Mark Stephen Levy is the author of ‘Overland-a novel’, which was published by us in India in 2011.
Mark is based in the USA. But his heart is in travel and he loves travelling, meeting people and gaining new experiences that travelling brings forth. He is also passionate about writing. While on a visit to India, he travelled the length and breadth of India delighting in interacting with students whether in Kerala or Bihar and guiding them on the intricacies of writing.
In his book Overland he has cleverly combined his two passions to give us an intensely moving novel, full of adventure.
“I have always liked to write. In the beginning, it was putting my pen to paper to write travel journals, whenever I traveled, and some half-hearted attempts at writing fiction. Yet, it wasn’t until I had hit my 50′s that a spark of an idea unleashed a torrent of words and didn’t stop until I had finally written a book! ‘Overland’
What was this spark, this notion? It was an idea just before going to bed. I randomly thought of ‘The Magic Bus’, a song from the rock band, ‘The Who’. There was also, a real bus, that traveled overland from Europe to Asia during the 1960/70’s transporting hordes of idealistic and hedonistic fun and truth seekers. Whoa! What a thought, on the way to turning in for the night.
It was this unusual potpourri of ideas that set the wheels of creative flow in motion. In time, the story started to take shape and a sprinkling of experiences and anecdotes from my real life travel and adventure started to seep into the story. To my amazement and delight the experience of my own travels from Europe to Asia, started to take the form of the backdrop of the story.
Thus, Overland, my own, my precious first book, was born. It was the biggest burst of creative writing of my life and an immense thrill and joy to write it. It is the story of Danny who is soon to be a medical graduate jilted by the girl he wants to marry. She sends him a letter declaring that she doesn’t want to marry him and is leaving him. Instead of living with rejection, he decides to follow her path, from Europe to Asia, riding, what else, the Magic Bus, all the way to Kathmandu, Nepal. What happens along the way is a journey into self-discovery, grand adventure, a collision with history and a magical love story.
I myself lived a bit of Danny’s life, as I was on my own path of self-discovery and found true love along the way. It is said that writers write what they know and if there’s one thing I know, it is travel and the stories that come from allowing one-self to open up and embrace the real world around you and beyond.
This is where I should tell the reader that I have written many more books and sequels but Overland is it. I have attempted to write a sequel, which sits in a file buried deep within the confines of my laptop’s hard drive, as I am now actively pursuing the film adaptation of Overland.
When the idea to write Overland was born, I was going to write the screenplay first and then the story. The screenplay is now written and ready to go to the floor. I have sent out feelers and I hope that someone will embrace this story and takes it under their wings, for the silver screen, DVD, and video streaming.
The words of John Ruskin come to my mind
“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it”.”
John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)