You might well be familiar with Zoë Cano; the well-travelled Brit with a penchant for Triumph’s Bonneville twins, has been a regular feature at bike events large and small since the publication of her first book “Bonneville go or bust” in 2014.
Zoë Cano is one of a handful of authors who have gone beyond having a stab at writing–up their adventures, taking a professional and committed approach to marketing books that people clearly love to read.
She counts herself especially lucky to have landed a publishing deal, albeit not with a UK publisher. “Bonneville go or bust” was picked up by Florida based ‘Road Dog’ publications, almost by accident, after the proprietor happened to see a US magazine interview with her. Mike Fitterling liked her Brit’s-eye view of touring on some of the USA’s quieter and more interesting roads. They struck a deal and the book did well.
When Mike invited Zoë to fly back to the States for a promotional tour of bike shows, and to ride some of the back roads of the southern states with him on another Bonneville, she knew it was an opportunity not to be missed.
That tour provided the jumping off point for her latest offering, “Southern Escapades”.
Compared to her first book, this story has a very different dynamic. For the most part Zoë is travelling with someone else, rather than her preferred solo mode. More than that, when they travel together Mike is in charge; he has the local knowledge, knows the culture and can string together a route linking some of best roads he knows between hospitable friends who will provide a free roof for the night.
In between those long-distance loops between promo events, Zoë does manage to take off on her own for a few days and spends a while camped out at the beach; decompressing and reflecting on the beauty and charm of the southland and its people.
Zoë’s descriptions of the characters she meets are nicely three-dimensional, but didn’t always strike me as natural with a little too much explanation and scene setting forced into some of the reported conversations.
I’ve stumbled over some of the syntax in both of Zoë’s books. That can be an issue to do with style more than substance, but there were times when I wondered whether this title had been properly proof-read. Not least because of the annoying regularity with which commas are placed both before and after the word ‘and’.
There are around three-dozen black and white photos interspersed where they can help to illustrate the text. I like that approach, but it would work even better with a little more thought given to conveying a scene by cropping some of the images.
But, put those criticisms to one side and give her work a fair go, because if you like your authors down to earth and capable of carrying you with them on their travels, then you’ll probably like Zoë’s work.
Paperback 240 pages B&W images throughout
Published by Road Dog Publications 2016
Kindle ASIN: B017L3O18K