TRAVEL WRITER INSIDER: LINDA KISSAM
Known as the ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’, travel writer Linda Kissam is a longtime Big Blend Radio guest and contributor sharing stories about her food, wine and travel adventures across the country and around the world. A seasoned writer with a background in publicity and tourism management, Linda is also the President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association.
‘The Diva’ specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. As she sips with the winemaker, dines with the chef, or shops with the gift concierge, she dishes out insights on the fabulous, the famous and the unforgettable. Whether riding the rails in Europe, hot air ballooning in Temecula, cruising on the Douro River, or being pampered at luxurious spas and resort, she’s investigating the local buzz to provide her readers with tips on what to buy and what to try.
Linda resides in Southern California for most of the year, and spends her summers sailing the cool waters of Washington State. Keep up with her adventures at www.AllinGoodTaste.info.
So what does it take to be a successful in the world of travel writing? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Linda Kissam and read her answers to our 10 Travel Writing Industry Insider Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations.
- What led you to a career in the travel writing industry?
I had a public relations company that supported the wine and hospitality industry. I used to bring the media in to write stories about my clients. When the big money crash came in 2008, magazines stopped paying for their writers to visit my clients. The magazines asked me to just send in turn-key articles to them. I did that, and when I was ready to try something new, I switched over from supporting the press, to becoming one of them. I already had all the contacts, so it was an easy way to sort of back my way in.
- What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful travel writer?
Besides being able to write well: social media skills, the freedom to travel at will, the ability to pitch stories to outlets, focus, and when you first start — a second source of income to keep you going.
- Who or what inspires you?
I love to write and I love to travel.
- Describe your ideal audience.
Anyone who loves to travel and finds my articles something they can relate to.
- What is your pet peeve in regards to the travel writing?
With the advent of social media, EVERYONE thinks they are a writer.
- What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
Give up my PR business and create a relationship with my family that balances their need to have me home, and “protect” me from going places they find silly, inappropriate or scary; with my drive to see and do it all outside of the home.
- What do you consider your biggest challenge?
Not over-scheduling myself.
- If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
My Mom, my Dad and my daughter.
- If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
Head of nursing.
- What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the world of travel writing?
Network constantly and smartly.