Genius loci

[Genius Loci] November 2023

1 November 2023


The Kickstarter campaign for The Hill of the Skull did not meet its funding goal, unfortunately. This means that the special edition hardcover books will not be produced.

But I am touched by the show of support from friends and strangers alike — thank you for believing in this project! It means a lot to me. Really.

At $12,000, the campaign goal was quite high. I priced it so high because I wanted to produce the highest quality book using one of the best photobook printers in the West. I also made my decision with some ethical considerations in mind.

That being said, it is frustrating to know that the project would have met and exceeded its goal if I had chosen to produce the book using a printer in Asia. There is probably a business lesson to learn from this experience…

While the hardcover special-edition book won’t get produced at this time, there is some good news.

I will publish a paperback, black-and-white version of the book. In fact, I’ve been busy working behind the scenes to bring this version to life. The paperback will be available on all major online retailers beginning mid-November (via Amazon here).

A “premium” black-and-white paperback will also be available for sale on my website here. The content in the premium version will be the same as the content in the one sold on Amazon. But thanks to its nicer paper and print quality, it will be a materially better book than the one found on Amazon and elsewhere.

I have the proof copies in hand and, yes, it is noticeably superior. If you appreciate these types of enhancements, and want to support me and The Hill of the Skull more directly, please consider buying the premium black-and-white paperback book from my website instead of from Amazon or elsewhere.

In a few weeks, I will send one last update with links to the paperback version of The Hill of the Skull when the book is done. But for your future reference, all information about The Hill of the Skull will be located at the following link:

Now, onto what you came for:

My work

Last month was all about The Hill of the Skull, so not a lot of work was done on my end.

Though, there are more Travel Writing World episodes on the way!


The 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize shortlist has been announced.

There seems to be some interest in life and work of Patrick Leigh Fermor coming from Spain, per The Times.

Thomas Swick’s new book Falling into Place will be published November 15. It includes a foreword by Pico Iyer.


Ryan Murdock speaks with Tim Cocks about Lagos, Niger, and with Laura Trethewey about underwater landscapes on the Personal Landscapes Podcast.

Joanna Penn speaks with Linda Lappin about The Soul of Place on the The Creative Penn Podcast.

That’s it for this month!