How did you first learn about the Travelers?
I read a newspaper article about them. I was intrigued by this fascinating subculture in our society and I immediately thought it might be a great background for a novel.
How did you go from reading that one article to writing a whole novel on the Travelers?
From limited research (there's not much available on the Travelers because they like to keep to themselves and out of the spotlight) I was familiar with some of the issues facing the Travelers and used them as a jumping off point. From there the characters really took on a life of their own. I once read that Mario Puzzo said his Godfather books were really more about issues in his own life than about the Mafia. In an abstract way I think this holds true for me and SEE YOU DOWN THE ROAD. Many of the issues Bridget struggles with I've struggled with too: how to choose your life path, how to decide what's right and what's wrong, how family fits into your life, and how to figure out whether you really love someone and whether that person really loves you.
All in all your book seems to give a pretty positive view of the Travelers, unlike many newspaper articles or reports on TV.
Unfortunately the Travelers seem to only pop up in the news when one of them is caught for something like the Disney scam in 1992 or when Madelyn Toogood was caught on tape beating her child in the Kohl's parking lot in 2002. Like everything in life I suppose there's a lot more to who they are than what makes it into traditional media. While I think we're all curious about people who are different from us, I hope this book also points out it can be fun to consider the similarities as well. The Travelers care a lot about family, they want the best for their children, and they want to make a living. Not everyone pursues these goals the same way, but we all share many of the same hopes and desires.
Have you ever met a Traveler?
No, but I'd like to.