I first met Terri a few months ago when we shared a tea adventure at Mrs. Teapots. We hit it off right away as we swapped stories of our favorite places that we’ve visited and adventures we’ve tried. She co wrote an amazing book that gives TONS of suggestions for places to visit within a 2 hour drive of Cincinnati. I found several places that I will be crossing off my list this summer to try.
I asked Terri to share a little more about how she got started.
How long have you been exploring the area?
We started intentionally exploring the area with our kids in 2003, so this is our 14th summer of Adventures. In the summer of 2003, we decided that we wanted to be intentional about exploring Cincinnati with our kids, so we decided to pick a day and set it aside for that purpose. We picked Tuesday and almost every Tuesday that summer we went somewhere we’d never been before. We’ve been doing that every summer since then.
What’s one of your favorite places that you discovered that you had no knowledge of prior?
Only one? We were already familiar with many of Cincinnati’s parks and were thrilled to discover that Dayton also has a wonderful park system. We love Wegerzyn Gardens, which has a wonderful children’s garden, and Carriage Hill MetroPark, which is a living history farm. There are also several all museums that many people don’t know about. One of them is Vent Haven, the world’s only ventriloquism museum. It’s located in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. You can see over 800 dummies and puppets on a guided tour of the museum.
What’s your favorite free adventure in the area?
My kids love to go to Trammel Fossil Park in Sharonville. You can search for fossils and take some home for your personal collection. There are fossils in practically every rock you pick up and there are signs that tell you about the different layers of the fossil beds and which types of fossils are more likely to be found in each.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
A few years after we started going on Adventures, we started speaking to moms’ groups all over the city. We had a list of Adventure ideas that we gave out, but that wasn’t enough information for most people. We consistently received requests to write a book. It took us a couple years to wrap our minds around that, but eventually we wrote the book that we wished we would have had when we started going on Adventures. We’ve tried to take the scariness out of going somewhere new. We’ve personally visited all of the attractions in the book with our own kids. We have assessed stroller-friendliness and give estimates of how long it will take to explore each Adventure and what age children we think will enjoy each one.
What challenges did you have to overcome in writing a book?
Both of us are former engineers. Neither of us knew anything about writing a book. We decided to self-publish, so we had to learn about the publishing process and what options were available. We learned how to improve our writing and how to structure a book. Finding time was also a challenge. We both have busy families and it is challenging to make time to work without neglecting our families. And writing the book is only half of the work. Promoting it and selling it takes far more time than most people would expect.
What advice would you give to someone who dreams of writing their own book one day?
Start writing now and build an audience. A blog is an easy way to start. After you have an audience that enjoys your writing, you can rework what you’ve written into a book. Also, know that you need to passionate about what you’re writing. Many people mistakenly think that this is a lucrative profession. While a few writers do very well, most of us make very little income. Income is not a good reason to write; there are much easier ways to make money. If you write, it should be because you love it and have something to say.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to explore their city more often?
We have an ebook all about that. It’s called Adventures Around You. It tells you the whys and hows of planning Adventures, no matter where you live. The biggest tip I have is to be deliberate about it. Make a list of the places you want to see and be proactive about scheduling time to explore.
I’ve been given a copy of Adventure Around Cincinnati to giveaway!
You can learn more about Adventures Around Cincinnati from their website.
Disclosure: I was given books for review and giveaway purposes. All opinions are my own.