Cursed fam­ily road trip in­spires hi­lar­i­ous book

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - ARTS & ENTERTAINM­ENT -

A fam­ily’s hi­lar­i­ous and ridicu­lously jinxed at­tempt to road trip the Aus­tralian out­back in a car­a­van is sub­ject of new book “The Mis­ad­ven­tures of the Trav­el­ling Quirkus”.

Sit­ting on a true tale only fic­tion could top, Rip­ple­brook au­thor Karen Casey was in­spired to turn a travel blog of the trip into book form; “The Mis­ad­ven­tures of the Trav­el­ling Quirkus” is the re­sult.

It tells of twists and turns of fam­ily life on the road with The Ideas Man, Bionic Woman, the Swag­man, Chip­munk and Princess Con­trary.

Take or leave their travel tips and get ed­u­cated on Aus­tralia’s lesser known but quirkier, his­tory, peo­ple and places.

Hav­ing trav­elled Aus­tralia with her hus­band be­fore hav­ing kids, Karen said his im­pend­ing long-ser­vice leave roused a de­sire to do a sim­i­lar trip as a fam­ily.

“We could have put our sav­ings and en­ergy into pay­ing off our mort­gage, but, like many peo­ple these days, we are big be­liev­ers in liv­ing for to­day, and in cre­at­ing and em­brac­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. And our trip was cer­tainly an ex­pe­ri­ence,” Karen said.

“I’m blessed with some high-en­ergy, fun per­son­al­i­ties in my fam­ily, so that alone made for great, some­times chal­leng­ing, ex­pe­ri­ences when we shoved that mish mash of per­son­al­i­ties into a car­a­van and took off into the mid­dle of nowhere.

“On top of that, we seem to be cursed when it comes to fam­ily hol­i­days. It chal­lenged us, but it made for an en­ter­tain­ing story. And it might give other trav­ellers a heads up on what not to do, or at least con­fir­ma­tion that their own trip was or could be awe­some by com­par­i­son.”

Karen, a jour­nal­ist, said she never planned to turn the trip into a book, but cir­cum­stance and ex­pe­ri­ence changed that.

“I started out writ­ing a sim­ple blog to keep fam­ily and friends up to date,” Karen said. “They re­ally en­joy it and when we re­turned many asked when the book was com­ing out. It took me a while, but even­tu­ally I thought, well, why let the story go to waste? And so, ‘The Mis­ad­ven­tures of the Trav­el­ling Quirkus’ was cre­ated.”

The book fol­lows the last year’s re­lease of chil­dren’s book “The Ex­tra­or­di­nary Unor­di­nary Gum Tree”.

The chap­ter book is filled with mag­i­cal ad­ven­tures of four farm kids and quirky Aus­tralian an­i­mal friends. It con­tains par­al­lels to Enid Bly­ton’s clas­sic se­ries “The Far­away Tree”.

Karen is cur­rently work­ing on a pre­quel to this book.

“The Mis­ad­ven­tures of the Trav­el­ling Quirkus” was re­leased last week and is now avail­able on­line or from stores such as Need2Read, War­ragul; Va­ri­ety Book­room, Moe; Newspower/Atrium Book­shop, Mor­well; and The Book­barn in Bel­grave and Rose­bud.

Karen will also be guest speaker at the War­ragul Li­brary on Tues­day, Au­gust 13 at 6pm.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, visit karen­caseyau­

Ex­pe­ri­ence the twists and turns of fam­ily life on the road with Rip­ple­brook au­thor Karen Casey’s new book “The Mis­ad­ven­tures of the Trav­el­ling Quirkus”.

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