author Dave Tomlinson. Guest Post Mr B! travel books, travel diaries, sporting books, good sportsmanship books

Here at Duffy, we like to give passionate writers a good crack!

Dave Tomlinson loves writing about sport and travel. The connection? Well, Dave just likes writing about them,…………and I reckon he might be onto something.

On weekends all around this great country, people play sport. One of the big questions is always: How do I get there? And if you have kids and they play sport, the weekend can become a logistical nightmare.

Football teams at this time of year are also on their end of season trip. Whether it is to the local beach or somewhere more exotic, you still have to get there. And not everybody gets free parking:

Yep, I can see a best-seller in there somewhere Dave!

“Around the World in 80 Tales” has stories in it from Dave’s travels in 25 countries. Travel stories can be a hard sell. Apart from Mum, Dad and maybe a younger sibling you can still put in a head lock,………….the risk is that nobody is that interested.

But there are readers who love travel stories. Hamish and Andy are making a tv career out of it!  Dave’s book is not a travel guide. Each page has a different story about a different place. The key is that the author has done the travel. On this score, Dave Tomlinson is a winner. He has done the hard yards – literally! Walking big kilometres in places like Venezuela, Peru, Spain and Australia give his stories credibility. He did them. He didn’t just read about them. They are his stories about the “gritty realities of travelling the world on a budget”.

And his destinations are off the beaten track. No picture perfect European villages seen through the bottom of a champagne glass here. No drunken tales of debauchery in Ibiza………although you could probably spice things up a little bit Dave.

But there is the “penis park” in South Korea, the volcanoes in Indonesia, the orangutans in Borneo and the largest salt plain in the world in Bolivia. Throw in some local treasures like the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania and you have a random walk through Dave’s greatest hits.

The passionate world of sport

Which brings me to Dave’s other passion, sport. I recently saw a newspaper article about why the world’s top squash players are Egyptian. I read it. Not because I play squash, but because I like sports stories. Dave’s book “Days of Miracle and Wonder” contains 25 of some of the world’s most incredible sporting stories and they will appeal to you if you like the story of sport.

Some of the stories are familiar to Aussie sports fans, like the semi final win over South Africa in the 1999 Cricket World Cup and Steven Bradbury’s gold medal (which was Dave’s inspiration for writing this book), but most are less well known. Like Charlton’s win over Huddersfield in an English Division 2 Football match in 1957. 2 nil down at half time, 5 – 1 down with 27 minutes to go and 10 men on the field (after their captain dislocated his shoulder and had to go to hospital….no substitutes back then), Charlton came back to take the lead with 9 minutes to go. Huddersfield drew level, but with seconds left, Charlton scored. Remarkably, they won 7 – 6. In 2001, Dave says this game was chosen by The Observer newspaper as the sole football match in its list of the ten greatest sporting comebacks of all time.

Dave Tomlinson has a writing style which is born to tell these stories – deliberate, detailed, researched. He quotes the athletes, their coaches, their managers, their fans and sometimes their mums. His 25 stories cover 15 different sports and his feel for each sport is impressive. Writing about the Boston Bruins throwing away the 2010 National Hockey League Eastern Conference Semi-Finals series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Dave writes about the Bruins after the game:

“……down the hall in the Bruins locker room, it was like the second coming of the Boston massacre. The team had blown both a 3-0 series lead and a 3 goal lead in Game 7 on home ice. For the second year in a row, they had disappointed the coaching staff, the organisation, their fans and themselves. Awful. Shocked. Disappointed. Those were some of the words that Bruins players used to describe what had happened. There were plenty of expletives too. Hearts and minds were broken and shattered. There was no reasonable excuse or historical statistic that could ease the pain.”

So check out Dave’s amazon author page:

where you can download these and Dave’s other travel and sports stories.