About Stephen R. Marriott
What do you do if the career you thought you wanted, in fact the life you wanted, wasn’t in fact what you needed? That’s the predicament I found myself in for years. The thing is I was good at my job; I knew it and people told me I was. But my former profession in the investment industry wasn’t fulfilling me. It paid the bills and supported a nice lifestyle but it wasn’t my true reason for being. Often in the working day I’d find myself gazing through the office window and daydreaming, wondering when I’d next meet that tree-climbing boy who smiled at life and wanted to explore. The only times I encountered him was when I’d combine all my annual holidays to travel, and when I’d taken a year’s sabbatical to backpack around Latin America. But as soon I returned to the office the boy beside me vanished from my side.
“The adventure of walking across a country and the people I met on the way inspired my debut book”
Something magical happens when we engage with distant lands and its people; and in 2012 the magic led me towards a historic pilgrimage. It was journey I’d heard about some ten years before but had forgotten about: The Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. I don’t know for sure why I was drawn to that road but within a month of being reminded of the Camino, I found myself at the foothills of the Pyrenees, at the start of a 800km walk that would change my life. The adventure of walking across a country and the people I met on the way inspired my debut book Candyfloss Guitar, and the joy I found in writing that book finally compelled me to break out of the investment world for good and pursue a writing career.
While I’d written widely within the investment industry, whether it was client bulletins, web articles or pieces for the financial press, I had at times found myself writing just for me. Travel journals had developed into travel blogging and the odd published travel piece, as well as short stories and a couple of plays which I had written with just a small audience in mind. Candyfloss Guitar had initially been written as a serial blog piece with no thoughts of taking it any further. I couldn’t have imagined the response and interest those blog pieces received, let alone seeing it develop into a book and the first story in a book series: The Reluctant Pilgrim.
“My readers will learn more about me in The Reluctant Pilgrim books than I could ever hope to describe on this page”
Going for a very long walk and getting out of my familiar surroundings helped me gain clarity and I began to reconnect with myself, and the things that really mattered to me. I found peace and started to believe in my creative ability.
My readers will learn more about me in The Reluctant Pilgrim books than I could ever hope to describe on this page. But one thing I know for sure is travel has awakened my creative soul in the form of writing, and it’s this faith in people and place as my tutors that keep me exploring and my spirits high. It’s been an incredible journey so far, which has also led to guest author appearances and public speaking opportunities.
When I’m not travelling and I need to knuckle down to the writing, I live in London. But a good glass of wine from one of the places I’ve visited keeps me connected to my thirst for foreign destinations.