Diana R. Chambers Diana R. Chambers
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Venice
Venice palazzo and canal
 
Amsterdam
Amsterdam canal
 
Prague
Prague castle and river

Passages

(Click photos to see larger versions)

This is my personal scrapbook of travel tales, research odds and ends, photos and maps. Most of my novel projects began on the road, which led to several travel articles that were widely published. As I go through them, I am swamped by memories and so grateful I wrote these pieces!

"Europe By Train" Archives

A longtime dream. Then finally: Europe By Train. Please hop aboard for the entire journey or join me for a leg or two. "What's your favorite place?" I'm always asked. Paris is my old love, but London and Amsterdam made me wish for two more lives. Then we reached the Eastern Europe capitals—Prague, Budapest, Vienna—and it was magic, like slipping back through the cracks of time. Italy is timeless, yet so intimate. I was seduced.


"Letters from Asia"

Before traveling to Southeast Asia to research Into the Fire and The Ruby Curse, I was asked by my Sisters in Crime chapter to write a series of "Letters from Asia" for our newsletter. It proved an invaluable opportunity to capture my impressions while they were still fresh, unpolished and vivid.

Sweeper
Sweeper, Amber Fort
Jaipur, India
 
Elephant
Elephant, Munnar,
Kerala, India
 
Elephant
Pakistani Truck


"In Search of the Khyber Pass"

Years earlier, as research for the Stinger screenplay, we traveled to Pakistan twice. The first trip was to Peshawar, a dusty bazaar town on the old Silk Road and "spy capital of the world" during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s. I had read a news article about a post-Cold War gathering of spies in San Francisco, former adversaries now swapping stories about the "good old days." This led to a central concept for Stinger, where I place a regular meeting of spies in Lala's Grill. Before the script or the novel, I wrote "In search of the Khyber Pass" about our experience trying to get travel permits. Re-reading the piece, I am overcome with sorrow at the travails that have befallen the kind Pakistani people. I am leaving my concluding "If You Go" section out of nostalgia for how it was. Many of the passages and observations landed directly on the pages of Stinger.

In Search of the Khyber Pass (pdf)


"Over the Top"

On the second Stinger research trip, we arrived from the north via the Karakoram Highway over the snowy passes from western China. With less political tension then, we explored freely and were impressed by the range of regions and sub-cultures. The hospitable Pakistanis were gracious hosts and the food wonderful. This is the article I wrote of our journey "Over the Top."

Over the Top (pdf)


"The Other Turkey"

I wrote this article as part of my research for Lovely White Lies (which began life as my screenplay, Beyond the Border). Beginning in Hong Kong, the book spends much time in the "New Russia" and reaches a dramatic conclusion in Turkey.

Elephant
Fengdu, Hilltop Town Now
Submerged by Yangtze River, China
 
Elephant
Potala Palace from Jokhang Temple Rooftop
Lhasa, Tibet

The Other Turkey (pdf)


"A Slow Boat Into China"

I had heard and dreamed of the Yangtze River cruise for years. When I read of the Three Gorges Dam project that would submerge much of the surrounding lands, towns, temples and Yangtze tributaries, I became determined to visit before it was too late. It was an unforgettable journey and this is the story.

A Slow Boat Into China (pdf)


"Tibet Solo"

There is a special place in the world and that is Tibet, her people, culture and leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We traveled there as individuals at a time of political relaxation. We were free to roam the streets of Lhasa and speak to the Tibetans. We felt their suffering and experienced their joy. During those few days, I was elevated to a place far beyond the physical altitude.

Tibet Solo (pdf)