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“Raphaelle”: Should You Hire a Professional Tour Guide?

Well I’ve said it before, if you can hire a private guide for trip specific themed walks, do it! What I mean is if you want to visit or explore a specific subject in a city, hire a knowledgeable guide.

Should you hire a professional tour guide?
Stew Ross (center), Raphaelle (left) and Sandy Ross (right) checking facts about the French Revolution as they tour the streets of Versaille. (Photo by Dan Owen)

For our trip to Paris I wanted to visit Versailles – not specifically for the general palace tour (been there, done that) but for the events that were significant to the Revolution. In other words, those events that occurred between May and October 1789. There were three primary events during this time frame: the meeting of the Estates General (4, 5 May), the September massacres (9 September), and the events leading up to the return of the royal family to Paris (5,6, October).

I needed an expert guide for the Versailles segment of our trip. I had researched Paris but decided it would be much more efficient to use the guide for Versailles. Read More “Raphaelle”: Should You Hire a Professional Tour Guide?

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90% Completed For The Past Year

Boulangerie in Paris. (Photo by Sandy Ross)

Well, not quite. But it sure feels that way. At this point, I keep telling people that I’m 90% finished with the DRAFT of the BOOK PROPOSAL for the literary agent. Now that’s a long way from saying that I’m 90% finished with the manuscript. But that’s what I tell people because it has the sweet ring of being completed. Anyway, just delivering a book proposal to a literary agent is a milestone (or so I keep telling myself). The nice thing about writing on the subject that my book is about is that I will have to go back to Paris…not once but twice before the final manuscript can be published. I have to go the first time so that I can go to every building, site or place that I’ve researched. I need to confirm that it really is there, the address, the correct Metro stop I’ve quoted in the book and to take pictures. I have to confirm that when I tell someone in the book to turn to the right to see Marat’s house (or at least where it stood) that I’m telling them the right thing. The second time I go, it will be to actually walk the tours we set up. I don’t want to tell you that a walking tour takes 1.5 hours when in fact, it takes 8. This would not be good for future books and potential sales to repeat buyers. So right now, I’m waiting for the copyright on the book (or I should say, the book proposal). Once I have that, I can deliver the book proposal to the literary agent. Won’t that be quite a milestone? For the purpose of small victories, I keep telling myself it is.

Thanks so much for following my blog and my little journey through this incredibly interesting process of writing a book and then getting the bloody thing published.


Please note that I do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies I mention or promote in my blog.

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