophical fiction and now travel fiction. As she is launching her latest book 'Voyager into the Unknown', a travel fiction, I requested her for a guest post regarding this genre and she has been kind enough to oblige.

I asked her the question "How does an author balance between the story line, research, facts & information in a novel around travel without making the story boring or dry like reading Lonely Planet?" Read on for her response.

If I could answer your question in one line, “Read the book!” ☺

Travel and Story resonate such independence, yet these two get entwined when we go on a holiday. There is no travel without a story and vice versa.

Thus, as a writer the importance of research, getting the facts and information of that city becomes crucial since history is needed to attract the reader and create a foundation, a background before introducing characters to them.

Fortunately the Taj Mahal in my book did not need any introduction since it is a known landmark, however; the city, its population, the weather and various other landmarks needed a Google.
Once the above were check marked, the characters were introduced in that setting, and now and then the above facts were sprinkled in the storyline to avoid making it a history lecture. When the individuals started their interaction with each other, the city played a silent yet a translucent role. When an incident occurred, and the characters were recovering, the city’s attractions gave an insight into what, where, how the individual was interacting emotionally and physically thus, allowing the storyline to move along and not become stagnant or boring.

In a few words: The city is very much in the background supporting the characters and would push the story line further when these individuals would get burned down.

It’s like a parent giving the ‘right’ amount of push now and then to his toddler!

Check out my post spotlighting her book 'Voyagers into the Unknown' to know more about the author and her latest work.

Voyager - Spotlight


In the historic Indian town of Agra, you can find a very unusual tour company, which is owned by a charming young man named Raj. Although Raj's official job is to show off the historical landmarks of Agra, including the legendary Taj-Mahal, his true mission is to heal the souls of his broken "birds," as he affectionately refers to his tour participants. His business operates purely upon word-of-mouth referrals, ensuring that all of his tour members arrive in Agra with their hearts in their hands, ready for the spiritual growth and cleansing that Raj is known to provide. Healing the hearts of the spiritually damaged can be a difficult job, and in this particular tale, Raj finds himself faced with his most challenging tour group yet. First, there is Ira, a stunningly gorgeous but fragile young woman on the brink of suicide. Next, we meet Darci and Lennard, a couple on the verge of divorce. Then there is Carl, an irritable, antisocial workaholic who has burned all of his bridges. Lastly, we meet Asha, an elderly widow who still yearns for the company and comfort of her late husband. When disaster strikes the tour group, everything is thrown into jeopardy, including lives, relationships, and Raj's very reputation as a tour guide. Raj must find a way to lift the spirits of these five special travelers, even in the face of death and despair. Venture into the unknown and discover how Raj Touristry heals the brokenhearted, one soul at a time. 

Grab your Copy @


A Reiki Master where she passes out information about channeling universal energy and conducts sessions. The author of “Choices”, “The Adventures of Alex and Angelo” but just another soul trying to make a difference in this lifetime.

Stalk Her  @


Follow us # +Pinterest


Win $10 Amazon Gift Cards - 3 PRIZES

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 

Encounters - Review

Sumana Khan was one of the first people I met when I started my writing journey around 6 years back and I probably owe it to her and the other folks I associated with back then for my not abandoning writing as a passing fancy and falling back to being a regular corporate coolie.  I have read, enjoyed and reviewed her first published novel 'Kaivalya', a paranormal thriller. So I had no hesitation in signing up when The Book Club offered up her second book 'Encounters' for review.

This time it is not a novel but a collection of stories with a paranormal connection. The book has her usual inimitable writing style that makes her stories an enjoyable read. I am usually not a big fan of regional flavors in writing and have almost always found it quite jarring. But Sumana manages to seamlessly blend a Kannada flavor into her writing that gives a local feel without ruining the flow of the narrative. Overall the language and narrative are excellent as are the descriptions of the people, places and cuisine, making the story a delightful read.

Coming to the stories themselves, let me start with 'Happiness Clinic', a version of which I had read back in 2010 when I had associated with the author. It is the tale of a frustrated old man who has spent all his life satisfying others. Now retired, he has lost his one source of validation in life - his job. The tale takes us on his journey through the dreary desert of despondency, the jungle of sorrow and river of disappointment to finally reach the meadows of peace and contentment. This was my favorite story in the book. I found the story significantly improved from the version I had read back then. Kudos to the author for taking efforts to refine the story further.

'Best friends forever' was the one I read next. This is a regular spooky tale of a girl who supposedly has visitations from the spirit of a long dead British child. The protagonist is a psychiatrist who attends to the girl. The psychiatrist realizes that this is no ordinary case and he has to go beyond the realms of mainstream psychiatry to crack this case. The story weaves seamlessly through the past and present bringing before us a myriad of interesting characters.

'First Love' is a strong story, placed strongly in the realm of urban fantasy. It is the tale of woman seeking to break through the bonds society places on women to achieve her professional dreams. The story also has a paranormal theme of tryst with a daemon lover, who supports her in her struggle against overpowering odds. Will she realize her dreams? And what about her daemon lover? Does he really exist or is he just a figment of her imagination. Read the story to find out.

'The storyteller' is an interesting tale of a town, its inhabitants, their trials and its tribulations. 'Reminiscence' is the story of love between an old man and his wife. Both are well narrated tales with twists in the end. While the narrations were interesting, the twist did not really have that wow feeling. Of course the twists were not predictable but I did not find sufficient build up in the main narrative for the twist to be a real knock out as such. Also I did not find much novelty in the nature of the twist - I found it to be a regular formulaic one. So I would say these two are the weakest stories in the collection purely from the paranormal and thrill perspective.

In addition to being entertaining, each of the stories address several social themes. Many of the stories having social themes neglect the entertainment and tend to get preachy or depressing. Sumana's stories on the other hand are interesting stories in themselves while the message is delivered effortlessly as the reader navigates through the story. While the stories have darkness which one may come to expect in paranormal stories as well as in stories related to social evils, all of the stories strike some kind of an optimistic note in the end.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for quick reads that despite being light and entertaining, maintain a good level of language and narration and manage to pack a punch.

Links to where book can be found - Goodreads, Amazon, Flipkart, Cinnamon Teal

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces