“The Way of St. Francis” is now in production phase


The package containing my manuscript gets mailed to Cicerone Press

When I returned from Italy in September my top priority was reacquainting myself with the amazing Theresa Elliott, but after that my top priorities were beginning my run for Seattle City Council and finishing work on my guidebook, The Way of St. Francis: From Florence to Assisi to Rome. The reunion with Theresa was fabulous. The start of my campaign was smooth (as evidenced by this, this and this). And work on the book was….slow.

I returned from Italy with the basic text of the book’s 29 chapters complete. In September and October I contemplated my approach to the book’s Introduction, and then in November I returned to writing and editing.

It soon became clear that my biggest challenge would be the 40,000 word limit. In fact, by mid-December I was already at 57,000 words. I’d already had conversations about expanding the word limit with Cicerone Press, and they were none too keen on the idea. Long experience taught them that, the longer the book, the less likely people would want to carry it with them in their packs.

So, much of December was a process of culling the book down to its word boundary. A key issue became an extra chapter I’d written that covered the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. The walk had been an eyeopener for me, and I knew people would enjoy a walking guide to these important, historic churches. The last thing I wanted to do was cut this 2500 word chapter.

By the end of the process I’d culled out about 8,000 words and then negotiated a new limit of 50,000 words with Cicerone. Hooray! After some final edits I sent the manuscript in. Here how it worked out by the numbers:

  • 29 chapters
  • 140 photos
  • 29 elevation profiles
  • 6 proposed section maps, plus 29 chapter maps to be supplied by Cicerone

The next step is a thorough edit by a Cicerone editor, followed by editing of the photos and maps. This process takes about six months, with printing encompassing another two-three months. In September the finished book will appear, just in time for people to start planning their 2016 walks.

One of the funnest tasks? Choosing a cover photo. Here’s what Theresa and I chose — actually a photo by Jacqueline Zeindlinger from our 2013 Via di Francesco. If Cicerone approves, this will be the cover pic folks see each time they pick up the book. Thanks to everyone who’s helped make this book a reality.


Jacqueline’s photo of me, Sebastian and Andreas walking in fields near Vallericco


12 thoughts on ““The Way of St. Francis” is now in production phase

  1. In the Guide, have you been able to indicate what percentage walking on tarmac and/or on country roads are involved? Also the total cost(s) including transportation and lodging altogether? Thank you kindly. God bless you…

    • I considered recording how much of the walk is on tarmac, gravel roads and earthen paths but there was so much else to record as I walked. Thinking back to other guidebooks that do record that (e.g. Brierley’s camino guides) I can’t say that information every changed my daily strategy. Perhaps in the 2nd edition, if there should be such a thing.

      • Hi purchased and reviewed your book and have not been able to find the link to gps coordinates you mentioned. Have completed walks in Spain, Italy, and Scotland and have found through this experience that electronic aids are very useful to essential in the latter two, especially in winter. Please advise.

  2. I was wondering if you had to paint your nails red so that you could post your manuscript! By the way, you forgot to indicate England for the addressee. I hope your package will get there somehow. Also, I hope that you sent a second set just in case the first one gets lost! God bless…

  3. Looking forward to the published guide book. Was hoping to purchase this April and go this year, but will have to wait until 2016. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

  4. Hi sandy my husband and I are intending walk from assisi to rome in July this year. We are trying to locate,acommodation along the route. Are their any refuges ? Or will we need to stay in hotels? I am thinking we may need to precook as I am assuming it will be busy. Looking forward to your book, but I think we will be reading it after our walk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s